Yellowhead Highway Special – The Highway of Tears

Distance sign along the Highway of Tears, a remote section of the Yellowhead Highway in B.C.

The Highway of Tears refers to a series of murders and disappearances on a 720 km stretch of the Yellowhead Highway between Prince Rupert and Prince George, B.C., beginning in 1970. This section of the highway has become notorious for the disproportionate number of victims who were First Nations women. As the Yellowhead Highway runs through a very isolated and remote part of the province, many of the victims have never been found, or the murders have never been solved. To date, over 40 women have been reported missing or murdered near the Highway of Tears.

Eighteen of the victims whose last known whereabouts were along the Yellowhead Highway.

Several factors contribute to the high number of cases occurring on this stretch of the Yellowhead. The highway passes through a rural area plagued with poverty and lack of transit access, which leaves many to rely on hitch-hiking as the cheapest form of transportation, or to partake in high-risk lifestyles to survive. 23 First Nations communities and numerous municipalities border the Yellowhead, which accounts for the disproportionately high number of victims who are Aboriginal women. Issues of systemic racism may also contribute to why many cases go unsolved, as cases involving white women tend to get more media coverage. Violence against women, especially of First Nations descent, has been an ongoing problem that still needs to be addressed today.

Between 2006 and 2017, several recommendations have been put in place to help curb the amount of crimes occurring on the highway. A shuttle bus service has been put in place between Prince George and Burns Lake for people in the communities along the stretch to travel safely, with funding provided by the province of B.C. and the government of Canada. Expanded health services and mental health counseling for Aboriginal peoples have been provided by the communities as part of an effort to help stop inter-generational poverty rampant in the area.

Raised awareness for the Highway of Tears has been gaining steam recently, with several books, TV episodes, and documentaries featuring information about the victims and the victims’ families call for justice. You can find out more through these media available today:

– Finding Dawn (2006), a documentary by Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh
– The Vanishing of Madison Scott. Documentary by Steven Scouller
– Highway of Tears, a documentary by Matthew Smiley and Carly Pope
– Searchers: The Highway of Tears. VICE miniseries. Also available are online articles featuring the Highway of Tears murders and disappearances
– Canada’s Missing & Murdered Aboriginal Women, a 14 episode miniseries on CBC’s news program The National.
– That Lonely Section of Hell, memoir by former police detective Lorimer Shenher.

Yellowhead Highway pt. 4 – Trail to the Future of Edmonton

Recently, the city has approved a plan to upgrade the current Yellowhead Trail through Edmonton. The gist of the plan is to remove the existing at-grade intersections between 170 St and Victoria Trail, transforming the route into a fully limited access freeway within the city limits. Learning from the mistakes of the past, Edmonton city planners have considered much more interaction and input from the general public and businesses directly impacted by this plan.

The project is split up into five distinct parts: from west to east – 156 Avenue to St. Albert Trail, St. Albert Trail to 97 St, 97 St. to 82 St., 82 St. to 50 St, and 50 St. to Victoria Trail.

156 St to St. Albert Trail: The most major change in this section is the closing of the 149 St intersection. The current design will add frontage roads on the north and south side of Yellowhead Trail, though the through route of 149 St will be disconnected by the freeway.

Map of the Yellowhead Trail between 156 St. and St. Albert Trail, with insets on each interchange.

St. Albert Trail to 97 St: In this section, the most major change will be the removal and reconfiguration of the 127 St, 121 St, and 107 St intersections. The final design is still being discussed by engineers and the public. I would imagine that entrances and exits will be at 121 St going westbound and 127 St going eastbound, with frontage roads connecting the closed accesses from Yellowhead Trail.

A map of the Yellowhead Trail between St. Albert Trail and 97 St.

97 St to 82 St: The only at-grade intersection is with 89 St, which currently gives access to a frontage road and the businesses along it. As of this fall, the 89 St signal has been removed. The frontage road that connected 89 St will be expanded, with access currently from 82 St and 97 St. Some changes to the 97 St interchange involves widening of the truck turn aprons and reducing entrances to the freeway, rerouting onto the frontage roads first.

Map of the Yellowhead Trail between 97 St. and 82 St.

