All posts by Chantal Figeat

Chantal began professional writing while attending Carleton University. She enjoys the history of the Norwood area as well as the cultural diversity along Alberta Avenue.

Job hunting isn’t for the faint of heart How I keep my cool when the odds are against me

I’ve been looking for work to supplement my income. I’m an older university educated woman, and am not ready to be put out to pasture. I’m job hunting in an area where people drop out of high school for that well-paying blue collar job. Continue reading Job hunting isn’t for the faint of heart How I keep my cool when the odds are against me

A labour of love for the benefit of all Hubert Hollingworth is part of our local history

Hollingworth’s Studio no longer exists, but photographer Hubert Alan Hollingworth left a legacy.

As a photographer, he documented life in Edmonton over three decades. As a volunteer at the City of Edmonton Archives, he also made huge contributions.

Continue reading A labour of love for the benefit of all Hubert Hollingworth is part of our local history

The history of a well-loved local home The Grant house was home to a lawyer and his family

In January 2002, Patricia Dunnigan bought a house rich in history and now lives in the 1914 house with her husband, Aydan Dunnigan-Vickruck.

Throughout the years, past owners have done a lot of work on the house.

“The interior was quite beautiful, someone had done a lot of renovation in 1995,” Dunnigan said. “I can sit anywhere in the house and I can see a different view, a different angle,” she continued.

Continue reading The history of a well-loved local home The Grant house was home to a lawyer and his family

City planners seek input on Norwood Boulevard Public meeting focuses on mobility and land use

City planning staff held a second public meeting on Nov. 30 about the future of Norwood Boulevard from 109 to 82 Street.

The first public meeting on June 22 provided city planners with feedback in areas which would enhance the quality of this neighbourhood slated for revitalization. Both meetings were well attended.

Continue reading City planners seek input on Norwood Boulevard Public meeting focuses on mobility and land use

Modern meaning in Remembrance Day Why we should look beyond the traditional to remain relevant

Growing up as a post-war baby boomer, I’ve often thought the Second World War cast a shadow over my childhood and youth. My father lived through occupied France between the ages of eight and 13. My close friend’s father was a veteran who had marched north up the Italian peninsula with the Canadian Army. My grandmother would speak sadly of her older brother, who was lost when his plane went down while serving in the air force. War left a strong impression on these people which took a long time to process, not only touching them but also those close to them.

Continue reading Modern meaning in Remembrance Day Why we should look beyond the traditional to remain relevant

Enjoying the sensual fruits of summer Indulging and preserving the fresh offerings of harvest

While the warmth of summer unfolds, I invariably find myself repeating my French father’s wartime food scavenging habits. Family karma asserts itself, and I find myself eagerly eyeing the raspberry and rhubarb plants edging the laneways while imagining tasty concoctions.

Our summer is so short that it seems shameful not to enjoy the season to the utmost. A summer stroll takes on more dimensions when you stop to pick food and mentally savour the fresh taste of your harvest. Knowing I’m getting much-needed exercise makes me feel virtuous. This virtuous feeling is further enhanced when I think of the copious quantities of vitamin C contained in both rhubarb and raspberries.

Continue reading Enjoying the sensual fruits of summer Indulging and preserving the fresh offerings of harvest

Tales of a wartime photo: what happened here Men walk down Alberta Avenue supporting of the war effort

This 1942 photo of army recruits walking down 118 Avenue is a good representation of popular culture in Edmonton during the Second World War.

The Pearl Harbour attack had occurred on Dec. 7, 1941. Lesser known is the heavy loss of Canadian troops during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong beginning Dec. 8, 1941. The brief but disastrous Dieppe raid on Aug. 19, 1942, was devastating. Of the 4,963 Canadians who left England for the operation, only 2,210 returned, with several wounded.

Continue reading Tales of a wartime photo: what happened here Men walk down Alberta Avenue supporting of the war effort

Enjoy local history by taking a walk East Norwood Boulevard is an untapped historical resource

Terry Protz is a lifelong resident of Norwood. Walking with me along Norwood Boulevard east of Norwood School, Protz provided fascinating details on local history.

Today these city blocks are victims of urban blight. “It used to be a good neighbourhood,” said Protz.

Norwood Boulevard was a lively mixed use area during the Second World War and the years following the war. This working class district contained several businesses, a church, and modest homes.

Continue reading Enjoy local history by taking a walk East Norwood Boulevard is an untapped historical resource

City launches Norwood Boulevard study Goal is to create a sustainable and vibrant streetscape

A public meeting held by city staff on June 22 discussed the future of Norwood Boulevard from 109 to 82 Street.

Urban planners have never holistically studied this area identified as needing revitalization because it is crossed by several ward, neighbourhood, and plan boundaries.

“Nobody’s ever looked at Norwood Boulevard, both sides of the street, in one shot,” said Robert Lipka, principal planner and project leader.

Continue reading City launches Norwood Boulevard study Goal is to create a sustainable and vibrant streetscape

Discovering Little Poland

On May 7, Wesley Andreas hosted a Jane’s Walk through Spruce Avenue. He discussed the neighbourhood’s general history and the strong Polish presence.

Southwest of Alberta Avenue are several Polish businesses and community hubs. Polish settlers have been in Alberta for over a century, but plenty of immigration occurred after the Second World War. The Polish suffered much hardship during the Nazi occupation. Poland developed a strong resistance movement and brought that spirit here.

Continue reading Discovering Little Poland