Saskatoon Public Library  
     
  Saskatoon Through the Ages:
selected photographs from Local History Gallery Shows
 
     
 

Photo 1 of 24 | | |

1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Dr. Frederick Elmer Wait was born October 4, 1897 in Arden, Manitoba. Following his schooling in Calgary, he graduated in medicine from McGill University in 1923. His medical career included nine years as assistant general practitioner and surgeon to Dr. Arthur Lynch (a prominent pioneer Saskatoon surgeon) followed by a number of years in private practice. During this time, he held appointments at both St. Paul’s and City Hospitals. At St. Paul’s he was chief of surgery. He retired in 1964, and died on June 28, 1991 at the age of 93.

A member of the Saskatoon Camera Club, Dr. Wait had a special flair for photography. His eye for spectacular visual effects and his innate creativity enabled him to capture myriad images of great artistry. Many of them depict stunning, dramatic scenes of Saskatoon and the prairies. Dr. Wait also roamed far beyond this region to capture a spectrum of subjects that included portraits, architecture, still life, animals and plant life, medical scenes, landscapes, cityscapes and seascapes. Many have been exhibited or published.

Almost his entire collection of prints, negatives and slides was bequeathed to the Local History Room, and acquired following his death in 1991. Recognizing the historic importance and aesthetic value of his work, the Saskatoon Public Library presents this exhibition in tribute to Dr. Wait. It features photographic enlargements of Saskatoon cityscapes – landmark heritage structures and long-vanished vistas, as well as several striking country scenes.

Original gallery show prepared by: R. Millar

With the assistance of: A. Kagis, R. Jaremko, J. Flegg, M.T. Colombani and J. Neudeck.



1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A mid-1950s view of King Edward School on 25th Street East. Designed by School Board architect David Webster, the school was built in 1911 and demolished in June 1979, a few months after a fire gutted much of its west side. The YWCA and King Edward Place currently occupy the site.

Date: [1954 or 1955]

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Photo 2 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A breathtaking winter view of St. Paul’s Cathedral on Spadina Crescent, nestled amidst the lacy branches of trees sheathed in hoarfrost. St. Paul’s was built in 1910 by Shannon Bros. and Cassidy; the architect was J.E. Fortin of Montreal.

Date: January 30, [1973 or 1978]

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Photo 3 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

The Observatory at the University of Saskatchewan framed by two leafless trees and with a dramatically lit sky as backdrop. The University’s Board of Governors approved construction of the Observatory in 1929 and it was completed in 1930.

Date: [ca. 1960]

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Photo 4 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A chilly winter view of Riversdale around 1945. St. Mary’s Church, to the right, is at 20th Street and Avenue O; the dome of St. George’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Cathedral looms in the distance. Along with Nutana, Riversdale became part of Saskatoon in 1906.

Date: [ca. 1946]

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Photo 5 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A DeHavilland Moth biplane perched in front of the Saskatoon Aero Club hangar. The Club was formed in 1927 and built this hangar the following year. An August 10, 1928 Daily Star article described it as “a new filling station… at the air harbour… [with a] big pole that will be visible for miles. [It has a wind] sock on it… painted with black and white stripes, the registered colours of the Saskatoon Aero Club, so that the transient pilot will know where he is.”

Date: [between 1932 and 1935]

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Photo 6 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Children "drive" a Bennett Buggy along the shores of Emma Lake in the late 1930s. During the Depression, many car owners could not afford fuel for their vehicles. Horse drawn cars were dubbed Bennett Buggies after Conservative Prime Minister R.B. Bennett whose ineffectiveness in the early 1930s made him the butt of countless jokes.

Date: [between 1937 and 1938]

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Photo 7 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Smoke from the A.L. Cole Power Plant billows over the CN Railyards and 1st Avenue and swirls around the overhead pedestrian walkway that linked 1st Avenue and 20th Street. According to long-time Saskatonians, the walk over the railyards was the coldest mid-winter walk on earth.

