Logged in as user  [Login]  |
Return to Search Results Printable Version

Emily Murphy Residence


Other Names:
Emily Murphy House

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
Emily Murphy Residence is an early twentieth century, two-storey home located on a single lot in Edmonton's historic Garneau district, close to the University of Alberta. The home features clapboard siding on the first storey, a shingled facade on the second storey, and a clipped gable roof.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of Emily Murphy Residence lies in its association with renowned jurist, social activist, and author Emily Murphy, who lived in this home from 1919 until her death in 1933.

Emily Murphy was a lively, robust contributor to early Alberta's public culture and achieved wide acclaim for her work as a jurist, reformer, and author. Born in Cookstown, Ontario in 1868, Murphy came west with her husband in 1887. She arrived in Edmonton in 1907 and quickly established herself as a formidable advocate for the rights of women and children. Murphy's dedication and competence were recognized in 1916 when she was appointed as a magistrate, the first woman in the British Commonwealth to attain such a post. A decade later, in 1927, Murphy instigated the work of Alberta's "Famous Five" - including Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby - in their effort to have women recognized as persons eligible to hold Canadian Senate positions under the provisions of the British North America Act. The British Privy Council decided in the group's favour in 1929 - a landmark ruling in the legal rights of Canadian women. These pioneering achievements represented only a portion of Murphy's prolific participation in progressive social movements and civic organizations; she held posts as the President of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada (1919-21), the Vice-President of the National Council of Women (1918-26), the Director of the Canadian Council of Child Welfare (1923-27), and the President of the Canadian Women's Press Club (1913-1920), to name only a few. In addition to her social and political achievements, Murphy gained renown for her considerable talents as an author, editor, and book reviewer. Her stories about western Canada, published under the pen name "Janey Canuck," were especially popular and her writing on topical issues like immigration, narcotics, and health proved influential in public discourse.

The Emily Murphy Residence was constructed around 1912 and features materials and design typical of the time. The home features several Craftsman style features, including eave brackets and exposed rafters on the exterior and panelled doors and square staircase balustrades and newel posts on the interior. It was here, in 1927, that the Famous Five met to sign their petition for women's right to be nominated to the Canadian Senate. The building served as student housing and now, appropriately, is home to the University of Alberta's student legal services.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 305)

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of Emily Murphy Residence include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- irregular floor plan;
- clipped gable roof with brick chimney;
- clapboard siding on first storey facade and wood shingling on second storey facade;
- eave brackets, exposed rafters, and wide overhanging open eaves;
- fenestration pattern and style, including original wood frame single-hung and casement windows, Palladian window on second storey, and bay window on east elevation;
- canopy over main entrance with bellcast roof and iron brackets;
- storm door;
- original interior elements, including panelled doors, door hardware, trims, baseboards, fireplace surrounds, and main staircase;
- landscaped residential lot in residential neighbourhood.


Street Address: 11011 - 88 Avenue NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Portion of Lot 3, Plan 832 0281
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

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

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

3 (ptn.)

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.523624 -113.515750 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1977/06/28

Historical Information

Built: 1912 to 1912
Significant Date(s) 1919 to 1933
Theme(s) Governing Canada : Politics and Political Processes
Governing Canada : Security and Law
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Education : Post-Secondary Institution

Home of Emily Gowan Murphy (1868-1933), an author, police magistrate, and member of the famous 'Five Persons' who campaigned for the right of women to be considered 'persons' able to sit in the Canadian Senate. The legal battle was fought to the Privy Council in England, where, in 1929, the women finally won their case. She lived in this house from 1919 until her death in 1933. The house represents the typical frame construction of Edmonton residences of that class during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0512
Designation File: DES 0305
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 28375
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. 305)
Return to Search Results Printable Version

Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve.

Home    Contact Us    Login   Library Search

© 1995 - 2021 Government of Alberta    Copyright and Disclaimer    Privacy    Accessibility