There are certain places you experience that are so much more than just their bricks and mortar. Often rich in history, these spaces evoke a reverence that quiets mouths and sparks imaginations. Unassumingly located in downtown Edmonton, there is such a place. On a quiet street, overlooking Edmonton’s river valley, sits historic McKay Avenue School and the 1881 Schoolhouse, built in 1904 and 1881 respectively.
These historic landmarks continue to provide a wealth of information and opportunities for engagement – through educational programs, museum exhibits and active preservation of Edmonton Public Schools’ dynamic history through an extensive collection of archival and artifactual material.
A number of noteworthy historic figures, from students to politicians, have been part of its rich history. One student would go on to become internationally famous through his work during the First World War and afterwards. This student was Wilfrid Reid “Wop” May. The site was even home to Alberta’s first Legislative Assembly.
Visitors can explore three floors showcasing this rich and varied history of school life through self-guided and guided tours . Students in grades 4 and 6 are able to participate in immersive experiences through our “time traveling” field trips. (Attention teachers - these book up quickly!) Looking for something that might be part of Edmonton Public School’s history? As a public research facility, we encourage all to reach out to our archives team for help.
Want to learn more? Take a look at the book “A Century and Ten”, our “140 Years, 140 facts” page or come by for a tour. Want to book a special event? We may be able to help with that through our event rental services. And teachers - don’t forget about those programs.
For hours of operation and contact information please see our Contact Us page.