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A slice of 1930’s Sylvan Lake heaven

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Hey local history buffs, the above video is a great snapshot of a place and time, in this case, 1930’s Sylvan Lake, AB.  

Lake Cottages have always prompted whimsical names. Sylvan Lake is no different.  This story showcases some great photos from the 1930’s and also includes a Directory from the 1960’s. Names like “Seldom Inn” and “Turkey Teepee” stand out. 

Below is a photo of the Webster cabin, known as the LA-ZE-LOT.  George Webster (second generation) with grand-daughters Kari-Lynn Shiells and Susan Marie Shiells.

the LAZ-E-LOT

“Robin Nest” home on 41st Street and 50th Avenue

The above photo shows the “Robin Nest” home on 41st Street and 50th Avenue in the early 1930s. The people are unnamed except as “Grandma and Ed”.  Ed was the maker of the wooden figurines in the picture.

Two very interesting accessions have come to us out of the blue from two very interesting contributors. The first one came through registered mail from a lady by the name of Gertrude Lambert in Edmonton whose father, Mr. Elliott, had been a teacher at the Olds Agricultural College and, later, Vermilion College. They built a cabin at Sylvan Lake about 1921 where the whole family spent the next 18 or 19 summers (until 1939).  She and her daughter had been down to hunt up their old cabin which is still standing and while they were in town, picked up the current Sylvan Lake News with a write-up about our then new Archives. So, without so much as a phone call, she sent a collection of beautiful old photos and an accompanying registered letter. She was later down for a visit and brought additional pictures. Another interesting side of this story is that we also have met the present owner of the same cabin whose father, Dr. Charles from Calgary, purchased the cabin from the Elliott family and they have been coming here every summer since 1943. We also have pictures from this family.

Here’s what we do know.  The Elliott family built their cabin at Sylvan Lake about 1921 and came every summer until 1939 when WWII broke out.  William taught at Olds, later Vermilion Agricultural Cottage;  children Gertrude (Edna) and Bill, Jr.

 

From left to right: Mrs. (Edna) Elliott; Dr. Jack Elliott (guest); Mr. William Elliott; Jack Elliott (guest); and Bill Elliott. In front is 5-year old Gertrude.

Elliott Family Cabin (Grey Glen), circa 1930

Above is a picture of the Elliott family and their guests gathered on the porch of their Sylvan Lake cottage (circa 1930). From left to right: Mrs. (Edna) Elliott; Dr. Jack Elliott (guest); Mr. William Elliott; Jack Elliott (guest); and Bill Elliott. In front is 5-year old Gertrude. On the back is written: Originally Grey Glen / address 13 Street, 2nd road from (corner) road from Red Deer which went along the waterfront. Built approximately 1920-24 by my father W.J. Elliott and son William S. Elliott  (Site:  33rd Street East)

Davey family, next door to the Grey Glen, Elliott’s Cottage at 13th Street in Sylvan Lake

Above, the Davey Cottage, circa 1930’s

This is the cottage belonging to the Davey family, next door to the Grey Glen, Elliott’s Cottage at 13th Street in Sylvan Lake, circa 1920-38. An older woman and two children are standing by a screened-in porch and a man is sitting and reading a newspaper inside.

Davey Family, circa 1930s

 Above, the Davey Family, circa 1930s

The Davey Family owned the cottage next door to the Elliott’s cottage at 13th Street in Sylvan Lake, circa 1920-38.

Jean Phillips, Gertrude’s Elliott’s friend

 Above, Washing Clothes, circa 1930s

Jean Phillips, Gertrude’s friend from Edmonton, bringing in the washing at Grey Glen Cottage.

William Elliott sawing wood

Above, Sawing Wood in May, 1941

William Elliott sawing wood with a buck saw at Buck Saw

 

Polishing Shoes

Above, Jean Phillips, Gertrude Elliott’s friend from Edmonton, polishing her shoes on the deck of Grey Glen, Elliott’s Cottage.

The Elliotts at Grey Glen

 

Edna & William Elliott [1930]

Mr. and Mrs. William Elliott are standing by their cottage, Grey Glen.

 

Gertrude Elliott, Grade 12

 Above, Gertrude Elliott (Edna), 1938

This is a picture of Gertrude Elliott taken in 1938 when she was a Grade Twelve student (later, Edna Lambert – donor of these pictures). Her full name was Edna Gertrude Elliott.

