Tuesday, 30 December 2014

60 Acres

Note: last updated 31 August 2015.

In early November, John Baird announced the transfer of 60 acres of the Central Experimental Farm from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to the National Capital Commission. The NCC then leased the land for a dollar-a-year to the Ottawa Hospital to build a new Civic Campus. The Ottawa Hospital then mused about paving the site for parking as it has no money to build a new campus. None of the responsible planning authorities at the federal, provincial, or municipal level were consulted.

The Friends of the Central Experimental Farm used to host a list of articles and reactions against the transfer. This page went down sometime in mid-December, 2014. This is my attempt to recreate a list of reactions against Baird's irresponsible decision.

A Walk in the Farm - 60 Acres at Arpents 2014

This post is a modified version of my prepared talk at Arpents 2014. In my actual talk, I wandered widely from the prepared text so this account doesn't accurately represent that version. Such is a Pete Anderson presentation.

Looking north-east towards downtown from near the intersection Baseline and Merivale.

A couple of things happened since I agreed to give this presentation that changed the contours of what I originally planned to speak about. First in preparing for my qualifying exams, my research focus narrowed on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries limiting the methodological thrust of this presentation which was originally to be focused on the use of walking oral history interviews. Second, John Baird, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the minister responsible for the National Capital Commission, recently made a direct attack on the geographic integrity of my research site, Ottawa's Central Experimental Farm.

Rather than looking at walking methodologies in historical geography research, then, I first outline the recent announcement by Baird and reactions to them--if you follow me on twitter this will be familiar to you. In the second section I argue that the pace of observation is an important factor in the ways different gazes are directed at the Farm.