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Canmore’s Engine Bridge vandalized over weekend

CANMORE – A beautiful early morning walk for a local and his 15-month-old daughter turned into one filled with disappointment Sunday (June 23) after the Canmore resident discovered a portion of the trail he loves had been vandalized.
EngineBridge
Signs at the Engine Bridge were vandalized over the weekend. (Submitted Photo: Ben Masters)

CANMORE – A beautiful early morning walk for a local and his 15-month-old daughter turned into one filled with disappointment Sunday (June 23) after the Canmore resident discovered a portion of the trail he loves had been vandalized.

The Engine Bridge that crosses the Bow River on one of the popular Canmore trails was garnished with profanities written in a bright orange spray paint – sprawled across the cement base of a portion of the bridge, covering most of the interpretive signage in the area and some of the wooden panels of the walk way.

“I was walking my baby girl in her stroller, as I normally do while my wife is at yoga, and as I came along the trail from Main Street up to the bridge, I was disgusted to see all of the graffiti on the signage and the bridge,” said Ben Masters.

The signs in the area were covered in the orange spray paint, one with the phrase “F*** you” scrawled across it while another area said “I’m angry,” among other profanities.

RCMP Cpl. Shane Fletcher said in an email that the Canmore detachment received a report the bridge had been vandalized on Sunday.

“Canmore RCMP did receive a report from a passerby [Sunday] regarding the graffiti to the signs near the train bridge,” Fletcher wrote.

“This is certainly very disappointing to see in the community and an investigation is underway to identify those responsible.”

Fletcher later added the RCMP is aware the area is often used as a hangout for Canmore’s youth in the evenings.

“The graffiti at the train bridge is troubling due to the extent of damage,” he wrote.

“This area is a common hangout at night for youth, which the Canmore RCMP are aware and conduct regular foot patrols of the area.”

Meanwhile, the Town of Canmore worked to remove the graffiti Monday morning (June 24).  In an email, Robyn Dinnadge, manager of communications for the Town of Canmore, said a crew worked for hours to repair the damage.

“A memorial bench was sanded and re-stained. Some natural rocks were spray-painted orange and since the colour couldn’t be removed, we used grey paint on the damaged rocks to cover the orange paint,” Dinnadge wrote in an email.

“The orange paint on the concrete bridge abutment was painted grey. The bridge frame was repainted black. We were able to lightly sand some of the wood bridge deck and collected all of the sawdust to prevent any contamination of the water below the bridge. However, we couldn’t sand deep enough to remove all of the paint, so some paint will still be visible until it wears off.”

Dinnadge said the affected signs in the area were also cleaned of the orange spray paint.

“In total, four staff worked or four hours each to repair the damage,” she wrote.

“Spending resources on cleaning graffiti means that those resources aren’t being spent on things that can benefit the community.”

Masters posted his find in a community based Facebook group where members of the community expressed their disappointment.

“This makes me so sick,” one user wrote.

“We just walked this last evening – it was gorgeous. I just don’t get it,” wrote another.

Masters said the entire situation has left him feeling disappointed as well.

“We are extremely lucky to live in such a beautiful area, it’s hard to fathom why anyone would go out of their way to deface such a perfect setting,” he said.

“I felt disappointed. In my four years in Canmore, I had come to realize the mutual respect people here have for their surroundings and their neighbours. I suppose this opened my eyes to what people are capable of, even in Canmore.”


About the Author: Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Previously, she worked for Global News Toronto as a news producer and writer. Follow her on Twitter: @Lans_macleod
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