10800 97 Avenue Northwest
| +1 780-427-7362
Photo by John Newton
Sun - Sat 10am - 5pm
Alberta LegislatureEdmonton is a quintessential boom town, with its fortune tied to commodities from furs to, since World War II, oil. Though it is Alberta's second largest city in population, after Calgary, its central role in the province's economy was recognized in 1904 when it was named the capital, even though it had only some 5,000 citizens at the time. (Today it has a population of over 900,000.) The province's legislature building was constructed from 1907 to 1913 in a grand Beaux Arts style, with granite from Vancouver Island and sandstone from Alberta over a concrete and steel skeleton.
Guided visits to the building include an introduction to the history of the province (I found our guide's digression into the history of the Social Credit Party especially interesting). You'll also learn some basics on Canadian civics. Among the unique aspects of the building that your guide will surely point out is an odd acoustical effect when the fountain at the center of the building is turned on (there is one spot on the third floor where the sound of splashing water appears to be coming from directly over your head, though the fountain is on the building's ground floor). The paintings of King George V and Queen Mary outside the legislative chamber are another highlight. The two royals appear to turn to follow you as you walk in front of them.
John Newton traveled on Collette’s Canada’s Winter Wonderland tour as part of AFAR’s partnership with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more on John’s journey, visit the USTOA blog.