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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

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.

City clippings files

This sub-series consists of over 2000 clippings files related to business units in the City of Edmonton. It also includes files on municipal elections, mayors and council, City facilities and parks, roads, utilities, unions, awards, programs and services, and neighbourhoods.

General clippings files

This sub-series consists of over 14,000 clippings files that relate to a variety of topics. These include, but are not limited to: buildings, businesses, cultural communities, events, festivals, industry, organizations and clubs, rural areas, schools, and sports.

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

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

Edmonton Historical Board

This sub-series consists of records created by the Edmonton Historical Board and includes photos taken at awards ceremonies (1975-1986), plaque unveilings (1982-1985), photos taken for the 1982 book Edmonton’s Threatened Heritage, and photos taken of EHB plaques and the buildings they are affixed to between 2006 and 2011. This subseries also contains a copy of every recognition award the Board handed out from 1975 to 2017.

EHB awards nights

  • 1975 (EA-258-1 to 20)
  • 1978 (EA-20-5507 to 5519)
  • 1981 (EA-20-7226 to 7245)
  • 1982 (EA-20-7205 to 7219)
  • 1983 (EA-20-7248 to 7263)
  • 1985 (EA-20-7314 to 7329)
  • 1986 (EA-20-7355 to 7396)

Plaque unveilings:

  • Alex Taylor School and Transit Hotel, 1981 (EA-20-7185 to 7204)
  • Cairn at The Hermitage, 1983 (EA-20-7246 to 7247)
  • Reed’s China and Gift Shop [?], 1985 (EA-20-7330 to 7334)

Photos for Edmonton’s Threatened Heritage, 1980
(EA-20-7220 to 7225)

Photos of book launch for Gateway to the North, 1984
EA-20-7298 to EA-20-7313

Photos of buildings and plaques, 2006-2011
EA-792-1 to EA-792-517

Edmonton Historical Board

City of Edmonton Archives

This sub-series contains records created through the operation of the City of Edmonton Archives. This subseries also includes photos taken by Archives staff of buildings related to Edmonton's history, the Archives facilities and staff, and photographs of Paul Kane sketches taken at the Edmonton Art Gallery.

Paul Kane sketches (originally created 1846)

  • EA-20-126 to EA-20-140

Heritage buildings and streetscapes

  • EA-20-52 to EA-20-124
  • EA-20-141 to EA-20-174

Photos of Archives facilities and staff

  • EA-155-14 to EA-155-22 (see G.P. 732-1976)
  • EA-746-1 to EA-746-101

The City of Edmonton Archives

Cemeteries

This sub-series consists of minutes, reports, correspondence, burial ledgers, monument and burial applications, agreements, and other records relating to the various functions performed by cemeteries operated by the City of Edmonton.

Most early cemeteries in Edmonton were private or created by religious organizations. It was not until 1914 that the City established Beechmount Cemetery as the first municipal graveyard. At this time there were three other private cemeteries operating within Edmonton's city limits, including Edmonton Cemetery, Mount Pleasant Cemetery, and Little Mountain Cemetery.

The Edmonton Cemetery Company was formed in 1886 and received a charter in the same year. It was a limited stock company with no dividends issued to stockholders. The Board of Directors consisted of many of the city's prominent men including Matt McCauley, Alex Taylor, George D. K. Kinnaird. The company acquired land from the Hudson's Bay reserve and established the grave yard south of 107th Avenue between 117th and 119th Streets. Later acquisitions expanded the grounds west and northward. In 1922 a large expansion to the west included a large reserve for a military field of honor around a Cross of Sacrifice, similar to those found in Europe, erected by the Veterans War Graves Commission. In 1932 a neo-classical Mausoleum was built on the north side of 107th Avenue. By the 1960s issues of financial viability and the need for perpetual care prompted the company to initiate negotiations to surrender their charter to the city. The transfer occurred in 1965.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery was a private burial ground in Strathcona. The first burials were in the 1890s, with the earliest marker showing 1893. The Strathcona Cemetery Company formed in 1900 to administer the cemetery. The City of Edmonton took over operation of this cemetery in 1941.

Little Mountain Cemetery was formed in 1895 as a church graveyard. Land was donated to Little Mountain Cemetery Company in 1900 and it became a public burial ground. After decades of financial struggle, the records were transferred to the City in 1981, and the City took the cemetery over in 1985.

As time progressed the City required more land for cemeteries. In 1972 the City purchased land off St. Albert Trail north of 137 Avenue. It was officially named Sturgeon Heights Memorial Park in 1986, then renamed Northern Lights Memorial Park in 1987. The first burial there occurred in 1989. In 1985 a piece of City owned land was chosen for the site of a future cemetery. It was officially named South Haven Cemetery in 1987 and opened the following year.

The most recent cemetery to come under the City's control is Clover Bar Cemetery, which was established in 1901 behind the Clover Bar Church. Homesteader W.H. Wilkinson donated his land for the cemetery and he and nine other local residents formed a cemetery company. The City of Edmonton took over the running of this cemetery in 1995.

The Health Department was responsible for cemetery operations from 1914 until 1929, at which time responsibility was transferred to the Engineering Department. In 1947 the newly created Parks Department took control. The Parks Department evolved to become the Parks and Recreation Department in 1962, and later the Community Services Department in 1997.

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