Hell with the future, let's get on with the past" : rivalry and revitalization in the Lakehead's central business districts, 1947-1980 / by John A. MacPhail.
MacPhail, John Alexander
SubjectCentral business districts Ontario Thunder Bay.
Urban renewal Ontario Thunder Bay
Shopping centers Ontario Thunder Bay.
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“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice. “That depends a great deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat. Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland, 1865. Victoriaville Centre was constructed under the auspices of Ontario’s Downtown Revitalization Program (1976).^ Located in the former central business district (CBD) of Fort William, Ontario, the centre spanned a major artery of the core area, enclosing in climate-controlled comfort a previously bustling shopping area and street. Fort William’s CBD, prior to amalgamation with Port Arthur in 1970; and after, experienced a remarkable diffusion of its residential, commercial, and institutional components to the periphery of the urban area, and later, the intercity area. The latter area is a tract of land that separated the two-Lakehead communities of Fort William and Port Arthur. Its significance in post-amalgamation Thunder Bay would be great. Planning policy after the establishment of Thunder Bay was contentious. Urban renewal in the new Port Arthur ward finished in 1974, while revitalization of the Fort William ward would not break ground until 1978. Both projects were controversial at the time and presented problems that linger still. The forced amalgamation of the Lakehead communities no doubt contributed to the debate over CBD renewal in Thunder Bay’s two core areas. Both renewal projects, however, were different in their orientation, and as such, elicited similar and dissimilar arguments for and against their implementation.