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Shoe Tree

An oddity in Old Strathcona

  • Parks
  • Fun

It's a large elm tree in Old Strathcona.

There are more than 50 shoes, boots and other pieces of footwear among its branches.

You can find it just east of the corner, at 102 Street and 83 Ave.

Google map

Many of the shoes have had their laces tied together before being tossed up and getting lodged in the branches.

Who's creating the tree?

• It could be one person.

• Perhaps it's a group of connected people.

• Maybe it's just catching on, as people pass by and want to add a pair to the branches.

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The act of tossing shoes upwards to hang on power lines, phone cables or on tree branches isn't new.

There are tree adorned with shoes all over the map.

Currently, there's 45+ shoe trees in the United States.

There are many theories about why people do it:

• Marking a Milestone

Commemorating the end of a school year or a forthcoming marriage or someone leaving the neighbourhood

• Bullying

Stealing a pair of shoes and tossing them up high so they can't be retrieved

• Late Night Tomfoolery

A practical joke of people out partying

• Denotes Death

The shoes belonging to the deceased person tied together and tossed up

• Drug Trafficking

A marker of where drugs can be bought or sold

• Just cuz

No reason at all


Chicago-based public radio, WBEZ reported on shoes tossed on power lines, listen here

Written By Sarah Hoyles

Sarah is a highly motivated, organized and creative writer, communicator and journalist. She is experienced in creating content that thrives in traditional and new media settings. Sarah is curious about the world and wants to share what she learns in an accessible, timely, informative and entertaining manner.


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