Edmonton has a lot of things going for it, but as a visitor you may overlook some of its historical charms in favour of its flashy, splashy tourist-y qualities. Don’t! There are loads of wide, tree-lined streets in neighbourhoods rife with stories of how Edmonton became, well, Edmonton!
Sunny summer days lend themselves well to leisurely afternoons of exploring so come explore with us today as we share the many attractions of the Strathcona neighbourhood.
Strathcona encompasses the super hip area of Whyte Avenue which is a great starting point for an architecture walk. Fuel your journey with a cold beer at Julio’s Barrio or a famous chai tea from Remedy Café before setting off (and maybe after, too!).
Now you are ready and to make your planning a bit easier, each of the locations have been tagged with map coordinates so that you can click and go! Oh, and if you love the idea of historical walking tours, check out our piece on the Oliver neighbourhood, too.
The Margaret Martin residence, while an example of Foursquare architectural style built during Edmonton’s Urban Growth Period (1905 – 1913) is also a testament to the effort of settlers to undertake great change for the hope of better lives. Original owner Margaret Martin, together with husband David and their 11 children travelled to Edmonton in 1899 from North Dakota to settle in Canada’s northwest.
Another example of Foursquare architecture built during the Urban Growth Years, the Bard Residence emerges like a vision of the past amongst low rise apartments and newer houses, right across from the athletic field of the Old Scona Academic School. Like the Martin family, Delmar Bard was a settler from the United States who was orphaned as a baby but grew to be a self-made man in Edmonton through real-estate investments and a Whyte Avenue butcher shop.
Built in the Classical Revival architectural style which emphasizes the romantic elements of Greek and Roman building style, the Duggan Residence from the Urban Growth Period sits on Saskatchewan Drive overlooking the vast river valley. John Joseph Duggan moved west from Ontario at the age of 23 to work for his uncle Cornelius J. Duggan, who established Edmonton’s first lumber yard.
Another from the Urban Growth Period, the Holy Trinity Church is one of the more interesting buildings on the list as it is built in the Clinker architectural style and when you see it, you’ll understand why! The Clinker style is more about the building materials than the architecture as bricks which were overfired and hence got a glazed look of red, green, purple or yellow. In other areas, these bricks were considered trash, but somehow gained popularity in Edmonton.
The Edmonton Historical Board refers to the church as a “clinker brick masterpiece” and it is definitely worth the walk.
For full mapped walking instructions of this tour of Strathcona architecture, click here.
We sourced our historical and architectural information from the Edmonton Historical Board. To add more stops to your walking tour or read more about those profiled here, check out their website.