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6210 Ada Boulevard, Edmonton, Alberta, T5W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/05/06

Holgate Mansion Provincial Historic Resource, Edmonton (April 2000); Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, 2000
South elevation
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Other Name(s)

Holgate Mansion
Holgate House
Bidwell/Holgate Mansion

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Holgate Residence is a two and one-half storey brick and stucco-clad wood frame building located on a single lot in Edmonton's Highlands district. The ground floor of the building boasts a grand veranda encircled by simple, white Tuscan columns. The upper storey and a half are composed of exposed wood framing infilled with stucco, creating a "half-timbered" appearance.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Holgate Residence lies in its association with Edmonton's pre-World War One housing boom, its representation of the housing and lifestyle of highly successful businessman Bidwell Holgate and his social class, and its eclectic architectural style.

Between 1905 and 1913, the housing market in Edmonton experienced dramatic growth. Spurred in part by a series of major agreements between railway companies and the Town of Edmonton, the housing boom swelled the town's population and created 274 new subdivisions. Unlike other Western Canadian centres, where land development was directed by the Hudson's Bay Company or the railway companies, Edmonton's growth was fueled by the energy and entrepreneurship of the local business community.

One of the most significant figures in Edmonton's pre-war land boom was Bidwell Holgate. In 1909, Holgate partnered with William J. Magrath to establish the Magrath Holgate Company. The firm was involved in numerous projects to establish residential areas for Edmonton's burgeoning population, the most ambitious of which was the creation, development, and promotion of the Highlands district of Edmonton. Hoping to make the area into an exclusive residential neighbourhood, Magrath and Holgate built their own stately and elegant homes in the Highlands, anticipating that other prominent Edmontonians would be moved to construct similarly impressive houses in the district.

Built in 1912, the Holgate Residence exhibits the eclectic architectural vision of well-known Edmonton architect Ernest W. Morehouse. The home's design combines several architectural styles prominent during the Edwardian period. The highly influential Arts and Crafts Movement, which stressed the use of natural, hand-crafted materials and the vernacular forms of English rural architecture, is apparent in the finely crafted, intricately detailed elements of the home's interior. Other influences are also apparent: the asymmetrical massing and stucco-filled wooden-framing - or "half-timbering" - of the exterior showcase the architect's interest in the Tudor Revival style, while the classicist emphasis of the Georgian Revival style is evident in the simple, white Tuscan columns of the exterior and the more elaborate, oak-carved Ionic columns of the interior. The overall effect of this mingling of architectural styles is one of solidity, unity, and relaxed formality.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1326)

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of Holgate Residence lies in such exterior character-defining elements as:
- form, scale and complex massing;
- steeply pitched gable roof, deep roof overhang, wide and open eaves, exposed rafter ends, decorative fascia and ridge capping boards, intersecting gable roof masses, shed dormers, and corbelled brick chimneys;
- half-timbering in a mock Tudor arch
- use of Redcliff face brick, wood framing, and stucco;
- wrought iron gate and open-air main floor verandah encircled by Tuscan columns;
- second floor sunroof with sleeping porches;
- fenestration pattern including multi-paned upper sash over simple lower sash windows.

The heritage value of the Holgate Residence lies in such interior character-defining elements as:
- asymmetrical floor plane including curved walls, room divisions, and staircases;
- oak-carved Ionic columns;
- extensive use of hand-carved, hand-finished wood, ceramic tiles, leaded and bevelled glass, coloured and textured glass;
- frescoes, linen wallpaper, ornate cornices and dentils, exposed ceiling beams, intricate mouldings, doors, wainscoting, carved balustrade;
- built-in bookshelves, liquor cabinet, and oak buffet;
- exposed oak beams and panelling, oak parquet floors, mahogany trim;
- unimpeded view of the North Saskatchewan River valley;
- linen chute, built-in vacuum system.




Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

Ernest W. Morehouse



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1326)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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