Friday, May 28, 2021

Gardiners Road Underpass Project

One of the most notorious traffic snarls in Kingston's west end was Gardiners Road. Crossing the double-track CN mainline at Mi. 178.0 Kingston Sub, the road also crossed the top of the Cataraqui Spur. The latter was rarely a hold-up, as the short trains had room to wait for the south track, west of the road crossing. But the main level crossing was rough, and close to Bath Road thereby causing spillover of traffic onto that busy east-west arterial at times. Vintage Kingston Facebook before-and-after (top photo) shows a 1950's view of the then-gravel road with the tracks in foreground and Kingston Drive-In on Bath Road in the background, compared to a current view of the underpass.
Due to the lack of approach space for an overpass, an underpass was chosen for the north-south Gardiners Road. A 1960's topographic map image (above) shows the pre-underpass arrangement of the Kingston Sub (double hashmarks), and Cataraqui Spur (single hashmark and team track). The underpass would be just above the [298] benchmark, the Cataraqui Spur removed between the mainline switch and a point at the bottom of the green line [X] and a new timetable-west access for the Cataraqui Spur [green line] laid to link the spur to the mainline. Today, the electric lock switch for the Cataraqui Spur runs off the south main track at Mi. 178.0, behind Paterson Concrete Products.

A 1965 aerial photo from the Queen's University Archives shows the area to advantage, from bottom: Kingston Drive-In, gas station at Bath and Gardiners Roads, barn, Cataraqui Spur team track with two boxcars, CN Kingston Sub and transformer station, and a few, scattered developments among the pastureland on the west side of Gardiners Road:
The photo below, published in the October 14, 1983 Kingston Whig-Standard, shows the foreshortened distance between Bath Road and the crossing, taken while work was underway to relocate water mains. The planned traffic delay of October 24-28 was itself delayed to November 7-11 while CN waited for a "new crossing signal for its detour around the $6.2-million underpass site". This eastbound VIA train passes the site of the preliminary construction, showing the electronic warning devices on the mainline but only crossbucks on the Cataraqui Spur crossing:
Gary Evans worked for Canada Building Materials (CBM), continuously pouring cement at the site during construction in 1984, and kindly shared two photos. Looking from south of the three tracks (below), cement is pumped up and onto the deck. In the background, the Gardiners Road transformer station, later enlarged to handle the power generated by Wolfe Island wind turbines, still stands. Otherwise, retail development on the east side of had not yet taken hold, and only the Northern Telecom plant was there. West of here, residential growth was booming, hence the increased impatience, traffic, and horn-honking (cars and trains) until the underpass project was completed.
Looking east from atop the deck (below), Paterson Concrete and Northern Central Gas's office building occupy the east side, south of the CN. (Though often suggested, I haven't seen evidence that Paterson was rail-served, despite its trackside presence.) The northernmost track of three served the Northern Telecom telephone-wire plant via the eastern end of the Industrial Spur so the deck was necessarily wide, the underpass deep, and even today, it sometimes floods during heavy rains. The Industrial Spur was removed when the plant closed, now part of a massive residential/commercial/high school redevelopment.

Notice the track in the foreground. Jointed rail, apparently a shoo-fly for use during this phase of the project, and the use of a plethora of rebar! A typical humid, Kingston morning as haze is in the air and the 'Gatorade' water jug is kept handy. Thanks, Gary, for kindly sharing these neat photos!
The fourth, south-west, quadrant of the underpass nas since filled in with commercial activity - a Midas garage and McDonald's. If another business locates here, the wide-open sightlines of this once pastoral country road railway crossing will be even more difficult to appreciate!

Running extra...
I just finished reading Nomadland. (You know, the movie starring Fargo's Frances 'Don'tcha Know' McDormand.) Unsettling. Uneasy. Undeniable that I'm staying in four walls. Five-gallen bucket toilets and broken down Chevy Astros DO NOT equate to sleeping beside mountain lakes and living the dream that seemed more like an endless nightmare. Now I'm going to walk to my kitchen and just stand there.

Pandemic favourite CBS Sunday Morning just aired their 'At Home' episode. Zillow says listing to offer median time in the U.S. is seven days. Working from home means The Great Re-Shuffling - folks can once again live in small- to medium-size cities with good quality of life. Or as I call it, Kingston. Where we walk around the block and see houses sold in...seven days or less.

