.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Street Murals of LaComb

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LaCombe is a small town of around 13,000 residents in central Alberta, between Calgary and Edmonton. It has a charming historic core and an interesting collection of street murals.
Lacombe is named after Father Albert Lacombe (1827–1916), a Catholic missionary who served as peacemaker between the Cree and Blackfoot tribes and facilitated the Canadian Pacific Railway construction of Canada’s transcontinental railway.
LaCombe’s mural program is unusual in that the murals are located BEHIND the buildings, often in alleyways or facing rear parking lots, and are hard to see from main roads. You really need to look for them, but I found them worth seeing. The murals feature historic scenes from the city’s past and incorporate the building’s design into the mural itself.
Most …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 2, 2021: St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Red Deer

03 St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Red Deer (7)

The small prairie city of Red Deer is not a place one would expect to find great architecture, but St. Mary’s Catholic Church is a notable and interesting exception.
The design of this church was the first project of Canadian architect, Douglas Cardinal Born and raised in Red Deer, Mr. Cardinal is Metis.  Today Cardinal is best known for designing the memorable Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
Planning for the church’s construction began in 1964 and it was completed in 1968. The entire structure is curved — the walls, roofline, even the roof.   There are no windows — light enters …

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Rambling Around Moose Jaw

01 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (26)

There aren’t many large cities on the Canadian prairies, and these are often separated by hundreds of miles.  While far from large, with less than 35,000 residents, Moose Jaw is the 4th largest city in Saskatchewan.  When driving across the TransCanada highway, Moose Jaw can provide a pleasant stop and diversion as it’s about half way between Winnipeg and Calgary.  
On my last drive across Saskatchewan, I spent a half day in Moose Jaw.  The city has more than 50 interesting murals which provide a glimpse of the city’s history, which I’ve shared in a prior blog on TravelGumbo.   I spotted most of these while wandering around the historic core of the city and that’s what …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Prince’s Island: A popular Urban Park in Calgary

00 Prince’s Island Park, Calgary

One of the most popular places in Calgary during the (all too few) warm summer months is Prince’s Island Park.  The park occupies an island in the Bow River and is situated immediately north of downtown Calgary.   It’s open from sunrise to sunset (5 am to 11 pm).  Several pedestrian bridges provide park access from downtown. 
Prince’s Island Park was named after Peter Prince, who moved from Quebec to Calgary in 1886. Mr. Prince founded the Eau Claire Lumber Mill, and formed the Calgary Water Power Company to provide hydroelectricity to the city.  Prince’s Island Park was developed as a community park after the Prince family sold the land to the city in 1947, resulting in the development of a …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 19, 2021: Education is the new Buffalo, Calgary

00 Downtown Calgary Library (29)

I was intrigued by this work of art, created by Lionel Peyachew, which is prominently displayed in Calgary’s new Central Library.
Historically the key to survival on the prairies was a successful buffalo hunt.  Today the key to success is a good education.  Peyachew has used welded steel letters and numbers to construct a an icon that combines past and present tools for survival. 
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 
 

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars along the Highway: 1935 Ford Pickup

191-Show and Shine Car Show (215)

Came across this lovely souped-up Ford Pickup in Calgary — and in one of my favorite colors.
Hard to believe it’s almost 85 years old.  Powered by a 302cc V8, it was popular when it was made and still a very desirable collectible.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

St. Andrews-on-the-Red, Manitoba

St Andrew’s Anglican Church 00

One of the oldest churches on the Canadian prairies is St. Andrews.  It’s an Anglican (Episcopalian) church in the community of St. Andrews and is situated on the Red River — hence the name, St. Andrews-on-the-Red.
The church is more than 170 years old.  In the 1820’s, the stretch of the Red River north of (what is now) Winnipeg was largely settled by former workers of the Hudson’s Bay and Northwest Trading Companies, many of whom were immigrants from the Orkney Islands.  Archdeacon W. Cockran established a mission and built a wooden church here in 1831. This wooden church soon became too small to accommodate the congregation and a new stone church was begun in 1844 and completed in 1849.  The …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 8, 2021. A January Drive down the Cowboy Trail

05 Cowboy Trail in January (10)

One of the most underrated scenic drives in Canada is Alberta’s Cowboy Trail, highway 22X.  The 100-or-so mile stretch from the Crowsnest Pass to Longview contains nothing but an expanse of prairie rolling over the foothills and abutting the lovely Rocky Mountains.  It’s especially scenic in late spring/early summer, when the prairie grass is lush and green and there’s still some snow on the mountain peaks, but winter has its own charm.

These photos were a few years ago, a winter which had been pretty mild up to that point, with little snow on the ground.  The winter daylight so far north is soft, especially in the afternoon.  Lots of cattle grazing, a few ranches here and there, including the …

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