82 St to 50 St: Current plans call for the removal and/or reconfiguration of the 66 St intersection. A new frontage road will be built from 61 Ave all the way to Fort Rd, which will also consider access to 66 St. As of October 2019, a final design plan has been approved for building an overpass for 66 St. to maintain the north-south connection, while removing the freeway entrances from 66 St. to Yellowhead Westbound. Access to Yellowhead East will be maintained from 66 St. Accesses to alleyways and 67, 68 streets will be closed.

A map of the proposed changes to the 66 St. intersection and the addition of the 125 Ave. access road.

50 St to Victoria Trail: As this section is already freeway, an additional lane will be added to each direction to increase capacity. The interchange with Victoria Trail will be slightly reconfigured to account for the addition of new lanes.

Map of the Yellowhead Trail between 50 St. and the N. Saskatchewan River

Yellowhead Highway Pt. 3 – Ring Around the Heart

My throat and my heart!
Pictured: The ring around the heart.

Highway 16 was routed along city streets running through the heart of downtown. In 1963, the Metropolitan Edmonton Transportation Study (METS) identified the need for an expanded freeway system to handle the growing urban population. The study was published in 1969 and featured an overall transit plan in store for the provincial capital, the most infamous part being the downtown freeway loop – a tight, roughly 8 km loop of freeways that would encircle downtown and connect to a multitude of radial freeways to each corner of the city. Sounds like a Robert Moses pipe dream, yet with the automobile becoming the most dominant form of transportation, this was fairly standard for urban planners at the time.

During the 70’s era of freeway development, a growing backlash from the public was beginning to bubble over the surface. Known as the Freeway Revolts, many major cities in North America (including New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, etc.) became wary of unchecked freeway development throughout the heart of their downtown cores. Many planned freeways suddenly became unfashionable, as these routes would effectively bulldoze through sections of town where many of its poorest residents live, cited as ‘run-down’ or ‘blighted’. Learning the lessons from previous freeway construction through downtowns, the cost was far beyond financial. Historic neighbourhoods, many of which included areas where minorities had formed thriving communities, had been razed. The displacement of so many residents caused great alarm, especially with federal and state contractors buying up properties for right-of-ways, or otherwise using eminent domain to claim such properties. Grassroots movements from residents who were potentially affected by these acquisitions successfully stopped these planned freeways. Fortunately for Edmonton, the downtown loop was deemed unfeasible and the METS plan was scrapped in favour of a Light Rail Transit system.

Though these freeway proposals were eventually rescinded, there are vestiges of the METS plan that exist today. If you drive around the area south of downtown near the interchange at 98 Ave and Connors Rd, you’ll notice a tangled mess of flyover ramps and exits. This was part of the planned downtown freeway stretching east and west down River Valley Rd, with a connection to Groat Rd. East of Downtown on 101 Ave/Baseline Rd, the carriageway going through Refinery Row seems much wider than an arterial needs to be. This would have been the eastern section of the freeway connecting to what is now Anthony Henday Drive. On the west side through what was Jasper Place, the freeway’s western section would have been where Stony Plain Rd and 100 Ave make their one-way couplet.

Map of a part of the METS plan freeway network in Downtown Edmonton.

Had the METS plan been approved and built, Edmonton would be a very different city today, especially considering the multitude of historically registered buildings in where these freeways would have gone. Development of the downtown core would have been much more difficult compared with the current state it is in. With the opening of the Edmonton International Airport in Leduc and the decommissioning of the downtown airport, I’d think that there would have been some freeway removals to facilitate the current growth of Edmonton’s downtown. With the continual cycle of construction and maintenance, imagine having to remove old freeways to that as well!

Yellowhead Highway pt. 2 – Paving the trail’s history

Before the advent of the automobile, the rail lines of the Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian Northern Railway helped connect Canada from east to west. From the latter half of the 19th century on, the railways transported goods and travelers across the vast plains of Western Canada. In 1917, the GTP and CNoR combined both tracks roughly parallelling each other into one joint route. This route would later become part of a much larger Canadian National Railway network in 1924. Segments of the old Grand Trunk and Canadian Northern lines between Evansburg and Red Pass Junction were abandoned, but will find new life as part of an automobile route between Edmonton and Victoria. Much of the Yellowhead Highway’s route can be traced back to these early rail lines, and have indeed made the construction of the highway much easier with the already established grades.

View of Mt. Robson from the Yellowhead Highway, taken by the author in 2015.