Weird Whittier, Alaska was featured on the 'At Home' episode. Three hundred people live in a Cold War-era Army barracks called Begich Towers, and it's a real community. Like the Grand Budapest Hotel. You get to Whittier via a 2-mile train/road tunnel. But the view! Trains, and ships and mountains!

Shhh! VIA launched their Siemens locomotive and the rail enthusiast world is abuzz!

Friday, May 21, 2021

CBC's The National Dream, 1974


AN EIGHT-PART SERIES 

Long before Schitt's Creek*, Workin' Moms or Little Mosque on the Prairie, Canada's national broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) produced an eight-part mini-series on the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Entitled The National Dream, the first episode aired on Sunday, March 3, 1974, the last on April 21, 1974. Each episode cost $175,000, though accounts of costs vary. The series' stated budget was $800,000, and some sources pegged costs as high as $2,000,000! Two hundred hours of film were recorded over six months' filming between February and July, 1973. The series was the product of two years research and preparation, with a cast of 400. There was enough period political tomfoolery, dynastic derring-do and high-altitude hijinks to fill several Red River carts. Syndicated 'Weekend' magazine called the series "a major cultural event." 

THE EPISODES

Author and series narrator Pierre Berton told the CBC, "You will do the story well, or not at all!" Berton lived in Kleinburg, ON at the time, and was 53 years of age. His children would give him a CP end-cupola van for the property. The synopsis of all eight episodes, deemed by some ten years of bickering, followed by five years of building:
  • Episode 1: The Great Lone Land. Sir John A's historic speech on February 1871 announces his intention to build the CPR.
  • Episode 2: The Pacific Scandal. Charges of corruption are levelled against Macdonald's government and he is forced to resign drunken and dispirited.
  • Episode 3: The Horrid B.C. Business. A national depression strikes, B.C. clamours for the railway, and Macdonald must rise from his own political ashes.
  • Episode 4: The Great Debate. Back in power, Sir John A's government reailway bill finally passes in Parliament.
  • Episode 5: The Railway General. [now it's getting good!] Construction in 1882-83 speeds up as W.C. Van Horne connects a nation.
  • Episode 6: The Sea of Mountains. Andrew Onderdonk and Major A.B. Rogers push the rails slowly but surely through the Selkirks and Rockies.
  • Episode 7: The Desperate Days. Macdonald fights the Metis Rebellion crisis through construction delays north of Lake Superior.
  • Episode 8: The Last Spike! The national crisis is averted and Donald Smith hammers home the final spike.

    The TV Guide magazine listed upcoming episodes: 

THE CAST

Director Eric Till and producer Jim Murray assembled an ensemble cast, and who can forget that opening theme music composed by Louis Applebaum, with its haunting French horn opening? Some notable cast members:

  • Sir John A. Macdonald - William Hutt who appeared in five episodes.
  • William Cornelius Van Horne - John Colicos who appeared in three episodes.
  • Sir Sandford Fleming - Tony Van Bridge
  • Lord Dufferin, Governor-General - Paxton Whitehead
  • Donald Smith - Chris Wiggins
  • Lady Agnes Macdonald - Pat Galloway
  • Chief Crowfoot - Joe Crowfoot, grandson of the Chief
  • Major A.B. Rogers - Jonathan Welsh


THE SERIES AND THE BOOKS: MULTI-MEDIA

The series was sponsored by Royal Trust, circulating a notification card that beamed, "The Royal Trust Company takes pleasure in inviting you to watch this portrayal of one of the greatest achievements in the story of Canada." Photos from the series were incorporated in Pierre Berton's double volume: The National Dream/The Last Spike. Originally priced at $4.95, still available for $5 in almost every used book shop or train show, every railfan or history buff needs at least one copy! In the preface to the abridged edition, an emaciated 200,000 words from the pleasingly plump 400,000, of the series, Berton affirms, "A production, I am happy to say, that faithfully follows the events chronicled here.

