Activity 2: Cars and Where We Live

Format: Research, report

Cars have shaped the landscape through the development of sophisticated road systems. These road networks have allowed Canadians to live further away from urban centers, and enabled the growth of smaller communities outside of urban centers.

Focusing on your community, examine maps from different time periods (spanning at least 20 years). Look for evidence of how the urban landscape has changed as automobiles became more prevalent in Canada.

Write a five-page report that addresses the following points. Conduct additional research where necessary.

• Provide a brief history of your community: how old it is, who founded it, etc.

• How has your community changed over time? Has the population increased or decreased? Why?

• What developments have impacted your community or city? Would these developments have been possible without cars?

• Are the same core services (schools, stores) available in your community? Are they located in the same places? Why?

• How has the need to accommodate cars changed the landscape? Are there more or fewer green spaces? Have waterways moved to make way for roads?

• How do you think your community will look in the next twenty years? What role do you believe that automobiles will play in this change?
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