LUX Walking Tours: Whyte Ave
Posted: Aug 10 2016 | Author: Marielle T
I love telling people that I was born and raised in the small town of Old Strathcona. I grew up along the Mill Creek Ravine, falling asleep to the distant sounds of Folk Fest underneath the 100 year old trees that line the streets. I still remember the corner video store that stood long before Wild Earth Bakery on the corner of 99th Street. And, in King Edward Elementary School, I'll proudly point out the clay tile I made in Grade 5 for the millennial year celebrating the Fringe Festival.
I feel an immense amount of pride for the neighbourhood where I grew up, and so being able to tour it for this blog was a dream come true. My fellow explorer was the talented and lovely Dallas Currow who featured LUX on her blog a few months ago. Dallas has been spending the past year transitioning from living in Ontario to Edmonton where she works as a make-up artist and photographer. In addition to a shared love of vintage, good photo editing, and wearing impractical shoes, we both found ourselves eager to view the neighbourhood through each other's eyes.
We met at Block 1912 to discuss the best possible route, have a latte, and drool over the beautiful renovations. If you're looking for the perfect second date spot, this would be on the top of our list. We decided to kick off the tour on the less-explored eastern part of Whyte (venturing past 99th Street) so we could visit a shop we both adore: Maven & Grace.
Maven & Grace is an expertly curated vintage shop that houses both large and small pieces. Dallas picked up an adorable white-washed wicker patio set that she insisted would be the perfect backyard addition to her garden photo studio / greenhouse, while I restocked on white chocolate-dipped black liquorice. Needless to say, we both visit Maven & Grace on a weekly basis to check in on the new pieces and satiate our love of trinkets and small, carefully chosen gifts. If you haven't been, it's definitely worth the walk down Whyte.
Walking back to the main part of Whyte Ave, we took side streets (moving into 83rd Avenue and then turning right down 101st Street) to marvel at the old houses and stillness of the neighbourhood. We ventured as far as Saskatchewan Drive in order to take a look at the climbing skyline and the new bridge before heading back to the strip. Bonus points for walking on a path that includes a rainbow sidewalk.
Stopping at Gravity Pope Tailored Goods is a must on any Whyte Ave tour to admire the latest fashions, try a new fragrance, and contemplate how they even manage to make socks look like a work of art.
At this point in the tour, we were both ready to rest our feet, so we walked down 83rd Avenue past the new Varscona Theatre to Next Act for a much-deserved cocktail before heading to check out the other end of Whyte Ave (108th Street).
There, we wrapped up our tour while perusing spices at Silk Road (where the smell of all the spices is enough to make you want to start cooking something decadent) and general haberdashery goods at Kent of Inglewood (picking up treats for our significant others). It was the perfect end to a long afternoon of exploring the neighbourhood and thoughtfully sharing new and old places together.