A dedicated group of Toronto’s rental housing industry leaders has announced plans to create a documentary film centered on the history of the multi- residential sector, aptly titled We Built This City.
The City of Toronto that existed in the middle of the century was vastly different from the cosmopolitan hub that it is today. Indeed, monotone low-rise banks, hotels and churches dominated the skyline and most contemporary suburban regions were still rural. After 1951, the city saw an influx of immigrants and their offspring. These included the Jewish construction visionaries who, after World War II, helped to transform the silhouette and very soul of Toronto. This film tells their story.
Whereas North America was unwelcoming to Jews following the war, Toronto embraced them. Over the next three decades, many Jewish developers created one of the most unique concentrations of apartment buildings and communities — and, in many cases, the precursors to our booming condominium market. Today, there are over 500,000 rental units over 2,000 buildings in Toronto, representing approximately one-third of all housing. This group, quite literally, built this city!
After a lengthy selection process, the selection committee landed on award-winning producer and director Ron Chapman, whose credits include: documentary film The Poet of Havana (2015, HBO USA); The Forbidden Shore (2016); and feature documentary Who the F**K is Arthur Fogel (2014, NETFLIX/EPIX USA, released in over 42 countries). Throughout the research and production phase, Chapman will reach out to families in the community and will be accepting relevant photos and archive materials.
“The legacy of our city’s iconic, world-class apartment industry is just waiting to be told,” said Chapman. “We’ll paint a compelling picture of a group of those dreamers and risk-takers who planted the seeds for Toronto’s booming rental stock.”
Having raised nearly 70% of its $1M goal for production, the film committee is actively seeking the remaining 30% required to begin production. At this point, your support is critical.
For information on how you can get involved, please click here.