Newford (city) — is the central setting of most of the novels, novellas and short stories in the Newford series.

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What Edit

A large city on the north shore of a lake.


✥ The series takes place in the imaginary city of Newford (city), where the everyday world and the supernatural coexist, even mix. Sophie Etoilee's mystical heritage is an example of how the world of magic and the world of the commonplace often mix within a single character. In Newford, anything can happen: Comic books can come to life, animals can be part human, and abstractions such as "small deaths" can take human form. The setting allows de Lint to examine tough personal and social issues in tightly wound narratives that use symbolism heavily to convey complex ideas simply. De Lint says that he has discovered that some of his readers are sure that Newford is in Canada, while others are sure it is in America. ~ In the House of My Enemy Setting ~ Book Rags study guide

✥ Newford, with its harbor, lost subterranean Old City, Chinatown, skid row, and so forth, is de Lint's all-purpose American city; his theme is Urban Faeries, wherein the creatures and beings of magic and folklore become real and tangible to those that believe in them. Though Newford's population leans heavily toward twenty-something New Agers, characters like author Christy (his stories are often related or read by the other characters), of Butler U., and the ubiquitous, good-hearted Jilly Coppercorn, weave in and out of the stories. ~ Dreams Underfoot

About Edit

The city of Newford could be any contemporary North American city...except that magic lurks in its music, in its art, in the shadows of its grittiest streets, where mythic beings walk disguised. And its people are like you and me, each looking for a bit of magic to shape their lives and transform their fate. ~ Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles de Lint - Powell's Books

Original NameEdit


Publications: Edit

  • The Daily Journal — Newspaper
  • The Newford Star — Newspaper
  • In the City — night scene guide
  • The Crowsea Times — Newspaper, monthly community paper
  • Street Times — Saskia Madding is an editor


Features Edit

  • Williamson Street begins as Highway 14 outside the city. Along each side are found fast food outlets, malls and warehouses. On its way downtown, it becomes more and more residential until it reaches downtown where there are shops and low-rise apartments mingling together.

History / BackgroundEdit

The Dutchman Diederick van Yoors settled the area in the early 1800's. The city's name was changed to Newford at around the turn of the century. ~ 

Places and Landmarks in Newford Edit

work in progress

Places in Newford
name what story about
Kathryn's Cafe old-world cafe see pg in the heart of Crowsea
Butler University University see pag Professor Bramley Dapple
Cyberbean Cafe Internet café diverse clientele
Green Man Gallery Gallery Newford artists display there, part of Newford art scene
Standish small concert hall "Our Lady of the Harbour" DU repertory theatre and music concerts
Watley’s Department Store downtown store "That Explains Poland" DU Lori Snelling, LaDonna Da Costa, Ruth spent night there eating chocolate
Zeb Psychiatric hospital "Freewheeling" cops want to put Zinc in for testing
Fitzhenry Park Park see pg most popular, grand park
Kickaha River River through Newford city see pg
East Street Press small press Memory and Dream Alan Grant publisher
Williamson Street Mall Mall "A Crow Girls Christmas", Muse and Reverie Crow Girls get job as Santa's elves
Grasso Street station entrance to Old City "Stone Drum" DU Jilly and Meran enter Old City to return the Stone Drum
Woodforest Plaza Mall Mall

Newford Art SceneEdit

See: Newford art scene

Night Clubs, Restaurants (and Bands)Edit

See: Newford night scene

Streets and Bridges Edit

Streets Edit

  • Stanton Street
  • Lakeside Drive
  • Henratty Lane — leads into the narrow streets and crowded back alleys of Crowsea (part of Stanton Street Ghost's route)
  • Battersfield Road
  • Grasso Street
  • Gracie Street — border: Lower Foxville and Tombs
  • Kelly Street
  • Kelly Street meets Lee — Heart of the Rosses
  • McKennitt Street
  • Lee Street
  • Yoors Street
  • Jordan Street
  • Lakeside Drive — behind Beaches
  • Waterhouse Street
  • East Street
  • Landis Avenue — YoMan
  • Williamson


  • Kelly Street Bridge
  • Stanton Street Bridge
  • Gracie Street Bridge — "Our Lady of the Harbour"
  • McKennitt Street Bridge - "Tallulah"


Places near Newford Edit

Places of a Different Reality Edit

Notes Edit

Many of your novels, such as Forests of the Heart, Someplace to Be Flying, Trader, Memory And Dream, and the stories in Dreams Underfoot, The Ivory And The Horn and Moonlight and Vines , are all set in a city called Newford. Did you make up this city and if so, why? Is Newford an American or Canadian city?

This might sound odd, coming from a fantasy author, but I don't really like to write about a place I haven't physically been to myself. Even in my secondary world fantasies, I've at least visited most of the settings—or rather, similar ones in our own world. Much of what I write about requires a root in the real world and when I first began to write, I couldn't afford to travel as much as MaryAnn and I do now, so my hometown of Ottawa became the setting of much of my work by default as much as from my love of the place.

Now, Ottawa is an interesting and lively city—a particularly interesting mix of government town and alternative lifestyles, urban blight and natural beauty, street life and wildlife—but it doesn't always have the right elements for certain stories I want to tell. But since I hadn't lived long enough in another large urban centre, I wasn't comfortable setting a story in someplace like the Bronx, or East L.A., or London, England. Still, I had stories that wanted to be set in places like that.

One day, when I was asked to contribute a story to the Post Mortum anthology, I decided to set it in an unnamed big city. This way, while I could get the "feel" of the place from having visited many such cities over the years, I wouldn't be tied down to figuring out the details of which way a street went, what store was on what corner, that sort of thing.

Some time later, after five or six fulfilled requests for other stories in the wake of "Timeskip, " I realized that I'd been setting all these stories in the same unnamed city, using a repertory company of characters that I knew I would continue to visit in the future, so I gave the place a name, started a map to keep locations straight, started a concordance to keep track of things...and never quite kept up with any of it.

Had Newford not come along, I probably would have done some extensive research in some other place (much as I did with The Little Country). As it is, Newford is so alive to me now, and there are still so many facets of it I haven't explored, that I'm not quite ready to leave it yet.

Interestingly, Canadian readers tend to think of Newford as an American city, while Americans usually think of it as Canadian. No surprise really, I suppose, since it has elements of both. The one thing I specifically settled on was to use the American legal system in it.

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit