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The Politics or Urban Space Textbook Note.docx

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Ryerson University
GEO 793
Cynthia Mason

The Politics or Urban Space: Modes of Place-Making by Italians in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods - Italians in Toronto: • Urban ethnic collectivities’ appropriation of particular places in the plural city • 3 modes of place-making: 1. The quotidian • It encompasses the everyday level of individual and collective behaviour through which Italian-Canadians make claims and seek acknowledgement of their presence in particular neighborhoods • The ritual offers an opportunity for people to present themselves in public, and assess the presentation of other members of the moral community as well • Practices of place-making also include “ethnic personalization of space” • Reworking of landscape and restructuring of building “fixes” identity into particular neighborhoods and streets in the imagination of Italians and non-Italians alike • The front and back yards of the Italian family home, a garden full of leafy greens, tomatoes staked with broken hockey sticks and beans climbing stakes reaching for the sun, a separate entrance to a wine cellar or cantina, an outdoor oven, grafted fruit trees offering two or three varieties of peaches and grape arbor [provides a sense of familiarity, security and comfort] • Italians immigrants altered, remade, or built features of their houses that are reminiscent of Italian architectural styles, incorporating arches, arcades, porticoes, terracotta touches, tile and marble • Examples include: 1. The evening ritual walk (passeggiata) 2. Ethnic personalization of space 2. The Calendrical • It encompasses the ritual marking of Italian ethnic presence performed in urban space • Connects urban space with a dimesion of ethnic attachment that manifests itself around particular cultural events • Address the ritual, collective periodic colonizing of urban public space by Italians • To mark any Italian national team victory in the World Cup or European Cup, young and old Italian Canadians, energized by the social memory of the collective experience on the streets of Corso Italia are filled- their cars and walk the streets around the same area with the tricolor flags of Italy waving, horns honking, and vendors selling Italian team T-shirts, buttons, and banners • CHIN Picnic offers poorer, working-class immigrants the chance to spend the long summer weekend in the park with their families at no cost [brings people together] • Examples include: 1. The Good Friday religious procession 2. The gathering together during international soccer tournaments 3. The CHIN International Picnic 3. The monumental • It encompasses the foundation of monuments and institutions to assert the permanence of Italians in the city • Monumental time since it indicates a connection between place, permanence, and ethnicity that animates particular practices of place-making by Italians • Actual monuments built
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