May 10, 2009
This is a still from an NFB documentary called Design Innovations for Canadian Settlements from 1976. I know most people just kind of skip through video on tumblr (hey, I realize how fast posts move through the dashboard), but I really urge you to check this one out if you have 17 minutes. It’s mostly about city planning solutions for Northern Canadian towns, where the climate is too harsh for traditional North American city planning, which is really quite interesting for dorks like me, but…
…yeah, I know isn’t everyone’s bag, hence the other reason to check it out—it’s kind of the uber-70s informational documentary. It has all the things you really want out of an info-doc: the calm, female Voice of God, the Moog soundtrack, the sans-serif title cards, the primitive animation to demonstrate science, and it executes these things with a workhorse-like professionalism that is simultaneously unremarkable and exquisite. If you’re a fan of 1970s Canadiana, I urge you to give this a look, and if you’re not…well then this might be a good argument to become one.
I did some follow-up on those towns, and it seems as though Fermont, Quebec is still a prosperous mining community, with a population of a couple of thousand and a surprisingly large average income, while Leaf Rapids, Manitoba has all but become a Ghost Town since the mining company closed down in 2002. The Town Centre has largely been abandoned, and the Tourism Board’s web site is aimed mainly at outdoor enthusiasts. I’d love to explore there someday.

This is a still from an NFB documentary called Design Innovations for Canadian Settlements from 1976. I know most people just kind of skip through video on tumblr (hey, I realize how fast posts move through the dashboard), but I really urge you to check this one out if you have 17 minutes. It’s mostly about city planning solutions for Northern Canadian towns, where the climate is too harsh for traditional North American city planning, which is really quite interesting for dorks like me, but…

…yeah, I know isn’t everyone’s bag, hence the other reason to check it out—it’s kind of the uber-70s informational documentary. It has all the things you really want out of an info-doc: the calm, female Voice of God, the Moog soundtrack, the sans-serif title cards, the primitive animation to demonstrate science, and it executes these things with a workhorse-like professionalism that is simultaneously unremarkable and exquisite. If you’re a fan of 1970s Canadiana, I urge you to give this a look, and if you’re not…well then this might be a good argument to become one.

I did some follow-up on those towns, and it seems as though Fermont, Quebec is still a prosperous mining community, with a population of a couple of thousand and a surprisingly large average income, while Leaf Rapids, Manitoba has all but become a Ghost Town since the mining company closed down in 2002. The Town Centre has largely been abandoned, and the Tourism Board’s web site is aimed mainly at outdoor enthusiasts. I’d love to explore there someday.

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