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U of T to offer course on the sexual history of Toronto

New for the fall academic term, the University of Toronto will offer a first year course that probes the rich if at times troubling sexual history of Toronto.

From the bathhouse raids of 1981 to the preponderance of strip clubs and sex shops along downtown Yonge Street, under the guidance of Lecturer Scott Rayter, Sex in the City will explore the question of "how cities and their neighbourhoods become sexualized spaces."

That's promising curriculum for undergraduates at the outset of their studies, especially considering the survey-style courses that often makeup the bulk of first year schedules.

The course is part of new program offered by University College known as UC One: Engaging Toronto, which allows students in the Faculty of Arts & Science the chance to experience the seminar environment at an early stage in their careers, and to direct their attention on the city in which they study.

Other courses on offer in the program will discuss the role of the performing arts in the city, what determines health and well-being in urban environments, and issues related to Canadian citizenship within the milleu of Toronto.

Well, lucky for them. But, the intriguing part for non-students - over and above the fact that a critical lens is being turned toward Toronto's sexual history in and of itself - is that the plan is to have members of the class organize their own Jane's Walks for next year's event.

So while entry in the class is restricted, the public will still get a chance to learn about a strand of Toronto history that hasn't had much time in the spotlight.

Photo by aida_dasilva in the blogTO Flickr pool


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