The Iron-Stained Snowfields of Schefferville

The Iron-Stained Snowfields of Schefferville

city of Schefferville is located in the north of Quebec,

, about a four-hour flight from Montreal. Established in
1954 as part of the Canadian government’s efforts to promote the
population of the North, Schefferville has about 250 inhabitants of
the First Nations, mostly Nascapi and Innu communities.

Iron-rich soil meant that many mines were built around
Schefferville, making it an anchor point in the mining industry.
With the development of the city, housing, transportation and
education infrastructures were established, leading to a “forced”
transition to a western lifestyle.

The change resulted in the local population to redefining its
identity and led to the creation of many social and economic
problems. The accelerated process of socialisation weakened the
status of the founding generation, while the younger generation
grew into a hybrid that shifted between tradition and the everyday
existence of youth under the influence of television and social

Extreme climatic conditions, experienced most days of the year,
require constant assessment. The igloo or “snow hut” that adapted
to low temperatures was replaced over time by a generic suburban
plant produced and assembled on the premises.

A place in flux, iron stains from the mining are embedded in the
white snowfields and produce a spectacular but deceptive landscape,
as proof of the complexity of the place.

This journey to the sub-polar regions was part of the
“Azrieli Global Studio”, a collaborative project of the Technion
IIT Faculty of Architecture and universities in Israel and Canada.
The Technion project is led by Associate Professor Aaron Sprecher
with the support of the Azrieli Foundation.

@yael_engelhart |

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City Guide: Quebec City, Canada