Three of my favourite quotes from the series:
  • A homesick navvy looks longingly at a woman's photograph, "Aye, but women are a fine thing."
  • Major Rogers is forced to abandon his perilous mountain survey, "It ain't right to have come so G*****ned far. Not so G*****ed far!"
  • Macdonald's unparliamentary language as he and Donald Smith are physically separated during a particularly contentious debate, "I could lick him quicker than Hell could scorch a feather!"   
Here's a two-page CBC press release on the series: 


ON LOCATION

"Far out beyond the Red River, the prairie land lay desolate under its blanket of shifting snow, still bereft of settlers. In just twelve months, as Macdonald knew, all that must change. Cities yet unnamed would have their birth, passes yet uncharted would ring to the sound of axe and sledge. An army of 12,000 men would follow. Norhing would ever be the same again. The tight little Canada of Confederation was already obsolete," intoned Berton. To capture twenty locations from Montreal to Bute Inlet, BC, location shooting gave the series a wide-ranging, history-dipped feeling:
  • "Fraser Tunnel" - Hope, BC
  • "Mountain area" - Penticton, Myra Canyon, Carmi Sub., Okanagan Lake, McCulloch, BC
  • "Indian confrontation and Track laying" - Brooks, AB including actual CP Rail sectionmen
  • "Craigellachie" - Caledon East, ON
  • "Winter and the Last day of filming" -  Havelock, ON 
  • "Parliament" and other studio work - Toronto, ON
with locations such as Rogers Pass, Thunder Bay and Hamilton used for other scenes. CP, along with various volunteer groups, co-operated to source the period equipment used:
  • 4-4-0 136 leased from the Ontario Rail Association, with interchangeable smokestacks and numbers i.e. CPR 148 at the Craigellachie tableau.
  • Boxcar 500 was plucked from Service use on the Alberta South Division.
  • Coach 141 was one of two Dominion Atlantic Rly. Service cars modified at Winnipeg Weston Shops.
  • Baggage car from the Alberta Pioneer Railway Association in Edmonton.
  • Construction flat car fabricated from scrapped cars at Calgary's Ogden Shops.
The National Dream available on CBC's Curio website

HOW HISTORY BECAME HISTORY

*So, the 1973 CBC series was not Schitt's Creek. This was television programming made by white men depicting Scottish and American white men making history. Inclusiveness and diversity were years in the future, witness the CBC's current hiring drive promoting racialized candidates. Through the prism of intervening years, we now evaluate the low value given to indigenous, Chinese and Metis lives in the 1880's; we now decry the domination of the 'savages' and the ravaging of the land and its people by the now villainized Sir John A. Macdonald, undoubtedly Kingston's most famous citizen, ever. (Sorry, Tragically Hip!) Times change but history doesn't change. Because it's history. Though we freely toss around trendy terms like colonization, and pay lip service to colonist meetings held on traditionally indigenous lands, I see no move to restore rights-of-way nor major cities back to indigenous control. So, for its time, the National Dream was a dramatic tour-de-force. Alternate descriptions and depictions of history are welcomed.

AN EARLIER CPR TELEVISION EVENT

But this was not the first TV depiction of the building of the CPR. As part of its 1962 Festival Series, the CBC also broadcast 'The Brass Pounder from Illinois'. An hour-and-a-half special, it told the story of  the title character, William Cornelius Van Horne. Adapted for TV by author Tommy Tweed from his own radio play, the special had an all-male cast of 40. Filmed on a dozen sets ranging from a prairie telegraph office to Van Horne's wood-panelled business car, actually 'Saskatchewan' held by the Canadian Railway Historical Association. Researched by producer George McCowan, the final tableau of the driving of the Last Spike was recreated live on the CBC as the final scene of the special.
News clippings profile the broadcast on May 7, 1962 as part of CBC's long-running Festival series:
The broadcast, along with that famous 1885 photo, was publicized in CPR's Spanner magazine.
Some still photos of scenes from the production, starring John Drainie as the cigar-chompin', hard-drivin' Van Horne:


This puts a pin, or a period, in Trackside Treasure's 700th post. Like the original second-to-last spike, some posts get a little bent in the process, but each marks the end of an unpredictable undertaking. The completion of each post echoes, or perhaps paraphrases, Van Horne's final sentence, "The work has been done well (to medium-rare) in every way." Thanks for being here, and having a stake in Post 700, as we drove a spike through the heart of this topic, together. And as they say at Craigellachie, thanks for cairn!
133 years, 7 months & 172 hours to the day, and 90 degrees perpendicular!


Running extra...The 700 Club!

VIA released yet another variation of its online timetable on May 17. The first day of the reinstated Toronto-Winnipeg-Vancouver Canadian! VIA No 2 departing Vancouver will go through to Toronto, arriving Friday, and then will depart as No 1 from Toronto this Sunday for the first time in over a year. No 2 met No 1 in Edmonton, and they both backed down the station lead for servicing, with No 2 first-out. The passengers for No 2 had to walk all the way past No 1's consist to board. In the snow! The Super Continental served Edmonton in 1964 per this article. And there was bingo!

