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Most Canadian lawn ornament ever, a metre-tall metal beaver, stolen from neighbourhood bench in Edmonton
Janet French
First posted: Saturday, January 23, 2016 02:13 PM EST | Updated: Sunday, January 24, 2016 12:58 AM EST
EDMONTON - A metre-tall metal beaver surely didn't walk away from his longtime perch in Inglewood.

It would have taken a truck or heavy equipment to uproot the missing landmark street art and bench from David and Susan Holdsworth's front yard.

"I hope someone will return the beaver back to its lodge," David Holdsworth said Saturday.

The Holdsworths built and installed the bench in 2007 when they bought the property, and commissioned whimsical Edmonton artist Joe Renaud to construct the beaver out of scrap metal. Its body is an old propane tank, and its tail, a former propellor.

Another bench with a beaver reading a newspaper sits outside the Holdsworth's previous house on 123rd Street at 113th Avenue.

The first bench went up after David's elderly mother came to visit and her walks around the neighbourhood were cut short when there was nowhere to sit and rest.

Holdsworth, who is an urban designer for the city, put up a bench on the front of his property for passersby to use. It looked boring, he said, so he decided to commission an artist to make a beaver for the bench.

When they bought a new house a few blocks away, it naturally demanded a new beaver.

It's a great way to get to know their neighbours, Holdsworth said. People use the bench all the time and stop to take the beaver's picture.

“I was just disappointed. It wasn’t something for us. It was for everybody," he said.

How the thieves made off with possibly the most Canadian lawn ornament ever leaves Holdsworth scratching his head. The beaver is welded to the bench, and a support pile extends more than a metre into the ground.

"It was so well secured in the ground," Susan said. "Somebody had to work at it."

The Holdsworths have reported the theft to Edmonton police.

If the tree-chomping friend is gone for good, Holdsworth will ask Renaud to make him another.

jfrench@postmedia.com (external - login to view)
Someone with the right equipment -- or superhuman strength -- uprooted and stole a cedar bench and a metal beaver holding a hockey stick from the corner lot at 11256 125th Street on Jan. 22, 2016. Police are investigating. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Most Canadian lawn ornament ever, a metre-tall metal beaver, stolen from neighbo