The Toronto Book of The Dead by Adam Bunch ($16.99, Dundurn) was an amazing read and one I would highly recommend for history lovers, Torontonians and any one else who claims Toronto isn’t interesting.
The book is written by Bunch, a historian who uses “geographic points throughout the city – places we can walk by today and look at and stand in – to connect those histories and stories to the city,” writes Shawn Micallef, co-founder of Spacing magazine and Toronto Star columnist in The Toronto Book of The Dead’s introduction.
“Stories connected to geography tend to be remembered because the physical presence of that place is a constant reminder of those stories.”
He is right.
I read the book in a couple of days and the stories have stuck with me. I also found myself wanted to visit the places Bunch talks about in his book including a hill in Scarborough subdivision, which is home to a mass grave – 500 First Nations people were buried in that spot during the Feast of the Dead celebration in the early 1300s. It was also interesting to read about some of the famous places in the city including Casa Loma, where we learn about corruption of its owner Sir Henry, and the Royal Ontario Museum‘s link to the possible return of the extinct passenger pigeon.
Think Jurassic Park but with birds. Mind blowing.
A fabulous read and one that will keep you reading, story after story, until you come to the end and wish there was more.
A copy of this book was provided by Dundurn Press for an honest review. The opinions are my own.