I've enjoyed subscribing to the Railstream Belleville webcam over the winter months. Now that I'm outside more, I'm no longer 'watching' Belleville. It kept me entertained and I never got to the other Railstream webcams, though they are sprinkled all over the States. Belleville is the sole Canadian site. Here's a webcam I'm going to investigate more. The previous three hours' seaway traffic past the City of the 1000 Islands: Brockville Time Lapse.

Just returned home from a trip to Allan Graphics, my local printer here in Kingston. I dropped off the content for my companion volume on Kingston waterfront history; its working title: Stories on the Waterfront - A Curated Collection of Stories and Photos of Kingston Harbour. Even saying the title takes you back in time because it's so darned long. Kingston harbour photos like this just beg an explanation. Is this Kingston or Halifax??


Saturday, May 15, 2021

VIA 1405 Derails at Illecillewaet


This dramatic derailment has been a mystery to me for quite awhile. I'd first seen a photo in TRAINS magazine, and this uncredited view (top) has been making the rounds of the internet for some time. When it happened, railfan newsletters and magazines of the era did not have the blanket coverage available from online sources today. Most as-it-happens information had to be gleaned from newspaper clippings or short TV news clips. And if they were missed at the time, the information was unretrievable. 

In fact, the photo by Stephen C. Bradley, showing a nose-to-roadbed view,  didn't make it into TRAINS' Railroad News Photos section until the December 1979 issue. The derailment took place on June 3, 1979 at Illecillewaet, at Mi. 98 of CP's Mountain Subdivision, leaving VIA 1405 to be photogaphed in a rather undignified position! Interestingly, neither photo shows the rest of the train, so photographers must have had no access until after the removal of the Canadian's consist.

From the Golden Star newspaper (Golden, BC), June 6, 1979, page 24.

Passenger Train Derailed

On Sunday, June 3rd, at 1:30 a.m. a VIA passenger train was derailed 60 miles west of Golden. The cause of the derailment was a mudslide across the tracks. While there were no injuries, it took crews until 7:00 p.m. to clean up the mess. Passengers were bussed to Kamloops and from there they were flown to Vancouver at the expense of the VIA.

The front page has a photo of CP 200-ton crane 414478 and another crane righting a baggage car with the rear of 1405 visible in the right of the picture. And the picture accompanying the article on page 24 has a photograph from the other direction with 1405's number clearly visible. No 1's train was 11 cars long, with a CP Geep as the second unit behind VIA 1405. The Geep, baggage car and trailing coach derailed but remained on the right-of-way. There were 240 passengers on board.  The mudslide was cleared and the line was reopened at 1845 hours the same day.

Since this post was published, Steve Bradley kindly shared his photos taken at the site (six photos, below). The sectionmen are spiking, the foremen are conferring, and heavy equipment clears the slide remnants:

Steve was railfanning near the location at the time. There was a noticeable lack of any trains. Then, the auxiliary went by! A friend, who worked for CP, got word that No 2 had hit a rock/mudslide and if they walked half a mile, they could reach the site!
A very undignified post for a classy locomotive. Nose down into the ditch, cab door open. Fortunately, there were no injuries among crew nor passengers.

Heavy equipment clearing the slide, with its path visible through the vegetation:
Somewhere out there is someone who will see this photo and suggest that Budd baggage cars were used on the auxiliary! It looks as if there are tie gondolas in the siding, with fresh ties alongside the track visible at the derailment site. CP 414502, the Revelstoke auxiliary has rerailed the baggage car, the Geep run around and taking the baggage car to be set out, likely before the rerailing effort of 1405:
VIA 1405 was outshopped from Calgary's Ogden Shops with its VIA paint on December 15, 1978. Here it is in March, 1979 at Vancouver. I only observed 1405 twice. Here, photographed leading VIA No 2 at Portage la Prairie, MB on June 11, 1982. Ex-CP 1405-1961-1402 and 15 cars arrive out of the glare of the afternoon sun at 1634 for the late-afternoon station stop:


Now, to hunt up the story of that flaming CP Rail 4062, ex-1420 at Franz, Ontario - you've seen it - July 5th, 1975 on CP Train  No. 955!

Running extra...

Kingston does not have a co-ordinated trail system. It's mostly 'trail' in name only, compared to others we've encountered in our travels: Quebec City, the Rockies, Orillia and other places where a trail is really a trail, not just streets, sidewalks and occasional real trails stitched together for the sake of signage. Kingston is making progress though, with improvements to our walking route through Lake Ontario Park.

