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Sound, Deindustrialization, and Gentrification: The Changing Aural Landscape of Pointe-Saint-Charles

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Sound, Deindustrialization, and Gentrification: The Changing Aural Landscape of Pointe-Saint-Charles

Luderowski, Muriel (2017) Sound, Deindustrialization, and Gentrification: The Changing Aural Landscape of Pointe-Saint-Charles. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The development of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada during the 1850s established Pointe-Saint-Charles as a critical rail hub and positioned Montreal as the nexus for Canada’s growing railway system. The rail yards and surrounding industries attracted thousands of workers and their families. The sounds of engines, factory whistles, and the shunting noises of train cars being latched together formed a distinctive new soundscape that would come to define Pointe-Saint-Charles. This blue-collar community would continue to thrive as a seat of industrial activity in Montreal until the Saint Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959, which allowed much commercial traffic to bypass Pointe-Saint-Charles.
The ensuing years were a time of change in this area as the neighborhood transitioned from an almost exclusively working-class enclave to a mixed, low-income and middle-class population. In 2015, in response to perceived demands from local residents, the Agence métropolitaine de transport announced that it would build a sound berm along rue de Sébastopol to dampen the sound of train traffic. This proposal was met with confusion by many long-time residents who felt that the train sounds were a vestige of Pointe-Saint-Charles’ working-class past and a defining part of the neighborhood. The berm, a large and imposing physical barrier, has profoundly altered the landscape of rue de Sébastopol. Its physical presence is in conflict with the existing architecture and cultural landscape of the street and the neighborhood. In this thesis, I explore the spatial, sensorial (the importance of engaging the senses within a broad consideration of a place), and symbolic effect of the berm on the community and aural landscape of Pointe-Saint-Charles as a window into the profound impact of the aural landscape on its environment.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Luderowski, Muriel
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Art History
Date:28 February 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hammond, Cynthia
ID Code:982201
Deposited By: MURIEL LUDEROWSKI
Deposited On:05 Jun 2017 15:46
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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