View the Soo: Glenn-Inspired Webcams

Every morning, I go to the website for SooToday where I visit the webcams for my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. That Glenn Gould, the brilliant Canadian pianist, deep thinker and humanitarian loved getting out of Toronto to escape to the city I call home, has always been for me a special coincidence. The recordings, writings and overall character of Glenn has been very influential upon me and my work.

For as long as I’d been going to the SooToday webcam site, I found three cameras showing different views of the city. There was (and still is) a camera devoted to the intersection of Great Northern Road and Second Line East (which doubles as the in-town portion of the Trans-Canada Highway.) The view of this intersection is my favourite, because it is very near (just minutes away) my parent’s house. A few years ago, I even tried timing my views to when my Mom was headed to work, so that I could see her vehicle going by on the screen and wave to it.

Anyway, that intersection of Great Northern Road and Second Line East would undoubtedly have been one through which Glenn would have driven and, given all of these darned pandemic-related concerns and travel restrictions, it got me to thinking that if Glenn were alive today (at age eighty-nine) he probably would enjoy – if not actually going to the Soo in person – clicking on the webcams.

If you are interested in Glenn and want to have a modest, friendly, casual daily dose of a city he loved, then do check out the webcams from SooToday. Here is the first one, my favourite:

Screenshot of the intersection at Great Northern Road and Second Line East in Sault Ste. Marie. (Photo courtesy of SooToday.com with text added by Penny Johnson.)

Were Glenn not planning to overnight in the Soo, then very likely he would have driven up Second Line East (bottom of above photo where the red car is) and made a right onto Great Northern Road. Staying on that road for the next eight or so hours brings you to Thunder Bay. Of course, some of Glenn’s favourite stops along the way include Wawa and Terrace Bay and many beautiful views along the north shore of Lake Superior.

Were Glenn planning to overnight in the Soo, then he would have turned left onto Great Northern Road in that photo above and headed towards downtown and the waterfront area. As Glenn’s friend, Lorne Tulk once told me, Glenn used to stay at the Holiday in by the water whenever he visited the Soo. I can remember this particular Holiday Inn (it’s now a Delta Hotel) as our family moved to the Soo in 1983 and it was then in operation. I’m not sure when it became a Delta, but for many years it was Holiday Inn with that signature logo on the side of the building (which I quite liked.) I did manage to find a post card photo of it on Ebay which I’ll include below:

The former Holiday Inn on the waterfront near the Station Mall in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. According to Lorne Tulk, Glenn Gould used to stay here. (Photo courtesy of Ebay.)

Of course, today the site houses a Delta hotel as shown in the photo below.

Delta Hotel in Sault Ste. Marie. (Photo courtesy of Google maps.)

At the beginning of the post, I mentioned that there’d been three webcams on the SooToday site. The second was of another view of Great Northern Road, only this one looks southwest and basically is just a couple steps from the first webcam. The view from this second webcam looks like this:

Screenshot of Great Northern Road (southwest) in Sault Ste. Marie. (Photo courtesy of SooToday.com.)

Perched atop the Water Tower, located at the Water Tower Inn, this webcam gives us (on a clear day) a good view of the city. Way off in the distance, just a little bit left of centre, you can see the bridge to the United States (just over the border is Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, a favourite day getaway for many Saulites of both countries.) You can also see the pollution from the Algoma Steel plant and St. Mary’s River.

There has also been a webcam view of the waterfront which, depending on the day, gives a good view of St. Mary’s River and the bridge to the U.S.A. Unfortunately, today when I checked it and made a screenshot for the post, there was steam on the camera lens. So, you’ll just have to check back on the SooToday site for a view when the weather is clear. This Waterfront webcam however, is the one with a view of the Delta Hotel, formerly Glenn’s Holiday Inn. I’ll include the “poor weather” pic below, ha!

Screenshot of an appropriately grey view (how very Glenn) from the Waterfront webcam showing various sites, including the former Holiday Inn building where Glenn used to stay. (Photo courtesy of SooToday.com with text added by Penny Johnson.)

Those three webcams have been up on the SooToday site for several years and, as I say, every morning I enjoy taking a peek. Recently however, they added three more webcams for a total of six. Oh boy! That is the purpose of this post, to let you know that you can view more of Glenn’s old stomping ground. đŸ™‚

The fourth webcam offers a view of the downtown, at the intersection of Queen Street and Bruce Street as shown in the photo below:

Screenshot of downtown Sault Ste. Marie at the intersection of Queen Street and Bruce Street. (Photo courtesy of SooToday.com.)

Finally, there are two more webcams and these are very Gouldian, for they feature views of Lake Superior (Batchewana Bay) and Wawa (Hwy 101 at Hwy 17). I’ll include screenshots below:

Screenshot of Lake Superior (Batchawana Bay). (Photo courtesy of SooToday.com.)
Screenshot of Wawa (Hwy 101 at Hwy 17). (Photo courtesy of SooToday.com.)

So if you’re feeling like you need a little getaway in your thoughts and want to virtually visit some of Glenn’s favourite places, then head on over to the SooToday site to check out the six excellent webcam views of the city and surrounding areas. Once again, the webcams can be found here. Stay safe out there, keep warm and be kind to one another (oh and listen to some of Bach’s music!)

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