Making the Scene
Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s
University of Toronto Press 2011
You’ve probably heard of Telegraph Avenue (Berkeley), Harvard Square, The Village, and Haight-Ashbury. That’s where “the scene” was in the late 1960s, right? But have you heard of Yorkville? I hadn’t until I’d read Stuart Henderson‘s terrific social history Making the Scene: Yorkville and Hip Toronto in the 1960s (University of Toronto Press, 2011). Turns out (and, Canadians, pardon my ignorance) that Canada had its own “scene” and it was in the Yorkville district of Toronto. Henderson, who is the L.R. Wilson Fellow in department of history at MacMaster University, does a remarkable job of tracing the rise and fall of Yorkville as a kind of “counter-cultural” capital. He also shows how Yorkville was part of a more general international cultural movement, one that spread all over North America and the World. The book is a fascinating look at a significant moment on Canadian and international history.