Shawn Micallef in the Globe and Mail

'As Toronto grows into a more mature, more compelling city, a new group of non-academic, street-smart urbanists has emerged to appreciate it – with-it young writers, architects and men and women about town who love big cities and see things in Toronto that most of us miss. Shawn Micallef is one of the sharpest of this sharp-eyed breed ...

For Mr. Micallef, even the sprawling suburbs have their charms. On his suburban walks, he comes to appreciate the dowdy strip malls with their mom-and-pop stores and ethnic businesses. 'This Jane Jacobs cutesy urbanism we love to celebrate is actually playing out in the suburbs, because the rents are cheap there and anybody can start up a store with a minimum amount of money,' he says. 'Maybe the next roti empire or pho empire is starting in a strip mall in Malvern, who knows?''

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