It was only May 1st, in this year of early spring (and even earlier summer-like weather), but there was already a bit of activity on the North Saskatchewan River in central Edmonton on a lovely Sunday afternoon:
The Muttart Conservatory with its 4 striking glass pyramids is one of my favorite Edmonton landmarks. It is wonderful to be inside the pyramids, each of which is a greenhouse featuring a different eco-system. I don’t get inside as often as I would like but I still enjoy the pyramids from the outside. They frequently appear in my photos of the river valley. Here are a few recent (April 2016) images:
Three in Formation
Muttart greenhouse (foreground) where plants are prepped for show and sale.
In recent posts I’ve featured images of various parts of downtown Edmonton – Jasper Avenue, Churchill Square, the convention center and Canada Place, all with their own beauty and architectural beauty.
In this post, we will look at another side of Edmonton, another part of downtown Jasper Avenue. This part is much less modern, classy and comfortable, but perhaps with a beauty of its own (if you will allow your mind to see things in that light).
I’m talking about a part of downtown that is across the street from Canada Place, kitty-corner from the convention center and right on the mighty and historic Jasper Avenue, but the block east of 97th street is in another world. The actual northeast corner of 97th Street and Jasper Avenue is home of one of Edmonton’s most renowned restaurants, the Hardware Grill (the name coming from the fact that the building was once home to the bustling old-time W.W. Arcade hardware store).
At the top right of the above photo is Jasper Avenue; turning the corner you enter another world:
This old bar, just east of the Goodridge Building is the last of the seedy old bars in Edmonton’s east end. Next to it, a vacant lot:
It has long bewildered me why this section of Jasper Avenue, with its proximity to the central core and with great views over the river valley, has not been redeveloped. It does however still retain some historic old buildings so I’d not like to see them lost.
Next to the east, is one of those historic old buildings, the Brighton (Ernest Brown) Block. This three story brick building and the one next to it are beautiful but have definitely seen better days. Fortunately, this property has been recognized as a Municipal Historic Resource:
The building seems to have been vacant for many years now – the doors and many windows boarded up:
Next to (east of) the Brighton Block is the old Lodge Hotel. This building has been undergoing some exciting renovation to turn it into the Ukrainian Canadian Archives and Museum (UCAMA). Unfortunately,the project ran out of money so is currently on hold.
A stark contrast between the two ends of this half block of Jasper Avenue but coincidentally both bookends feature yellow.
Addendum: After posting this blog I took a photo (below) from across the river showing the Brighton (Ernest Brown) Block and Lodge Hotel / UCAMA renovation – quite a different look from the shots that were all taken from the sidewalk next to the buildings.
The same day that I took the photos of the last two blog posts in Churchill Square and the Convention Centre, I also passed by Edmonton’s Canada Place and a few interesting angles caught my attention.
In Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton last Saturday (that would be 2016 April 2nd):
Jasper Avenue that is – Edmonton’s historical main street.
Last Saturday afternoon (2016 March 26) I took my camera (with wide angle lens) and focused on some of the buildings. How many times have I been up and down that street without slowing down to look. Here is some of what I saw between 109th and 96th Streets:
The winter was mild and all indications were that Edmonton would be experiencing an early spring.
Surprise! Two days after the equinox and the snow is falling again.
It’s nothing too serious – a bit chilly but kind of pretty. Here are a few images from downtown around midday.
As disappointing as this little spring snowfall was, I won’t complain after remembering the snow from 3 years earlier on this date:
I continued my search today (March 19), for signs of spring in Edmonton. It actually isn’t that hard to believe that spring is officially just a few hours away. Despite some rather cool days this past week, snow is hard to see (in open areas) and the ground and streets have substantially dried up.
My walk today was at Highlands Golf Course in Edmonton’s river valley. Being situated on the north side of the river valley, Highlands has a nice sunny exposure, so its not to surprising that the fairways are now mostly snow free and the grass is, ever so slightly, starting to green up. Here’s what it looked like:
I am not what you’d call a big golfer. I might be if I had the opportunity but typically get out only a couple of times each year. Still, I just love the atmosphere of the course and even today I could feel it, and smell it.
[As an aside, I think it would be really “cool”/bizarre/intriguing/fun/appropriate if some Edmonton area course had a bunker that was filled (at least covered) with snow (artificial for most of the season)]
This is looking pretty playable, don’t you think? Maybe a couple of more weeks? (barring of course, a completely plausible and probably overdue, big spring snow dump).
Yesterday (2016 March 12), I went for a hike in the north end of Mill Creek Ravine in Edmonton.I walked the stretch between the north end of the ravine at Connors Road and a little south of 82nd Avenue.
Winter is in full retreat this year with the mid-afternoon temperature was around 8C as I walked about. This means that the paved path through the ravine is mostly snow free, with just one or two big puddles across the path in places*. However, I didn’t venture off of the pavement as the other trails looked treacherously icy and/or muddy.
Anyway, here is what caught my eye:
*A few of my artistic puddle reflection pictures can be seen over on my art blog.
Sometimes I like to just walk in my city and see what I can see (and with my camera in-hand, to capture and share images of what is to be seen). So it was on Saturday afternoon (2016 February 27). I walked Jasper Avenue from 96 Street to 116 Street, but in this blog post I will focus on a short section of that trek.
It was on the few blocks east of 109 Street that my eye was particularly active, seeing things of interest in some of the buildings old and new:
and peeking into the ground floor of the construction site to the south of this tunnel (left in the above photo):