Five Selected Locations Across Canada
North America Overview
Five locations were selected approximately equi-distant across Canada, ranging from British Columbia in the west to New Brunswick in the east. This was done to get a feel for how the integrated communitis might actually fit in these locations and help one to start thinking about geographic, climate and cultural differences from region to region.
Near Vanderhoef, British Columbia
The interior of British Columbia has much to offer. I was there in the mid '90s and travelled as far north as Smithers. There is a combination of fertile valley and nearby mountain that makes it attractive to the outdoors type of person. As well, I find that there are more ecologically conscious people on the west coast in general, including British Columbia.
Near Westlock, Alberta
Alberta has seen its share of boom and bust. When I was in Calgary (in the mid '90s again), I noticed a well laid out city, an attractive university and a short hours drive to the mountain range and then nearby Banff. Absolutely stunning scenery. Just north is Edmonton and north of that land that may be suitable for an integrated community design. This is where I situated this full section.
Near Stonewall, Manitoba
We then moved to Manitoba, which has the Canadian Shield coming in on its eastern edge and then curving up and to the north. Moving west, this turns into prairie. We picked a spot in the prairie section, just north of Winnipeg, where the land is flat and it would be easier to work with. This location is also closer to the Ontario location (Terrace Bay) here, than if it were placed further west. This means it would be easier to go for a visit, if needed. I saw the price of a quarter section in Manitoba going for $45,000. There isn't much happening on the typical quarter section north of Winnipeg, from what I can see, but putting a group of energetic and creative people together on a property there, could result in some innovative products and ideas coming off of it, while all food, water and energy are produced on site.
Near Terrace Bay, Ontario
Although it would be convenient to have an integrated community in a more southward location, my dowsing radar picked out Terrace Bay. It is about a two and a half hour drive east of Thunder Bay. I passed through it on a recent trip to Thunder Bay delivering six bags of hempcrete for testing there. One of the benefits I see that an integrated community could offer is that of innovation. Although it appeared that people in these communities "got by", a look at their faces and the condition of some of the buildings told me, that while things were not as bad as they could be, they could be better. It takes a spark and a combination of the right kind of people to make a difference. That is what these integrated communities have to offer.
Near Bathurst, New Brunswick
Since we were picking out five spots approximately equidistant across Canada and had made it through Ontario, the map showed New Brunswick as a spot of land on the east coast large enough to pick up when the map was zoomed out. Zooming in, we semi-randomly picked a spot near Bathurst, New Brunswick. I have never been to the east coast myself, but my impression is that there are more French speaking people there. Given the fact that the climate is different there and near the ocean, it would be wise to consult with someone local to fine tune a potential virtual location before moving too far along.
To sum, these communities were chosen to give a sense of what they would look like if there were enough of them to provide a sense of variety and diversity. Canada is a large country with a lot of land. Since we are so blessed with such an abundance, it makes sense to try to provide a model to the rest of the world that we can still live within our means, while we have the chance. Many countries don't even have that and are already crowding at the borders. Here we have an opportunity to see if we can make a difference.