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Edmonton Milling Company


Other Names:
Ritchie Mill

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Edmonton Milling Company is a visually prominent structure consisting of several building segments that are between two- and four-storeys in height. It is located on a large city lot on the south escarpment of the North Saskatchewan River valley, facing across the North Saskatchewan River to the historical Edmonton core.

Heritage Value
Constructed in 1892 and the oldest surviving flour mill in the Province, the Edmonton Milling Company is significant because of its association with the early agricultural and industrial development of Alberta. It is associated with early technical innovation, using steam-powered, steel rollers instead of the traditional stone wheels that became pitted when grinding hard prairie wheat.

The Edmonton Milling Company is also significant because of its association with industrial and agricultural development in an urban setting and with the development of the Strathcona community, one of south Edmonton’s oldest settled neighbourhoods, dating from the arrival of the Calgary and Edmonton railway in 1892, which terminated at the North Saskatchewan River Valley. The Edmonton Milling Company was located at the ‘End of Steel’ to take advantage of the rail link with the southern part of the Province. Elevators were added in 1895 and 1902 and the building functioned as a flour mill until 1948.

The Edmonton Milling Company is also significant because of its association with Robert Ritchie who arrived in Strathcona in 1892. Within a year he had built and began operating the flour mill and added elevators in 1895 and 1905. Ritchie also served in local politics as alderman, school trustee, justice of the peace and in 1906 as mayor of Strathcona. The Edmonton Milling Company is also significant as a prominent visual landmark on the south edge of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Its tall profile was readily visible from Edmonton across the river valley and as a landmark signified the end of the Calgary and Edmonton railway line in Strathcona.

Source: City of Edmonton (Bylaw 11554)

Character-Defining Elements
The early industrial architecture of the building is expressed in character-defining elements such as:
-form, scale and massing;
- location at 'End of Steel' on the south escarpment of the Saskatchewan River Valley;
- the configuration of the original 1892-93 three storey rectangular mill building with a regular pattern of fenestration at all floors on both the east and west elevations;
- the configuration of the south four-storey elevator with no windows and a solid appearance on the west elevation as well as a one-storey former unloading and weighing station on the east side;
- the configuration of the north, partial brick-construction, four-storey building;
- the configuration of the west two-storey addition, perpendicular to the original mill building;
- the various configurations of gable and hip roofs.


Street Address: 10170 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 1, Block B, Plan 8022354
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
16 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.523590 -113.494342 Secondary Source NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1997/09/09

Historical Information

Built: 1892 To 1902
Period of Significance: 1892 To 1948
Theme(s): Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s): Industry : Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility
Current Function(s):

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0118
Designation File:
Related Listing(s): 4665-0468
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link: http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/planning_development/historic-resources.aspx
Data Source: City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department, 10250 - 101 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4 (Digital File: 572103)
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