Kildonan Park on a Freakishly Hot October Sunday

This is one of my favourite spots in the entire world, as it was for my dad when he was a boy, growing up in this same part of Winnipeg in the 1920s.  His young feet trod the same spaces that my daughter’s feet have since she was three years old.  The move to the same area wasn’t planned, it just sort of happened, with little in the way of conscious thought.  Funny how family history seems destined to repeat itself sometimes.  Anyhoo, Kildonan Park is a beautiful green area in the city, and we’re very lucky to live nearby.  In the summer months the gorgeous flower gardens are a must see, but of course they are all cleaned up and prepared for winter at this time of year.

The river in these shots is the mighty Red, which flows south to north through the city.

branchpath2 river path squirrel

This path is actually a dike, constructed after the “Flood of the Century” in 1997.  That was a pretty scary time for everyone along the Red River’s path, but here in the city, defenses held … just.  It was another story south of the city, though, and the Red River Valley took on the appearance of an inland sea for a time.  dike

A park isn’t a proper park without a duck pond, right?

ducks3ducks2

This was my favourite spot in the park when I visited as a child, and it still makes me smile when I see it to this day.  Most call it the Hansel and Gretel hut, but its proper name and story are on the plaque in a photo below.  It was a gift to the children of Manitoba in 1970, Manitoba’s centennial year.  I must have seen it for the first time the following summer, while in the city for a little holiday with a lovely aunt.

hutcertificate

Of course the Brothers Grimm have to be represented in a building that tells the story of Hansel and Gretel.  grimm witch

We do love our trees, in any season, but especially autumn.

treetops leaves

The park is also home to Rainbow Stage, Canada’s longest running outdoor theatre.  I was introduced to it during the summer visits with the aunt mentioned above.  We actually went two summers in a row, but it’s the first visit that left the lasting impression.  We saw Cinderella, and the two ugly step-sisters were played by local male TV personalities.  I don’t know what I’d think of their antics now, but they had the whole audience in stitches at the time, including this awestruck kid from the country, experiencing live theatre for the first time.  Itching powder down the bodice is a fantastic gag to a seven-year-old. 🙂  I remember nothing about Cinderella or the prince, but the step-sisters are indelibly etched on my memory!stageFinally, this is what retirement looks like.  Nice for some, eh?  😉daddehAll photos courtesy of Alex, with many thanks.  .

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