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8331 - 104 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T6E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/07/27

View of Strathcona Public Library, Edmonton from 104 Street; City of Edmonton, 2005
View of front and side
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Other Name(s)

Strathcona Library

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1912/01/01 to 1913/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Strathcona Public Library is a two-storey brick building with stone detailing and a projecting front entrance. It occupies three city lots in the Old Strathcona Heritage Area, one block north of the area's main thoroughfare, Whyte Avenue, across from the Knox Presbyterian Church and next to Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park.

Heritage Value

Serving as a library, as well as a cultural centre and meeting place, the Strathcona Public Library is significant as the civic and architectural centrepiece of Old Strathcona.

Important for its continuous service as a public library from 1913 to the present, the Strathcona Public Library was also the focal point for community meetings, cultural events and social functions up to the 1950s. Strathcona's rapid residential growth, from its inception as the terminus of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway, led to incorporation as a town in 1899 and as a city in 1907.

The Strathcona Library Society was formed in 1897, although it was not until 1913 that the construction of the Strathcona Public Library was realized. The proposal to build the library was originally a Strathcona initiative, but the project was completed by the City of Edmonton and its administration assumed by the Edmonton Public Library Board following Strathcona's amalgamation with Edmonton in 1912.

The design by Arthur G. Wilson and David E. Herrald, prominent Edmonton architects, in the quiet English Renaissance style, lends a dignity and status to the building befitting its situation in the community. Originally designed as a multi-purpose building, the main floor was used for library services, the upper floor was used as an auditorium, and the basement served as a men's reading room and meeting room.

Strathcona Public Library is a prominent community landmark. It is a familiar building, well used by a large cross-section of Strathcona residents. Its location, adjacent to the open space of Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park, enhances its landmark status by increasing its visibility and strengthening its contribution to the heritage fabric of the historic area.

Source: City of Edmonton (Bylaw: 13467)

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements of the Strathcona Public Library are expressed in such features as:

- form, massing and materials;
- the front facade projection with decorative pediment and oculus window;
- the main entrance doors flanked by Ionic columns supporting an entablature with the words 'PUBLIC LIBRARY' carved into it;
- the curved pediment above the entablature;
- the front entrance wooden panelled doors;
- the stone and brick staircase to the front door;
- the stone detailing such as stone lintels and sills and the horizontal stone banding at the floor and window levels;
- the metal cornice with low stone parapet;
- the two cast decorative metal lights with glass globes;
- the original coal chutes;
- the patterns of fenestration and window styles;
- the projecting exterior wall chimneys;
- the cedar shingle roof;
- the cupola.

- the two fireplaces;
- the decorative arches in the centre of the main room;
- the original wood mouldings, brackets and trims throughout;
- the front entrance vestibule wooden staircase.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (AB)

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type



Architect / Designer

Wilson and Herrald


William Deitz

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department, 10250 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4 (Digital File: 659457-003)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places

West facade


The Strathcona Public Library is a two-storey brick structure in a simplified Classical Revival style, located on three city lots in the historic community of Old Strathcona.


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