Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Transit Hotel

I was in Edmonton in February (which seems like years ago now) to see the Ice Castles and happened to be staying on the north side, which worked out pretty well for a couple buildings that I wanted to see. A friend also mentioned the Transit Hotel, which was also close to my location so off I went! I love it when things work out like that.

The Transit Hotel or just 'The Transit', opened in September 1908. It was built at a strategic location that was the start, or finish, of the journey between Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan. It is located on Fort Road which was the Fort Trail back then. This area was known as Packingtown due to its concentration of stockyards and packing plants. The new hotel boasted hot and cold water, bathrooms on the top floor, a telephone call system and electricity. A barbershop was even planned to open in the basement. The packing plants and stockyards are now long gone.

According to an article in the Edmonton Journal, not much remains of the original interior or exterior. Bob and Pauline Ruzycki bought the run-down hotel in the 80's spent a lot of time and money to restore the facade to its original boom-town architecture. This included the 2nd floor veranda, parapet and finialed roof line. Bob passed away in 2012 and his son Daryn ran the place until it closed in June 2017.  Patrons remember it not being a rough place since everyone knew everyone, however I bet this place has some stories!! If you know this place or have heard stories, please let me know.

Some old neon!

Then and Now c1912-13 to 2020 

c1912-13 courtesy of the Glenbow Archives

c1967-72 courtesy of the Provicial Archives of Alberta

How's everyone coping with the isolation? We are doing OK here, the days seem to go by fast enough. I am working from home which helps and the school has been giving assignments, so the kiddo has some school work to do to. Which I think is great! Take care out there and stay inside!

Monday, March 23, 2020

The 4 Year Barn Project

There is a barn that like that I will always stop by if in the area. I had a plan to take a photo of it in 4 different seasons. I had 3 already and I just needed winter. Winter was the challenge for me. Cold, road conditions, weather changing every 5 minutes, etc. However my project is now complete! A few weekends ago we headed east and on the return trip I found myself passing the barn. With snow!

Bonus geese on top.

Across the road from the barn

4 Seasons

It is hard to tell from the front angle that this barn is leaning quite a bit. The Spring picture was 2016 (notice the front is more intact). Summer and Fall 2017 and now Winter 2020! Next up, the barn with lightning, or the northern lights? Maybe a sunrise? It is facing the right direction for a sunrise behind it. That sounds like plan to me. Now to just get up early and go....

Stay inside, and safe and healthy everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Old Mercantile

Sometimes I will do a longer post, today just an image of a favourite building. Apparently it is full of junk and may be haunted. Enjoy this now and then of the Prudden Mercantile.

Courtesy of Can you spot the Mercantile?

Hope everyone is staying home and staying healthy, not just for yourself but for those around you.
In the meantime, travel through blogs!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Return to Ozark School

With all the craziness in the world right now, I am just trying to keep our days as normal as possible while practicing the new buzzword of the day 'social distancing'. I am not necessarily afraid for myself or my family, if we do get sick, we will recover. I worry about my mother and grandmother and other people in the most affected groups. So dear people, relax, stay in, and have some family time.

In the meantime, it looks like I will have more time to blog and exploring back roads is about as far away from people as one can get.

Let's start with a quick trip I took a couple weekends ago to the Big Valley area. I love this area and have been here several times. I stopped by an old school that was one of the very first schools I searched for and went to find back when I started this exploring thing!

This is Ozark School, opened in 1912. It was moved to its current location in 1950 and looks like it was used a granary.

Ozark School 1949. From Pioneering with a Piece of Chalk.
I spent a good chunk of time here, it was cold and windy and isolated and I loved it. Not much had changed since I was here a few years ago, other than the bell tower which has lost a few pieces.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Ice Castles 2020 is not the year of blogging more often. I don't know what it is the year of yet other than the year of not much free time. C'est la vie!

Photos and exploring have not been happening much but we did get away for a night...destination Edmonton, Alberta to see the Ice Castles. Edmonton is only 1.5 hours north of where we live but still it was a nice overnight 'staycation'.

If you go to you'll see there are only 6 of these particular Ice Castle attractions (did they trademark the name?) in North American, and only 1 of those is in Canada. Why they chose Edmonton...who knows, but lucky for us they did. (Being from Calgary, we naturally have a friendly rivalry with Edmonton. Go Flames Go.)

Even though it was crazy busy and I couldn't take any kind of photo that shows the scope of this frozen attraction, I did get a few photos that don't do this place justice but do show how colourful and unique it is.

The lights were always changing making it really fun to watch. There was big tunnels and narrow tunnels where you had to back up to let someone by, there was little kid sized tunnels that I wouldn't go in. I would feel like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, Arctic version. There was also ice slides, sculptures and entertainment. We watched the fire dancers and there was fireworks every half hour or so too. Outside the ice castles was another event with snow sculptures, skating and music. It was worth the trip!!

The next day we visited the Alberta Aviation Museum and enjoyed that as well. All in all a good trip to Edmonton.

Thanks for reading this far everyone! I am catching up on my blog reading and can't wait to see what I have missed!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

First Post of 2020!

Is it still acceptable to say Happy New Year on January 7th? I figure since I haven't blogged yet in 2020, I can still say it to everyone here, so Happy New Year and all the best for this year to you all! I am looking forward to lots of exploring and in turn hopefully blogging more often. 

I will start the year off with a recent favourite image. This is around the corner from my house and the sunset light, clouds and heavy snow on this tree was just too pretty to drive by. I guess sometimes I don't need to venture too far from home for a photo op.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Wilberforce School

Throwing it back to the Great Road Trip of September 2019.

One of the schools on my list to find was Wilberforce. It was just where it should have been and easy to shoot from the road. It's in rough shape though, one side is wide open to the elements and it's now full of junk. Seems an undignified end for a once important building. Can't save them all I guess.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any information or old photos in the places I normally check. The only info I have is from the marker in front that shows the dates the school was in operation, 1913-1955.