This outdoor installation was commissioned by Cambridge Galleries as part of Common Ground in Cambridge, Ontario. Channelled Buried Moved Lost: Where Did Mill Creek Go? is a site-specific installation that encompasses ten locations across Cambridge, mapping the historic journey of Galt’s phantom Mill Creek in celebration of its profound visual and cultural heritage. This ten-point walk is paired with a website, that showcases archival maps and photographs of the lost creek, its ponds, and bridges.
The intersection of Mill Creek and Main Street sparked our curiosity, as the rushing waters that form the backbone of major green spaces plunged without celebration into a giant concrete culvert, disappearing underground. After tracing the creek through archival maps, we discovered its true paths and its pivotal importance to the history of Galt: The intersection of Mill Creek and the Grand River is the reason that Galt was founded at this spot in 1816. How could such an important piece of natural infrastructure disappear visually and culturally? How long does it take to forget? To reveal the history of Mill Creek, we created a walk-cum-installation that takes visitors on a journey through downtown Galt, complete with clues that map the lost creek’s path from the point it is buried at Main and Wellington, as it travels to the Grand. Our hope is that by creating a physical tracing of memory, in conjunction with the web archive, we will help the people of Cambridge rediscover and rebuild a piece of their history – one that has only recently faded away.