Friday, December 31, 2010

Old Yellowknife Christmas tradition

I was going through some old photos and came across this one. I took it in 1986, the first year I lived in Yellowknife.

To get everyone into the holiday spirit, the City used to set up a Christmas tree smack dab in the middle of 50th Avenue and 50th Street - the main intersection in downtown Yellowknife. They hadn't covered this contingency when I took driver training in Saskatchewan, so I was never sure if one makes a left turn by cutting in front of the tree, or swinging wide around it. If you look closely at the photo, you'll see that there are no traffic lights, so whatever we did, we had to use the honour system that goes with an unmarked (and usually treeless) intersection.

I forget when they stopped putting up the tree. That tradition probably ended by the close of the '80s, about the same time they put up traffic lights in the downtown. I sometimes pine for the old tree, but given that Yellowknife is almost twice as big as it was in 1986, and drivers aren't nearly as patient as they used to be, it's unlikely to be resurrected.