Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Canada 150 and Staycation Destination: Wetaskiwin AB

Sunset on Sylvan Lake

I just had 6 days off and am now back to work...needless to say, I am a bit tired today. It also means that I have time to catch up on reading blogs and work on some posts that have been partially forming in my vacation mode brain.

Over the long weekend we celebrated Canada Day (the big 1-5-0, did you know a 150th anniversary is called a sesquicentennial?) by visiting family in Calgary for a BBQ, we also had friends over, did some bike riding, yard work, sat on the patio and enjoyed the nice weather. Even though we live in a lake town, we only went down to the lake once for an evening walk and some ice cream.

There are so many great museums and attractions close by so we are going to be doing a lot of 'staycations' this year. One that we visited over the long weekend was the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, which is about an hour north of home. This huge museum focuses on transportation, aviation, agricultural machinery and industrial equipment. The current exhibit is the McLaughlin Story, telling the tale of the McLaughlin family and their contribution to the automobile industry.

There are dozens of vehicles on display, from restored to as-is. This is definitely the place for lovers of vintage automobiles! Stroll through the main gallery and take a transportation trip through time, from horse drawn carriage to early autos, 1920's grain elevator (with working parts to show how an elevator operates), 1930's service station and 1950's drive in movie theater. The aviation display is in another building and is jammed full from floor to ceiling (outside as well) with early flying 'contraptions' to vintage aircraft. This is only a fraction of their collection, which is the 2nd largest in Canada. Outside is also where you'll find the gigantic 1917 Bycyrus Dragline and a variety of agricultural equipment. I could've taken dozen of are a few highlights:

Clear the road!

I would love to own a 40's era truck, I am taking donations. Any make is fine.

Neon signs, another of my favourite things


Royal Canadian Air Force jet


On the way to Wetaskiwin, you can't miss picturesque St. John's Lutheran Church and Cemetery. Of course I stopped for a photo. Beside the church is a vacant house that is for sale. I thought it might be where the Pastor lived? In any case it appears to be for sale separate from the church. I couldn't confirm if the church was still in regular use but it is well cared for and looks to be in great condition.

Matching Mailbox!

Also, because I have never been to Wetaskiwin, we took some time and drove around town. They have a 'Prehistoric' Downtown, as my son said he read on a sign. Pretty sure it said 'historic' but we were on the lookout for dinosaurs just in case.

Ghost sign, now. 
Ghost sign, then. Courtesy of Wetaskiwin & District Heritage Museum

Ghost sign and neon!

Wok On!
I hope everyone had a good Canada Day and a hope it was a Happy 4th of July for my American friends!


  1. Great way to spend a vacation! Some of your photos (old cars and truck, cafe, neon signs) took me on a stroll through my memories of younger days. Love this post.

    1. Thanks Vicki, it was a nice day. We will have to go back in the fall when the main exhibit changes. More museum visits to come!

  2. Glad to see you made it there. Wetaskiwin has a really cool downtown. Harvest Fair at the Reynolds Museum is a really cool time to go. Usually on Labor Day weekend.

    1. Hi Tim, yes there are some neat buildings in the downtown. I'd go back for the Harvest Fair! So many great places close to home.

  3. Happy belated Canada Day Jenn! :) We had a great time, mostly eating ourselves silly! I love the ghost signs...there are lots of those in Montreal on the old buildings, we used to try to spot them when we lived there. That museum looks fun. I love the picture of you and your son!

    1. I would love to see Montreal someday! Thanks...He's such a ham in front of the camera! lol

  4. I have been to,the Reynolds Museum years ago. I should go back sometime.

  5. You should! The current McLaughlin exhibit is interesting...did you know the oldest McLaughlin son created Canada Dry Ginger Ale? The more you know...

    1. Yes, I did know that. My mind is a junkyard of trivial information.