In British Columbia, the number 16 was applied to the highway which would become the Yellowhead in 1942. Built along the route of B.C.’s section of the Canadian National Railway, the highway originally traveled from New Hazelton to Aleza Lake, just north of Prince George.  In 1947, the highway was extended westward to Prince Rupert, and in 1957 the eastern end was re-aligned to end in Prince George. By 1969, the entire highway in B.C. was upgraded and extended further east to the Yellowhead Pass, connecting to Alberta Highway 16. After being commissioned in 1984, B.C. Ferries provide another extension westward of the Yellowhead onto Haida Gwaii.

Yellowhead Trail through Edmonton near the CN Rail Yards. Photo by the City of Edmonton

Using the abandoned right-of-ways from the old rail lines, the Tote Road was completed by 1944. Five years later, the Trans-Canada Highway act was enacted to build and upgrade selected highways to form a nationwide network across Canada. Though the Tote Road was not part of this plan initially, it became eligible for federal funds after the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway in 1957. By this time, the old Tote Road was demolished to build the Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline. However, once federal funding became available, the old Tote Road was rebuilt near its old route and completed in 1969.

Map of former Yellowhead Highway alignments through Edmonton.

Approaching Saskatoon. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In Saskatchewan, the route’s origins can be traced back to the Red River Trail, a cart dirt trail connecting Fort Gary, Fort Ellice, Fort Calrton, Fort Battlefort, and Fort Pitt. The rail line for the Manitoba and North West Railway (later part of the Canadian Pacific Railway), built in 1907, followed along this trail and connected Saskatoon and Winnipeg. At the same time, Provincial Highway 14 was built along these rail grades. West of Saskatoon, Provincial Highway 5 connected the city to Lloydminster, where it would continue into Alberta as Highway 16. The grading of both the Canadian Northern Railway and the Grand Trunk made construction of the roadway much easier.

Map of the Yellowhead Highway through Saskatchewan and Saskatoon old alignments.

Intersection of Portage and Main. U of Manitoba Archives

The Manitoba section of the Yellowhead was known as PTH 4 until 1977, when the highway was renumbered to PTH 16 to match up with the rest of the western provinces into one continuous route. First appearing on maps in 1928, PTH 4 generally followed the CPR line from the Saskatchewan border to Portage la Prairie. When the Yellowhead Highway was constructed, PTH 4 was then renumbered and the Yellowhead name continued cosigned with the Trans-Canada Highway 1 east into Winnipeg. After 1990, the route number 16 was dropped on the cosigned portion with TCH 1, but the Yellowhead name remains on this route where it ends at the corner of Portage and Main St in Winnipeg.

Map of Manitoba’s old Yellowhead Highway alignments

Join us next time as we explore what’s in the future for the Yellowhead Highway, as Edmonton plans to upgrade their section of the highway through town into a full limited access freeway.

Yellowhead Highway pt. 1 – Who is ‘Tay John?’

For those who live in the Western Provinces, the Yellowhead Highway is a vital link between British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Acting as a northern alternative to the Trans-Canada Highway, the Yellowhead provides a 2960 km route from Haida Gwaii to Winnipeg. So, where does the name Yellowhead come from?

The highway was named after the Yellowhead Pass, located in the Canadian Rockies near Jasper, AB and Tête Jaune Cache, B.C. The pass was named after an Iroquois Métis fur trapper and explorer who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Company during the 18th and 19th centuries. He was also known to the First Nations people as Pierre Bostonais, as a probable reference to his mixed American heritage. Pierre Bostonais was given the nickname Tête Jaune (lit. “Yellow Head”) by French fur traders, referring to the blond streaks in his hair.

Illustration of Tête Jaune

Tête Jaune led a company of Hudson’s Bay workers through the very pass that would later bear his name during December of 1819. Here he encountered the Secwepemc people and established a cache on the grand fork of the Fraser River, in which the village of Tête Jaune Cache was named after him in 1902. Tragically during 1828, Tête Jaune and his family were killed by the Dunneza tribe in retaliation for encroaching into their territory near the headwaters of the Smoky River.

Though Tête Jaune was only one of many explorers travelling through Western Canada, The Yellowhead Highway seems to be a fitting moniker for the trails that exemplified the reach of the fur trading companies which helped shape the economy and culture of the west.

