A MASSIVE waterfall used to pour off the High Level Bridge each summer

May 24 2024, 7:30 pm

There used to be a wild art installation that created a waterfall off the High Level Bridge, and we would love to see it make a comeback.

The “Great Divide Waterfall,” created by Edmonton artist Peter Lewis, was an installation that is precisely what the title sounds like.

Over 50,000 litres of water used to pour off the bridge’s upper deck, creating a wall cascading into the North Saskatchewan River on summer holidays.

stuckinthecity/Flickr

The City of Edmonton turned the waterfall on for the first time on September 1, 1980, to commemorate Alberta’s 75th anniversary.

The falls lasted in the city until 2009, when the city stopped running the waterfall over concerns the chlorinated water could be affecting the river below.

In 2012, Edmonton city councillors considered upgrading the falls to meet environmental standards, but the equipment needed to de-chlorinate the water was deemed too expensive.

The debate about restoring the waterfall was again raised in 2014; however, the city council voted to shut it down for good.

There were previous ideas to turn the High Level Bridge into a commemorative piece; in 1967, the City considered painting the bridge gold in honour of Canada’s centennial.

We’re kind of glad they chose not to do that, to be honest.

Today, we are all very familiar with the High Level Bridge art installation added to the bridge in 2013. Called “Light the Bridge,” the piece contains 60,000 LED lights installed along the bridge, lit up in different colours each evening.

So, while the “Great Divide Waterfall” may just be a moment in our history, we would love to revisit that debate over whether or not the falls should come back. What do you think?

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