Posts in Category: travel


Grey Owl's Cabin 20km

The trailhead to Grey Owl’s Cabin in Prince Albert National Park.  We will be taking the hike in a couple of months.

Smuts, Saskatchewan

St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Smuts, Saskatchewan

Smuts Hotel

Smuts General Store

We went out to explore Smuts, Saskatchewan, a ghost down about half and hour north east of Saskatoon.  It’s almost gone as the only cared for building is the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the church hall.

All of the buildings are suffering structural damage.  I can’t see them surviving more than a few winters.

The Delta Bessborough, Sheraton Cavalier, and James Hotel

Delta Bessborough and the Sheraton Cavalier

Three of Saskatoon’s most majestic hotels; the Delta Bessborough, Sheraton Cavalier, and The James Hotel.

Tree Road

Sign on Tree Road

Saskatchewan’s largest tree is located South of Blaine Lake on Hwy #12 down Tree Road. This very old cottonwood/balsam poplar hybrid has been growing since before the first white settlers came to this area. The circumference of the tree is nearly 5 metres

Hudson’s Bay Company in Winnpeg

Hudson's Bay Company store in Winnipeg

An old shot from a 2011 trip to Winnipeg of the most famous Hudson’s Bay store in Canada.  From the official Hudson’s Bay Company history

By 1910 it was already evident that heart of Winnipeg’s shopping district had relocated to Portage Avenue and the existing store was no longer in the right place. HBC’s retail strategy at that time was to invest in the development of large modern department stores to service the growing population of the west. In the case of Winnipeg this strategy would mean building a brand-new store in a brand-new location.

The location of the new store site was extremely fortunate. Not only was it directly on Portage Avenue but sat at the corner of Portage and the access road leading to the new provincial Legislature. The Legislature itself opened in 1920. That same year the Company decided to sit tight and defer building until the City’s plans concerning the road access were final. On September 25, 1925, work commenced at the corner of Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard.

 It took 300 men, 120 teams of horses, 20 trucks and two steam shovels to excavate 150,000 tons of earth for foundation of the store. One hundred and fifty-one concrete pillars were driven by hand down 52 feet to bedrock to support the building. Two million feet of lumber, 100,000 tons of concrete, and 125,000 cubic feet of Tyndall limestone went into its construction. At the time, the structure was the largest reinforced concrete building in Canada with a gross area of fifteen acres (over six ha.) of floor space. This massive new Hudson’s Bay Company store was the latest addition to the Company’s chain of eleven stores that spanned the country from Winnipeg to the Pacific. On November 18, 1926, the new store opened for business.

Opening day, promptly at 9:00 a.m., George F. Galt, member of Hudson’s Bay Company’s Canadian Committee, inserted a golden key into the lock of the central Portage Avenue entrance and entered at the head of a crowd that marched down the aisle twelve abreast for nearly an hour before its pace somewhat abated. Two thousand staff members provided 50,000 customers with excellent customer service.

While it may be difficult to think of a building from 1926 as modern, consider some of the features of the Winnipeg store. There were a dozen elevators – arranged in two banks of six each, facing each other in a concave arrangement. Their lobbies were decorated with immense murals depicting scenes of the Company’s early history by artists Adam Sheriff Scott and Edward Tappan Adney. Eight of the original elevators were subsequently removed, as was one of the murals, but the second mural – “The Pioneer” at Fort Garry, 1861 – remains to this day.

Three huge boilers in a power plant 45 feet below street level, supplied by their very own coal bunker, provided steam heat and hot water. Steam was diverted to turbines to generate electricity for operating lights and elevators, permitting the store to provide its own backup power as needed. Three air conditioning units each processing over 68,000 cubic feet of air per minute kept both customers and staff comfortable at all times. More than 8,000 sprinkler heads provided leading edge fire suppression technology. Massive refrigeration rooms held foodstuffs both for direct sale to the public as well as in support of the store’s restaurant and cafeteria operations. More refrigeration was found in the state of the art cold storage vault for furs, housed on the 6th floor. The largest fur storage vault in western Canada, it could store 12,000 garments. It was entirely constructed of fireproof tile, insulated by four inches of cork and sealed with Portland cement plaster. The temperature control system kept the vault at a constant 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2.22 degrees Celsius). The various mechanical systems running the store were managed from a single ‘big board’ display located in the Chief Engineer’s office.

The Winnipeg store had every conceivable amenity for its day: a beauty parlour, public telephones, a post office and a library. It would continue to live up to its grandiose beginnings. Later additions would include an auditorium with its own orchestra and, in 1930, the very first of a series of aerial navigation beacons installed in western Canada. At 200 feet in height the beacon could be seen up to 100 miles away. It was first lit March 3rd, 1930 – Beacon Day – the day of the inaugural airmail flight from Winnipeg to Calgary.

Citytv in Winnpeg

CityTV and the Forks

Shooting out of a glass enclosed observation deck isn’t the best way to capture The Forks in Winnipeg but I do like this shot of the Citytv studios.

Blackwood Wholesale Hardware Ltd

Blackwood Wholesale Hardware Ltd

Chez Nous

Chez Nous in St. Boniface, Manitoba

Chez Nous supported living community in St. Boniface

Chez Nous is a geared to income supportive housing project located in the heart of St. Boniface.  The building provides 24 newly renovated bachelor suites for seniors on a fixed income.  Care and services include access to 24-hours supervision, food-services, housekeeping and laundry services.  The program promotes a caring and supportive living environment which encourages individual autonomy and independence. The home-like experience aims to enrich the quality of life of its residents and their families.

Taché Centre’s is the care and service provider for the Chez Nous supportive housing program.  It provides elderly clients with a range of care and services in either French or English that contribute to their autonomy.  Chez Nous sets high standards for comfort, independence, safety and peace of mind.  It supports a living environment that is welcoming, respectful of human dignity or cultural diversity and of each individual’s needs.

St. Andrews United Church

St. Andrew's United Church

St. Andrew’s and Moose Jaw grew up together. The CPR came in December 1882 and as the New Year began, Presbyterians welcomed their first missionary. By 1883 a congregation had been organized and the Rev. S.J. Taylor became the first minister. The first church building, erected at the corner of Fairford St. and Third Ave. West, was called St. Paul’s. The Chinese United Church now uses the building, one of the oldest in the city.

In 1901 a red brick building was erected at Main and Fairford and was named St. Andrew’s. In 1910 the present location was purchased and under the dynamic leadership of Dr. W.G. Wilson, the greystone edifice took shape. The cornerstone of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, was laid on October 19, 1912 and the first service was March 29, 1914. At the time of Church Union, June 10, 1925, this congregation became St. Andrew’s United Church.

One of the highlights of St. Andrew’s history is the ordination of Lydia Gruchy on November 4, 1936. She was the first woman to be ordained in the United Church of Canada and served at St. Andrew’s from 1935 to 1938.

Tragedy struck the congregation of St. Andrew’s in December 1963 when the church was destroyed by fire with only the east wall and tower and the front facade left. The congregation pledged to continue. Norman C. H. Russell was appointed as architect; in 1965 Presbytery approved the rebuilding plan. The building was dedicated in October 1966.

The Park Hotel

The Park Hotel in Moose Jaw

The Park Hotel and Capone's Hideaway in Moose Jaw

The Park Hotel (used to be named the Royal George Hotel) along side Capone’s Hideway in Moose Jaw.  The Park Hotel was designed by architect William Zimmerman.