By Tracy Hyatt
Lined with turn-of-the-century homes, London Road is one of Lethbridge’s oldest and most storied neighbourhoods. Most of the original houses were built between 1890 and 1905, during an economic boom that saw the local population quadruple due to coal mining and agriculture opportunities. Though the grocery shops, ice cream bars, butchers and barbershops are long gone, many of the original buildings – like Charles Conybeare house, home of Lethbridge’s first lawyer – still stand. Yet you could whiz by in your car a dozen times and be none the wiser.
This May, the London Road Jane’s Walk offers a chance to slow down and unlock the neighbourhood’s secrets. Jane’s Walk is a global festival of free walking tours held May 1–3. Dozens of Alberta communities will take part, inspired by the late urban activist Jane Jacobs, who urged people to explore their communities and connect with one another. “People don’t really know that much about their neighbourhoods even though they live there,” says Andrew Malcolm, community planner for the City of Lethbridge and organizer of the London Road Jane’s Walk. Join a tour or lead one in your hometown.
Published in Westworld Alberta, Spring 2015