Winter Fun in Edmonton – Part II

This is the second part of my post looking at life in a winter city, inspired in part by our rotating exhibit of winter images and by the WinterCity Strategy. One of the ideas behind the Strategy is to remind people how much fun living in a winter city can be. We have plenty of evidence of that at the City of Edmonton Archives so for this post I’ve selected some fun images of people enjoying winter.

EA-10-2219 “McKernan Lake – Skating” November 13, 1913 Located in the area of the present day McKernan neighbourhood, the lake was drained in the 1940s

EA-10-2219 “McKernan Lake – Skating” November 13, 1913 Located in the area of the present day McKernan neighbourhood, the lake was drained in the 1940s

EA-160-446 “Snowmobiles – Built in Edmonton” 1937 In the background are the Walterdale Bridge and the power plant.

EA-160-446 “Snowmobiles – Built in Edmonton” 1937 In the background are the Walterdale Bridge and the power plant.

The snowmobiles pictured above ran a series of races on the North Saskatchewan River ice in February, 1937. There are a couple of articles in the Edmonton Bulletin about them. The middle craft, driven by V.C. Hird caught a snowdrift and rolled several times. Fortunately, Hird escaped with just a bump on the head. We have several pictures of these snowmobiles including one of the mangled machine shortly after the crash.

EA-600-1851d “Pupils Learn How to Ski at Highlands Ski Hill” December 27, 1948

EA-600-1851d “Pupils Learn How to Ski at Highlands Ski Hill” December 27, 1948

EA-600-3994c.jpg

 

We debated whether this is actually on the North Saskatchewan River or not. We know that some carnival events were staged on the river but the angle doesn’t seem right. Please comment if you have any ideas on where this is!

EA-356-5 “Ski Jump on Connor’s Hill” 1950

EA-356-5 “Ski Jump on Connor’s Hill” 1950

I don’t have much information about the ski jump picture above. If I was able to devote more time to research, I would look through the microfilmed newspapers of the time to try and identify the event taking place. One of the 1937 radio announcements I introduced in my last post promotes the opening of a brand new ski jump at Connor’s Hill but I don’t know if this is the same jump. One way I could find out more information is to look at the Archives’ collection of aerials to see if I could trace the jump through the years.

EA-20-5506 “Connors Hill Ski Jump” c. 1978 This isn’t a winter image but I put it in to show the wonderful view from the top of the ski jump. Note that the jump went OVER Connors Road.

EA-20-5506 “Connors Hill Ski Jump” c. 1978 This isn’t a winter image but I put it in to show the wonderful view from the top of the ski jump. Note that the jump went OVER Connors Road.

I’ll end this post with a hockey image. We have a lot of hockey pictures in our Archives, both professional and amateur, so I had many to choose from. I chose this particular image because, apart from being fabulous in its own right, it highlights a complication with some photographs found in archives. The copy we have at the City of Edmonton Archives is a print. The picture was taken by the Byron May Co. and their negatives were donated to the Glenbow Archives. So the Glenbow Archives actually have copyright over this image. Archives try to respect each other’s collections so, while we use this image for research purposes and I’m putting it in this blog post, we would refer those who want to purchase a high quality reproduction to the Glenbow Archives as holders of the most original version and of copyright.

EA-500-213 “Edmonton Ladies Hockey Club” 1910 With all the respect in the world to these ladies, playing hockey in skirts, I can’t help but laugh at their hats.

EA-500-213 “Edmonton Ladies Hockey Club” 1910 With all the respect in the world to these ladies, playing hockey in skirts, I can’t help but laugh at their hats.

Sources:

Clippings files:

  • Snowmobiles

EA-10 NAPOTA (Northern AlbertaPioneers and Old Timers Association)

EA-20 Community Services / Parks & Recreation

EA-160 Hubert A. Hollingworth

EA-356 Ralph Hedley

EA-500 Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

EA-600 Edmonton Bulletin

RG-11 Commissioners fonds

Wondering what a fonds is? Check out our glossary.

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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.
5 Comments
  1. Shirley Lowe
    5 years ago

    The skaters look like they are at the Rossdale Community League rink. Rossdale had its community league grounds, rinks and building where the James McDonald Bridge is now. The bridge took out the community facilities and divided the neighbourhood. The community league took over the former Little Flower Catholic School as its hall.

    The 1950 photo of a ski jump is the Conners Road jump.

    Shirley Lowe (Edmonton Historian Laureate)

  2. These photos are wonderful. I love them, expecially the snow mobiles and the ski jump going over the road. Lol!

  3. Erik Backstrom
    5 years ago

    Thanks for this winter activity photos, Elizabeth. The “speed skating feature” image appears to have been taken in Diamond Park in the northern portion of Rossdale rather than on the river. Note the cars at the edge of the skating oval. Pull up a Google Streetview image on 98 Avenue just east of 101 Street and you will see the exact same perspective of the Hotel Macdonald as in the photo. The “Naming Edmonton” book states that Diamond Park has been the site of baseball, soccer and football games since 1907, and to that list of sports we can now add speed skating!

  4. Irene Walker
    5 years ago

    Very interesting

  5. Neil Evans
    8 months ago

    Wonderful page. The skaters are skating on the oval racing ice located at the north end of Rossdale Flats near the old Arctic Ice building. I skated on the ice when I was a kid. Don’t think there was ever skating on the river, at least not in my time.

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