Subseries 2 - Valley Zoo

Indian Village Storyland Valley Zoo Storyland Valley Zoo Totem Pole and Teepees Storyland Valley Zoo
Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Valley Zoo

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on creator.

Level of description


Reference code

CA EDM RG-21-4-2

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

1.15 m of textual records. - 52 photographs

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Edmonton Zoological Society was created in 1926 by a group of like-minded citizens who established a zoo in Borden Park. In 1930 the City took over maintenance of the zoo at Borden Park, while the Zoological Society maintained an advisory role. By the late 1940s Borden Park was no longer deemed suitable as a location for a zoo, and in 1950 the City began looking at alternative sites. In 1956 the City decided to build a children’s zoo in Laurier Park. By August, 1958 plans had been made to add story-book characters to zoo. The plan was to have a five acre children’s zoo, two lagoons, a bridge, a mini railway, and illustrations with animals of storybook characters. In November, 1958 Council suggested creating a Zoo Advisory Board to help guide the zoo.

The Storyland Valley Zoo opened in summer of 1959 as a small children’s zoo featuring a variety of animals and other attractions, all presented around a storybook theme. The zoo was operated by a supervisor under the Parks Department (1959-1961), with assistance from the Zoo Advisory Board, which provided advice to City Council in connection to projects and policies relating to zoological issues. The zoo became part of the Parks and Recreation Department when it was established in 1962. It continued to be operated independently from the other administrative units within the Department until around 1968, when it became part of the Revenue Programs Division of the Recreation Branch. Other sections included aquatics, arenas, ski hills, golf courses, concessions, and the Planetarium. By 1980 the Zoo had moved to the Major Facilities Branch, where it remained until 1997, when another major reorganization which moved the Zoo to the newly formed Recreational Facilities Branch of the Community Services Department.

Since its creation the Storyland Valley Zoo has continued to grow. In 1963 a master plan was prepared to develop an additional 100 acres, and in 1965 the Winter Quarters were built. In 1973 additional exhibitions were planned, though they were not constructed due to a lack of funds. A feasibility study was conducted in 1975, a new master plan in 1977, and another in 1979. In 1980 an architectural firm was hired to begin planning for a major addition to the zoo, which caused considerable controversy for several years among members of the community and the city at large. In response, a Citizen’s Zoo Advisory Committee was established in October, 1981 to determine and assess concerns around zoo expansion.

The most recent major addition to the zoo was a $43 million project announced in 2010 which saw the remaining storyland elements removed and new state of the art facilities built (the term “Storyland” had been dropped from the name in 1975). The renovation was paid for in part by the Valley Zoo Development Society, a registered charity and not-for-profit that was started in 1988 and which acts in partnership with the City of Edmonton to ensure the continued development of the Valley Zoo.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This sub-series contains records created in the planning and operation of the Storyland Valley Zoo. The material includes correspondence as well as records relating to administration, strategic planning, facility and exhibit development, animal acquisition and care, programming, finances, personnel, external organizations, and media coverage.

The sub-series includes photographs of animals and zoo facilities around 1970 (EA-20-623 to EA-20-633), as well as postcards of Edmonton and photos of Fort Edmonton Park (EA-20-635 to EA-20-641), and historic photographs of the construction of the High Level Bridge, Fort Edmonton, the Legislature, and the Edmonton Ski Club (EA-20-642 to EA-20-645). The subseries also includes a set of postcards depicting the Valley Zoo from ca. 1970 (EA-20-5471 to EA-20-5500).

The file list was arranged by type of record.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

This material was transferred to the City of Edmonton Archives between 1973 and 2015.


The material was arranged according to the filing system of the creator.
The photographs were arranged by the archivist by subject and assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-20.
Some reports were assigned item numbers with the prefix GP.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Some files are restricted under FOIP.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright may apply.

Finding aids

File list available online.
Photographs have been described at the item level; some are available on the online database, with the remainder available in the Reference Room.

Associated materials

Related materials


Further accruals are expected.

General note

Accession numbers: A73-12, A73-66, A77-119, A94-152, A96-2, A2006-184, A2013-127, A2013-138, A2014-133, A2015-99

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

City of Edmonton Archives

Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description (RAD)
Archives Society of Alberta Subject Terms



Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres

Physical storage

  • Box: East B
  • Box: Library
  • Map cabinet: East B
  • Shelf: Library