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Old St. Stephen's College


Other Names:
St. Stephen's College
St. Stephen's College (Old)

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Old St. Stephen's College is a four-storey Collegiate Gothic style wood frame building clad in brick veneer. It is located on a large urban lot on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton.

Heritage Value
Historical Value: Old St. Stephen's College, the first building on the grounds of Alberta's first university, played a significant part in the development of the university and the history of higher education in Alberta. Although not directly a part of the University, the presence of this Methodist college was directly associated with the commencement of campus activities. From its completion in 1911 until 1927, theological students lived and studied here. Thereafter, the building was used as a convalescent hospital, a nurses' residence, an army barracks, a male students' residence for the University, and a centre for the administration of historic sites by Alberta's Government.

Architectural Value: Edmonton architect H.A. Magoon designed this 1910-12 building in the Collegiate Gothic style. This choice reflected a trend already well established among academic institutions across North America, and created a precedent followed on the U of A campus until the 1950s.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 132)

Character-Defining Elements
- the Collegiate Gothic style as exemplified by the octagonal five-storey stairwell towers, tudor-arched main entry, stone detailing, crenellated parapets, tall narrow windows, wood tracery in selected windows and red brick veneer exterior finish;
- the location, siting and T-shaped plan of the building;
- the landscape features, including walkways, lawn and elm trees;
- the first floor chapel, with stained glass windows, memorials and oak furnishings;
- the fifth-floor gymnasium, with its large tudor-arched window surmounting the main facade;
- the oak entrance doors and interior details, foyer with pilasters, plasterwork and vault, Dean's office with fireplace.


Street Address: 8820 - 112 Street NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 2, Block 4, Plan 7920335
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
53.524399 -113.521625 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1983/06/02

Historical Information

Built: 1910 to 1910
Period of Significance: N/A
Theme(s): Building Social and Community Life : Education and Social Well-Being
Historic Function(s): Education : Post-Secondary Institution
Residence : Group Residence
Current Function(s): Government : Office or Office Building
Architect: H.A. Magoon

The historical importance of this building derives from the fact that it is the first structure built on the grounds of Alberta's first university that was established in 1908. The University of Alberta was one of the first such institutions in the four western provinces. As a part of the University of Alberta, St. Stephen's College has played an important role in the social and academic life of that institution.


The Tudor style architecture of this building with such features as battlemented parapets and octagonal towers similar in design to St. James Palace in London has made it an imposing landmark on the campus of the University of Alberta.

Site Data Form (September 6, 1977)

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0281
Designation File: DES 0132
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 29047
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 132)
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