By Carson Ellis For the Independent
If you live anywhere long enough, you are bound to find someone who hasn’t and will for whatever reason say: I remember when this was. I have literally done that to my wife when driving through town. A lot. That’s what I like about this photo.
This photo is one of several aerial photos I was given early on in my page. Most of the aerial photos were shots of the downtown core, with a few circling over West Stettler park area. Most were easy to tell where they were. They had landmark buildings or key features that still show through. However, this one drove me a bit batty trying to locate. It was a decade or two before my time, and there have been some notable changes, but the moment it dawned on me it was the Hwy 56 intersection beside Pioneer Park (nee Grove), it just became elaborately more interesting.
It’s neat when you look at it. The large expanses of open land that are decades old homes now. Not to mention the large field on the left-hand side of the photo where the police department now sits. Or the empty space across the highway where Grandview Plaza, Super 8, and The Otherside are located. When you drive by them, they seem like such large tracks to land. A rectangular plaza, an L-shaped hotel, and a square restaurant, but when you see the lots they occupy from the air, it seems so small.
The part that threw me the most, was the road that runs from the bottom of the photo up towards the top. It stops at the railway tracks. Because of this, I had assumed it was a corner of town perhaps more to the south. But the large body of water across the tracks seemed like Cold Lake. Then I realized the road was simply extended along the tracks for a bit, I took a closer look and could see the Master Feeds building just against the left-hand edge where the road would come out just before the tracks.
Of course. Like most things, many people could have looked at this picture, and known where it was immediately. Especially if they were around when that was the edge of town, and Parkdale was fairly new.
The part I enjoy the most is the change. When you drive it day after day for years, you just never really think of it as being any other way but how you see it. But to see it years ago, and especially from so high up, is kind of, at least for me, almost relaxing. It’s neat to think that people lived I some houses there when there was nobody else around them. Of course, most residential areas are like that, but it’s always interesting to see a picture of what is no longer the edge of town when it was the edge of town.
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