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Bill Freeman


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New Urban AgendaBill Freeman's new book, The New Urban Agenda, is equal parts history, social science, and call to action to solve the major problems facing the Greater Toronto, Hamilton Area (GTHA). Issues such as urban and suburban development, transit, the region's environmental impact, affordable housing, and traffic gridlock are all discussed.

Urban political problems are a hot-topic issue debated in municipal councils and the press, but never finding resolution. The book provides fresh insights and solutions to these political problems in the GTHA. Bill encourages individuals and community organizations to get involved in politics at a grassroots level. With no shortage of examples, he shows how this strategy can create the change that is needed to move cities forward in a way that benefits everyone, not just the business and political elite.

Award-winning author Bill Freeman offers a level-headed approach to the problems and lays out an agenda that will lead to an improvement in the quality of life in our neighbourhoods and downtowns and make our cities more economically viable.

Bill Freeman is a writer of eighteen books on Canadian life and urban issues, including Shantymen of Cache Lake, which won the Canada Council Award for Juvenile Literature. He was the script-writer for the popular Mighty Machines; television series for children. Two of his recent books won awards from Heritage Toronto.

Bill holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from McMaster University, and is a past chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. He lives on Toronto Island.

The New Urban Agenda is published by Dundurn Press and will be available in June 2015.

A Note from Bill Freeman

Whether I write fiction for young people, theatrical plays, adult non-fiction, documentary film scripts, dialogue for children’s television shows or educational videos, I struggle to make issues come alive in a way that is true to the time and the people.

I describe the Bains Series of books, written for young audiences, as the “real history” of Canada.  These are adventure stories featuring ordinary kids in the 1870s who work in logging camps, fishing outports, railways and farms, just like the children of this period.

My non-fiction books follow a similar theme.  They describe people involved in community groups and unions.  Often the books provide the background to the growth and development of cities and industries.  These are not books about the rich and famous.  They are about people building their communities or creating organizations that will improve their lives.

I am interested in people and how conflict around work, community and politics shapes how they live.  My books, in fact, reflect my own life because, like millions of Canadians, I have struggled to shape the communities where I have lived and the places where I have worked. 

Today I live on Toronto Island – A Magical Place – as I call it in one of my books.  The Island lifestyle, of a close-knit community where people work to strengthen relationships and the quality of their lives, has influenced my work.  People, work, community – these are the essential elements of my writing.

I devote myself to writing full-time. As well as a variety of community activities, I am active with  The Writers’ Union of Canada, and for many years I have been a judge of literary awards for Ontario high school students sponsored by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation.



  • Young Adult historical fiction in the Bains adventures:

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  • Adult Non-Fiction: Canadian People's History

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