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.’
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