Date: [ca. 1938]

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Photo 8 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Taken from the west bank looking northeast, Dr. Wait captured artistically the reflection of the Broadway Bridge in the icy waters of the South Saskatchewan River. The Broadway Bridge was a relief project of the Depression era. On November 11, 1932, this concrete arch bridge was officially opened, connecting the main downtown business district with Nutana.

Date: [195-]

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Photo 9 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

The Thorvaldson Building illuminated against the night sky on the university campus, before modern buildings rose up around it. The building opened in 1924. Originally called the Chemistry Building, it was renamed in 1963 in honour of Dr. Thorberger Thorvaldson, a distinguished chemist and professor who came to Saskatoon around 1919. He was internationally esteemed for his research on the chemistry resistant to alkali (sulphate) corrosion.

Date: [ca. 1950]

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Photo 10 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A skier in mid-flight, sailing off the ski jump that stood from 1930 to 1978 on the riverbank near the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge. An earlier jump at “Devil’s Dip” on the University grounds was deemed unsafe after its first season.

Date: [ca. 1940]

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Photo 11 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Another soaring skier, this time captured in silhouette against a twilight sky. Two other skiers trudge up the jump to await their turn.

Date: [ca. 1940]

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Photo 12 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

The artistry of Saskatchewan’s indigenous people displayed on handsome tepees, probably at Pion-Era around 1957. Pion-Era was a summer fair originally held in the 1950s and 1960s on the old Western Development Museum grounds at 11th Street and Avenue P. The fair merged in 1971 with the Exhibition Board and the WDM to become “Saskachimo”, later the Saskatoon Industrial Exhibition.

Date: July 1957.

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Photo 13 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Saskatoon’s best known landmark, the much photographed Bessborough Hotel, as seen from Saskatchewan Crescent. The “Castle of the River” was built at the start of the Depression and was completed in 1932. There was no money to run it, however, so it stood empty until December, 1935.

Date: [195-]

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Photo 14 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A rainbow seems to spring from the President’s Residence on campus, echoing the arches of the University Bridge, in turn reflected in the river. R.J Lecky and Co. began construction of the bridge in 1913. It opened in 1916, the second traffic bridge in Saskatoon.

Date: [195-]

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Photo 15 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

A reverent crowd assembles for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph on 21st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. This scene may have been the Remembrance Day services held November 11, 1945 at the close of World War II. (The observance in honour of the war dead was known as Armistice Day until 1931.) The Cenotaph was unveiled on Armistice Day in 1929 and remained on 21st Street until August 1957 when it was moved to City Hall and rededicated.

Date: [before 1957]

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Photo 16 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Farmstead on the horizon of a flat prairie landscape. A brooding sky looms overhead, warning of the ferocious storm to come. Will the windmill survive the onslaught?

Date: [194-]

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Photo 17 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Dr. Wait excelled in “smoke and vapour” pictures. Here fumes and sparks highlight this stunning shot of a welder at work.

Date: 1949.

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Photo 18 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

These handsome old-fashioned street lamps with multiple globes illuminated many streetscapes early in this century. Although this photo was taken in Regina, the lamps also proliferated in Saskatoon. By 1920 Saskatoon boasted more than “800 electric light standards with varying numbers of lights in each, and of these 529 are on ornamental standards on the main business streets”, declared a 1920 promotional pamphlet.

Date: [ca.1955]

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Photo 19 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

Hoarfrost on the riverbank bushes forms a lacy filigree against mist that obscures the opposite bank – a typical winter vista in and around Saskatoon.

Date: [195-]

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Photo 20 of 24 | | |


1994 - Town and Country: the Photographic Legacy of Dr. F. E. Wait

The pinnacles of the Bessborough, Saskatoon’s most famous landmark, captured at an oblique angle against a darkening sky as vapour pours forth from the chimney.

Date: [ca.1955]

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