Ghost creeks: reconnecting with the lost waters of Winnipeg

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Dafoe, Madeleine
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Winnipeg has been shaped socially and geographically by the waters that passed through it. Since settler development began, there has been a constant struggle between natural processes and development. The low lying land of Winnipeg was marshy in many areas and prone to flooding. In an attempt to remedy this, many of the streams which made their way from what is now farmland in the northwest, to the Red River in the east, and the Assiniboine River in the south were simply removed from our landscape. These streams are now marked only by a small dip in the road or an extra manhole cover. Although these ghost creeks have been lost to development, they have continued to have a lasting effect on our city. Every city has layers of history which have been buried under progress. By peeling back these layers we acknowledge a more complete history of our urban spaces and we create space for collective remembering of these lost landscapes. This practicum seeks to establish exemplary ways in which ghost creeks can find their place within Winnipeg’s contemporary urban fabric. This design provides site sensitive design solutions which reveal the history of the landscape, acknowledge the past, honour existing communities, and return natural ecosystem functions to the landscape. It will provide a precedent for revealing lost histories which could be built upon in a variety of contexts.
Ghost Creeks, Bunn's Creek, Colony Creek, CPR Rail, Development, Garbage Hill, Historic Creeks, Omand's Creek, Pritchard Point Park, Sturgeon Creek, Truro Creek, Winnipeg, Westview Park