..An Odd Forest – The Cement Forest
Locals call it The Cement Forest. A “forest” of strange concrete pillars rises out of a overgrown field on the outskirts of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The site consists of two areas, each with two side-by-side mounds peppered with slender cement columns.
You might be forgiven for thinking it is some bizarre primordial construction assembled to worship unknown gods. Or perhaps an artifact left by aliens? But no, it is actually an undeveloped industrial site for a project that fell through before construction.
Who Built the Forest?
Originally owned by BACM Industries, a large Winnipeg construction company, some say the site was used to test piles – those concrete pillars they use under buildings to maintain structural integrity. The site was originally flat. It would be very hard to install piles into hills the way they now appear! But Winnipeg winters are very harsh. Over time, frost heaves caused the ground under the piles to swell and buckle upwards.
The piles at the site were supplied by Ocean/Inland Concrete, which was associated with BACM. Both companies (and a lot of others in the building industry) were eventually taken over and amalgamated into Genstar, Ltd., one of Canada’s largest developers in the Canadian home building industry. The company was later acquired by Armtek.
A Failed Plan…
BACM had originally planned to build a new plant at the site, but apparently government funding fell through at some point and the new plant was never built. According some of my sources, these pillars were actually part of the planned foundation of the new plant. Eventually, the facility was built at Ferrier Street in the same general area. Today, all that remains of the plan are these concrete pillars in an overgrown area.