Strathcona was a city in Alberta, Canada on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. Originally founded in 1891, it amalgamated with the City of Edmonton in 1912.

South Edmonton (1891–1899)
Strathcona is located in Edmonton
Location of Strathcona in Edmonton
Coordinates: 53°31′05″N 113°29′49″W / 53.518°N 113.497°W / 53.518; -113.497
Founded[1]September 25, 1891
 • Town[2]May 29, 1899
 • City[2]March 15, 1907
Amalgamated[3]February 1, 1912
 • Administrative bodyEdmonton City Council
673 m (2,208 ft)

History edit

Population history
Sources: North-West Mounted Police (1895), Town of Strathcona (1899), and Statistics Canada (1901–1911)[1][4][5]

Strathcona's recorded history began in the 1870s. Its first residents were an offshoot of the hangers-on and self-employed contractors who resided near the old Fort Edmonton on the north side of the river. This mixed community of British (especially Orkney), Québécois, Cree and Metis fur trade employees, pioneer farmers, hunters, and their families, was mostly replaced by eastern Canadian pioneer farmers (and land speculators) in the 1880s.[6] This notably included the Papaschase First Nation, who were initially granted approximately 40 square miles (100 km2) of reserve lands in the area through Treaty 6, but were allegedly dispersed in 1888 due to pressure from settlers who wanted to develop the land.[7][8]

The Calgary and Edmonton Railway arrived in 1891, establishing South Edmonton[9] centred on what is now Whyte Avenue. The townsite "Plan I" was registered September 25, 1891.[1] Businesses, at first in quickly-built primitive shacks, some made of logs, provided goods and services to a flood of immigrants from eastern Canada, Britain and continental Europe, U.S. and other parts of the world that came by train to the area. It was thought that "South Edmonton" would overwhelm "Old Edmonton" on the north side but Strathcona's geographic difficulties prevented this. However, South Edmonton was in good enough position for businesses near the railway station to prosper. Over the following 20 years the community's primitive buildings were replaced by more substantial two-storey wood or even brick buildings, many of which exist to this day.[6]

Storefronts along Main Street (later named Whyte Avenue)

On May 29, 1899, South Edmonton was incorporated as the Town of Strathcona, named after Lord Strathcona, Donald A. Smith.[10] Smith was a prominent official in the Hudson's Bay Company and the Canadian Pacific Railway, that operated the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, the community's lifeline.[11] The first mayor of Strathcona was Thomas Bennett. The town's original boundaries included all the numbered river lots between No. 9 and No. 17 south of the river, corresponding to the area from present-day 109 Street in the west to 97 Street in the east and south to University Avenue, an area of 1,000 acres (400 ha).[12][13]

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 fire-resistant materials, such as brick. This, along with the limited municipal redevelopment occurring south of the river after amalgamation, means that Whyte Avenue and the surrounding area has one of the largest stocks of vintage buildings in western Canada.[14]

After becoming a city on March 15, 1907,[2] Premier A.C. Rutherford, Strathcona's MLA, established the University of Alberta in the City of Strathcona in 1908, with the purchase of lands for the campus on city's the west edge. Until the first campus buildings were completed, the university found a home in the Queen Alexandra Public School, still standing on 106 Street, then in the building that is now Old Scona Academic High School.[15]

In the 1911 census, Strathcona had a population of 5,579, while Edmonton had a population of 24,900.[5][16] In anticipation of lower taxes and other benefits of being a larger city, an amalgamation of the two cities was proposed in which Strathcona and Edmonton residents voted 667-96 and 518–178 in favour of the merger respectively.[17] The amalgamation of the two cities went into effect on February 1, 1912, resulting in increased policing and more affordable transit for Strathcona.[17] At the time of the merger, Strathcona's boundaries were the North Saskatchewan River to the west and north, 91 Street to the east, and a combination of 62 Avenue and 68 Avenue to the south, with 111 Street comprising the brief jog between the two avenues.[2] Whitemud Creek comprised the brief portion of the city's west boundary between 68 Avenue and the river.[2] This included land annexed by Strathcona that was not developed until after the Second World War, well after the merger.[6]

Today's neighbourhood of Strathcona covers the portion of the former City of Strathcona lying east of 107 Street, north of Whyte Avenue, west of the Mill Creek ravine and south of the North Saskatchewan River valley.[18] Also, the historic commercial core of the former City of Strathcona has been designated as the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area.[19]

Government edit

Mayor of Strathcona
StyleMayor, His Worship
Member ofStrathcona City Council
Term length1 year
FormationMay 29, 1899 (1899-05-29)
First holderThomas Bennett
Final holderArthur Davies
AbolishedFebruary 1, 1912 (1912-02-01) (12 years)
SuccessionMayor of Edmonton
Thomas Bennett (left) was the first mayor of Strathcona from 1899–1900, and John J. Duggan (right), served from 1901–03 and 1908–10.

