EdHGIS: 1914 Fire Insurance Maps & Google Streetview
The 1923 image below is a perfect example of why archival photographs and documents should be geotagged in a GIS environment. This is why I completed my EdArch pilot project in summer 2012 and later worked on the very similar Edmonton HGIS project at the University of Alberta.
The Glenbow Archives’ original description for the image below focused on the tractor and only briefly mentioned the Big 4 Transfer Co (“Cockshutt – Fordson tractor and plow. Big 4 Transfer.Edmonton, Alberta.”). Thankfully I now know that this company had been in the Potter Block and was able to figure out where the photo was from.
Throughout doing the Edmonton HGIS Project I had tried to locate a photo showing the area of today’s city hall, but had no luck. At that point I was unaware of the Big 4 Transfer Co and certainly would not have used “tractor” as a search term. Nobody would…
So, for your enjoyment, the area of today’s City Hall and Churchill Square…
The image below shows numerous houses that used to be on the site of Edmonton’s city hall along with: 1. Queens Avenue School ; 2. Potter Block ; and 3. the later site of the 1960s CN station and tower.
EdHGIS: 1914 Fire Insurance Maps & Google Earth Imagery
In 1905 the Canadian Northern Railway (CNR) built a station at 104 Ave and 101 Street. Later, in 1928 an additional railway depot was built east of the old station at 100 Street. The 1905 station was torn down in 1953 and in 1966 the front of the 1928 station was replaced with CN Tower but part of the rear (office) section from the 1928 station remains to this day! You can see the 1905 station and the entire 1928 station (front and rear) in the photo below.
1905 and 1928 Stations: Circa 1940s
1928 Station: Circa 1930s
Here is the 1928 CNR station again, this time halfway through its lifetime. As, you can seen, the Queen’s Avenue School is right next to it. I went to high school at a school where train tracks were nearby, but not this close! One has to wonder how much of a distraction it must have been to study right next to one of Edmonton’s major rail terminals…