2008-10-20

MTM: Old Strathcona - Part II

In hindsight, I should have posted this first. Too late now, so we must just forge ahead. Click on any photo to enlarge.

In 1891, that Calgary and Edmonton Railway Company, decided to complete the line between the two cities. They decided to end the line on the South bank of the North Saskatchewan River for purely greedy reasons. They wanted to create a new commercial centre and take over Edmonton which was located on the North bank. They called the community South Edmonton and set about building the rail station, section house, engine house and an hotel.

This is the train side of the station that replaced the original station.


Unfortunately they are re-doing the roof on the street side, so it is a bit obscured by scaffolding.

From the Old Strathcona website:

Canadian Pacific Railway Station 1908: 8101 103rd Street

Separate waiting rooms for men and women and a smoking lounge were the talk of the town when the station opened in January 1908. Built for $24,000, it replaced a modest wood frame station that had been constructed in 1891.


This is the sign between the new & the old stations, they built the new station in a style similar to that of the old station. (I didn't think to get a photo of it)

From the Old Strathcona website:

Strathcona Hotel 1891: 10302 Whyte Avenue

The Calgary & Edmonton Railway Company built what was first called the Edmonton House Hotel in 1891, making it the oldest wood frame commercial building on Whyte Avenue. Originally the rectangular wood frame building had 45 guest-rooms, a dining room and beer parlour. The old gal still knows how to kick up her heels.

During Prohibition, the Strathcona Hotel served as the Westminister Ladies College.

Two additions, in 1907 and 1913, were built onto the north end of the Strathcona Hotel.



Sign with an archival photo placed by the city designating this as historical.


From Wikipedia:

In 1899, Strathcona was incorporated as a town and named after "Lord Strathcona, a pioneer fur trader and clerk whose real name was Donald A. Smith".[1] It became a city in 1907.

In 1902, alarmed by fires that swept through many prairie communities at the time, Strathcona's town council passed an ordinance requiring that all buildings be constructed of materials like brick that are resistant to fire. This, along with municipal development moving north of the river after amalgamation, means Strathcona has one of the largest stocks of vintage buildings in western Canada.

The University of Alberta was established in the city of Strathcona in 1908.

Today, those parts of the City of Strathcona around Whyte Avenue are known as Old Strathcona.



In the 1970's many of these buildings were threatened with demolition. Fortunately there were a lot of community minded citizens that got together and created the Old Strathcona Foundation and put an end to the threat. In 2007 it was finally given recognition by the province as an historical area.

Next week I will show you some of the more interesting buildings along Whyte Avenue.


My Town Mondays are hosted by Travis Erwin, drop by his blog and read about other places from around the globe.

Edit: for info about Prohibition in Canada go here.

15 comments:

the Bag Lady said...

This was very interesting, sis! Thanks for doing all this research - I'm learning lots!

Leah J. Utas said...

"...constructed of materials like brick that are resistant to fire."
We could do with a lot more of that, especially in houses.
Thanks for this, Reb. It's interesting.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Reb,

Wow! Old Strathcona is a really interesting place. filled with history.

Terrie

Clare2e said...

I don't think I knew that Canada also had Prohibition- how interesting!

Dianne said...

MTM is a cool idea!

Love the first photo, the shadow from the sun makes it even more dramatic.

I love brick structures.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Is there anything nicer than a train ride? I would adore making this trip.

Travis Erwin said...

I'm with Clare2E. I thought prohibition was a U.S. notion.

Reb said...

Sis, thanks. I am learning lots too!

Leah, yes, we certainly could!

Terrie, thanks. Yes, it is a lovely section of the city.

Clare, I didn't realize it either, or had forgotten. If you look up prohibition in wiki, you will find that the U.S. was one of the last places to try it.

Dianne, it is and I am learning so much and not just about my own city. Thanks, I was pleased with how that came out.

Patti, unfortunately CPR no longer has passenger service to Edmonton. CNR might still, but it will take you to the other side of the river.

Travis, I was a bit surprised at that myself. I will have to update my post with a link to the wiki page.

Hilary said...

Very cool post and accompanying photos, Reb. You'd make a fine tour guide.

Reb said...

Gee, thanks Hilary!

lyzzydee said...

Very interesting I love the idea of a plaque with a historical photo on it,

Mary said...

Thanks for the great photos and history of Old Strathcona!

Barbara Martin said...

In the mid-70s I took the CPR dayliner from the Old Strathcona Station to Lacombe and Calgary numerous times. It beat taking the bus or the airbus from the Edmonton Municipal Airport to Calgary.

Great research, Reb.

debra said...

Riding the Canadian Pacific RR has been a dream of mine for many years. Thanks for an interesting post, Reb.

Reb said...

Lyzzydee, yes, the plaques are great, it gives you a better idea of what the place was like.

Mary, thank you.

Barbara, I'll bet it was better! Thanks.

Debra, I would love to take the trip through the Rockies!