On Thursday's walk, the Canadian Coast Guard's Cape Hearne leisurely left Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. A few minutes later, an RCAF 424 Squadron rescue Griffon helicopter arrived from CFB Trenton. An interested fellow walker asked if it was a real rescue - reassuringly, it was only a drill.

This is Trackside Treasure's 699th post. We, as humans, like round numbers, so the 700th post should be a big deal. In terms of marketing, $1.99 is perceived as being a better value than a price of $2.00, so perhaps this post is actually more valuable than the 700th one will be. As your humble blogger, I can't say, because at this point, what will appear as #700 is a mystery, even to me!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Kingston-Portage aboard VIA, 1982 - Part 2

Portage railfanning that year did not include the one-two of the westbound Canadian and Super Continental each afternoon as in the year before. However, the mid-afternoon arrival of the westbound Canadian was preceded by the noontime arrival of the Prairie Rocket, No 109 with its diminutive consist. On some days, I was able to photograph the eastbound Canadian just before supper. A car trip to Regina included seeing the Canadian farther west, once each at Regina and Indian Head behind VIA 6507-6607-6611 westbound at 2105 (below):
The same three units powered a substantial 15-car VIA No 1 that I photographed during the station stop at Portage on June 11 (top photo). A friendly hogger invited me up into the cab on 6507, taking in the track he faced ahead. View from ground level (below)

In Part 1, I made my way west to enjoy some Portage railfanning and now it was time to head home. Before departing forty minutes late from Portage la Prairie at 1711 on June 24, No 2 made two station stops – one for the coach passengers and one me and two other passengers who had booked sleeper space. I was in roomette 4 of Chateau Rouville. The porter mentioned that the train had been three-and-a-half hours late in Saskatchewan. The fellow in roomette 3 was telling the porter about water seeping from his toilet. The porter assured him it would be looked at once we reached Winnipeg. 

We scooped a 110-car CN grain train led by a trio of Geeps: 4317-4326-4318 which had arrived at Portage when No 2 should have! A CN boxcar of lumber was being unloaded at Newton, and six CN 40-foot grain boxcars were spotted at the Manitoba Pool elevator at Elie. The mileboards showed a steady 60 mph gait that was hard to gauge as the fields bordering the tracks were so large! Nine grain cars were spotted at the Mile 10.6 elevator. Long-stored CN equipment at Fort Rouge, with olive & black CN 10664 at centre:

Piggypackers were at work as we passed CN’s Winnipeg intermodal terminal as were CN switchers 7176, 7157, 7177 and 1252 as we neared the station. BNML Geep 2 had about 15 cars in tow at Portage Junction before our arrival 25 minutes late at 1825. Our consist at Portage, Winnipeg and Kingston:


A two-hour layover in Winnipeg included a change of locomotives and train servicing. The amount of food loaded on board the two diners was truly amazing! All windows were cleaned by a four-man crew. VIA needs to know that clean windows make happy passengers. We departed 20 minutes late at 2029 and dinner was served immediately upon departure. We were soon passing Terminal Cut-Off at 2033, a ‘Prairie Rocket’ consist being wyed, then orders hooped up to us by a female operator at Manson. We were running left-main on double track near Molson. 

We met three CP westbounds before reaching Kenora: a three-Century freight of empty lumber cars, an autorack train and another westbound freight. The lights of Kenora glimmered as moonlight silhouetted Husky the Muskie along Kenora Bay. We arrived fifteen minutes early but left on time. Thunder Bay on the morning of June 25 was a slow go as CP’s yard switchers went to work: 6563, 6580, 6567, 6606, 8120, 8114, 8122 and chop-nosed Geeps 1529, 1530 and 1542. Vessels Lake Manitoba, Algosea and Ontario Power were in the harbour, the latter being sent off the lakes that year before scrapping in Taiwan in 1987. CN GMD-1’s 1914, 1900, 1906 also shepherded grain cars around, turning them into empties for return to western elevators. Our train on a curve east of Terrace Bay, possibly near Moberley Bay:

We reached Schreiber on time at 1105, where switcher 6549 and end-cupola van 437147 were on duty. The Dayliner was still there! We passed an eastbound roadswitcher led by Century 4557 at Steel, a hi-rail crane in the siding at Coldwell, and a bay full of logs near Marathon at 1228 before the track swung away from the lake. 

