Last September, I moved from Ontario to Edmonton. Now there are two public spaces that I see out my window and one of them is this western space called “the laneway” or “the alley.” Laneways are a world all their own.

The laneways viewed from inside my house are “cluttered concoctions of fences, sheds, garages in the many shades called white and beige.”

Laneways viewed from the laneway as I walk along are much more interesting. Close up they include an endless variety of fences – different colours, shapes and designs – with gates that shut one out or invite one in.

Then there are the garbage spaces – stalls, shelves, mini garages with old battered metal cans or newer plastic receptacles – blue, green and black.

What I look forward to seeing are the living plants, shrubs and trees that grow in or along the laneway or in the adjacent yards.

But most of all I enjoy the people I sometimes meet on my walks. They welcome me to the laneway world with a “Hi how are you, isn’t this a beautiful spring day?”

by Sandra Miners


This post is part of Archiving the Present, Documenting the Past, a series of photos and narratives that delve into Westmount’s history and daily life.