Toronto The Wild: Field Notes Of An Urban Naturalist

by Wayne Grady

Macfarlane, Walter & Ross | September 21, 1995 | Hardcover

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Shortlisted for the City of Toronto Book Award

“City dwellers,” writes Wayne Grady, “are conditioned to look for ‘Nature’ outside the city: at the cottage, at summer camp, up north. Somewhere else.” These, he maintains, are not the only places to look. Nature lush, untamed, and fertile is thriving right where we are: in the not completely concrete jungles of our urban core.

As Grady convincingly demonstrates, the city is a natural ecosystem unto itself. It nourishes thousands of species of native flora and fauna, welcomes hundreds of others that have immigrated and adapted, and provides still others with the only environment that will ensure their survival. This is true for any city, but especially so in Toronto, home to 40,000 raccoons, the world’s largest colony of ring-billed gulls, and probably more termites per cubic metre of wood than anywhere on Earth. Indeed, there is more wildlife in Toronto today than in the last century: brown bats wouldn’t winter in town if city homes didn’t offer attics for their use; cockroaches wouldn’t have spread this far north if we hadn’t invented central heating; a single vacant lot in the Annex was recently found to contain 32 species of wildflowers. And there are coyote dens in the Don River Valley.

In fourteen engaging essays, Grady introduces us to these and other natural wonders of Toronto, from snakes and mosquitoes to black squirrels and house sparrows. Following in the tracks of urban naturalists before him - Catherine Parr Traill, Ernest Thompson Seton, Anna Jameson and Fred Bodsworth - and effortlessly blending science, history, and literature, Grady writes wittily and gracefully about the evolution, eating habits, mating rituals and turf wars of your most common - and wild - city neighbours.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.8 × 5.7 × 0.9 in

Published: September 21, 1995

Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0921912900

ISBN - 13: 9780921912903

Found in: Science and Nature

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– More About This Product –

Toronto The Wild: Field Notes Of An Urban Naturalist

by Wayne Grady

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 256 pages, 8.8 × 5.7 × 0.9 in

Published: September 21, 1995

Publisher: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0921912900

ISBN - 13: 9780921912903

From the Publisher

Shortlisted for the City of Toronto Book Award

“City dwellers,” writes Wayne Grady, “are conditioned to look for ‘Nature’ outside the city: at the cottage, at summer camp, up north. Somewhere else.” These, he maintains, are not the only places to look. Nature lush, untamed, and fertile is thriving right where we are: in the not completely concrete jungles of our urban core.

As Grady convincingly demonstrates, the city is a natural ecosystem unto itself. It nourishes thousands of species of native flora and fauna, welcomes hundreds of others that have immigrated and adapted, and provides still others with the only environment that will ensure their survival. This is true for any city, but especially so in Toronto, home to 40,000 raccoons, the world’s largest colony of ring-billed gulls, and probably more termites per cubic metre of wood than anywhere on Earth. Indeed, there is more wildlife in Toronto today than in the last century: brown bats wouldn’t winter in town if city homes didn’t offer attics for their use; cockroaches wouldn’t have spread this far north if we hadn’t invented central heating; a single vacant lot in the Annex was recently found to contain 32 species of wildflowers. And there are coyote dens in the Don River Valley.

In fourteen engaging essays, Grady introduces us to these and other natural wonders of Toronto, from snakes and mosquitoes to black squirrels and house sparrows. Following in the tracks of urban naturalists before him - Catherine Parr Traill, Ernest Thompson Seton, Anna Jameson and Fred Bodsworth - and effortlessly blending science, history, and literature, Grady writes wittily and gracefully about the evolution, eating habits, mating rituals and turf wars of your most common - and wild - city neighbours.

About the Author

Wayne Grady is the science editor of Equinox magazine and a Governor General’s Literary Award winner. He has written four previous books of science, including The Dinosaur Project and Toronto the Wild.

From Our Editors

"I am standing on the main road that runs along the spine of the Leslie Street Spit, looking across a low field towards a pile of concrete rubble. It is a brisk Sunday morning in late April. The sun rose about an hour ago. There are sheets of water shining in the field, and knee-high couch grass, and the bare branches of shrubs. Perfect snake habitat, I am saying to myself." Those are the words of Wayne Grady from Toronto the Wild. You will soon find that this book is all about perception. Toronto is more noted for skyscrapers than reptiles. But that is not the case when Wayne looks at the city.

Editorial Reviews

“Transports us to a Toronto wholly different from the one we’re commonly immersed in.”
–Globe and Mail