Summer Fun in Edmonton (Part 2)

My summer fun post became a two-parter, so if you were looking for the dogs in my last post and could only find one it’s because one of them is in these photographs. I apologize for any confusion caused.

The first post was all about pools because of my love of water but, apart from swimming, I also remember spending hours on swings and climbing all over equipment in playgrounds. The Gryo Club of Edmonton was formed in 1921 and built the first playground parks in the City. They funded the playgrounds through annual carnivals and members also maintained the parks and supervised them from May to August each year until the City assumed responsibility for them.  We have photographs available online but, unfortunately, finding aids for the Gyro Club records held at the Archives aren’t online yet (we’re working on it!). However, they are available in our reference room if you can come to the Archives. We have everything from a masterplan of their wading pools to committee papers and scrapbooks.

The first Gyro Park opened in August, 1922 in Patricia Square (now Giovanni Caboto Park) and Gyro Park #3 (now Tipton Park) received an Edmonton Historical Board plaque in 1981. It opened on June 21, 1924 and some of the original slides (like the one in the photograph below) were still being used when the plaque was awarded. They were huge!

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May Day in the 1920s

Some of the children are holding sailboats so they may have just come from the wading pool pictured in the last post.

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Another Gyro Park, July, 1948

Finally, here’s a nod to a couple of other sports popular in Edmonton, let me know if I missed any that you think should be included (who knows, I may be able to put together a third post):

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I found a few summer baseball pictures but this is my favorite so I chose it even though it’s from March, 1949. Some of the kids are more interested in the camera than the game…

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I don’t have much information on this photograph. Do you know where this is? Please comment if you do.

City of Edmonton Archives
cms.archives[at]edmonton.ca (replace [at] with @)
10440-108 Ave
(780) 496-8711

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About the Author
Elizabeth Walker
Elizabeth has a Masters of Archival Studies from UBC and she’s been the City’s digital archivist since September 2010. She’s passionate about outreach and increasing engagement between the Archives and the community.
6 Comments
  1. Garth
    6 years ago

    While I’d need to go take a closer look, this angle reminds me of the tennis courts at Borden Park. If north was at the top of the picture the parking lot along the left (west) and the road along the top (north) would certainly match.

  2. 6 years ago

    Good to know, thanks Garth!

  3. 5 years ago

    I have an update about the tennis photograph, thanks to a friend (who wishes to remain anonymous).

    Garth is correct; they are the Borden Park tennis courts. My friend investigated using the resources at the Archives and we can even say with confidence that the picture was taken in July, 1959. It’s taken facing north, the road is Borden Park Road and the building is the Manufacturers Building of the Edmonton Exhibition. She enlarged the photograph and was able to see part of the Edmonton Gardens in the top left corner, there is even a tent so the Exhibition was open. The reason we can be so specific about the date is because that building was torn down in 1960 and she found a newspaper advertisement for a new “Learn to Play Tennis” program for July, 1959 run by the Parks and Rec Department at the Borden Park tennis courts.

    This information was found using the Archives clippings files, blueprints of the Exhibition grounds, and aerials of the City from 1958. Thanks again to both Garth and my anonymous friend!

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