By Carl Silverman
JASPER, ALBERTA (CANADA) – Jasper’s Pool Hall, now the location of Barefoot in the Park and Parkway Gifts, is located across the street from the train station. And though it’s hard to imagine for most people on vacations to this region of Alberta, this little building was a one-stop shot for everything from a buzz cut to cutting the rug. Here stands Otto’s Hall built in 1915. Brothers Closson and Jack Otto had a billiards room on the right, a barber shop on the left and a dance floor upstairs.
Those looking for a little alcohol might have gotten lucky on days the liquor inspector was out of town. And while some came to dance the night away or play a little cribbage, it was also a place where the community pulled together to lend a helping hand: the Ottos would open their hall to the folks of Jasper who pooled their musical talents, time and money for charity events and collected donations for families in need.