If you’ve spent any time in a kitchen or watching cooking shows you’ve probably heard people use the expression “from scratch.” If someone tells you, for example, that they’re making a sauce from scratch, you understand that to mean that they’re starting from the very beginning and not using anything premade in their recipe. The origin of this expression is not the kitchen, however, but rather the racetrack.
In racing in the past the common practice was to scratch a line in the ground to indicate the starting line. Competitors would start behind this line unless they had a handicap, in which case they would get to start ahead of it. You can see how this would give rise to the modern version of the expression “starting from scratch,” meaning starting from the beginning with no advantage.
On your next visit to Fort Edmonton Park head to 1905 Street, where you might get the chance to meet Alex Decoteau, Canada’s first Aboriginal police officer, and a record breaking runner! Maybe he’ll even challenge you to a race!
Fort Edmonton Park will reopen in May for the 2017 summer season.