High River – Flood of Memories

Though I am a relative newcomer to Alberta, I’m no stranger to floods. Having grown up in the Portland area, there have been significant flood events I’ve lived through. Recalling the 1996 flood of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, I remember visiting the sandbagged banks lining along the riverfront and watching everyone pitch in to help keep the downtown core from flooding, as it has in the city’s history. Now that I’m living in Edmonton, I haven’t too much to worry about when it comes to flooding of the North Saskatchewan. However, Edmonton is not the only river city in the province. Nestled near the foot of the Rocky Mountains, residents of High River in Southern Alberta have seen their fair share of floods, much more catastrophic than what I’ve experienced.

View of the Highwood River from Alberta Highway 40

High River gets its name from the Highwood River (and not named after an event as I originally thought). Unusually heavy rains during June of 2013 caused the, Bow, Little Bow, Elbow, Highwood, Red Deer, Sheep, and South Saskatchewan Rivers to inundate the cities and communities along their banks. Remaining snowpack from the Rockies further saturated the rivers and tributaries affected. Situated in the floodplain at the confluence of the Highwood River and the Little Bow River, the entire town of 13,000 residents was evacuated and left uninhabited for nearly one week. One neighbourhood – Beechwood Estates – was completely washed away, and following the aftermath any remaining homes were purchased by the province and demolished to restore the natural state of the floodplain.

In total, the estimated damage caused by such severe flooding amounted to over $5 billion. Over thirty states of emergency were declared in the areas of Calgary, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat. Once flood waters receded and residents returned to their homes, residents of High River were advised not to return until another week later due to the presence of E. Coli in the standing water. Though Southern Alberta recovered from the 2013 floods, survivors of the year’s floods in High River has left an indelible mark on both the town and its residents.

Here on the floodplain map, I first generated a river channel network based on elevation point data provided by the Government of Alberta. The point files were interpolated into a complete raster with 10m resolution. The channel network was then used to calculate the difference between the channel network base and the vertical elevation of each point. The new raster generated by this process now shows the vertical difference between the elevation and the base height of the channel network, which I then clipped out 1m, 2m, and 3m heights. You can see that even 1 meter above the channel base can spread out over a good swath of High River’s area. At 3m difference, over half of the town has the potential to be inundated by flood waters.

While flood events have the potential to be catastrophic, the ways in which people adapt and live in flood-prone areas show how communities can band together and help one another. The use of social media throughout the flood event showed how much support came from both volunteers and officials, both local and provincial, to help out those displaced by the floods.

Edmonton gone to the dogs

If there’s one kind of relationship that can always be depended on, that’s between pets and pet owners. Edmonton has quite a fair number of registered and licenced pets. Nearly 1 in 10 people living in Edmonton own a pet, with the vast majority of those Edmontonians owning at least one of the most loyal of all companions, the dog! Dogs and cats are widespread throughout the residential areas of town, and their distributions can vary depending on which residences allow what kinds of pets.

Taking a look at the 2018 registered pet data pulled from the City of Edmonton, I have extracted total population of cats and dogs separately. The data is then counted by how many dogs and cats are in each neighbourhood. Heat maps show where dogs and cats are distributed throughout the city, respectively. Clicking on the legend items in the collapsed list in the upper right, you can turn on and off different layers to see the comparisons between distributions of cats, dogs, and the type of housing in the city.


Examining the tabular data and running the analyses, a few observations can be made:

It took a few tries for this little gal to sit still for the photo!

– Dog distributions are mostly spread throughout the city, with the highest concentrations in neighbourhoods mainly comprised of single family housing.

“I can make it!”

– Cat distributions are clustered in the areas of town where apartment living is dominant, with the highest populations in Oliver, Alberta Ave, Strathcona, Westmount, and Downtown areas.

– Though there are a great variety of cat breeds in the city, over 2/3 of cat breeds in Edmonton are the Domestic Shorthairs.

– The top ten most common large and medium sized dog breeds are Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Stafforsdshire Terriers, Standard Poodles, Boxers, Australian Shepherds, and Rottweilers. These dogs are generally clustered around the River Valley Park System, and also along the Whitemud and Mill Creek watersheds.

Source: Edmonton Open Data – Licenced Pets by Neighbourhood for 2018

– The top ten most common small dog breeds are Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Bichon Frises, Pomeranians, Malteses, Havanese, Miniature Schnauzers, Terriers (uncategorized), and Pugs. Small dogs are grouped generally away from the centre of the city.

