Riverside Park is located downtown across from City Hall and borders the South Saskatchewan River from an embankment. The cenotaph was added to the park after World War I, and has been modified over the decades to honour those local residents lost in following wars. A ceremony takes place here every Remembrance Day to acknowledge their sacrifice.
Given the central location of the park, Riverside has long been a meeting point for communal gatherings. Recently, it's been the location of the annual Spectrum celebrations, but in the past it's also played host to political rallies and other significant civic events. I found several archival images showing Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier speaking in the park in 1910, as well as one of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau speaking in 1968. There was also a cool image of a sign welcoming soldiers home shown above the park's entrance after the end of World War I.
The park has changed dramatically since being established in 1910, most noticeably with the brickwork and fountains that have been added over the years. I saw a picture of my family posing next to the trains in Riverside from the mid to late 1980s and there were no paths or planters surrounding it. It made me realize just how much has changed here in my lifetime. Riverside Park is more than just a beautiful space, it's a culturally significant location at the heart of the city.
|Prime Minister Laurier at the band stand in Riverside Park ca. 1910|
|Wilfrid Laurier speaking in Riverside Park ca. 1910|
|Welcome Home Soldiers sign in Riverside Park ca. 1918/1919|
|Medicine Hat Memorial Cenotaph ca. 1960s|
|Pierre Trudeau in Riverside Park ca. 1968|
|Medicine Hat Cenotaph postcard dated between 1920-1940.|