St. Catharines Terroir
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This thesis is set in St. Catharines Ontario, a mid-sized city of 132,000 people, situated in the heart of the Niagara Region. Once a thriving manufacturing centre, St. Catharines has experienced two decades of traumatic economic contraction due to the collapse of the local automotive industry. Like other cities that have experienced the loss of their predominant industry, St. Catharines is struggling not only with unemployment, economic uncertainty and environmental degradation, but also with issues concerning the city’s very identity. As industrial activity played a critical role in shaping the form and character of the city, its steady disappearance has left both a functional and symbolic void in the community. The challenges associated with deindustrialization and decentralized urbanization have had a devastating impact on St. Catharines. The city’s historic core has not only lost its role as the symbolic centre of the community, unrelenting suburban expansion has also led to the destruction of some of Canada’s most productive agricultural terrain in the surrounding vicinity. This thesis argues that the current economic crisis offers a unique opportunity to radically reconsider St. Catharines’ urban environment. The thesis looks to the earth – the terroir – as the basis for the development of a robust vision to transform the city’s underappreciated historic core into a hub for the Niagara Region’s expanding wine industry. Essential to this vision is the extensive cultivation of urban vineyards and the planning of key pieces of urban armature around which future development will occur. The design aims to improve the overall quality-of-life offered in St. Catharines, and build a broader sense of community by enhancing the unique experience of the place and engaging citizens in the local wine enterprise.
Cite this work
Michael Ryan Trussell (2010). St. Catharines Terroir. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/4962