Victoria Piersig
in Matapedia


Trading Places

Saint-Laurent Church | 1 Rue du Carillon | Matapedia

Victoria Piersig, Toronto, Ontario |

“Growing up in a family with strong political and social values, I was surrounded by art and handmade objects from an early age.

“My father was a great influence in my early years and I have always had a profound interest in construction and industry. In September we were often seen together watching the long line of trucks deliver soybeans to the now-defunct Victory Soya Mills on the Toronto waterfront. Family vacations inevitably included tours of car manufacturing plants, pulp and paper mills, match factories, greenhouses, metal fabricators and artisan studios.”

Victoria Piersig


Trading Places

Traveling with a cargo of iron ore from mine to market, Victoria Piersig provides a window into a little-seen world that provides us with the raw material for the essential goods we use in our daily lives.

Sailing aboard domestic lake freighters from the Gulf of St. Lawrence along the St. Lawrence River and Seaway up through the Great Lakes to Thunder Bay on the north shore of Lake Superior, she traces the classic mariner’s journey celebrated in song. A story forgotten by most urbanites, as gentrification relentlessly pushes heavy industry and shipping infrastructure from its place in the landscape.

The Saint Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes form Canada’s first highway; the harvest and movement of natural resources to market being the primary reason for the initial siting and growth of communities along both shores. Victoria’s work suggests we contemplate this; one boatload of iron ore is approximately equivalent to 960 trucks on our roads or 300 railcars. Do we wish to build more rivers of asphalt or better utilize our natural infrastructure?