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Archival description
City of Edmonton Archives Subseries
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Commissioners' Reports (1906-1932)

The files in Sub-series 10.1 consist of an accounts ledger (1909-1920); Commissioner's reports to City Council (1923-1928); City of Edmonton monthly Departmental reports and statistics (1927- April 1932); and City of Edmonton Engineering Department summary of revenue and expenditures (1923, 1925-1927). Note that duplicates of these reports are also found in RG-11 Series 10.2, with the monthly Departmental reports and statistics and Engineering Department summaries often attached as addendum to the Commissioner's reports

Archives Committee

This sub-series consists of one file created by Albert Edward Ottewell, Chairman, and one file created by Alfred Russell, Secretary. The files contain correspondence relating to the acquisition of information about establishing a civic archives committee, draft and final minutes, and reports.

The subseries contains the following two files:

  • File 1 - Chairman's Files (1938-1944)
  • File 2 - Secretary's Files (1938-1940)

Archives Committee

Commissioners' Reports (1906-1965)

Reports beginning in this sub-series date from 1906 and continue through December of 1965. The reports, along with any supporting attached documentation, provide a fascinating reflection of the growth of Edmonton in these formative decades, as well as referencing the broader social milieu. Both World Wars are evident in reports concerning Victory Bond sales and returning soldiers’ assistance while the Great Depression of the 1930s is evidenced in those Commissioner reports discussing the efforts of a local Relief Department and programs such as the Farm Relief settlement scheme, a ‘Christmas Cheer’ relief initiative, and work calls for the unemployed. Throughout the decades, a program of local improvements is undertaken by the City and referenced in detail with reports on paving roads and sidewalks; extending sewer, power, and water services to newly-established and growing neighborhoods; eradicating noxious weeds, staffing local police and fire departments; managing a growing City workforce; and operating the Power Plant and setting up street lighting. Together with countless other topics these reports help illustrate the growth and management of the City of Edmonton. Numerous reports discuss City taxes; the purchase of Hudson’s Bay Company reserve land for City businesses and residential areas; the establishment and extension of hospital facilities, telephone services, and incinerator operations; the Exhibition Grounds and the Prison Farm; and the writing of bylaws to help manage it all. Transportation is often discussed in the Commissioners’ reports, whether it be local systems such as the Edmonton Street Railway, the Edmonton Interurban Railway, and the Edmonton Incline Railway; or nationally established companies including the Grand Trunk Pacific and the Canadian Northern Railways. City department reports and financial figures are regularly submitted as part of the Commissioners’ data gathering for their reports, and business tenders, contracts and equipment costs, and service extensions to all areas of Edmonton are discussed and referenced in the various Commissioners’ reports. Many reports refer to individual Edmonton citizens who may be buying or selling property, challenged for being in tax arrears, applying for various business licenses, or registering complaints related to City management, etc. A section of the Commissioners’ reports are often devoted to answering aldermanic inquiries, reflecting the concerns of the wider Edmonton citizenry. A scan of the file titles listed in the series finding aid will serve to illustrate the breadth and richness of the Commissioner’s Reports in documenting the growth and management of the City of Edmonton.

The reports dating from 1906 to 1918 are sequentially numbered within a calendar year, with renumbering beginning at number 1 (usually in late December or early January) of the calendar year; an annual index to the reports is sometimes included just prior to the first report of the year. The 1906 to 1918 reports are consistently single-topic reports, but several Commissioner's reports may be presented at the same City Council meeting. A reference to the City Council meeting at which the Commissioner’s report is presented is included in the finding aid listing. Note that Commissioners’ reports dated from 1919 and 1920 are located with RG-8.10 as part of the Special Committee reports of the City Clerk. The reports within the 1906-1918;1921-1965 time period are quite complete, with only the occasional numbered report not included.

