ACO Toronto seeks to compile architectural history of Rosedale

The Toronto Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) is seeking a person or group interested in writing and/or compiling an architectural history of Rosedale.


For almost forty years, residents of Rosedale—in particular, Carolyn Neal—collected material documenting the growth and history of this preeminent Toronto neighbourhood. This material, which fills some 40 banker’s boxes, was turned over to ACO’s Toronto Branch, and in 2013, Dr. Sally Gibson was employed by the Branch to review the material and prepare an index or finding aid. The index, itself a document of 75 pages, should be scrutinized carefully by anyone considering submitting a proposal to undertake the project. The finding aid can accessed at: 

Fortuitously, many Torontonians donated generously over the course of this long research period, thereby making it possible for the Toronto Branch both to offer modest compensation to the person or persons who prepare the history, and to publish the resulting work. As laid out below (see below under The Process), the current request for proposals is for the preparation of the manuscript to the point of being publication ready (including all bibliographic material), and for recommendations as to the maps, photos, drawings, and other graphic materials that might accompany the text (including their location and cost for permissions). Final choices regarding the publication’s content and format, including illustrations, will remain with the publisher.

The Publication

The Toronto Branch intends this to be primarily a work of architectural history, albeit one that effectively weaves the financial, socio-economic, cultural, social, and familial history of the neighbourhood into the text, and that places Rosedale’s development within the context of larger historical and political trends in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the world at large. Toward this end, the proposed structure initially is as follows:

INTRODUCTION (to be completed once editing of the remainder of the manuscript is complete)
  1. Rosedale’s ravines and flora (the lay of the land, so to speak)
  2. Early settlement and industry (pre-subdivision)
  3. Transforming the Landscape (from initial surveys and subdivision to and including 20th century infrastructure)
  1. Stately mansions
  2. High Victorian
  3. Edwardian
  4. Arts & Crafts
  5. Georgian Revival
  6. Modern

Part I will set the stage and include much of the information on Rosedale’s place in the city, and on its distinctive sub-districts. Part II will focus on Rosedale’s built form, on the how and why of different and evolving styles in construction and landscaping. Following presentation of the style(s) being discussed, case studies will be used to illustrate each style and the ways in which it was expressed. Other properties that also illustrate the style but that are not discussed in detail might be listed or referred to within the chapter. Included in this portion of the work will be references to notable buildings that have been demolished, although the focus will be on those that remain.


The Toronto Branch seeks a proponent who will write and/or solicit articles covering each of the above topics, which taken together, will comprise a book. The successful proponent will also be responsible for recommending appropriate graphic material (maps, photographs, drawings, documents, etc.), and for providing complete information concerning their location and the terms for their use. The proponent will also be responsible for preparation of the table of contents, notes, and the bibliography. Final formatting and preparation of the index will be the responsibility of the publisher.

Selection of the proponent is expected to occur by early July 2016.

The successful proponent will report monthly to a subcommittee of the Toronto Branch, which will function as an editorial board. Additional or alternative topics may be considered by the proponent, subject to approval by the editorial board. Completion of the work is expected to occur within 18 months of the project’s start date, however, scheduling changes can be negotiated with the editorial board. Initial formatting of the text and the bibliography is to be approved by the editorial board. All materials are to be submitted in the approved format. The editorial board, and the Toronto Branch’s board of directors, shall have final authority over all editorial decisions. The Toronto Branch will retain copyright in print and electronic forms of the publication.

Please note that while the proponent is more than welcome to involve an additional author or authors for any of the chapters, a single proponent is to be ultimately responsible for completing the work and for reporting to and working with the editorial board. The board will of course gladly meet with individual authors (should there be any) to discuss matters of substance or content.

Terms and Conditions

Those interested in undertaking the project are invited to submit proposals. Proposals must be received by the end of the business day on Thursday, June 30th 2016.

Proposals are to include the resumé of the proponent, and of any additional authors assembled for the project, along with information as to who is planning to write on which topic(s). Additional or alternative authors may be added subsequently, subject to approval of the editorial board.

Anticipated costs, are to be outlined in the proposal. These are to cover all the above tasks, i.e., additional research (if required); refinement of the table of contents; writing of each chapter, as well as the introduction and conclusion; collection of graphic material (copyright payments, if any, are the responsibility of the Toronto Branch once selection of the material to be used is approved by the editorial board); and preparation of the bibliography.

The proponent should also provide a payment schedule. The final cost is not to exceed $32,000. (This does not include fees that may subsequently be incurred by the Toronto Branch for illustrative material, for editorial work, for preparation of an index, and for final formatting, printing, electronic compilation, or distribution.)

The Toronto Branch and the successful bidder (if any) acknowledge and agree that they are independent contractors in a contract for goods and/or services and that no employer-employee, partnership nor agency relation ship is intended or created by their agreement.

In addition to any rights of termination at law or in equity, the Toronto Branch shall have the right to terminate any contract made with the successful bidder upon written notice to that bidder.

As well, all material contained in the aforementioned 40 boxes will remain the property of ACO Toronto Branch. The copyright of the publication shall also remain the intellectual property of the Toronto Branch, as will the published work whatever its format.

Interested proponents may contact Penina Coopersmith ( Proposals are to be submitted to: Toronto Architectural Conservancy, Toronto Branch (Rosedale Project) 403 – 10 Adelaide Street East Toronto . ON, M5C 1J3