World Heritage Status for Canadian "Utopia"?

A master-planned town in Quebec built by an American industrialist as a "workingman's utopia" is being touted as a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Arvida was once an experiment hailed at the time as "the city built in 135 days". To recognize this legacy, a group of boosters is hoping to have the town named a World Heritage site.

According to the Globe and Mail:

"[Arvida] was to be no ordinary boom town. By the 1920s, [aluminum magnate Arthur Vining Davis] recruited a New York planner and shaped both a company town and a model metropolis, 240 kilometres north of Quebec City. A century on, his 'utopia' is still standing. The tidy 'workmen's' homes built as part of Arvida's original scheme still rise on spacious lots on winding, tree-lined streets – no grid-like monotony here. Each house was built with a garden and distinctive architectural style. Arvida was planned down to compulsory dog licences. The town got schools, churches and a way of life that included free Saturday night dances for the workers.

This month organizers will present their case for [recognizing Arvida as a World Heritage site] to Parks Canada, a critical first step before reaching UNESCO."

Full Story: Town that aluminum built hopes to join World Heritage list


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