Saturday, March 2, 2024

The First Post Office in Edmonton

After Edmonton was officially recognized as a city, the post office was built. The city’s population was growing rapidly, so the construction of a post office became an urgent necessity. For more information, please visit the website edmonton-future.

History of the post office in Edmonton

Early trade required many means of exchanging information, as well as goods and services. The growth of the population demanded a fast and reliable system for issuing orders, receiving reports and responding to them. Eventually, the modern postal system was established in England with the introduction of postage stamps in 1837.

By the 19th century, transportation of people from one province to another was carried out by steamboats. It allowed more mail to be delivered over long distances, and sorted en route, thereby reducing downtime and mail processing. The mechanization of the entire system significantly increased its speed and reliability.

Albert J. Lapierre, a postal worker, constructed a snow machine for delivering mail between St. Paul and St. Linus. He replaced the front wheels of a Ford car with skis, connected the front wheels with the rear wheels, and added double-length chains to each pair. The closed cabin used heat from the radiator, and the machine resembled an early snowmobile. It worked so well that it was used as a taxi at dances and meetings when the roads were impassable.

In 1910, a building was found to house the post office. It was located at the southeast corner of 100 Street NW and 101A Avenue NW. Construction began in 1911, with only the best workers involved. The building had four floors, and its walls were clad in white stone brought from Manitoba. Additionally, a dome-shaped clock tower was installed atop the building, making it the tallest structure in Edmonton at the time.

The grand opening of the post office took place in 1911. The event was attended by the people of the city and the authorities. For over half a century, the institution served Edmonton. In 1929, two new wings were added. However, the building began to deteriorate and no longer met modern standards. Therefore, in 1966, the post office moved to a new, modern building on 104 Avenue.

The old building remained empty and unused for several years until the opening of the Westin Hotel in 1972.

What are the distinctive features of Edmonton postmen?

Both men and women were accepted for the position of a postal worker. The most common age for employment was 18 years old. Prior work experience was not required. Initially, postal workers delivered mail on horseback. Later, when bicycles became available, they started using them. An important condition was to wear a special uniform and carry a special large bag, which distinguished postmen from ordinary people.

What is the value of a post office building?

The value of the old building as a heritage lies in its architectural significance, as it has contributed significantly to enhancing the prestige of Edmonton as a developing urban center.

This post office is an example of the transition to the Edwardian free style of design. It was built according to plans created by David Ewart, the chief architect of the Canadian Department of Public Works.

The building became public and is evidence of the rapid growth of Edmonton as a city. The magnificent structure was one of the most significant public buildings constructed in the city immediately after the amalgamation of Strathcona with Edmonton. Thus, the old post office became a well-known cultural landmark of Edmonton.

In the modern city, there are a large number of post offices, each building unique in its own way, as are the employees who serve the people. Due to the development of technology and innovations, it has become simpler for people to do their jobs.

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