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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

SPACING FILMS: Powers Of Towers documentary


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SPACING FILMS presents: Powers Of Towers

“Powers of Towers” profiles Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali, two remarkable people on the forefront of a revolution that’s transforming Toronto’s now aging suburban high-rise clusters into livable communities that work — and attracting the attention of the international planning community in the process. For their work, Stewart and Ali have been awarded the 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize presented by Spacing magazine.

Yet as apartment towers have aged, the demographics of their inhabitants have also changed. Both of our winners are applying Jane Jacobs’s methods to steer them into a second phase of useful life: Stewart by agitating for big-picture strategic thinking from the top down, and Ali by mobilizing the awe-inspiring energy of her community to create new ways of using the public space around them, literally from the ground up. We think Jane Jacobs would be pleased.

Spacing Films presents “Powers of Towers” in association with Tangent Motion Pictures and Foxley Films. Financial support for Spacing Films is provided by the Ontario Media Development Corportation.

PRODUCED BY: Sean Liliani and Sarah Martin

photo by Chloe Ellingson



  1. Gorgeous, moving documentary. Thanks to people like Sabina and Graeme, I fall in love with this city all over again.

  2. Thank you for producing this and showing how each of us can help to re-vitalize our communities.

  3. The beauty of Thorncliffe Park is the sense of community. Having lived there, this aspect is what I miss the most. Revitalizing the neighbourhood is a great way to create greater sense of place. But I think Thorncliffe is already thriving with this sense of place and community. This type of thinking should be put in place for suburban and mundane neighbourhoods struggling with any aspect of community. Loved this video.