The Incomplete City

“Planning occurs when mankind in the group makes a definite and conscious attempt to model or mould his (her) environment; natural human Growth takes place when mankind is unconscious of or unconcerned with its general form.”

Sir Patrick Abercrombie in Town and Country Planning – Chapter One: Planning or Laissez-Fair, 1942

Like life itself, cities and their surroundings remain in an “ongoing state of incompleteness”.

This three-month forum along with an accompanying exhibition of relevant projects and bi-weekly presentations and discussions – will explore how indigenous, colonial and contemporary mapmakers, surveyors, planners, engineers, architects, and landscape architects have worked together – or failed – to address growth and change in cities and regions across Canada. As an architect and planner, with a deep interest in history, anthropology and story-telling, much of what John van Nostrand has learned about Canada came with working in other British and French colonies, a number of which are governed by first peoples. The forum will focus on work in developed and developing cities and indigenous nations, both outside of, as well as within Canada. It posits that Planning and Architecture inform – and are informed by – all forms of occupancy – be they conscious or unconscious.


Curated by:

John van Nostrand


401 Richmond Street West
Ground Floor
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Tuesday to Saturday
12:00 to 6:00 PM

Sunday to Monday

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