As a child growing up in Edmonton’s Ottewell community in the sixties and seventies walking and cycling were my chief means of getting around our community. Travel in Dad’s Beaumont or Pontiac Parisienne would take us to the Bonnie Doon Mall each week for groceries, a place we could explore while our parents shopped. Longer excursions would perhaps take us downtown to shop at The Bay or Eatons or Woodwards. And, there were times when a cold or flu bug would direct us towards a visit with the family pediatrician, Dr. Selby, at the Allin Clinic. Needles, minor surgeries, vaccinations and prescriptions were given to my brothers and me by Dr. Selby.
Travel was a longer affair.
There would be traffic lights we’d encounter on 75th Street as we travelled west on 90th Avenue. We’d move past Bonnie Doon High School to the traffic circle taking the second exit towards Connor’s Hill and downtown. Descending Connor’s Hill we’d drive under a ski jump that would hurl out skiers onto the Connor’s Hill ski area; the hill is where the Edmonton Folk Festival now sets up each August. On our right, roughly where the Muttart Conservatory is now situated we’d move past the City of Edmonton incinerator with its tall, tall brick chimney and garbage trucks moving about. We’d cross the North Saskatchewan River on the Low Level Bridge and then climb Grierson Hill under the Chateau Lacombe and the Hotel MacDonald. We’d travel west on Jasper Avenue and make a right on 120th Street finding a parking space on the street or within the clinic parking lot.
Travel was a family affair; much was discussed within the car … questions could be asked and digested and concerns diluted.
The images presented here are current view of Edmonton’s former Volkswagen shop near the James MacDonald Bridge and of the Low Level Bridge from its northwest corner – both were sights to be taken in during our longer family excursions across Edmonton.
Listening to – Led Zeppelin’s ‘When the Levee Breaks, U2’s ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ and ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday,’ The White Stripes’ ‘Icky Thump’ and the Raconteurs’ ‘Steady As She Goes” – all are part of the DVD, ‘It Might Get Loud.’
Quote to Inspire – “I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs.” – Wayne Miller
6 thoughts on “Former Edmonton Sights”
We always did riddles in the car, my Dad had an endless list of them. As well as logic puzzles and trivia. I carried it on with my two. Now it’s all plugged in and DVDs. Conversation is so important I think.
Hey there, Jim:
We did I-Spy (looking for things that begin with a certain letter; the winner got to start the next visual venture). There used to be something about seeing trains and train crossings and whether or not we could signal to the Engineer to blow the horn. And, you have me thinking of drive-in movies and drive-in diners like A&W – both things we did with our parents in the family car. You have me thinking about learning to live Life unplugged, away from iPhone and iPad and computer – perhaps with more human and personal connection/understanding – perhaps more real. The digital age has certainly turned things around with regard to the reality we deal with and community. As a kid, I would gauge the safety of walking at night by what I saw and heard – its foreboding; now, it’s … plug in the iPod and get going.
Interesting ideas, here.
Take care …
You got me thinking, too, about the old days and car trips with my grandparents. My brother and I would be counting the Burma Shave signs along the road. Now I’d be stopping all along the way to photograph them 🙂 Another great post, Lumens!
Hey there, Gina:
Curiously enough, I was taking these photos while waiting for my son to finish out an evening with University friends so that I could take him back across Edmonton to our west-end, Christmas sojourn with my brother.
You hit upon an important photographic note, though; it is our ability to stop our vehicle and to capture what we see – our ability to notice and our readiness.
Spot on! 🙂
My husband said he’s going to have a bumper sticker made for my car that reads “I brake for photo ops.” Really, hubby?????
Sounds cool … and you never know, it might be sensible. Up here, when I’m pulling off the road I’m aiming not to be hit and to not be the cause of an accident. One photo instructor, Darlene Hildebrandt (Her View Photography) recommends photography with a friend so we can look out for each other and our equipment. Up here, most drivers are highway drivers, not always expecting the would-be photographer to be in the ditch looking around.
Good schtuff! 🙂