Sunday, June 07, 2009

Destruction season

You know, with two weeks until summer, you would hope that the snow might stop falling soon. However, today was not that day, as we had flurries all morning. None of it stuck, of course. Most of it seemed to turn into mist almost as soon as it hit the ground. Still, the sight of snow falling and the bay still frozen can make you a touch depressed after a bit. And 24 hours of daylight can only cheer you up so much when faced with that.

It's also a different kind of season here in town. You've heard of construction season? Well, this is destruction season. We're starting to see bits and pieces of construction around town. There are workers doing stuff on the new RCMP headquarters on Federal Road, a few people on the new Komatiq Building and people working housing units. But this is kind of bits and pieces stuff. These buildings are mostly up already and I assume work stopped on them when it got too cold or when they running low and supplies. With the first sea lift boat arrive, theoretically, in one month's time, I guess they can get going again.

No destruction season is when the start tearing down stuff to make room for the new stuff they're going to build. So far, at least in my neck of the woods, it's been mostly old houses. I stand to be corrected on this, but I'm pretty sure most of the houses are old social housing accommodations. They're decades old and in pretty crap shape. I've never been inside of one, but if the outsides are any indication, I imagine the insides aren't holding out the best. I can't imagine they're holding heat all that well during the middle of winter, let's put it that way.

So down they go. No idea where the occupants will be staying for the next 12 to 18 months until the new units are built, but they're gone. And the houses around our apartment are disappearing pretty quick. Several across from the library disappeared in a day and ones next to the NorthWest Tel building vanished during the course of the week. I thought they were being torn down, but they appear to have been put on the back of trailers and carted away. No idea where, but all that remains is a small pile of rubbish to be cleaned up at some point.

It's interesting watch, but with so much construction happening nearby, I fear this isn't going to be a quiet summer. Yes, we'll be gone for a month, but we'll still be here lots. And with all the hammer and drills and dust, well, I might be ready for another vacation come the end of August.

The transformation of Iqaluit is kind of surreal to watch. We've been here barely four years and in that time we've seen the Anglican church burn down, the Nova Inn be built, the Komatiq restaurant torn down and a new office building put in that spot to replace it. Oh, and most of the plateau subdivision go up, which means dozens of new houses that weren't there until recently.

I've spoken to a few people who come back here after being away for a decade or so and they're always shell shocked. As for people who have been around for a few decades, well, I imagine it's deeply weird watching their home change so much.

Who knows what the place will look like in five years time.

Last Five
1. Three sunrises - U2
2. I'm your villain - Franz Ferdinand
3. The trick is to keep breathing - Garbage*
4. 1962 - Ron Hynes
5. Retirement - Kaiser Chiefs

4 comments:

Simon said...

The Komotiq is gone?!?! Too bad! Best place in town to go slumming. I know some people who would be very disappointed to hear about its demise.

nadinebc said...

Just a question, do you guys have any plant life at all up there?

towniebastard said...

Oh, there's plenty of it. I imagine there are plants blooming here already. But July and August the tundra outside of town will have plenty of plants (and a ton of mosquitos).

It's just the days in June when you wake up and see snow that you fear for your sanity.

Way Way Up said...

It really blows my mind how much I've seen the place change over the years. Ever time I pass through there's something new. I'm so used to seeing the old Komatiq restaurant on the 4 corners that it seems wrong no to see it there. I really wish I had taken more pictures of the place when I first landed there in '03 just to be able to compare them with how the place is today. I can only imagine what long-timers and residents think of it all.