Toronto's Poor
A Rebellious History

Palmer, Bryan D.; Heroux, Gaetan
Publisher:  Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  2916   First Published:  2016
Pages:  526pp   ISBN:  978-1-77113-281-7
Library of Congress Number:  HV4050.T6P34 2016   Dewey:  305.5'6909713541
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX20149

Toronto’s Poor reveals the long and too often forgotten history of poor people’s resistance. It details how the homeless, the unemployed, and the destitute have struggled to survive and secure food and shelter in the wake of the many panics, downturns, recessions, and depressions that punctuate the years from the 1830s to the present.


Table of Contents:


Part 1 Introduction: The Long History of Toronto's Poor: Conceptualizing the Dispossessed
Capitalism, Crisis, and Class: Why Have the Poor Always Been With Us?
Dispossession: The Nursery of Class Struggle
Capitalist Crises: Class Conflict From Above and Below
Toronto: A Locale Within the Global
Class Struggle in Our Times: Bringing the Dispossessed into the Picture
Class Politics and Dispossession: The Left and the Wageless

Part 2 "Cracking the Stone": The Origins of Toronto’s Dispossessed, 1830–1928
Land and Labour in Old Ontario
Toronto's House of Industry
In the Era of Confederation: Capitalist State Formation and the Poor
The Underside of the Great Upheaval, 1873–1896
Protesting "Labour Tests"
The Black Flag Remembered; The Tramp Reviled
Capitalist Consolidation and the Left-Led Unemployed Movement in Pre-Second World War Toronto
The Left and the Toronto Jobless Before the Great Depression, 1915–1925

Part 3 "United We Eat; Divided We Starve": The Toronto Unemployed Movement, 1929–1939
Reds and the Unemployed in Canada’s Great Depression: From Third Period to Popular Front
The Single Unemployed and Toronto's Communist Battle for the Streets: Heroes 1914–Bums 1933
The Single Unemployed: Bound for Anything But Glory
Laver vs. The Lodge: The Voucher War of 1932–1933 and the Consolidation of a Regulatory Order
On the Trail of Harvey Jackson, William M. McKnight, Clifford Mashery, and George Haig: The Single Unemployed Present at Their Own Remaking
Marginalizing the Marginal: Single Unemployed Women
Toronto Trekkers
Depression's Denouement: The Winding Down of the Struggles of Single Unemployed Men, 1937–1939
Crisis of Unemployment = Housing Crisis
Evictions: "They Shall Not Pass"
The Jobless Take Job Action: Early Relief Strikes, 1932–1933
A “Red” Among Relief Recipients: Long Branch’s Ernest Lawrie
Reds, Riots, and Raising the Relief Rates: March–May 1935
Upping the Ante: The Hepburn Offensive and the Militancy of the Unemployed, 1936
Lakeview Militancy and a Hepburn Ambush, 1938
Closing Out the Decade: Relief Strikes and the Call to Abolish Relief Work

Part 4 "A Hopeless Failure": The Limitations and Erosion of the Modern Welfare State, 1940–2015
The Uneven Origins of an Incomplete Welfare State
In the Shadow of the Great Depression, War, and the Emerging Welfare State: Episodic Struggle in the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s
A Sixties Turn: The Just Society, the New Left, and the "Discovery" of the Poor, 1965–1975
Hard Times: Capitalist Crises, Ideological Initiative, and the State Assault on the Dispossessed, 1973–2015

Part 5 "Fight to Win!": The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty and the Return/Revenge of the Dispossessed, 1985–2015
Marauding Through the 1980s and into the 1990s: The Many-Sided Attack on the Poor
Mobilizing Against the Marauders: The Revival of Poor People’s Agitations in the 1980s
Marching to Mobilization: The Beginnings of OCAP
Mulroneyville, NDP Welfare Cheats, and Operation Desert Gypsy
Revolution from Above, Against Those Below: The Poor Fight Back
Homelessness and the Freezing Deaths Inquest, 1995–1996
Squats and NIMBYs: OCAP Escalates the Struggle
More Deaths, More Protests, More Complacency (And Worse)
Squeegees, Soliciting, and the Safe Streets Act: OCAP Continues to Counter
Ottawa Bound and Bringing the War Against Poverty Back Home to Queen’s Park
"The Long Retreat is Over": Common Fronts -- Evicting Flaherty, Snake Walking Through Toronto's Financial District, and Squatting for Affordable Housing
Squatting With the Pope and the Tenants of Tent City
Miller Time: Streets to Homes and the Death of Paul Croutch -- Two Faces of Social Cleansing
A Women's Squat
Raise the Rates! The Special Diet Supplement
Turning on the TAP: Toronto Against Poverty
Another Demolition Job: The Community Start Up and Maintenance Benefit
Hostels Under Attack: OCAP Fights Back

Part 6: Conclusion "Bread I Want, And Bread I Will Have"

From publisher:
Written by a historian of the working-class and a poor people's activist, this is a rebellious book that links past and present in an almost two-hundred year story of struggle and resistance. It is about men, women, and children relegated to lives of desperation by an uncaring system, and how they have refused to be defeated. In that refusal, and in winning better conditions for themselves, Toronto's poor create the possibility of a new kind of society, one ordered not by acquisition and individual advance, but by appreciations of collective rights and responsibilities.

Subject Headings

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