Congratulations to our colleagues Jennifer Bonnell and Chris Armstrong

Dear members of the history department,

It gives me enormous pleasure to announce that our colleague Jennifer Bonnell has won the 2014 Fred Landon Award, which honours the best book in local and regional history, for her book Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley, published by the University of Toronto Press.

I am pleased to share the citation composed by the awards committee:

Reclaiming the Don shows how the Don River Valley has shaped Toronto in so many ways over the course of 200 years. As a physical presence, Bonnell reminds us, the Don River Valley has been a supplier of raw materials and a transportation corridor, but also a destroyer of property and a source of disease. Bonnell shows the Don Valley’s prominence in the public imagination: as a place of beauty and refuge, and one where dangers lurk; as a solution to circulation problems and a source of endless frustration for commuters. Exhaustively researched and analytically adept, Reclaiming the Don adds substantially to our understanding of Ontario’s environmental history.

In addition, her book won the 2015 Clio Prize for meritorious publications or for exceptional contributions to Ontario History at the last meeting of the Canadian Historical Association in Ottawa.

Also our retired History colleague Chris Armstrong has won the 2014 J. J. Talman award for best book on Ontario’s social, economic, political, or cultural history for his book Making Toronto Modern: Architecture and Design, 1895-1975, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Here’s the citation composed by the awards committee.

Making Toronto Modern is a superbly produced study of Toronto’s architecture during a period of change in stylistic, political, and public interventions. Impeccably researched, authoritative, and handsomely illustrated, the book is a welcome study of a definitive era in the history of Ontario’s dominant city. With eloquence and insight Christopher Armstrong explores changing local responses to modernism and its increasing impact on the built environment of Toronto. Readers learn how major architects – their ideas and foibles – shaped and reshaped the city’s fabric with lasting effect. Making Toronto Modern can profitably serve as a template for other communities interested in exploring their own architectural histories.

The awards were presented at the annual meeting of The Ontario Historical Society at the Aga Khan Ismaili Centre in Toronto.

Many congratulations, Jennifer and Chris, on behalf of the entire Department of History.