Telephone Department

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Telephone Department

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Description area

Dates of existence



The Telephone Department was established in 1904 when the City purchased the Edmonton District Telephone Co from Alex Taylor for $17,000. The Telephone Department was responsible for providing telephone service to Edmonton, including operators, cable installation and repairs, line installation and repairs, switching stations, billing, and providing and servicing private and public telephones.

The Province of Alberta passed the Telecommunications Act in 1988, which allowed municipalities to provide telecommunications services and products through a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation, but not through a City department. As a result the Telephone Department was dissolved in 1989.

On January 1, 1990 the Edmonton Telephones Corporation, also known as ED TEL, was incorporated. The sole shareholder was the City of Edmonton, and it was overseen by a Board of Governors who were appointed by City Council for two year terms.

ED TEL fulfilled the following functions: providing basic services; providing other telecommunication services and services pertaining to telecommunications; researching and consulting in telecommunications; purchasing, constructing, extending, maintaining, manufacturing, operating, leasing to and from others, and otherwise acquiring and disposing of systems, including private communications systems; and manufacturing, repairing, buying, selling, leasing to and from others, and otherwise trading in goods, merchandise and services pertaining to telecommunications.

ED TEL was sold to Telus on March 10, 1995 for just over $470 million.


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City of Edmonton Archives

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  • Clipboard

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  • EAC

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