Monday, April 27, 2009

Caribou Shores Condominiums

Currently facing the harbour from the mainland of Nova Scotia is the latest addition to Caribou’s shoreline. Where once existed the Maritime Packers Lobster Factory, now exist a series of connected condominiums fashioned for retirees and cottage goers to enjoy the view of the magnificent harbour and the wildlife conservation area beyond. Helping the local economy to continue, this latest version of industry capitalizes on the more recent touristic value of the area and hopes to bring more sustainable growth with it. It can be seen that the value of the land itself has not changed and only the newest version of the architecture reminds us that there is a social change at hand that is describing what the value of the land should be. Although physical in nature the architecture of the condominiums relates to the social and psychological values that help to shape and create the shoreline as it stands today.

“As I approach the condominiums I am struck by the way they stand out of place from the beautifully orchestrated landscape that has been shaped by years of passage from the past three hundred years and more. It is clear that this latest construction has yet to settle into place and be comfortable in its new surroundings, the paving on the driveways are still very new and fresh looking and the dust from the still used gravel road that leads to the remaining federal wharf and warehouse still remind me that although solid looking in construction, the actual nature of the architecture is temporary only. Eventually as the wind blows the sand up the golf green grass and the ice storms collect, a more worn and sun dried look will eventually paint the new face of the clapboard style housing that now resides on the shores of Caribou Harbour. There is a memory of the passage of time in the way the new tree stands end abruptly at the edge of the clearly laid sod lawns. Somewhat out of place myself with this new landscape there is a call in the wind to remind everyone that we are still in a wild country and that there remains to the landscape wild creatures lurking about. The small community of sixteen homes is not necessarily more out of place than any suburb residential village being constructed on the ever expanding realm of Ontario cities that continue to encroach on agricultural land holdings to sprawl further and further away from the prototypical town centres that once use to house the identities of the cities they anchored. ”

My hope is that with the discussion at hand a clearer understanding of the physical makeup of the harbour itself will help to situate oneself in the context of this place. This thesis does attempt to honour this place through a means of viewing it from many different vantage points, creating a series of vignettes that will describe the same place through the eyes of many.

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