ALSA displays 99-year-old city map.

An ALSA member, answering an ad for used golf clubs, recently discovered the 6.5’ x 7.5’ map hanging in the seller’s basement. He called the Association, which purchased the map for preservation in their collection. ALSA Executive Director Brian Munday says that, "For us, the map means a great deal because of its size, age and that it was two of our charter members who prepared it." The black and white map shows Edmonton as it planned to be, just prior to the collapse of a speculative land boom. It includes dozens of neighbourhoods that would take years to be built, if they ever were. One historian has referred to maps of this period as, “a blueprint for a Greater Edmonton.”1

Also on display is a canvas-backed, dissected map of the Canadian prairies by the Department of the Interior. Dated 1905, the map is a “special edition showing even-numbered sections finally disposed of.”2 The government produced these homestead maps at least until the late 1920s. This copy bears the name of Department Minister Frank Oliver, who was to become embroiled in considerable controversy over his disposal of First Nations and Crown lands in the  west.

The ALSA offices also house the Nicholas Hilburn Bradley Historical Display, a collection of antique surveying equipment. Two cases hold a variety of instruments, most of which I couldn’t identify accurately. I thought the little LEGO® guys were a nice touch.

The public are welcome to view the maps and instruments, but are asked to call first. The ALSA offices are at 10020 - 101a Avenue (Phipps - McKinnon Bldg.), Suite 1000. Please call ahead at 780 - 429 - 8805.



1 Gilpin, John F. Responsible Enterprise: a History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board Co-operative Listing Bureau Ltd., 1997) p. 16. A much-reduced copy of this map is posted here.
2 “Finally” as in ‘conclusively’ and not ‘at long last.’