A Walk Through Mount Royal Park

Sofia Poonawala

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In this installment in our series on Quebec Environmental History, brought to you by my students in McGill’s ENVR 380 course, is on one of Montreal’s most iconic landmarks, Mount Royal Park. Through a series of photographs, soundscapes, and historical research, Sofia Poonawala has designed a wonderful presentation on the park, blending the past with the present and questioning the purpose of green spaces in urban centres.

Describing the project, Sofia writes,

“A Walk Through Mount Royal Park shows the history of this famous Montreal park through photography. Fredrick Law Olmsted designed this park and it is believed to be one of the greatest man made creations in Montreal. His beliefs greatly influenced the park and these can still be seen in the landscape of Mount Royal today. Looking further back in history, this interactive photo book also explains why urban parks were needed. This presentation seeks to exemplify that a picture is worth a thousand words. We believe that sometimes a photograph is exactly what is needed to bring to light social and cultural issues of a time period.

We hope you enjoy the photo book!”*

Please enjoy Sofia’s excellent work!


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I am an Associate Professor in the Department of History at McMaster University m. My research interests are in transnational environmental health and contamination, and I always seek to blend historical research with public engagement. I’m currently a Co-Investigator on the Mining Danger SSHRC Insight Grant, while also developing an augmented natures project. My monograph, A Town Called Asbestos: Environmental Change, Health, and Resilience in a Resource Community was published by UBC Press in 2016.

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