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Tipton Investment Company Building


Other Names:

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Tipton Investment Company Building is a single-storey, wood-frame commercial structure. It is clad largely in pressed metal and has a false, boomtown front, consisting of a large parapet with cornice surmounting large display windows and a recessed entryway.
The building is located on the north side of the street at 10428 – 82nd (Whyte) Avenue in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area.

Heritage Value
The Tipton Investment Company Building is highly significant as a contributing element to the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area, long valued as one of Alberta’s foremost historic districts due to its architectural richness and heritage integrity. The building’s heritage value is manifest in its siting, design, construction and historic use, all of which strongly reflect an important early stage in the urban commercial development of one of Alberta’s most significant early communities. The structure is additionally significant for its association with civic politician and businessman John Gaddis Tipton.

Built no later than 1907, the Tipton Investment Company Building contributes significantly to the overall heritage value of the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area. It is an excellent example of the type of modest, wood-frame commercial building that dominated the Whyte Avenue streetscape during the early stages of Strathcona’s development. The building’s large display windows, symmetrical boomtown-style façade, and functional design strongly communicate its original commercial use, while the wood construction distinguishes it from the more substantial brick and masonry structures built during Strathcona’s economic boom (1907-1913). Fire prevention bylaws prohibited any further wood construction in the commercial district of Whyte Avenue after 1907, but many of the older wood buildings endured and remained an important part of Strathcona’s urban landscape for decades. The presence of wood-frame buildings adds to the architectural variety of Old Strathcona, and the juxtaposition of wood and brick construction effectively communicates different stages of Strathcona’s historic growth and economic development. As one of only two remaining structures that retain the simple, wood-frame storefronts in the historic commercial core of Whyte Avenue, the Tipton Investment Company Building is an essential contributing element of the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area, reflecting the early twentieth-century development of one of Alberta’s most significant urban centres.

The building draws additional significance from its association with John Gaddis Tipton, a prominent figure in Strathcona’s early history. As a lawyer, real estate developer, immigration promoter and politician, Tipton is representative of the class of ‘public-spirited’ businessmen and civic leaders who played such varied and important roles in early twentieth-century urban development in Alberta. From at least 1902 until his death in 1914, Tipton was involved in a number of different business ventures in Strathcona, including real estate development, auctioneering, loans and insurance sales. His company (first J.G. Tipton and Son, then reorganized as the Tipton Investment Company) occupied the Tipton Investment Company Building from at least 1911 until 1914. This period of occupation coincides with the most prominent achievement in Tipton’s public life when, as alderman, he was one of the leading figures of the committee that negotiated the amalgamation of Edmonton and Strathcona in 1912. Tipton’s career reflects the varied social, economic, and political roles of Strathcona’s prominent citizens, and the Tipton Investment Company Building reflects his commercial presence on Whyte Avenue in the heart of Strathcona during the town’s pre-World War One economic boom.

Source: Alberta Culture and Tourism, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des 2348)

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage value of the Tipton Investment Company Building include the following:
- location on Whyte Avenue and within the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area;
- its proximity to other historic commercial buildings;
- wood frame construction;
- single-storey mass and form;
- symmetrical boomtown façade;
- carved wood pilasters at the two corners;
- narrow bulkheads and two large display windows flanking the entryway;
- central, recessed entry;
- band of transoms (now sealed and covered) over the windows and entryway;
- prominent, false-front parapet consisting of a pressed metal clad frieze and cornice with modillions;
- exterior walls clad in pressed metal; and
- open plan interior.


Street Address: 10428 - 82 (Whyte) Avenue NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 31, Block 67, Plan I
Contributing Resources: Building

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

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

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.518394 -113.498708 NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type
334341 5932845


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2016/03/08

Historical Information

Built: 1907 to 1907
Period of Significance: 1907 to 1914
Theme(s): Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-1380
Designation File: DES 2348
Related Listing(s): 4664-0073
Heritage Survey File: HS 9128
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Tourism, Historical Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P8 (File: Des 2348)
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