Sorry, We’re Closed
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The deregulation of global capital has led to the gentrification of portions of the Canadian countryside adjacent to large cities, creating new opportunities for capital investment by transforming working class spaces into residential and commercial zones. In this context, the countryside has been recast from a place of work to a place of leisure. In the Almaguin Highlands in Ontario, where I conduct my research, one of the many results of this shift has been the Highway 11 development project. The project involves the four-laning of the highway as well as the bypassing of various communities. The bypassing has been detrimental to local businesses, leading many to close their doors. The highway development project increases the speed at which urban residents can arrive to the area for recreation; however, it also increases the speed at which local residents can arrive to larger metropolitan shopping centers for groceries and other necessities. This has further increased the challenges faced by local businesses. This image, of a deserted gas station, represents the challenges local businesses are facing. I took this photo while conducting fieldwork in the Almaguin Highlands in June-July 2009.