We stopped briefly at Mobert before reaching White River at 1412, where a new siding was being installed. CP road units 4501-5755 were switching and I walked up to the head-end but was not granted a cab ride - train orders would have to suffice! Algoma Central gondolas but no trains awaited our passage through Franz at 1540. We met a westbound four-unit CP piggyback freight at Missanabie, where a metal water tower had a bricked-in shaft and an old station building set back from the tracks was being used as a hardware store. Supper was Pork Chops Polynesian. Could I possibly have digested eight dinner rolls, as my notes seem to suggest? Reaching Chapleau fourteen minutes early, a CP westbound behind 5938-4705-5745 was setting out CP business car 7. I took this photo from a few steps behind No 2’s Park car at Chapleau, on June 25:

An easy 55 mph out of Chapleau included an entire field of sawdust from a trackside mill at Kormak easily 20 feet high, seen from the dome of Prince Albert Park. We took the siding waiting for a westbound hotshot freight with 5973-4553 and 64 cars at Sultan. CP work trains were in back tracks at Ramsey and Roberts on this stretch of CP’s Nemegos Subdivision. 

A vestibule visit while waiting for an eastbound 2 miles from Stralak brought evening sounds of white-throated sparrows serenading us beside a very still lake. The fast freight passed at 2123 behind 5534-5548-4710- 4713 trailed by van 434564. No big wins came my way at the after-dinner bingo. I returned to my roomette at Azilda at 2230 but stayed awake to visit the head-end for train orders and a view of our train from the Paris Street overpass at Sudbury during our 2240-2335 servicing stop. Bedding down for the night with CP 7107, 7108 and 8158 outside my window, I awoke to CN 3150 and VIA 6917 completing the view at Toronto, on June 26! 

During my two-hour layover, I made my way to Spadina to add to my train-order collection, observing an Amtrak train led by ATK 347 and tailed by short baggage 1370 (above). Quebec, North Shore & Labrador Geeps 147, 167, 157, 169 and 133 were at CP’s John Street facilities (below), along with CP business cars Ontario and Lacombe. Spadina hosted VIA RDC-9 6004 with yellow ends but a black letterboard. 

Ex-QNS&L 147 (above) and 157 (below):

Our consist changed in Toronto: new power, the addition of four Corridor cars and the removal of I-series crew sleeper, second diner and four E-series sleepers. Departing from Toronto, we passed the Toronto Transit Commission shops at 0911, Danforth at 0914, GO Scarborough at 0917, GO Eglinton at 0919, GO Guildwood at 0923 and GO Pickering at 0932. Switchers at Oshawa included CN 1211, 1351, and 7173. 

Chop-nosed CN Geep 4005, just rebuilt from GP9 4468, was leading an 88-car westbound freight which we scooped at Mi 277 of CN’s Kingston Subdivision. We had been running left-main since leaving Toronto. Belleville brought lots of US-road boxcars, including Southern, Family Lines and Seaboard Coast Line. The new underpass just west of Napanee station had been completed - when the ribbon cutting was photographed for the local paper, the Corridor Canadian was obligingly in the background! 

Arriving on time at Kingston, our Corridor Canadian consist: 6786-6866-6613-601-Union Club-5647-3225-5541-118-122-517-5738-1368-Chateau Rouville (my car Roomette 4)-Chateau Dollard-Jarvis Manor-Prince Albert Park. Our eastbound was greeted by the passage of westbound VIA No 43/53: 6533-6630-9643-3033- 5611-5622-3221-5585-Club de la Garnison.

The end of another enjoyable trip west aboard VIA, on CP rails.

Running extra...
I can see the ocean from my front porch! Probably sold by now, renowned Canadian painter Alex Colville's cabin in Northport, NS is for sale for a cool $249,000. It's likely that the shoreline will erode before housing prices do, however! Built by the painter himself, it features a plug-in hotplate and perhaps the inspiration for his unfinished painting, The Frigid Trip to the Outhouse.

Instead of a waterfront cottage, many Canadians are working on their backyard resorts. This is my 'benchwork' for what I hope to be the Siegfried Line of Squirrel-proof Veggie Gardens. These four enclosures replace our porous bunny-fenced perimeter with these chicken-wired raised bets that sit within the garden plot. All materials were repurposed, with the exception of four 1x3's bought and six 2x4's donated by a neighbour! Other neighbours might report me for operating an illegal ferret farm, but rest assured, that's now what they're fur, and I'll be able to weasel out of it.