Taken at Grey Glen Cottage

Former Elliott Cottage in 1996

Above, The (Former) Elliott Cottage in 1996

In March of 1996, Mrs. Lambert’s daughter drove her mother to Sylvan Lake to see if they could find the old cottage on 13th Street built by Mrs. Lambert’s parents, the William Elliotts. They were successful, despite the fact that the name of the street had been changed to 34th Street. Mrs. Lambert, in her letter which accompanied the pictures stated that it appeared “in excellent condition, well cared for and very familiar”.  It had been renamed Sherwood Lodge (formerly, Grey Glen) This picture was taken by Mrs. Lambert and her daughter that day and sent to the Archives with the historical pictures.

William Elliott

Above, Mr. William Elliott Sawing Wood with a Buck Saw – May, 1941

Bill Elliott

Bill Elliott at Grey Glen Cottage [1938]

The name Grey Glen is on the fence as well as the roof of the cottage.

Life Guards

Above, Sylvan Lake Life Guards, circa 1937-38

Gertrude and Bill Elliott worked as life guards on Sylvan Lake for two summers just before the outbreak of World War II, then the family sold the cottage, Grey Glen. 

Jean Phillips 

Jean Phillips – Chore Girl, circa 1930s

Jean Phillips was a friend of Gertrude Elliott’s who was visiting at Grey Glen Cottage. She is holding a water pail in her left hand, a bottle in her right hand, and has a blanket or towel over her right arm.

Below you’ll find a directory from the 1960’s.  Collectively they form a portrait of a much simpler time.

For other Todayville stories from the Sylvan Lake Archives, CLICK HERE.

If you have a unique and interesting stories you would like to see on todayville, you can do one of two things.  Either register for free (except for business) or send us an email with details to [email protected].  Learn more about the Sylvan Lake Archives.

 

Addictions

‘Harm Reduction’ is killing B.C.’s addicts. There’s got to be a better way

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Susan Martinuk 

B.C. recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. The resulting explosion of addicts using drugs in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds, recently led the province’s NDP government to attempt to backtrack on this policy

Since 2016, more than 40,000 Canadians have died from opioid drug overdoses — almost as many as died during the Second World War.
Governments, health care professionals and addiction experts all acknowledge that widespread use of opioids has created a public health crisis in Canada. Yet they agree on virtually nothing else about this crisis, including its causes, possible remedies and whether addicts should be regarded as passive victims or accountable moral agents.

Fuelled by the deadly manufactured opioid fentanyl, Canada’s national drug overdose rate stood at 19.3 people per 100,000 in 2022, a shockingly high number when compared to the European Union’s rate of just 1.8. But national statistics hide considerable geographic variation. British Columbia and Alberta together account for only a quarter of Canada’s population yet nearly half of all opioid deaths. B.C.’s 2022 death rate of 45.2/100,000 is more than double the national average, with Alberta close behind at 33.3/100,00.

In response to the drug crisis, Canada’s two western-most provinces have taken markedly divergent approaches, and in doing so have created a natural experiment with national implications.

B.C. has emphasized harm reduction, which seeks to eliminate the damaging effects of illicit drugs without actually removing them from the equation. The strategy focuses on creating access to clean drugs and includes such measures as “safe” injection sites, needle exchange programs, crack-pipe giveaways and even drug-dispensing vending machines. The approach goes so far as to distribute drugs like heroin and cocaine free of charge in the hope addicts will no longer be tempted by potentially tainted street drugs and may eventually seek help.

But safe-supply policies create many unexpected consequences. A National Post investigation found, for example, that government-supplied hydromorphone pills handed out to addicts in Vancouver are often re-sold on the street to other addicts. The sellers then use the money to purchase a street drug that provides a better high — namely, fentanyl.

Doubling down on safe supply, B.C. recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. The resulting explosion of addicts using drugs in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds, recently led the province’s NDP government to attempt to backtrack on this policy — though for now that effort has been stymied by the courts.

According to Vancouver city councillor Brian Montague, “The stats tell us that harm reduction isn’t working.” In an interview, he calls decriminalization “a disaster” and proposes a policy shift that recognizes the connection between mental illness and addiction. The province, he says, needs “massive numbers of beds in treatment facilities that deal with both addictions and long-term mental health problems (plus) access to free counselling and housing.”

