Tuesday, March 22, 2011

High Level Bridge, Edmonton

Photo by Lucas Thompson

The High Level Bridge in Edmonton was built by the CPR and completed in 1913, the year of my mother's birth. This double decker span was designed to carry pedestrians, autos, streetcars, and trains. 

Regular streetcar service over the bridge stopped in 1951, but summer tourists can still enjoy a historic ride on the streetcar. Cycling across the lower span is also popular.

The High Level Bridge features in a story about my parents. Like so many others, they met and married during the war. Dad served with the RCNVR in the North Atlantic and Mom was living in Newfoundland. They were married in St. John's in April, just before VE Day.

After the war, they relocated to Edmonton, where Dad's immigrant Scandinavian parents had settled a generation before. Keen to show his bride the city, Dad suggested they walk across the High Level Bridge. My mother, however, declined the adventure. She was afraid of heights.

I've often wondered if Mom's early refusal of the call to adventure set the tone for their forty-one year marriage. Mom was always the stable and conservative half of the couple.

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