I was walking around Old Strathcona last week and the afternoon light falling on the tower of the Varscona Theatre made it pop against the cloudless blue sky. I really wanted to take a picture, which often happens when I don’t have my camera with me (will I never learn this lesson?).
I returned a few days later to take these pictures. The new Varscona Theatre (as opposed to the old Varscona, which was a movie theatre that has since been torn down), was originally Fire Hall Number 6. The tower was used for drying fire hoses. The Walterdale Theatre, across the street, was the original Fire Hall Number 6 (and that’s your Edmonton history lesson for today).
As I was snapping pictures in the alley behind the theatre, my friend Mark Moose came out the back door of his store on Whyte Ave. to empty the trash.
We got to talking about the tower’s new paint job which we both admire. Mark said reminded him of a Tetris game. He also called it “iconic.” He told me it was painted by Ian Mulder who is also responsible for several murals around town, including this one of Joey Moss on 99th Street.
The alley between Whyte Avenue and 83rd Street is full of colour, including this (sanctioned) graffiti: