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- To present examples of utopian settlements built in Canada from the early seventeenth century to about 1945. Eventually, several dozen settlements are expected to be described here. This is a work in progress.
- To explain how and why the term “utopia” applies to the examples. This site is concerned with built utopias; fictional utopias are mentioned only peripherally.
- To place utopianism within the context of settlement in Canada. Broadly speaking, the context comprised:
- vast amounts of land and resources in use by indigenous peoples;
- colonization by European states (especially France and England) that fought to control the Atlantic and incorporate new world resources into their economies;
- diverse branches of Christian institutions claiming access to populations to whom they could spread their particular religious beliefs;
- threats, real and perceived, from the rebellious Americans to the south both as potential invaders and as a successful example of a break-away colony.
- To provide material that may be useful for comparing imported European utopian ideals with the ideals held by indigenous peoples. The European notion of utopia is a habitat which is somewhere else or not yet realized, whereas for at least some indigenous peoples up to the mid-nineteenth century the ideal habitat is here, now.
- To illustrate how utopianism and city planning have been linked, for better or worse.