Montreal, City of Water: An Environmental History
Published by: UBC Press
Imprint: UBC Press
Sales Date: 2018-06-01
Published: June 2018
256 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.50 in, 12 maps, 28 b&w photos
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Built within an exceptional watershed, Montreal is intertwined with the waterways that ring its island and flow beneath it in underground networks. Even as the city has pushed its suburbs deeper into the interior of the island and onto the mainland, the daily lives and leisure activities of its inhabitants remain closely bound to water.
Montreal, City of Water focuses on water not only as a physical element of the landscape – both shaping and shaped by urban development – but also as a sociocultural component of the life of the city.
In exploring the dynamics governing the relationship between Montrealers and their environment, this unique study considers the role of water in the production and transformation of urban space over two centuries. It traces the history of urbanization and shines a light on current concerns about water pollution, river rehabilitation, and renewed public access to the riverfront – and the power relations involved in addressing those concerns.
Foreword: Water-Ville / Graeme Wynn
1 Montreal: One City, One Island
2 Sources of a New Definition of the City
3 The St. Lawrence: “A Superb Instrument to be Developed and Moulded”
4 From City to Island: The Extension of Water Systems and the Structuring of the Urban Fabric
5 In Search of the Lost River, or, the Urbanization of the Rivière des Prairies
6 The Weight of the Island: Connecting the City to the Continent
7 One City, One Archipelago: A Utopia?
Conclusion: In the Heart of the City
Montreal, City of Wateris full of insights. Annmarie Adams, Scientia Canadiensis
The past was never paradise. Michèle Dagenais’s Montreal, City of Water: An Environmental History takes on the myth that Montrealers once enjoyed an idyllic relationship with the city’s streams and the St. Lawrence River; a relationship supposedly lost during the nineteenth century only to await recovery after the 1970s. Instead, Dagenais shows that there was never a break between people and the environment…Dale Barbour, University of Toronto, Network in Canadian History and Environment