Water is beautiful when frozen in time, but now and then I like opening my camera’s shutter for a while and waiting for the magic to happen.
After a week’s absence (sorry! I’m still here!), I’m back with a few shots of the water. Well, frozen water – an ice jam choking the Grand River in downtown Cambridge, Ontario. Here’s how it looked for a few weeks – these photos were taken near the end of January:
Yesterday, after a couple of mild, rainy days, the ice jam released, sending a sudden surge of water and massive chunks of ice downstream to Brantford. There, the river clogged up again and resulted in flooded roads and the evacuation of 2000 households located in the floodplain. (There’s also a heartbreaking report of a toddler swept away in another region near the flooded Grand). This afternoon, the Brantford ice jam began to loosen and water levels are receding. Ice and debris are now making their way further downstream… here’s hoping that other communities aren’t affected by flooding.
I didn’t get dramatic shots of all this excitement, but I was able to get out today to make a few pictures of the remaining ice along the banks in Cambridge.
I’ve much gratitude for the quick and tireless actions of all the staff and volunteers in our communities. Stay safe, everyone!
Nice night for a paddle.
Grand River, Cambridge, Ontario.
While most schools are buzzing with kids this time of year, this particular educational institution sits, silent, on a hilltop in Cambridge, Ontario.
Dickson Public School closed in 2014 due to its age and a dwindling student population. It had served the community for nearly 140 years.
The building is beautiful, constructed of local cut limestone in a simple but pleasing design. It’s situated on the west side of the Grand River, a focal point in a neighbourhood of historic homes and architecture.
Apologies for the harsh shadows in these photos. The weather was definitely agreeable for a visit, but I wasn’t able to capture the front of the building without some interference from the sun.
I’d been hoping for some grand front doors to go along with the rest of the design. The arched front porch is lovely, but the bland, industrial entrance was a bit of a disappointment.
The building has been empty for three years, but fortunately there are plans to redevelop the site into modern office space, along with the addition of a new 10-unit townhouse complex on the property. The developer intends to preserve both the exterior of the school and many of the unique and historic interior features.
I get a little dreamy when I wander around old buildings, wondering about times gone by. The generations of schoolkids who once roamed these empty halls, their laughter echoing over this deserted playground. Sadly, round the back, there are reminders of some of the harsh realities of today.
Time will tell what changes are to come.
If you’d like to look at more interesting entryways, be sure to visit Norm 2.0 for his weekly feature, Thursday Doors.
The meek river running through town quickly turned mighty after a massive downpour on Friday. It seemed like most of town showed up on Saturday to take in both the street art festival and the height of the water line. I wandered around pointing my camera in all directions and overhearing people exclaim, “I’ve never seen it this high!”
For today’s post, I decided on a monochrome version of the swollen Grand, just kissing the edge of the upper riverside walkway:
…and a shot of the staircase (gated and padlocked, though that was probably unnecessary) leading to the lower walkway, now under several feet of water:
By the way, this is the lower walkway, pictured in drier times (the black railing of the upper walkway/staircase is in the top left of this shot, just above the group of people in the distance):
You get the idea.
It’ll be at least a few days before we’ll be able to skip along here again. (Don’t worry, we’ll play by the rules and wait till the padlock’s been removed from the gate before venturing down the stairs. Safety first.)
It’s not often that I wear a dress while I’m cooking. Nor an apron. (Actually, if I think about it, I’m rarely grinning while I’m cooking, either.)
Not the case, apparently, for the woman depicted in this vintage advertisement.
McClary’s Manufacturing was a London, Ontario-based leader in the production of stoves, coal furnaces, and kitchenware. It was founded in 1847 and merged with four other companies to become General Steel Wares in 1927.
A sign very similar in design to this one had been painted on the exterior of this building in Cambridge, Ontario sometime in the mid-20th century. (I’m unsure if – and for how long – goods were still produced under the McClary name after the merger).
The paint had nearly peeled away, lost to time, when the local Business Improvement Association headed a project to restore the sign in 2012, in an effort to add interest to the downtown core.
And interesting it is. When I look at it, I’m reminded both of how much has changed (the rapid advance of technology and how it impacts our everyday lives; the shift and evolution of gender roles), and of how little has changed (the people in ads are always suspiciously happy to be using the product in question).
I realize that there are people who genuinely look and feel happy when they’re using a stove. I’m just not one of them.