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Ukrainian Pioneer Home

Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/06/10

Ukrainian Pioneer Home Classified Federal Heritage Building; (Elk Island National Park [EINP], 1992.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)

Ukrainian Pioneer Home
Ukrainian Pioneer Home
Maison de pionnier ukrainien

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/06/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ukrainian Pioneer Home is a rectangular, one-storey rectangular log structure covered with white plaster. It has a steeply hipped roof which is covered by thatch and features a centrally located chimney. Its wide eaves are supported by console brackets. Constructed in 1951, it has a single, off-centre, south-facing entrance on the façade. The Ukrainian Pioneer Home is located in the Elk Island National Park, a wildlife sanctuary and boreal forest reserve. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Ukrainian Pioneer House is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Ukrainian Pioneer Home represents the theme of mid- 20thcentury commemoration of ethnic pioneers settlers in east central Alberta and the Canadian Prairies. It remains a very good regional early example of the theme of replica structures. This building also illustrates the settlement patterns of Ukrainians in western Canada as this region developed at the turn of the century.

Architectural Value:
The Pioneer Home is a very good and attractive example of the traditional form and plan of a Ukrainian-Canadian homestead. It is based on the model of Ukrainian vernacular prototypes and features traditional Ukrainian building technology combined with contemporary building innovations. It is a highly functional and successful design of good craftsmanship.

Environmental Value:
The erection of the Ukrainian Pioneer Home in this location was valued because it was near the earliest focus of Ukrainian-Canadian settlement. Unchanged since construction the setting reinforces its character and it is a familiar landmark in the region. Designed for a similar landscape and climate, the Pioneer House stands in a gladed landscape framed by aspen, poplar and spruce trees. It is also within the Parkland setting of Elk Island National Park, a wildlife sanctuary and boreal forest reserve.

Edgar Tumak, Ukrainian Pioneer Home, Astotin Lake Recreational Area, Elk Island National Park, Alberta. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 92-071.

Ukrainian Pioneer Home, Astotin Lake Recreational Area, Elk Island National Park, Alberta. Heritage Character Statement 92-071

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Ukrainian Pioneer Home should be respected, for example:

Its traditional design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:

-the simple compact form, massing and balanced composition.
- the traditional thatched roof.
- the well constructed white plaster/cement compound covered poplar log walls.
- emphasis of internal divisions by externally situated console/ corbelled brackets
- the traditional, single, south facing offset entrance on the façade.
- the traditional arrangement of single window to the west of the door and two to the
-the single windows on the side elevations.
-the simple three room interior layout.
-exposed ceiling rafters.
-the low protective embankment, or pryzba, at the base of the house walls.

The manner in which the Ukrainian Pioneer Home reinforces its unchanged gladed landscape setting and in which it is a familiar regional landmark within Elk Island National Park.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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