A groundbreaking history of the development of designed landscapes in Canada.
The largest and most pervasive of human artifacts, landscapes are both cultural expressions and environments that shape our actions. Playgrounds, cemeteries, memorials, historic sites, public squares, gardens, industrial rehabilitation sites, wild national parks, and manicured urban parks provide the settings for work, recreation, commerce, memorialization, and mourning and shape the experience and meaning of these activities in Canada. In the first critical history of designed landscapes in our country, Ron Williams approaches landscape architecture as a social art that creates places for people to use and as an environmental art through which practitioners act as stewards of the natural world.
Landscape Architecture in Canada provides a detailed panorama of the man-made landscapes that vary as widely as the country's geography. The book profiles the projects and people that defined landscape architecture, illuminating the motivations and aspirations that drove landscape architects and explaining the intellectual climate in which they worked. Williams casts a wide net and examines the varied traditions and impacts of Canada’s first peoples, its early colonists, later immigrant communities, the remarkable landscape innovations of nineteenth-century industrial cities as well as agricultural landscapes and the protected natural environments of national parks. He also shows how stimulating new ideas from recent decades have expanded landscape architecture and opened the door to projects that embody a distinctive Canadian approach, reflecting the social and natural diversity of contemporary society and its responses to rapid change.
Thoroughly researched, practically oriented, and grounded in the country's many regions, Landscape Architecture in Canada is a richly illustrated and affecting narrative of the ways in which we have shaped our environment and an inimitable lens through which to view the story of Canada.