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Hockey, Hospitality & Heidi's: The 3 H's of Legal

Venturing off the well-trodden path and onto the road less traveled has always been my preferred mode of exploration. It's in these lesser-known corners of the world that hidden gems await discovery, beckoning with promises of authenticity and charm.

This past long weekend, as families flocked to popular destinations, I found myself drawn to the small town of Legal, Alberta, nestled 3kms east of Highway 2 in Sturgeon County.

Legal Mayor Trina Jones

My journey to Legal was prompted by a promise made to Mayor Trina Jones during a Cross Border Interview. Despite my inability to visit Legal in 2023, I was determined to honour my commitment and explore this community in 2024. Little did I know that my visit would uncover warmth, community spirit, and nostalgia that left an indelible mark on me.

Arriving in Legal, the streets seemed to exude a sense of quietude, perhaps a characteristic of Sunday in a small town or indicative of a deeper communal rhythm. Yet, as I met with Mayor Jones and embarked on our tour of the town, it became apparent that Legal was anything but dormant. Our first stop was the nearly 70-year-old hockey arena, a beloved community hub teeming with life and activity.

The Legal Arena will be demolished and replaced starting on March 18th, 2024

Here, amidst the comings and goings of families and athletes, I witnessed the heartbeat of Legal – a town deeply rooted in its hockey culture. Yet, looming over this bustling scene was the knowledge that change was soon on the horizon. The impending demolition of the arena, scheduled to start on Monday, March 18th, and marks the end of an era for Legal. However, Mayor Jones spoke with optimism about the future, detailing plans for a modernized facility set to open in Fall 2025.

As we strolled through the streets, it was evident that Legal's identity was intertwined with its pastimes, its people, and its resilience in the face of change.

A stroll through Legal's streets reveals a vibrant tapestry of murals, each a testament to the town's rich history and diverse community. From tributes to pioneer settlers to celebrations of Francophone heritage, these colourful artworks breathe life into Legal's streets, serving as poignant reminders of the town's enduring spirit.

Amidst our explorations, my sweet tooth led me to Heidi's Haus, a charming candy store nestled along 50th Ave. Stepping inside, I was enveloped in a world of pure imagination, each shelf adorned with treats from around the globe. Heidi herself, the Willy Wonka of Legal, greeted me with infectious enthusiasm, sharing stories of her beloved candy store and the town she calls home. It was a delightful encounter that encapsulated the essence of Legal – a place where history meets hospitality, and where sweetness abounds in both sugar and community spirit.

In Legal, I discovered more than just a small town off the beaten path; I found a community united by its past, its present, and its unwavering sense of belonging. Here, amidst the countryside, families gather to celebrate milestones, neighbours come together to cheer on their local teams, and visitors are welcomed with open arms and sweet treats.

Legal is not merely a destination; it's a journey to a true communtiy, a testament to the enduring allure of small-town life, and a reminder that sometimes, the greatest treasures are found down at the ol' Hockey Rink.


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