The Edmonton Heritage Council is a voice for the city's memory, an active link between historians, educators, heritage organizations, artists, government and entrepreneurs: everyone who seeks to understand where our history meets our future.
We strive to make Edmonton's history and heritage indispensable to newcomers, to those already here, to those unconvinced about the power and resonance of this legacy.
From the personal to the public, our shared heritage is about Edmontonians making a beloved home and a place in the world. The Edmonton Heritage Council is committed to partnerships and projects that:
- provide a forum for analyzing, discussing and sharing heritage issues
- advocate for a vibrant heritage community and heritage programs
- unify Edmonton’s heritage community and give it a voice
- promote the awareness and development of effective, informed and recognized heritage principles and practices
Call for City Curiosities - Volunteer Brainstorming [UPDATED]
We're hard at work solidifying content for our 2014 Curiosities Bus Tours. In the meantime, we're looking for new themes and stories to feature in the future!
Our latest volunteer opportunity is a Call for Curiosities, wherein we focus less on sussing out unique locations and more on extracting the themes and narratives that bind them. Our bus tours have a goal of highlighting the unique stories of Edmonton's heritage and pointing to the lesser-known aspects.
All we need is your attendance at one of the two meeting below at the EHC office in the Prince of Wales Armouries, and your willingness to talk about the stories you've always wanted to uncover in the city. As usual, there will be snacks!
H.V. Shaw Building
One hundred years ago, Harry Victor Shaw moved forward with plans to construct a new building to house his successful cigar-making business. In 1914, he was renowned as Edmonton’s cigar baron, and his venture churned out more than one million cigars a year under brand names including La Palma, Major Reno and La Consequentia. The cigars were hand rolled, using raw materials imported from Havana, Cuba, and Sumatra, Indonesia.
Harry Shaw’s love of cigars started when he was a youngster growing up in Minnesota. Drawn by the promise of opportunity, he and new wife Jessie Ann arrived in Edmonton in 1901.
Herzog on Heritage: A. Macdonald Building
We often drove past when I was a kid, and I remember being captivated by enormous signs painted on its east-facing wall. "Macdonald's Consolidated" the biggest one yelled, and I wondered what it was that this guy named Macdonald had consolidated in that big old red brick place.
"Groceries," my dad said, but it didn't look like any grocery store I had ever seen.
All these years later, the signs are weathered and worn but the old four-storey warehouse, left vacant in the 1990s and seemingly destined to become a footnote in history, has been rejuvenated as condominium apartments. It's a fabulous resuscitation of a richly historic structure that helped feed a growing city for more than 50 years.
Edmonton Curiosities Bus Tours
On November 16th, an ETS bus filled with Edmontonians braved the cold and wet winter weather to jump on board our inaugural Edmonton Curiosities Bus Tour. It was the first of two tours in this year's pilot run and we thank all those who made it possible. We heard intriguing historical tales of Edmonton's queer history from Michael Phair, and compelling stories about various local roadways and neighbourhoods from Kathryn Ivany. We appreciate the hospitality of the Lingnan Restaurant, the University of Alberta Museums, and the Edmonton Civil Defense Museum, all of whom donated their time and passion to ensuring that these stories are told.
Furthermore, we appreciate the feedback from all of our attendees, who will help us improve and refine the tour for our future adventurers.
For more information about the second Curiosities Bus Tour pilot scheduled for November 30th, please click the link below.
Herzog on Heritage: Westmount School
Built on land that was part of the old Norris farm and purchased from the family for $3,200 in July 1909, Westmount School was commissioned in 1912 as the neighbourhood was in its infancy. Back then, the area north of 111th Avenue and west of 124th Street was almost solid bush with a few large ponds.
Two temporary schools, opened in 1909, were meeting the demand, but they weren't enough. There was a two-storey wooden school on 128th Street between 110th and 111th avenues, and another one on the second floor of a building in 124th Street.