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Strathcona Garage


Other Names:
S'cona Apartments
S'cona Garage

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Strathcona Garage is a two-storey red-brick building situated on a single lot in the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area at 10505 – 81st Avenue. The building features a crenelated parapet roof and contrasting sills, lintels and name plates (“S’cona Garage”) on the north and east elevations, while the north elevation also features a date stone (‘1912’) and paired escutcheons.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Strathcona Garage rests in its association with the early automobile industry in Alberta. It is additionally significant as an excellent and increasingly rare example of an early twentieth century building type designed specifically for the growing automobile industry.

The Strathcona Garage opened in 1912 and served variously as an automobile dealership, garage and repair shop until 1943. This period of use reflects a crucial transitional stage in the history of automobiles in Alberta as cars evolved from a luxury item for the affluent to a mass-produced product owned by a much wider range of people. When the Strathcona Garage opened, automobile ownership was rare and a clear marker of wealth and status. The building was designed to showcase the latest automobile models and served a rather exclusive customer base. By the 1920s, increases in production had significantly reduced the cost of automobiles, placing ownership within reach of most middle- and working-class Albertans. The building’s continuous use as a garage until 1943 further reflects the associated growth of the service industry to keep pace with the demands of increased automobile ownership. The Strathcona Garage is thus associated with the growth and development of a technology that fundamentally transformed the lives of Albertans in the first half of the 20th century

The building has additional architectural significance as an excellent example of an increasingly rare building type associated with the early automobile industry. While relatively simple in design, the building’s red brick construction, date and name stones, crenelated roof and other ornamental features reflect the prestige associated with early automobile ownership. The building’s north façade was explicitly designed to showcase automobiles in an impressive fashion and while the original plate glass display windows are no longer extant, the aforementioned features strongly communicate the building’s original design and purpose as well as the status associated with automobile ownership in the early 1910s. The building’s east façade is more modest and functional in design, reflecting that section of the building’s more mundane use of automobile storage and repair, while the second floor housed apartment suites – an unusual feature for a building of this type. The building also contributes significant architectural and thematic variety to the Old Strathcona Provincial Historic Area, one of the province’s most significant heritage districts. The Strathcona Garage is thus highly significant as an increasingly-rare example of a building purpose-built for automobile sales and service in the early twentieth century.

Source: Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: DES 1508)

Character-Defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the Strathcona Garage include, but are not limited to, its:
- Scale, form and massing;
- brick construction exterior walls with parapet crenellations and contrasting sills, lintels and escutcheons;
- window and door fenestration pattern and skylight openings;
- concrete foundations and small basement;
- tiled ground floor access entry way;
- possible ghost sign remnants indicative of the garage business that occupied the building; and
- unrevealed or currently unknown interior and exterior features that may be revealed through future renovation or heritage conservation.


Street Address: 10505 - 81 Avenue
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Lot 1A, Block 48, Descriptive Plan 9220734
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
53.51695 -113.50775

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2020/10/07

Historical Information

Built: 1912 to 1912
Period of Significance: 1912 to 1943
Theme(s): Developing Economies : Communications and Transportation
Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Historic Function(s):
Current Function(s):

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-1397
Designation File: Des 1508
Related Listing(s): 4664-0163
Heritage Survey File:
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen’s College, 8820 – 112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P8 (File: Des 1508)
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