Although born in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada Dale's family had moved to Cold
Lake, Alberta Canada just before 1980. His family still resides there and he visits at least every winter during the Christmas Season.
Cold Lake amalgamated in 1996 from the joining the towns of Cold Lake, Grand Centre and Medley (The Cold Lake 4 Wing Air Force Base) as they
were only about 8 km (5mi) distance apart from one another. Known previously as the LAND OF THE BIG FISH Cold Lake officially became a city in
the province of Alberta in the year 2000. The fishing industry was very active until the 1980s when overfishing caused a decline in the fish stocks,
forcing the development of a local fishing hatchery to help restock the lake. With a population of little over 11,000 the small city boasts a
semi-decent mall called the Tri-City mall, a WalMart (who doesn't), an air force base, oil sands projects for recovering crude oil, a fishery and a
number of name brand stores and restaurants such as McDonalds, Boston Pizza, EB Games, M&M Meats, Sobey's Grocery, Tim Horton's Coffee
Shops, and a multiplex movie theater called Grand Square Cinemas. Most of these businesses are located in what is called Cold Lake South
(formerly the town of Grand Centre). Cold Lake North and the Air Base comprise of mainly residential areas, condominiums and small businesses.
Cold Lake North is closest to the actual lake that comprises its namesake. The lake known as Cold Lake is shared along the border with both the
provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The lake was known for the longest time as the land of the Big Fish due to an old Indian native legend
(click here to read about it). The province of Saskatchewan is relatively close to Cold Lake and the border is a mere 30 min drive away.
As mentioned earlier Cold Lake North is where the actual lake is located. There is a modern marina that was built in the mid-80s to handle larger
quantities of touring and fishing vessels (250 to be exact). The town is comprised of mainly residential area as there is a negative sentiment towards developing businesses so close to the scenic lake . There are a couple of motels/hotels in the area, two very small strip malls, a couple of pubs, a few churches and a
couple of elementary schools. There are at least three Bed and Breakfast Inns located along lakeshore drive. It would be difficult for any business
to thrive in this environment as most of the major outlets and restaurants are located in what is known as Cold Lake South (formerly Grand Centre).
I had spent my Junior High School and High School years in Cold Lake having attended St Dominic's School and Assumption High School. Most of
the friends I made had parents involved with either the military or the oil field development. I had a paper route in Cold Lake, at the time I also had
the largest circulation in the area, that I had used to pick up from the local D & B Convenience Store and deliver door to door with a paper sack on
my head while riding a bicycle. The region has a long history with my family as
my great grandparents had settled in the area long ago, starting with Lefebvre family in 1910, with Eugene Lefebvre, and later the Miron family.
Neighboring communities include Cherry Grove (a mainly Mormon town), Pierceland (the closest Saskatchewan town to Cold Lake) and Bonneyville
(the town that has the Municipal District for the provincial government - though not too many people outside of northeast Alberta region ever heard of Bonneyville). There are also a few neighboring native reserves with the Cold Lake First Nations located at Legoff, Alberta (sometimes referred to as L.A.), Lac La Biche and the Queen Elizabeth Settlement.
For more information on the area look up the following URL's:
When I had graduated from high school I enrolled into the Southern Alberta Institue of
Technology (known as S.A.I.T) to take courses in the Aeronautical Engineering Technology program. I would later transfer from S.A.I.T. to Mount Royal College and then on to the University of Calgary where I completed
my BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I would then work for 3 years at Computing Devices Corporation (now General
Dynamics Canada) as a contractor on defence related communications equipment as a test engineer. Then I would find myself at Nortel for
about a year in the Broadband Wireless Access division.
Next to Vancouver, Calgary was my favorite Canadian city. It was very modern, had great shopping locations, the people were very friendly
(except the drivers), it was clean and the mountains were close by. Calgary has grown quite a bit through the 1990s and 2000s. It has now
passed the 1 million mark in population, and like San Diego the average cost of housing has doubled from $180,000 a house in 1998 to
$360,000 in 2006. This is fueled mainly by the oil and gas boom in Alberta as prices have soared so has the development of tar sand and
natural gas fields. Many oil companies that operate in Canada have their Canadian headquarters in Calgary. There is the University of Calgary,
Colleges such as Mount Royal College and technical schools such as Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Devry and other
independents. Calgary's skyline is highlighted by the Petro-Can office tower, the twin Bankers Hall Towers and it's most famous landmark the
Calgary Tower. The Calgary tower for the longest time was the tallest building in Calgary. It features a rotating restaurant and bar with views of
the inner city and mountains in the foreground and there is a torch flame that is lit on top of the tower to mimic the Olympic torch that was
shaped like the Calgary tower for the 1988 Winter Olympics. Yes, Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and there are many buildings
downtown and near the University that are representative of it. The downtown has an Olympic Plaza where awards were handed out, but now
features a skating rink in the summer and picnic park in the summer. The University of Calgary has the Olympic Oval skating rink for speed
skating and curling and a few miles Northwest from the University is the Ski jump pavilion that operates a ski hill and bobsleigh track in the winter.
There are several malls in Calgary, all have been updated into these magnificent huge buildings and displays to keep the shoppers in the malls.
The movie theaters make Edwards Cinemas on Mira Mesa look old fashioned, they are similar in size but have themes such as Egyptian
Pyramids, Roman Coliseums, Zoos or high tech spaceports. They also serve Burger King or McDonalds hamburgers, have ice cream parlors,
serve pizza, have beer stands and other foods besides popcorn and sodas.
Calgary is a very active city with many community gyms, pools and tracks open to the public. Huge irish pubs are found everywhere in the city
as are your dance clubs and the Cantonese Chinese cuisine is excellent! Many fine ethnic restaurants are found in Calgary and there are many
asian grocery, craft and furnishing stores as well.
The only thing you have to watch for in Calgary is the traffic. It is nowhere near as dense as it is in California but the drivers here are especially
rude! Drivers will cut you off at a whim even in the merge lanes! Calgary police love their speeding tickets and hand them out as if from a ticker
tape machine. Watch for photo radar in unmarked vehicles parked on the side roads as you are either going up or down a hill (rather a cheap
way to get tickets) or a long stretch of road with a slow speed sign. My favorite was getting a couple of tickets near a school zone where
the sign was hard to see and I got the tickets after the speed was no longer in effect. The officer fudged the time of the ticket but wrote the
wrong names down on the tickets (among other mistakes) in his hurry to hand out more tickets to passers by. Of course, half of them got thrown
out of court when challenged.
COLD LAKE, ALBERTA
As mentioned earlier Calgary is right next to
some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in
the world. Kananaskis Country, Banff and
Lake Louise are within one to two hours drive
west of Calgary. In the winter season skiing is
the big tourist draw and in the summer the
parks, hiking trails, fishing, camping and
horseback riding mark the activities that
attract visitors from Japan, China, Europe and
even the US of A. As much as I miss the
majestic mountains near Calgary it was only in
the last three years that I was in Calgary that I
actually made use of these natural wonders.
Much like how little I go to the beaches in San
Deigo after living hear for over 6 years.
So where in the world is
Cold Lake and Calgary,
Click each of the maps to the
bottom and right side to view a
Note the size of California and Nevada
in relation to the Province of Alberta in
the lower right image. Both California
and Nevada would fit snuggly in
Cold Lake Local Newspaper publisher.
The Cold Lake Sun.
NOTE: Give time for the picture pages to load as there are many
NOTE: Give time for the images
to load in the web page. There
are many images on that page.