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Vacant Space?

Are swamps and forests vacant spaces? That depends on whose eyes you see them through. This exhibit showcases two ways of looking at the former wild spaces that now house Carleton University, in the middle of Ottawa. One perspective is from the university planners, who saw an untouched wilderness waiting to be used. The other is from Tim Farr, who grew up in Ottawa South, the neighbourhood that borders Carleton University. He has an unusual awareness of nature, particularly for someone who now lives in the center of a major city. As a child he played in a swampy, old-growth forest beside the Rideau Canal, which was turned into a parking lot for Carleton. The links on the right will take you to interviews, pictures and written histories that show the two different ways of seeing and remembering natural spaces, and in doing so raise a question: what makes nature “vacant space”? 

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