Ritchie is a beloved older neighbourhood near Mill Creek Ravine. In this episode, we gathered residents’ questions about a school, a meatpacking plant, and some trees in the area. And then we took a walk to find out the answers together.
As we travelled throughout the neighbourhood, we were helped along the way by both experts from the City and residents in our troupe of neighbourhood explorers.
Our first question was from Morgana Folkmann. Morgana was concerned about the old Ritchie School, built in 1913. The current owner – Conseil scholaire Centre-Nord – is planning to demolish the building and build a new school on the site.
This is not the first time the school has been under threat of destruction. It’s been plagued with infrastructure problems due to being built on a slough. Kids attending Ritchie in 1963 had fun with the idea of their sinking school. The illustrations below are from a book they created to mark the school’s 50th anniversary: The History of Ritchie.
The Gainers meatpacking plant was our next stop. Carol Columberg asked us if anyone else remembered the time the cattle escaped from the plant.
Carol also asked us the third question, about trees in the neighbourhood and when the street trees on 75 Ave. and 93 St. were planted.
While the exact details of planting were difficult to track down we did find out about the history of tree planting in Edmonton neighbourhoods and some of the more popular trees.
All of the photographs above from the walk were taken by Matt Hundert. Thanks to the Ritchie Community League for sponsoring this event.
- City of Edmonton Inventory & Register of Historic Resources
- Packingtown – a history of meatpacking in Edmonton
- yegTreeMap – Connected to OpenTreeMap, an app where you can learn more about individual trees in your area.
- City of Edmonton Urban Forest Management Plan – a good source for information on tree species in town.