Ingrained is an industrial composite based on the fascinating “chemical valley” and massive grain elevators in Sarnia, Ontario. I had actually been in the area briefly a couple of years ago as I crossed the border from Port Huron in Michigan. As we drove across the Blue Water Bridge I was dumbfounded by the sight of what looked like a thousand smoke stacks in the distance. Absolutely riveting! I was completely mesmerised by the place, especially as there are now so few sights like that in Canada or many other western countries.
Sarnia has over sixty chemical plants and refineries in one area, almost like a town in itself. Something of this scale is a remarkable feat but the sight of it is like something out of an old sci-fi film or even a fantastical computer game. However, in this case, it’s reality. As rare, bewildering and enticing a sight as it is (well, to people like me…) it is a place where pollution is high and with a population of just 73,000 people, you can guess that the city and the people are heavily dependent on these industries, even with recent job losses. These are by no means minor problems, or the only ones and they are issues the city and its residents continue to grapple with.
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