EMILY MURPHY RESIDENCE
Emily Murphy House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Emily Murphy Residence is an early twentieth century, two-storey home located on a single lot in Edmonton's historic Garneau district, close to the University of Alberta. The home features clapboard siding on the first storey, a shingled facade on the second storey, and a clipped gable roof.
The heritage value of Emily Murphy Residence lies in its association with renowned jurist, social activist, and author Emily Murphy, who lived in this home from 1919 until her death in 1933.
Emily Murphy was a lively, robust contributor to early Alberta's public culture and achieved wide acclaim for her work as a jurist, reformer, and author. Born in Cookstown, Ontario in 1868, Murphy came west with her husband in 1887. She arrived in Edmonton in 1907 and quickly established herself as a formidable advocate for the rights of women and children. Murphy's dedication and competence were recognized in 1916 when she was appointed as a magistrate, the first woman in the British Commonwealth to attain such a post. A decade later, in 1927, Murphy instigated the work of Alberta's "Famous Five" - including Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby - in their effort to have women recognized as persons eligible to hold Canadian Senate positions under the provisions of the British North America Act. The British Privy Council decided in the group's favour in 1929 - a landmark ruling in the legal rights of Canadian women. These pioneering achievements represented only a portion of Murphy's prolific participation in progressive social movements and civic organizations; she held posts as the President of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada (1919-21), the Vice-President of the National Council of Women (1918-26), the Director of the Canadian Council of Child Welfare (1923-27), and the President of the Canadian Women's Press Club (1913-1920), to name only a few. In addition to her social and political achievements, Murphy gained renown for her considerable talents as an author, editor, and book reviewer. Her stories about western Canada, published under the pen name "Janey Canuck," were especially popular and her writing on topical issues like immigration, narcotics, and health proved influential in public discourse.
The Emily Murphy Residence was constructed around 1912 and features materials and design typical of the time. The home features several Craftsman style features, including eave brackets and exposed rafters on the exterior and panelled doors and square staircase balustrades and newel posts on the interior. It was here, in 1927, that the Famous Five met to sign their petition for women's right to be nominated to the Canadian Senate. The building served as student housing and now, appropriately, is home to the University of Alberta's student legal services.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 305)
The character-defining elements of Emily Murphy Residence include such features as:
- mass, form, and style;
- irregular floor plan;
- clipped gable roof with brick chimney;
- clapboard siding on first storey facade and wood shingling on second storey facade;
- eave brackets, exposed rafters, and wide overhanging open eaves;
- fenestration pattern and style, including original wood frame single-hung and casement windows, Palladian window on second storey, and bay window on east elevation;
- canopy over main entrance with bellcast roof and iron brackets;
- storm door;
- original interior elements, including panelled doors, door hardware, trims, baseboards, fireplace surrounds, and main staircase;
- landscaped residential lot in residential neighbourhood.
Province of Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Provincial Historic Resource
1919/01/01 to 1933/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Politics and Political Processes
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Post-Secondary Institution
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
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. 305)
Cross-Reference to Collection