Bruce, Alberta

In early April this year (2021), I packed up my camera and my drone and headed east from my humble abode towards Bruce, Alberta. I had spent a few days in the beautiful Community Hall a few years ago for my drone ground school and it was nice to explore the town a little bit more now than what I had time for then.

Bruce is situated along the Poundmaker Trail or Highway 14 in east-central Alberta. It is located about 115 km east of our provincial capital of Edmonton. The community began in 1909 as Hurry but when the Post Office was built they decided to change the name. The name was changed to honour A. Bruce Smith the manager of the Grand Trunk Pacific Telegraph Company at the time.

If you are a bit of a foody and want what is reported to be the best BBQ steak in the province you need to make a trip out to the Bruce hotel. The Bruce Hotel is well known as one of the best places in the area for an old fashion barbecued steak. Of course, it is a very old hotel having been built in 1911, burned to the ground in 1928, then rebuilt and reopened on the original 1911 foundation in 1930.

While in Bruce I happened to meet some folks who moved west from Nova Scotia. We started talking and soon realized that they were the parents of Jay Walsh. Now if you don’t know, Jay and his beautiful wife Carlene are the owners of the hotel. Jay’s mom, like any other mom, is proud of her son and what he has and is trying to accomplish in life. I didn’t get to meet Jay this day as he was attending his fourth year of electrical school (as an electrician myself, I know the drill). I did have a nice chat with mom and dad though and they invited us back to talk with Jay at a later date. I may head back out to Bruce one of these days and see if I can meet up with them.

Anyhow, continuing with Bruce, this tiny hamlet with a population of only 60 persons is home to the longest-running one-day stampede in the province. The Bruce Stampede began in 1914 and continues to this day (excluding 2020 due to COVID-19). It remains to be seen if it will be cancelled this year as well. When it was running there were events all day for young and old alike including pancake breakfast, parade, horseshoe tournament, dances and of course the rodeo.

So, if you happen to be traveling east from Edmonton stop in at Bruce and have a look around. It is a nice friendly little community and you never know who you will meet while hanging around.

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