The Elf on a Shelf map is online, and you can download it as a PDF by clicking on the map below.
Both my maternal and paternal grandfathers were in the Great War. In 2006 I was in the CBC docudrama “The Great War,” which was filmed in St. Bruno. The following year I was an extra in the Paul Gross film “Passchendaele.” I was fortunate and honoured to have had a part in both productions. One of the many benefits was the knowledge gained from the historians who were advisors to the producers.
The Battle of Passchendaele, which took place during World War I, was a significant and brutal conflict. Here are some interesting facts about it:
1. Location: The battle was fought near the town of Passchendaele in West Flanders, Belgium, from July 31 to November 10, 1917.
2. Mud and Trench Warfare: The battle is often associated with the horrendous conditions of mud and incessant rain. Soldiers on both sides had to contend with waterlogged trenches and extremely difficult terrain.
3. Casualties: The Battle of Passchendaele was one of the bloodiest battles of World War I. It resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to 400,000 deaths.
4. Allied Victory: Despite the high human cost, the Allies, primarily the British and Canadian forces, managed to capture Passchendaele village and secure the area, gaining a strategic advantage.
5. Sir Arthur Currie: General Sir Arthur Currie, a Canadian commander, played a significant role in the success of the Canadian Corps during the Battle of Passchendaele.
6. The Movie “Passchendaele”: The 2008 film
“Passchendaele” directed by Paul Gross is a
Canadian war drama that portrays the events of the battle and its impact on soldiers.
7. Memorialization: The battle is remembered as a symbol of the sacrifices made during World War I, and there are several memorials and cemeteries in the Passchendaele region to honour the fallen.
Once upon a time, in the heart of downtown Kingston, there existed a dark and dirty alley known as Martello Alley. It was a place that most people avoided, a narrow passage that seemed to exist in perpetual shadow, ignored by people who passed by. The alley walls were painted deep brown, and the space was littered with discarded trash.
David Dossett often walked past it on his way to work, casting a sorrowful glance at the neglected passage. He often said to himself, "Why doesn't somebody do something about this?" He harbored a vision of transforming the forlorn alley into a thriving, vibrant space for the community. Finally he decided that, since no one else would step forward, he must be the one to do something. So he embarked on a mission to breathe life into Martello Alley.
His first task was to remove the accumulated trash and debris. He spent one month on his hands and knees painting the asphalt floor with a sponge and a special driveway stain.
Over the course of four months, Martello Alley slowly began to transform. David repainted the faded walls with bright, cheerful colors. The north wall of the courtyard was transformed into "Strasbourg." He created the illusion of a French street by installing panels that resembled doors and windows. These installations made it possible to quickly and elegantly display artwork in the alley during the day, and conceal it at night. He hung strings of fairy lights, transforming the once-dim passage into a magical corridor that glowed with warmth and life. People passing by could scarcely believe their eyes.
The restaurant ajacent to the north wall of the courtyard used that space for their garbage, recycling and kitchen oil. David designed a lighthouse to store the garbage and recycling, and a channel marker to store the grease.
David Dossett had single-handedly turned Martello Alley from a dark, dirty passage into a thriving urban oasis. It had taken him four months of tireless effort, but the results were nothing short of astonishing. The alley had become a symbol of what a derelict space could become when art and creativity is applied.
As the seasons changed and the years rolled on, Martello Alley continued to evolve. It became a beloved destination for tourists and locals alike, a place where people could escape the hustle and bustle of the city and bask in the beauty of urban nature and art. Martello Alley is a testament to the transformative power of one person's vision and determination to make a positive change in their community.
To see the photos of the four-month transformation of Martello Alley, visit this link:
- Amanda's House of Elegance—70 Princess St
- Chit Chat Café—172 Ontario St
- Cooke's Fine Foods and Coffee—61 Brock St
- General Brock's Commissary—55 Brock St
- Kingston Community Arts + Design (KCAD) - 75 Princess St
- Kingston Gaming Nexus - 270 Bagot St
- Martello Alley - 203 B Wellington St
- Martello on Brock—66 Brock St
- Moxie & Mine X Thrifty Girl - 95 Clarence St
- Tara Natural Foods - 81 Princess St
- The Keep Refillery: Kingston—206 Princess St
- Verde—123 Princess St
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Please note: The store will be closed on Sunday October 8 and Thanksgiving Monday.
Kick off this artistic journey with an unforgettable opening night on Friday, October 6th, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Be among the first to explore the stunning artworks, mingle with fellow art enthusiasts, and enjoy light refreshments. It's a celebration of creativity that you won't want to miss.
From October 7th to October 14th, Martello Alley will open its doors daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, inviting you to immerse yourself in the world of art. Whether you're a seasoned collector or simply curious about the diverse expressions of creativity, "Small World Squared" promises something to delight every visitor.
Our talented artists have poured their passion and vision into an extensive array of art pieces. From abstract works that challenge the boundaries of perception to vibrant landscapes that transport you to other worlds, and contemporary pieces that provoke thought and emotion – "Small World Squared" showcases the rich tapestry of human imagination.
One of the distinguishing features of "Small World Squared" is its commitment to making art accessible. Every single piece on display is priced at $300 or less, allowing you to own a unique work of art without breaking the bank.
Martello Alley will be closed on Sunday October 8 and Thanksgiving Monday, giving our artists a well-deserved break. However, the exhibition will continue daily before and after the Sunday and Monday of the Thanksgiving weekend holiday, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore this captivating showcase.
Martello Alley is located at 203 B Wellington Street in Downtown Kingston.
Hope to see you there!
One of our artists, Everdello (Joanne Stanbridge) came up with a delightful telling of the Martello Alley story in pocketbook form. We enjoyed it so much, we thought that we should share it with you. You can find it here. Oh, and if you would like your own copy, signed by the artist, you can get one here.
And if you want to know more about Everdello, you can read about her here.