Last winter I needed a little pick me up, some sunshine and fresh air. So I picked a sunny (yet frigidly cold) day to take a break from the lab and enjoy a walk along the Bow River. The river is one of my favourite places in Calgary, might have something to do with growing up in a river city... or my love for Bruce Springsteen.
On the bridge, I quickly noticed the presence of some love locks.
Just a few, but I was thrilled to see them.
I first learned about love locks during a 2011 trip to Budapest. On a walking tour we visited a square near the Danube. Our guide explained that the locks on the fencing were put there by young couples in love. If the couple promised to stay together forever, they would lock the lock, and toss the key in the river. If the couple was maybe something more temporary, say a summer fling, they would keep the keys. And if, our guide joked, it was maybe only a one night thing, you could use a combination lock.
The locks were in my opinion a beautiful expression of love. Travel blogger Cheryl Howard was inspired enough to take a number of stunning photos of some of the locks.
Since then, I have stumble upon love locks on bridges and fences all across Europe. This chilly day last winter was the first time I'd seen any around Calgary, let alone Canada. Although Vancouver does have a bridge I believe with locks.
Oh should I say 'did'.
A quick google reveals the locks have been removed... possibly to find a new home elsewhere.
Well it would appear our locks have gone the same way. Despite a meager start with only a few locks over the winter. Last month I was pleased to see they had multiplied.
This week however, I went for a run along the bow river pathway only to see the locks had been cut away.
I wonder what that means for the eternal love of TW and DM?
It's sad to see them go before the tradition really got a chance to take off. While I understand there are many points of view on the appropriateness of putting locks on public/city property. And in extreme cases the weight of the locks has even lead to damage to the bridges supporting them (see the famous Pont des Arts bridge in Paris). However, Calgary could take a page out of Budapest, and many other city's books. With a piece of public sculpture near the river intended to be adorned by locks. Like the lock trees in Namsan Seoul Tower.
So @Nenshi? What do you think? Why not promote undying love stories in Calgary, and give Kevin and I a place to put our lock where it would never be cut down?
Want to see a place for love locks in Calgary? Why not send Mayor Naheed Nenshi, or your favourite city council member a tweet?