Strathcona had seven mayors over nine stints in its over 12-year history as an incorporated municipality prior to amalgamating with the City of Edmonton in early 1912.

Mayors of Strathcona
Mayor Term began Term ended
Thomas Bennett[1] 1899 1900
Robert Ritchie[20] 1900 1901
John Joseph Duggan[21] 1901 1903
John James Mackenzie[22] 1903 1904
Arthur Davies[23] 1904 1905
William Henry Sheppard[24] 1905 1906
Nelson Darius Mills[25][26] 1906 1908
John Joseph Duggan[27] 1908 1910
Arthur Davies[23] 1911 1912

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Gilpin, John Frederick (1978). The City of Strathcona, 1891-1912 (MA (History)). University of Alberta. Retrieved 2021-11-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e History of Annexations (PDF) (Map). City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  3. ^ "Census History". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "Table IX: Population of cities, towns and incorporated villages in 1906 and 1901 as classed in 1906". Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906. Vol. Sessional Paper No. 17a. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1907. p. 100.
  5. ^ a b "Table I: Area and Population of Canada by Provinces, Districts and Subdistricts in 1911 and Population in 1901". Census of Canada, 1911. Vol. I. Ottawa: Government of Canada. 1912. pp. 2–39.
  6. ^ a b c Monto, Tom (2011). Old Strathcona, Edmonton's Southside Roots. Edmonton: Crang Publishing.
  7. ^ "Highlights of Papaschase's History". Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  8. ^ "A Brief History of the Papaschase Band" (PDF).
  9. ^ "History: Citizens' Concern Creates the Old Strathcona Foundation". Old Strathcona Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Herzog, Lawrence (October 24, 2002). "Another Look at Strathconas Pioneer Merchants." It's Our Heritage Vol. 20 No. 43. Published online by Real Estate Weekly.
  11. ^ McDonald, Donna (1996). Lord Strathcona : a biography of Donald Alexander Smith. Toronto: Dundurn. ISBN 1-55002-266-0. OCLC 37269124.
  12. ^ "Strathcona - Edmonton Historical Board". Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  13. ^ "Map of the City of Strathcona, Province of Alberta - City of Edmonton Archives". (Originally Created by Robert W. Lendrum; J.H Davies.). 1907. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  14. ^ "Strathcona Walking and Bike Tour" (PDF). City of Edmonton. Alberta Culture and Tourism. 2017. ISBN 978-1-4601-3244-9.
  15. ^ Samuel, George (1953). "University of Alberta Alumni Association, History Trails, Founding".
  16. ^ "City of Edmonton Population, Historical" (PDF). City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department. August 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  17. ^ a b "Feb. 1, 1912: Edmonton expands with annexation of Strathcona". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network Inc. February 1, 2013. Archived from the original on February 15, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  18. ^ "Welcome to Edmonton Maps". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  19. ^ "Alberta Register of Historic Places". Government of Alberta, HeRMIS (Heritage Resources Management Information System). Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  20. ^ "Mayor Ritchie of Strathcona". The Edmonton Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. December 7, 1900. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  21. ^ "Strathcona Elections". The Edmonton Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. December 13, 1901. p. 7. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  22. ^ "Municipal Elections". The Edmonton Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. December 15, 1903. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Aubrey, Merrily K. (2004). Naming Edmonton : from Ada to Zoie. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780888644237.
  24. ^ "Ald. May Elected". The Edmonton Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. December 12, 1905. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  25. ^ "Strathcona". Edmonton, Alberta. December 12, 1905. p. 1. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  26. ^ "Strathcona News". The Edmonton Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. December 1, 1907. p. 2. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
  27. ^ "Strathcona News". The Edmonton Bulletin. Edmonton, Alberta. May 27, 1908. p. 2. Retrieved February 15, 2014.