When visiting Montreal in October for work I had a chance to briefly tour Old Montreal.
Many old buildings and cobblestone streets are found in Old Montreal. Some new structures have been built right around the old. Scaffolding was a common sight, and many of the streets were under repair. One thing that impressed me was the use of light to highlight some of the architecture. I would have loved more time to explore this part of the city.
The prairies are dotted with forgotten structures that once held families, livestock, teachers, and school children. I would love to investigate the interiors, but they are not safe to explore. What little tidbits of history are hidden within these tattered wooden walls? Is there still a wood burning stove in a once busy kitchen? Could a glass door knob yet be found on a bedroom door? Would we find intricately carved wooden cornices, or were these artifacts scavenged in days gone by? One thing is for sure, someone in the market for reclaimed wood could find enough on the prairies to keep them supplied for many years. Always fascinated by these dwellings, I watch for them from the passenger seat while travelling to and fro. Some of the buildings I was lucky enough to capture at highway speed follow:
Houses, made uninhabitable by time and weather.
Barns nearly ready to collapse. Some were leaning very precariously.
Dilapidated one room school houses. The signs outside are now unreadable.
Various neglected out buildings.
This trip the landscape was coloured with an eerie haze from the smoke of many fires burning north of the prairies. Sometimes it would clear for a few kilometers, then the smoke would burn our eyes again as we traveled. The distant features blurred, and were sometimes obliterated in the smoky atmosphere.
Forgotten – Part I can be found here.
Above: A four sided monument, each side featuring a brief description of the contributions made to the city and province by Frederick Haultain, Nicholas Davin, James Ross, and Charles Dunning. In the vicinity sit six paper birch trees taken from Runnymede Meadow in Great Windsor Park, Royal Estate near Windsor Castle. The area surrounding the monument is called Speakers’ Corner to emphasize the importance of freedom of speech and assembly in a democratic society. There are ten gas lamps surrounding the corner that come from King Charles Street, London, England near the Houses of Parliament.
Below: The Sisters Legacy Statue portrays two Catholic sisters — one, a teacher, and one, a nurse. The monument commemorates the commitment and courage of women who provided education and health care in the early days of Saskatchewan.
Left: The Honouring Tree was erected as part of the 2010 celebration commemorating one hundred years of settlement by people of African ancestry in Saskatchewan. It is a symbol of diversity as we remember and honour past contributions of people from many origins who call this province their home.
Below: The Walter Scott statue, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the legislative building of Regina. W. Scott oversaw the construction, which concluded in 1912. He also promoted the creation of the University of Saskatchewan in 1907. Under his leadership, Saskatchewan was one of the first provinces to grant women the right to vote and hold elected office. He did all this, and more, while battling mental illness. He suffered from manic depression (bipolar disorder) his entire life.
All these monuments are located in Wascana Park, in Regina.
This Victorian style gazebo sits in Wascana Park, but was moved from its original location of Victoria Park in downtown Regina. It’s been here as long as I can remember, so the actual relocation must have been early in the creation of Wascana Park and Wascana Lake. This man-made lake was formed in 1883 by damming Wascana Creek, and the resulting lake became a stock watering hole. When it began to be a recreational spot for the residents of Regina, it was drained and deepened as part of a relief program that employed over 2,000 men during the Great Depression. They used only horse drawn wagons and hand tools to dig and dredge.
When one takes the walk encircling the lake, you pass the bandstand. One day you might see a wedding taking place, or a band composed of bagpipes playing. On yet another day, a rock band might be entertaining an audience seated on the grassy slopes. It’s one of the city’s photographers’ favourite spots, and it’s been the locale for many family photos over its long history.