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Exploring Vitarvis

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Exploring Vitarvis #3: Augustein

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Next on our tour of Vitarvis, a quick trip across the harbour from Point Inglis to nearby Augustein. The satellite imagery below shows Augustein's location relative to Point Inglis.

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Like Point Inglis, Augustein was one of the first places in the Vitarvis Metro Area to be settled. While Point Inglis remained a sleepy fishing village, Augustein developed as an industrial centre and port. The arrival of the Atlantica North Railway cemented its role as a manufacturing powerhouse and, for a time, it threatened Vitarvis for dominance of the harbour area. Vitarvis eventually emerged as the Region's preeminent city, gobbling up all the surrounding communities. To this day, however, Augustein retains its own distinctive character. It is sometimes referred to locally as a “city within a city” or, by residents of Downtown Vitarvis, “the other side.”

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As you can see above, Augustein is built on the harbour on the side of a hill. The hill levels off several blocks up from the waterfront into a more gentle rolling plain. In the photo, you can see the waterfront, Old City Hall at the crest of the hill and Augustein Plaza behind.

Over the years, Augustein’s waterfront has changed dramatically. The construction of a new container port to the south shifted industrial development away from the harbour. The derelict industrial lands languished until a major redevelopment project was initiated by the City. The redevelopment’s signature piece was the new sea wall, which runs for several blocks along the waterfront. Residential development, including the two shiney glass towers (top right in pic below), was a major part of the redevelopment and crucial to bringing people back to the harbour. The two new towers won’t rival the Downtown Vitarvis skyline anytime soon, but they do mark a significant change in Augustein’s typically low-rise streetscape.

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Height limits have kept the building along the northern stretch of the waterfront in front of the towers low to preserve the sweeping view from the street above.

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Like in Point Inglis, the view from the Augustein waterfront across to Downtown Vitarvis is stunning.

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Parking is at a premium just a block up from the Augustein waterfront on the revitalized, mixed use streets.

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Fine grain commercial shops stand in stark contrast with big scale of Vitarvis’s skyline.

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The Atlantica North Railway meets the sea at the Augustein Port Lands. The railway and port form a crucial link between Vitarvis and the outside world. Goods arriving in Vitarvis can be quickly loaded onto trains and shipped inland to Atlantica’s landlocked capital, Dalhousie and vice versa. The Railway marks the southern boundary of old Augustein. Here you can see a train travelling over the viaduct portion on its way to the docks.

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A legacy of Augustein’s past status as a separate city is its central square. Augustein Plaza was laid out shortly after Augustein’s settlement to serve as the civic heart of the community. City Hall was built at one end overlooking the harbour and the distinctive St. Augustus Church was built at the other. Other civic institutions and businesses have traditionally centred on the Plaza. Over the year, the Plaza has been the site of both protests and celebrations. It also hosts a farmers market every Saturday. Although Augustein no longer has its own City Council, Old City Hall still houses a number of municipal offices as well as a small museum dedicated to Augustein’s history.

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View down the hilly street from in front of Old City Hall.

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The garden/lawn in the middle of Augstein Plaza

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Close up of St. Augustus Church on the other side of the Plaza. The busy Augustein Metro Station is the quickest and easiest link to Vitarvis because the Metro runs right under Vitarvis Harbour. Just 4 stops to Downtown compared to a long drive in traffic all the way around the harbour. The Plaza also serves as a bus hub with several bus routes converging on the Metro Station.

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Just across the street from St. Augustus is Augustein’s police station and the Vitarvis Community College (VCC). VCC has enrollment of about 1,500 in a variety of trade and technology programs. The VCC has a mostly friendly rivalry with Point Inglis's Point Centre for the Humanities. Most friendly in that they both agree that the students at the Region's largest post-secondary institution, Vitarvis University, are the worst.

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Thanks for checking out Vitarvis. So long from the other side!

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