Two Glendon professors recognized at 2018 Heritage Toronto Awards


York University’s Glendon College was well represented at the 2018 Heritage Toronto Awards on Oct. 29, when two faculty members were recognized for their work.

The Heritage Toronto Awards, now in its 44th year, highlight extraordinary contributions to the conservation and celebration of Toronto’s heritage. Professor Roberto Perin and Professor Elaine Gold were among the seven winners named from 60 nominees in five categories.

“Co-Interim Principal Ian Roberge and I look at this event and the awards presented as a recognition of the natural evolution of the roles of museums and historic collections in the making of civil society and as creators of new knowledge,” said Dominique Scheffel-Dunand, Glendon co-interim principal and associate principal, Research and Graduate Studies. “We are delighted that Professor Roberto Perin and Professor Elaine Gold, both engaged in investigating culture and language contacts and diversity in cities and in Canada at York University’s Glendon Campus, were recognized at the 2018 Heritage Toronto Awards for their important contributions to the creation of new knowledge in this field.”

Perin, a history professor, was presented with The Historical Writing: Book Award, for his work titled The Many Rooms of This House: Diversity in Toronto’s Places of Worship since 1840.

The Many Rooms of this House is a story about the rise and decline of religion in Toronto over the past 160 years. Unlike other studies that concentrate on specific denominations, or ecclesiastical politics, Perin’s ecumenical approach focuses on the physical places of worship and the local clergy and congregants that gather there. His timely and nuanced analysis reveals how the growing wealth of the city stimulated congregations to compete with one another over the size, style, materials, and decoration of their places of worship. However, the rise of consumer capitalism after the Second World War has negatively affected these same congregations leading to multiple church closings, communal breakdown and redevelopments. Perin’s fascinating work is a lens to understanding how this once overwhelmingly Protestant city became a symbol of diversity.

The Canadian Language Museum, housed on the Glendon Campus with Gold as director, was also profiled at the event. Their exhibit “Read Between the Signs: 150 Years of Language in Toronto” was nominated in the Public History Award category. The exhibit opened in the Glendon Gallery in 2017 and was translated by students in Glendon’s School of Translation.

The winners were announced during a ceremony which took place at The Carlu in Toronto.  More than 500 guests from Toronto’s city-building community attended this flagship networking event.