Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Canada's Hidden Subterranean Rivers

map of Toronto's hidden rivers transitioning into an overhead video

Canadian cities, like many cities around the world, have a history of hiding waterways underground. As cities grow rivers can become obstacles to the movement of people, can be seen as wasted real-estate, and historically (when cities had poor sanitation) they often became open sewers. For these reasons cities often culvert and divert rivers underground.

In Discover Where Ancient Rivers Flow CBC has mapped out the hidden subterranean waterways of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. These maps are used to take the reader on a tour of each city's underground rivers. These story-map tours are filled with some wonderful transitions between the map and  overhead drone captured imagery. For example in the screenshot above CBC seamlessly transitions between the map and an overhead video of a multi-lane highway.

There is a growing movement in many cities around the world to "daylight" urban rivers, to return them to the surface. This can improve water quality, create recreational spaces, and reconnect people with nature in the city. CBC explores the argument that resurfacing urban waterways can help cities deal with "heat islands, flooding, pollution, and (the) loss of ecosystem diversity". 

If you live in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver you might want to scroll to the end of Discover Where Ancient Rivers Flow where you can explore for yourself the locations of each city's underground hidden rivers on an interactive map.

Via: Datawrapper

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