The Tale of a City: Re-Engineering the Urban Environment

The Tale of a City: Re-Engineering the Urban Environment

The Tale of a City: Re-Engineering the Urban Environment

The Tale of a City: Re-Engineering the Urban Environment


There is a complex web of infrastructure behind the day-to-day operation of a Canadian city. Flick the switch and the light comes on; turn the tap and the water is there; flush the toilet and the sewage disappears. But what price are we paying for these services that make our lives easier?

In an age of blackouts, water problems, overflowing sewers, dangerously smoggy skies, and overburdened highways - problems that have led to an increasingly fragile environment with serious consequences for all Canadians - author Tony O'Donohue offers The Tale of a City, an essential primer in helping us to understand and improve our relationships with our engineered and natural environments.


By Frank Stronach

The world is full of critics, but there are very few individuals who will take the time and effort to come up with constructive solutions, and then submit those solutions to public scrutiny.

Tony O’Donohue, whom I have known for nearly three decades now, is one of those rare individuals. in The Tale of a City, he tackles some of the central problems facing cities today, with a particular focus on the City of Toronto. Chapter by chapter, Tony puts forth clear-cut, practical solutions to a number of the critical issues confronting urban centres — not only here in Canada but around the world — and he shows how we can make our cities work better for all citizens.

The Tale of a City is ultimately about re-engineering the urban environment, and few people understand the mechanics and workings of municipal infrastructure better than Tony O’Donohue. He has served as an elected councillor in Toronto for more than a quarter of a century and, as a civil engineer, he has hands-on experience in the construction and delivery of municipal services — everything from energy and transit to water supplies and waste disposal. As a result, Tony is able to call upon a wealth of experience in analyzing problems and then suggesting workable solutions in simple language that any citizen can understand.

Like Tony, who has devoted many years of service to the people of Toronto, I have a particular affection and concern for this great city. It is here in Toronto that I settled after immigrating to Canada in 1954 as a 21-year-old tool and die maker. and it is here that I got my start in business after opening a one-man tool shop in a rented garage at the corner of Dufferin and Dupont streets. It was a time when Toronto was growing and modernizing and beginning to finally come of age as a truly world class city. and it was a time when the signing of the North American Auto Pact would help turn Toronto into one of the world’s major . . .

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