Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Huge Then and Now at the Fairgrounds.........1955 to 2010

Here is some more interesting data about our CLE...The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition grounds.  The following two photos are before and after photos.  The first one was taken in 1955 and the second one was extracted from Google Earth and a relatively current photo of about 2010.

The changes are very dramatic, and the only two buildings shown in the photos that existed then and today are the CLE Coliseum shown in light blue in both photos, and the CLE Auditorium that is used mainly for Bingo games today.  The following is what the circled items used to be.
  • The lime green shows the main part of the midway and was accessible by crossing the river by a walking bridge.
  • The red shows where the walking bridge was.
  • The dark blue in the centre of the picture is the Grandstand and entertainment stage.....this was also used as the judges stand for the stock car races.
  • The pink rectangle in the lower centre was the "Welcome to Port Arthur" arch talked about in this blog before.
  • The purple rectangle at the bottom was the "Super-Sonic car wash".  This building is still used today for a number of different businesses.
  • The Street along the bottom of both pictures is May Street, and on the left side of the old photo, Memorial Ave starts just left/north of the river.  The trees along both sides of Memorial Ave., planted in memory of fallen soldiers during WWI and WWII have since been removed for street widening etc.  I would like to see the city re-plant those trees along Memorial Ave and re-dedicate Memorial Ave to what it was meant to be, a "memorial" to fallen soldiers of both wars!! 

In this new photo there are a number of geographical changes.  The largest being the widening of the river and also the re-routing of the river somewhat.  This was done to alleviate flooding problems from both the McIntyre and Neebing rivers to homes and business east of Fort William Road.  Another was the "Dorothy Dove" building roof shown with a white roof at the bottom right of the old picture, and the changes noted to the roof in the new picture shown in blue just to the right of the Yellow Auditorium building.  The race track, grandstand, and all the barns that fan out between the Coliseum and the Grandstand were all torn down to accommodate our new Golf Dome and Silver City Theatre both shown in the centre of the new photo.
My personal thought is that the CLE and midway should be moved to a better place, such as the Thunder Bay Agriplex or maybe Current River Park, since the grounds have been pretty much taken over by the movie theatre and the dome.
Click on the photos to enlarge...........JUST MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT!!!  ...and an old picture showing how it was.


Anonymous said...

I love that picture of the CLE grounds from back in the day. I remember my parents telling me it used to spread across the river (they did fail to mention the track though) in saying how much bigger the fair was back when they were kids.
It is cool to see the area on the Port Arthur side before it was developed though.

Dave said...

Thanks for that...memories are the best!!