On a cold March day, fourteen of us came to sketch and enjoy the visual and culinary delights of Indian Fusion: The Curry House in the Oliver district.
Indian Fusion represents two levels of heritage in Edmonton – the cultural heritage of Indian and Fijian food and design, and the architectural heritage of the building that it occupies. The owner, Parkash Chhibber, also has a legacy of kindness. There is a sign on the side door of his restaurant inviting those in need to enjoy a free meal.
Sketches by Karen Wall
Sketch by Yvonne Rezek
Sketch by Joanne Wojtysiak
Sketch by Shannon O’Blenes
Sketch by Brenda Raynard
Sketch by Jo-Anne Farley
Sketch by Misty Totman
Sketches by Marlena Wyman
The restaurant stands on part of what was originally the Canadian Northern Railway yards. The Canadian Northern and Grand Trunk Pacific Railways were both later absorbed into the Canadian National Railway. The rail yards were built in 1905, and extended from 101st Street and 116 Street, between 104 Avenue and 105 Avenue. The area extended even further with the Canadian Pacific Railway yards that were located between Jasper Avenue & 104 Avenue, and 109 street & 111 Street.
These extensive rail yards (20 tracks wide) dominated much of Oliver and the western portion of downtown until 1988, when the rail yards were phased out of operation and by 1996, the tracks and most buildings had been removed or demolished. This photo shows the huge extent of the yards ca, 1970.
From CN Tower looking west along 104 Ave. Provincial Archives of Alberta #A1086e
The historic brick building that the Indian Fusion restaurant now occupies, along with its neighbours the Louisiana Purchase restaurant and Privé Nightclub, was built in 1944 alongside the tracks in the rail yard by British American Oil Co. as an oil warehouse, tank storage and pump-room. The smaller brick building to the north of Indian Fusion, which is now the flooring store Urban Timber Reclaimed Wood Co., was originally built at the same time as the B.A. Oil garage. Somehow, both of these buildings survived and now stand as a part of our railway history.
Photo of Oliver Crossing building from Yelp website, Summer 2015
Posted by Marlena Wyman