Source: Edmonton Open Data – Licenced Pets by Neighbourhood for 2018


To protect the privacy of each registered pet owner, point coordinates used to generate the heat map were based on the Neighbourhood polygon’s centroid. In generating the heat map, a radius of 1.5 km (or approximately 1 mile) was used to count the instances of points falling within that radius. Though there is a presence of feral cats, they are not accounted for in the licenced pet count.

Giving you the look that says, “Feed me.”

As the population of the city grows, no doubt the population of pets will grow along with it. But there are plenty of cats, dogs, and other deserving pets who are still looking for a new home. If you decide to add a new furry, scaly or feathered family member to your household, adopt! There are plenty of local rescue societies that are looking for new homes for the many pets who have been rescued. As a proud parent of two lovable dogs from a rescue, I urge you to consider adoption first!

Two very good boys!

Edmonton Humane Society

PAWS For Life Foundation

The Cat Cafe

Whitecourt Homeless Animal Rescue Foundation

Edmonton Pet Expo

City of Champions – The Edmonton Tornado of 1987

For residents of Edmonton throughout the 1980’s, the “City of Champions” slogan represented the many sports championships won by the city’s football and hockey teams – from the Oilers bringing home the Stanley Cup for the third time to the Edmonton Eskimos Grey Cup win – all in 1987. Though the slogan had been around since 1984, it would gain a new meaning in the way that the residents and community were brought together in response to one of the most devastating tornadoes to touch down in Edmonton.

On a stormy July 31st, 1987, a Category 4 tornado touched down on the eastern edge of Edmonton. Though only Category 1 at first sighting, weather conditions were just right for the funnel cloud to gain power and head northwards. Carving out a path of destruction that killed 27 people, injured hundreds of others, and caused over 300 million dollars in damage, the tornado lasted for approximately one hour and finally dissipated a few kilometres northeast of the city just after 4 PM.

Despite the lack of an alert system, local emergency response and help from the Canadian Forces was dispatched immediately following the tornado’s dissipation. Setup and mobilization of Red Cross stations was swift with more than 1300 registered volunteers helping out those in need. By the next day, all of the survivors of the tornado were registered and accounted for, and on August 3rd a Victim Assistance Centre was established to provide long term help for survivors affected by the tornado. Laurence Decore, the mayor at the time, cited the response by the community and emergency services as evidence that Edmonton was a ‘City of Champions.’

As a result of the tornado, the Emergency Public Warning System was developed to inform residents on both radio and TV communication of any imminent emergency events. This was later succeeded by the Alberta Emergency Alert, though the EPWS is still in use by the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. Though the stormy afternoon known as Black Friday was etched into the minds of an entire generation of Edmontonians, it is the sheer perseverance, determination, and sense of community that personifies Edmonton as the City of Champions.

Edmonton’s Old Towns and Villages

From its humble beginnings as a fort along the North Saskatchewan River to becoming the northernmost metropolitan area on the continent with over one million residents, Edmonton has the rare distinction of being a large city without forgetting its small town roots. With the past oil booms from the 1940’s and the 1970’s Alberta, Edmonton has seen a period of unprecedented growth and development that has changed the way the city has looked even thirty years ago. Throughout the 1900’s, several smaller towns and cities in the area have been absorbed by Edmonton as its boundaries continued to grow, though these areas still retain the character of their past.

Here are a few of the former towns and cities that were distinct from Edmonton, and still survive today as neighbourhoods.


Dating back to the 1870’s, Strathcona was a settlement directly across the river from the old Fort Edmonton, when it was still located where downtown is today. The early settlement mainly housed Native, Metis and British settlers working the fur trade, pioneers from out east, and prospectors looking to make a living in the west.  The Calgary and Edmonton Railway line eventually reached the small urban hamlet in 1891, where businesses started to grow and the population began to increase. In 1899, the hamlet was officially incorporated as the Town of Strathcona.


As the town continued to prosper, the move to incorporate into a city was made in 1907. The University of Alberta made its home in Strathcona’s west side the following year in 1908. While the main campus was being built, the university was temporarily located at the Queen Alexandra Public School on 106 St, now the Old Scona Academic High School.  In 1911 a proposal was made to amalgamate Strathcona and Edmonton, as lower taxes, affordable transit and increased city services would be a great benefit to the smaller city. The city of Strathcona was officially annexed by the city of Edmonton on February 1st, 1912.Strathcona’s downtown business core still exists today as the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area, and many of the buildings built along Whyte Ave during the city’s heyday continue to serve the community while proudly exhibiting its rich architectural history.