The Commissioners’ reports in the 1930s and later years are much larger, as several topics are discussed as sub-sections of a single report. These later reports often contain more extensive documentation, with letters, City Departmental monthly reports, and supporting information accompanying the Commissioners’ reports. These reports also often include handwritten annotations noting when the report was presented to City Council, and any resulting actions or decisions taken.

Oversized items included with the reports have been removed and stored separately; these primarily consist of architectural plans and blueprints, and Edmonton lot maps. The files in an earlier accession of Commissioner’s reports (sub series 10.1) should also be consulted; while the reports listed in sub series 10.1 and 10.2 often duplicate each other, the supporting documentation within the files may vary. A researcher wanting as full a picture of the topics named in the Commissioners’ reports, should consult both sub series to ensure they see all the relevant attachments.

Parks Administration

This sub-series consists of records relating to the provision, operation and maintenance of green space for Edmontonians such as parks, ravines and forestry, cemeteries, playgrounds, golf courses, and playing fields and the river valley. It includes subjects such as concessions, horticulture, boulevards, and weed and pest control. The records include surveys, reports, and studies relating to City lands.

Archives and Landmarks Committee

This sub-series consists of:

  1. Minutes, 1947, 1957-1966. [files 1-8]

  2. General correspondence files, 1947-1968. These files appear to have been predominantly created by the committee secretaries Margaret Williams (1947-1956) and Garnet Kyle (1957-1962) and may have been continued by M. Gertrude Ragan (1962-1966). [files 9-33]

  3. Topical files, 1930-1970. The contents of these files appear to have been created primarily by Garnet Kyle and M. Gertrude Ragan, committee secretaries. The series may have been created by M. Gertrude Ragan. [files 34-107]

  4. Files found in the collection and repatriated to this subseries. [files 108-118]

  5. Scrapbook, 1951-1966. The contents relate to the activities of the Committee. [file 112]

Archives and Landmarks Committee

Original Ledgers

This subseries consists of the original ledgers used to record information regarding Civic Elections and Census Enumeration throughout the City of Edmonton's polling districts. Each ledger corresponds to one polling district within the City and were carried by City staff to each address in the district to record information regarding the occupants. The ledgers have been separated from the published copies in order to address concerns regarding their preservation.

Access Copies

This subseries consists of published copies of voters' and burgesses' lists produced from the original ledgers used to gather the information from districts across the City of Edmonton. The published copies amalgamate multiple districts into fewer ledgers, usually three to five, depending on the year. The published copies also incorporate any revisions or edits that may have been made to the information drawn from the original ledgers and were used as reference copies.

Golf Courses

The Edmonton Golf Club opened in 1907 with five holes. The City purchased the land (then known as the Golf Links) in 1912 from the Hudson's Bay Company, and began operating the course as a municipal enterprise - the first municipal golf course in Canada. The Golf Links was renamed Victoria Park and dedicated to public use in 1914. The course expanded in the 1920s from 9 holes to 18, and by 1951 the course offered 27 holes, though by 1954 it had reverted to 18 holes when the City needed some of the land for the Groat Bridge. In 1957 the name was officially changed to the Victoria Golf Course. The Victoria Driving Range opened in 1961.

In 1949 work began on a new municipal golf course. Riverside Golf Course opened in 1951 on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River just north of the Dawson Bridge. Rundle Park Golf Course became the City’s third course when it opened in 1976.

The subseries consists of correspondence and financial records relating to golf courses operated by the City of Edmonton. The subseries contains the following files:

  • File 1: Golf Courses - Correspondence (February - December 1962)
  • File 2: Golf: Master Plan - Correspondence (June 1968 - January 1969)
  • File 3: Victoria Golf Course Statistical Revenue Ledger (1952-1967)
  • File 4: Victoria Golf Course Statistical Revenue Ledger (1968-1978)
  • File 5: Victoria Driving Range Cash Book (1961-1970)
  • File 6: Victoria Driving Range Cash Book (1970-1972)
  • File 7: Riverside Golf Course Statistical Revenue Ledger (1980-1981)
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