In fact, Montague’s wish is coming true — one province east, in Alberta. Since the United Conservative Party was elected in 2019, Alberta has been transforming its drug addiction policy away from harm reduction and towards publicly-funded treatment and recovery efforts.

Instead of offering safe-injection sites and free drugs, Alberta is building a network of 10 therapeutic communities across the province where patients can stay for up to a year, receiving therapy and medical treatment and developing skills that will enable them to build a life outside the drug culture. All for free. The province’s first two new recovery centres opened last year in Lethbridge and Red Deer. There are currently over 29,000 addiction treatment spaces in the province.

This treatment-based strategy is in large part the work of Marshall Smith, current chief of staff to Alberta’s premier and a former addict himself, whose life story is a testament to the importance of treatment and recovery.

The sharply contrasting policies of B.C. and Alberta allow a comparison of what works and what doesn’t. A first, tentative report card on this natural experiment was produced last year in a study from Stanford University’s network on addiction policy (SNAP). Noting “a lack of policy innovation in B.C.,” where harm reduction has become the dominant policy approach, the report argues that in fact “Alberta is currently experiencing a reduction in key addiction-related harms.” But it concludes that “Canada overall, and B.C. in particular, is not yet showing the progress that the public and those impacted by drug addiction deserve.”

The report is admittedly an early analysis of these two contrasting approaches. Most of Alberta’s recovery homes are still under construction, and B.C.’s decriminalization policy is only a year old. And since the report was published, opioid death rates have inched higher in both provinces.

Still, the early returns do seem to favour Alberta’s approach. That should be regarded as good news. Society certainly has an obligation to try to help drug users. But that duty must involve more than offering addicts free drugs. Addicted people need treatment so they can kick their potentially deadly habit and go on to live healthy, meaningful lives. Dignity comes from a life of purpose and self-control, not a government-funded fix.

Susan Martinuk is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and author of the 2021 book Patients at Risk: Exposing Canada’s Health Care Crisis. A longer version of this article recently appeared at C2CJournal.ca.

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Community

$1,000,000 boost from province for upgrades at Red Deer’s Centre for Social Impact

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BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF RED DEER RECEIVES $1,000,000 CFEP GRANT IN SUPPORT OF THE CENTRE FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

Youth HQ is proud to announce that Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer and District has been awarded $1,000,000 through the government of Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) for the purpose of facility upgrades to the Centre for Social Impact.

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) is an inspiring place where charities and non-profits can
collaborate; a place centrally located where families can readily access a variety of supports and
services; and a place where organizations can share resources and minimize operating costs.
“We are grateful for the support from CFEP, which enables us to address facility enhancements
and upgrades in support of the charities and non-profits that share this place where community
connects.” States Rob Lewis, Executive Director, YouthHQ.

Board Room at the Centre for Social Impact. Priority upgrades are the roof of the building and the HVAC systems

“Investments into non-profits in our communities, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer
not only support new activities and programming but uplift youth and help build stronger
communities. Alberta’s government is proud to provide this million dollar grant to Red Deer Big
Brothers and Big Sisters, as they provide essential supports and services for the youth of Red
Deer and surrounding area.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women

“The CFEP grant awarded to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer and District is very
exciting news for Red Deer and surrounding communities. This substantial investment will
directly benefit our community by supporting essential youth programs, providing lasting
benefits for our youth in the years to come. I was happy to write a letter of support, as I am
continually inspired by the work Youth HQ does in our community. This grant will undoubtedly
enhance their ability to make a positive impact.”

MLA for Red Deer-North and Minister of Health, Adriana LaGrange

Conferencing area at the Centre for Social Impact. Priority upgrades are the roof of the building and the HVAC systems

For more information on the Centre for Social Impact please visit www.youthhq.ca

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District enables life-changing mentoring relationships
to ignite the power of young people. Providing life changing mentoring experiences since 1976,
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matching children and youth with adult role models who help
them achieve their biggest possible futures. We believe we are #BiggerTogether, and currently
work with over 220 young people to ignite their potential.

About Youth HQ

Youth HQ empowers youth by fostering a community of support. Our network seeks to instill
young people with confidence in their unique identities and abilities, providing them with skills
for life through knowledge, healthy relationships, and quality experiences while providing safe
environments to learn and grow. Youth HQ coordinates programming for Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Red Deer & District and Boys & Girls Club of Red Deer & District, offering numerous
programs and services that support children, youth and families.

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