Reason #68 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Alberta Legislature Grounds

By Emil Tiedemann

“Edmonton was still very much a frontier city with many inhabitants living in the roughest of shelters, in tents and wooden shacks,” wrote former Alberta Legislative Assembly Speaker Moragh Macauley in an article celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Legislature Building, in 1987. “The population of the province was, for the main part, made up of homesteaders, recent immigrants who had come to settle the land and make new lives for themselves.” 
 
The grounds are stunning year round, but perhaps more so in the autumn!


It was the turn of the century and Edmonton had just been declared the capital of Alberta, shortly after it was incorporated as an actual city. The first provincial legislative session happened in 1906 at the Thistle Rink, which happened to be the largest building in the whole town at that point. 

Future sessions took place at the MacKay Avenue School (1906-08) and then at a hall in the government-owned Terrace Building (1908-11), until the Duke of Connaught - then Governor General of Canada - officially opened the doors to the pristine Alberta Legislature Building on September 3, 1912. 
 
The pond (& fountain) in front of the century-old Alberta Legislature Building, just on the outskirts of downtown Edmonton.


Located just off the North Saskatchewan and at the edge of downtown, the “Ledge” grounds are tranquil day and night, rain or shine, all year round. There are picturesque fountains and elm trees surrounding the area, leading up to the newly-renovated Federal Building and public plaza where downtown workers now spend their coffee breaks and lunch hours. 

Head inside the Ledge and you might think you’re in some centuries-old European metropolitan, with marble floors and columns, and a majestic fountain installed in 1959 to commemorate the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II. But, more importantly, it’s where the most significant decisions that matter to all Albertans are made, so that each and every one of us are allowed that glorious “Alberta advantage.” #abgov

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