"I Was the Only Woman"

Women and Planning in Canada

Sue Hendler
With Julia Markovich

  • Published: 2017. Paperback November 2017
  • Subject Listing: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Politics; History / Canadian History
  • Bibliographic information: 284 pp., 16 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

"I was the only woman." These words appear again and again in the stories of women planners working in Canada from the 1940s to the 1970s. Despite their small numbers, women were active in the Community Planning Association of Canada and the Town Planning Institute of Canada (later called the Canadian Institute of Planners) from the 1940s to the 1970s. This book tells their stories, expanding our understanding of what constitutes "planning" and who counts as "planners." It challenges us to re-evaluate not only the profession's past, but also its role in creating a more inclusive and equitable future.
Sue Hendler (1960-2009) was associate professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen's University. Julia Markovich is a senior research associate in transportation and infrastructure policy, based in Ottawa. She completed her Master of Planning under the supervision of Sue Hendler.

"I Was the Only Woman makes an invaluable and long-awaited contribution to Canadian planning history. The book is also an important addition to scholarship on professions and gender, with engaging testimony from some of the pioneers. Sue Hendler and Julia Markovich reveal the early role of women in Canadian planning, in the best tradition of 'making the invisible visible.'"
-David L. A. Gordon, Professor and Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen's University

"This is far more than a book about the history of planning, it's an inspiring collection of stories about the intersections of women's work and family lives, one that reveals how women found the perseverance and determination to pursue a professional calling despite the constraints of their time."
-Gerda Wekerle, Professor and Coordinator, Planning Programs, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Foreword / Julia Markovich

1. Introduction: An Argument about History, Planning, and Women
2. Women, Professions, and Planning
3. Creating and Advocating for a Profession: A Tale of Two Planning Organizations
4. Recovering the Women of the CPAC and TPIC/CIP
5. Women in Planning: Making a Difference
6. Conclusion: Imagine . . .