Heart and Hub of the Canadian West

Kane_Fort_EdmontonEdmonton became the hub for all of western Canada.  It was the ending of the Carlton Trail (the overland route for Metis freighters between the Red River Colony (Winnipeg) and Edmonton.  It was also the western hub for York Factory Express (on Lake Superior) for the Hudson Bay Company and Fort Vancouver by the Pacific Ocean.

In 1795 Fort Edmonton was established by the Hudson’s Bay Fur Trading Company, as an alternative to Fort Augustus, The North West Fur Trading Company established there.

River lots were the first farming settlements established around Edmonton.  Edmonton, became a city in 1904 with a population of 5,000 people.


Finding Friday – What’s in a name?

History in the Canadian West

Did you know Saskatchewan (a Cree word) and Calgary (A Gaelic word) mean the same thing?  Both mean ‘swift waters or currents’ in English.

Although Saskatchewan has two rivers named ‘swift waters’ as both the North and South Saskatchewan rivers run through the province, Calgary has no river called Calgary.  The two rivers that run through the city of Calgary are the Bow and the Elbow River.   The Bow River was named because of the trees that lined the river creating branches which made excellent bows for the Natives.  The Natives often camped alongside what is known as Calgary today. The warm chinook winds created relief from cold, harsh winters. Both rivers get their clear, pristine waters from glacier fed Lake Louise, considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.Carol's Picture & Tim Horton's

Alberta was named after Princess Alberta, Queen Victoria’s daughter. It was originally part of Rupert’s Land, a vast area owned by Prince Rupert one of the owners of the  famous Hudson’s Bay Company. The Hudson’s Bay Company is the oldest mercantile company still in operation today. Their trading posts were scattered all over western Canada.  Alberta became part of the Northwest Territories when Canada purchased the western lands from the Hudson’s Bay Company.  In 1905 Alberta and Saskatchewan became provinces.

Edmonton, the other large city in Alberta  is an English name and has a long history in England. Edmonton, was established as a town in 1892. The town was named after Fort Edmonton which had been established by 1795. The name of the fort was suggested by John Peter Pruden after Edmonton, London, which was his home in England as well as the home of Sir James Winter Lake, the deputy governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company at the time.

It Starts with You: – Helping Others

Most people like to help others.

But often we don’t realize if we neglect ourselves, we won’t have the necessary ability to help others.  Some people call it selfishness to think of yourself.  Many of us were taught not to be self-centered when we were young.  But after years I realize if I am not in a ‘good’ place, I am unable to concentrate or help others.

empty road

An empty road – can lead to beauty

Over the years I have learned of many tools to help me.  My first recollection was – regardless of how bad my situation was there is someone in a worse position.  When something horrible happened – I would think of others who, being in the same situation, had something more horrible to deal with.

When I was younger I went through a nasty divorce.  Many people can relate to that I’m sure.  My ex-husband’s last words to me were “I’ll see you in the gutter with nothing.”  And then he proceeded to create events that would make it so.

I was left with nothing. I was young and completely naive to the laws.  I ended up living with my wonderful sister and husband.  Without their help I don’t think I could have made it.  I got an office job and started to fix the broken pieces.  One of my duties was to pick up the mail from head-office.  A tunnel ran under the street from one building to the other.  I was grateful as the icy winds and snow of Edmonton are an experience I wasn’t thrilled with.                         

My sister and I – at Heritage Park in Calgary.

In the winter, the tunnel often was a place the homeless slept.  They never harmed me and I wasn’t afraid to walk the tunnel.  Then one day a thought filtered inside  – compared to their life, mine was easy. I had so much.

It was my first conscious realization of a life-lesson that often relieves my burdens.