Winnipeg has never looked more glorious than it does in the photographs of L.B. Foote.
Capturing image after image of the city at its economic zenith, Foote's archive is a treasure trove, providing a bittersweet glimpse into a Winnipeg that has been lost for decades.
My favorite Foote photo is perhaps a wide angle shot of the 1939 royal procession at the SE corner of Main and Higgins.
The high energy of the period is captured with incredible clarity in the sea of curious royal onlookers, as well as the meticulous and ornate signage that decorates every storefront in the frame.
Even the dampened streets add to the intrigue of the scene, reinforcing the notion that Winnipeg was, once upon a time, a gleaming centre of commerce, industry, and glamour. Foote's Winnipeg is as photogenic as any city in the world.
Significantly, little of the architecture in the frame remains today.
Decimated by good intentions in the name of urban renewal (arguably falling short of the mark), all that's left of the dynamism and joy of the corner is Foote's haunting, timeless photograph.
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Bryan Scott is a Winnipeg-born photographer and graphic designer. His website winnipeglovehate.com features daily photos of the city's good, bad, and sometimes ugly sides. In 2010 he self-published a book version of the blog, Winnipeg Love Hate: Selected Photographs.