MTM: Old Strathcona -Part III

Whyte Avenue or 82 Ave, is the "main drag" in the Old Strathcona area. It is four lanes of heavy traffic all of the time. On Summer evenings and weekends, you would think it was a set for "American Graffiti". It is where everyone with a tricked out or restored car comes to cruise. It is where bikers hang around in parking lots, unless they are cruising as well. You can see the most amazingly restored vehicles, hear the roar of Harley's and choke on exhaust fumes from any of the outdoor cafes, restaurants or bars along Whyte.

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From the Old Strathcona website:

Princess Theatre 1914: 10337 Whyte Avenue

When it opened in 1915, the Princess Theatre was said to have the largest stage in western Canada. Early fare included high-class musical vaudeville and musical concerts. When television arrived in the 1950s, the lobby of the Princess was converted to retail use for more than 15 years.

The first commercial film shown at the Princess Theatre was The Eagle's Mate, starring Mary Pickford. Until 1940, the Princess was the only commercial theatre in south Edmonton.

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Periods building abound in the area. Unfortunately a few have been lost over the years to fire and bad planning.

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If you happen to be in the neighbourhood in the spring during Stanley Cup playoffs and the Oilers have made it that far, you can be assured that the city police will be shutting the streets down to vehicle traffic and will be out in full force. During any of the playoff games, there is a huge potential for a riot, if we win, you want to be safe at home.

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Some of these are from the 50's through the '70's and were built to the style of the time. They are a couple of blocks to the west of the period buildings, but they represent an era of their own too.

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Since 1974's founding of the Old Strathcona foundation, buildings only get replaced, if they have been damaged beyond repair as in the case of fire. New buildings whether replacements or not are being built to "fit" in with their older neighbours, both in style and by being clad in brick.

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I have so far only covered the main shopping area, there is so much more to cover, but I think next week I will take a look at a different area of my city. Strathcona will continue in the future.

For more My Town Mondays drop by Travis Erwins blog for links to other places around the world.

Have a good day all.

P.S. For those following the sewing saga...I had to take the bodice off yet again and this time put a hole in it. Back to the drawing board to redesign. *sigh*


Crabby McSlacker said...

Great photos!

And I had to laugh about the set for American Graffiti... growing up, we lived in the area where those street cruising scenes were shot and shopped there all the time. It felt like our little claim to fame when the movie came out and we recognized some of the landmarks.

However, the movie folks tinkered with the street a lot to give it the right look; Strathcona seems like the real thing!

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, I love this tour. Gotta say I loved the "American Grafitti" description and I could hear the Hogs revving.
Well done.

debra said...

I really appreciate communities that honor their individuality rather than sell out to the big box guys.

Barrie said...

Looks like a really fun place to visit. Except during the Stanley Cup thing. ;)

Travis Erwin said...

They are trying to do something similar with our old downtown are but so far the efforts have been lackluster at best.

Barbara Martin said...

It's nice to see the old Army & Navy store is still there. My mother shopped there in the '50s and early '60s for Christmas presents.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Those nineteenth century buildings look so noble.

Reb said...

Crabby, thanks. It can be very surreal when there is a car show going on.

Leah, thanks, I must say, there was a group of bikers hanging about as I was walking around. I almost snapped them, then came to my senses, they were gone when I came back on the other side of the street.

Debra, yes, it is great to go there and look around. We have our box stores out in the suburbs though.

Barrie, it fun anytime as long as in the spring, during a game, you are not on that one street.

Travis, it took the group here a long time to get anywhere. If the shop owners are involved though, it will get done.

Barbara, I knew you would remember the old A&N, It really hasn't changed much either.

Patti, they sure do. I enjoy looking at the architecture there as much as the unique shopping.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Reb,

What a great place to spend and afternoon!

So sorry about the fabric. You are really a strong woman to persist. I'd be sucking my thumb and crying right about now.


bunnygirl said...

Thanks for sharing those pics. I love old buildings and "old" is so relative in North America. That makes it all the more precious. We need to preserve these links to the past.

Clare2e said...

The downtown looks very nice to stroll around- love guitar shops! Off topic: You may not be feeling triumphant (yet), but I think you're incredibly brave to sew that suit. That unforgiving stretchy fabric, reinforced seaming, and the fit can all make them challenging. Too challenging for me ever to have tried. You're my hero- show us when it's done to your pleasure!

Reb said...

Terrie, thanks, it really is a lot of fun to wander around there. As for the suit...I am stubborn when it is a mistake I have made, I have to do it right. Of course, I have needle work projects that have been sitting for years!

Bunnygirl, yes we do, especially out here in the West! So much was made from timber and has been lost we have to preserve what we can.

Clare, it is inspiring to walk around there! Thank you for your kind words about the suit. I will post it when I am done.

kcinnova said...

Reb, I enjoy your MTM posts. I think I could do a couple here but then I'd be out of material. (Small town population = 600, neighboring larger town population = about 5,000)

I'm sorry your sewing project is giving you so much grief!

Reb said...

Kcinnova, it doesn't have to be just about your town though. I think you should give it a shot. Thanks, I will post on the sewing later in the week.

Hilary said...

What a great looking town and you represented it so well. I'd love to wander around there. I'd probably lose my son to that guitar store though.

Mary said...

Thanks for the tour!

Reb said...

Hilary, it is a great place. If you didn't lose your son to the guitar store, he might be in any one of the other music stores.

Mary, thanks for stopping by.