Groat Ravine. July 2013.
Groat Road, pictured here, was built overtop of a creek, through the Groat Ravine in 1954 as a mini-freeway between the University of Alberta and Westmount Centre, Edmonton’s first shopping mall.
Due to Edmonton’s geography of being a city perched atop a wide berthed river valley, the city has many ravines, some of which were exploited for the advantage of the automobile.
Luckily, city leaders over the decades have largely left the North Saskatchewan River Valley unaltered or have replanted indigenous flora where human development once was in the valley.
Mill Creek, one of the largest ravines in Edmonton, on the city’s southeast was actually planned to be dried out for a quick, direct freeway from the southside to downtown. This would’ve made 91 Street, rather than the couplet of Gateway Blvd and Calgary Trail, the main southerly entrance into Edmonton.
Although we now have to deal with the annoying hairpin at the end of Gateway Blvd to get downtown from the southside, I’m glad to see that Edmonton chose to preserve this natural asset of ours and that we didn’t think solely for the sake of convenience.