In 1882, the first Non-Native residents of the Beverly area were the European settlers from Germany, Scotland, England, Ukraine, and Holland. Plentiful coal seams and cheaper land compared to Edmonton led more settlers to the Beverly area, and the Hamlet of Beverly was incorporated in 1906. With the continued influx of residents, Beverly was incorporated into a Village in 1913 and was incorporated into the Town of Beverly the following year with 1000 residents.

Over fifty mines operated in the Beverly area between 1900 and 1950. Of the many coal mines that operated during this period, the four major employers of the town of Beverly included the Clover Bar Mines (1897-1923), the Humberstone Mine (1900-1934), The Bush Davidson Mine (1917-1944), and the Beverly Coal Mine (1931-1951).

The Town of Beverly was officially declared a mining town in 1932. However, as the Great Depression hit the Prairie Provinces particularly hard, Beverly was in decline and deep in debt. By 1961 the town was amalgamated into Edmonton, where it exists as the neighbourhoods of Beverly Heights, Beacon Heights, Bergman, Abbotsfield, and Rundle Heights.



The Village of Calder was originally established in 1909 to house the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway’s workforce. The area was surveyed in 1882 as two one-quarter sections, with the eastern quarter subdivided and named Elm Park in 1904. Hugh Calder purchased the western quarter in 1907 and sold lots through the Calder Land Company in anticipation of the GTPR housing its roundhouse, repair shops and shunt yards south of the area. West Edmonton was officially incorporated as a village in 1910, but locals continued to refer it as Calder despite the name change.

Facing pressure from the growing Edmonton boundary and in need of basic civic utilities, the village was annexed by the City of Edmonton in 1917. The former village is now part of the Calder neighbourhood, which also includes the eastern quarter section originally surveyed in 1882.


Of Red Cars and Rabbits

I was watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” recently and was always impressed on how the film makers were able to capture a fairly authentic 1940’s Los Angeles feel. Older sections of Los Angeles proper still retain its original early 1900’s character, yet as time marches on they are slowly disappearing.

L.A.’s history of ever-changing landscapes is also a permeating theme in this movie, as an integral part of the Roger Rabbit plot revolved around the villain Judge Doom orchestrating the complete dismantling of the trolley lines through a buyout by a freeway construction company. Toontown would have been the next community to bulldoze through in the wake of the incoming freeway network looming on Los Angeles’ horizon.

Pacific Electric Rail lines (in red, naturally) around downtown Los Angeles and vicinity, compared to the current freeway network.

The “GM Conspiracy”, as it is popularly known, involves General Motors, Firestone and several other automobile related companies conspiring to supply buses to public transit systems while at the same time buying out their lines under another company (also controlled by GM).

Sounds familiar, right?

Red Cars at the Toluca Substation Tunnel, ca. 1900

Well, what really happened isn’t as exciting as pop culture makes it out to be. While trolley and train transit had persisted well into the 1950’s, transit companies like Pacific Electric were operating at losses annually since their inception in the late 1890’s. By the 1940’s, the increase in automobile traffic which the trolley shared on surface streets caused rail service to slow down to a crawl, and eventually made the average rider turn towards the automobile as the preferred form of transit. The last passenger line from Los Angeles to Long Beach ceased operations on April 9th, 1961.

Having lived in both Los Angeles and Orange counties for a number of years, I’ve been able to witness the ever-evolving urban landscape slowly erase sections little pieces of history. However, if you look closely enough, you can still find an imprint here and there. Remnants of the once extensive network still remain, whether through roads using the former right-of-way, stations and buildings fenced away to be reclaimed by nature, or resurrected by being re-commissioned as a new modern line.

Here are a few interesting points on the Pacific Electric map featured in the film, with Streetview links!

Valiant & Valiant Detective Agency. As of the Streetview 2017 imagery, this building still stands even though most of its neighbors have since been razed.

RED Studios, a.k.a. Maroon Cartoons. Although the film implies that the studio is on Sunset Blvd where the Red Car operated, its actual location is two blocks south at 846 N Cahuenga Blvd. 

The Tunnel to Toontown, in Griffith Park on Mt. Hollywood Dr.

The Hyperion Bridge carries Glendale Blvd over the Los Angeles River and what is now “The 5”

W 12th St & S Hope St, just a block away from Eddie’s office building