Parkdale’s History Detective – and the missing slough

A slough story tells it the way it was in the 50’s:

Local resident Micky Gulless remembers: “Back then, the boys across the street from our house, Bruce Smith and Larry Beattie, were both probably about 10 years old. I was about 7.” She chuckles. “They dared each other to swim across the slough and they came out with leeches stuck to them”.

Residents who lived in or near Parkdale from 1948 – 1960 wondered about the big slough located at the Foothills Medical Center site. Stories of the Foothills Hospital starting to sink in 1963/64 were often told. Of course others said it was “utter nonsense,” which it turns out was true.

In order to understand if a problem even existed, we must go back to 1948 and an aerial photo that clearly shows a large slough, located roughly at 29 street and the TransCanada Highway. But where is the Foothills Hospital on the map?  Detective work with the aid of Google Earth gives us more clues. Just 10 years later, a 1959 photo shows Parkdale, St Andrews and West Hillhurst all have developed, yet the slough remains.

Finally the 2015 aerial photo shows the location of the slough superimposed on the Foothills Hospital site. Solution—The only thing built on the slough, which was filled in 1961, is a parking lot.

The good old days!

Marcel Hebert
Aerial photos are courtesy of the U of C Taylor digital Library collection of Calgary Aerial Photos.

Leave a Reply