First Stop: Bruderheim

Shell Oil Refinery, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Photo credit: Ann Chen
Shell Oil Refinery, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Photo: Ann Chen

Standing on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta and looking northeast, a cluster of twinkling lights amidst tall silvery smokestacks puffing out steam and smoke rises up out of the horizon.

Driving northeast towards those lights, following along the North Saskatchewan River, you will pass through the industrial city of Fort Saskatchewan, where petrochemical processing plants and bitumen upgrading facilities line the roads heading out of town. Train tracks run alongside the road and cylindrical rust stained train cars sit dormant, sausage linked together, waiting to be filled with petrol products and sent along their way. The last few big box stores fade behind you as the landscape empties out into fields, telephone poles, and spaced apart industrial facilities. The roads empty out too. A few passenger vehicles whiz by but the traffic is mostly industrial. Here on the border of Bruderheim and Fort Saskatchewan is where the Northern Gateway Pipeline will start. I am on a reconnaissance mission to aerially map, using kites or weather balloons, the beginnings of the pipeline.

Range Road 214, Fort Saskatchewan, AB. Photo: Ann Chen

Driving along the road, I feel out of place in my station —> Read More Here


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