Liens et documents
Date(s) de construction
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Description du lieu patrimonial
The Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator includes a rectangular traditional wooden elevator with an attached drive shed and an office/engine house connected to the main structure by a covered walkway. The elevator is located on Meadowview Drive in St. Albert on a 0.8 hectare parcel of land. It is situated adjacent to the Canadian National Railway line and beside an Alberta Grain Company Grain Elevator which is not included in the designation.
The heritage value of the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator lies in its embodiment of the dominant method of grain storage and transportation throughout most of the twentieth century in Alberta. It also possesses value as an icon of the province's social and agricultural history.
The arrivals in Edmonton of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway line in 1891 and the Canadian Northern Railway line in 1905 were essential in opening central Alberta to settlement and establishing the region's grain economy. In 1909, the Canadian Northern (after 1919, the Canadian National) line was extended to St. Albert. Over the succeeding two decades, St. Albert grew quickly. In 1929, the Alberta Wheat Pool (AWP) constructed the agricultural district's largest grain elevator to date, just east of the town's first elevator (built by the Alberta Grain Company in 1906). The AWP was founded in 1923 during the administration of the United Farmers of Alberta (1921-35) and reflected the rise of the cooperative ethos among Alberta's agriculturalists. Like other wheat pools, it sought to maximize returns to farmers by marketing their grain directly to the Central Selling Agency in Winnipeg, providing an alternative to selling through middlemen and the Grain Exchange. The 35,000 bushel elevator built by the AWP in St. Albert in 1929 was derived from the standard plans used by the organization at the end of the 1920s during a period of rapid expansion. It is one of the oldest extant AWP grain elevators in the province. By the mid-twentieth century the AWP had become a major grain marketer, owning more elevators in Alberta than any other company. It acquired the neighbouring Alberta Grain Company Grain Elevator in St. Albert in 1967. Both elevators operated until 1989 when St. Albert was closed as a railway point for grain export.
Grain elevators are singular symbols of the Prairies, reflecting the region's deep economic and social connections to agricultural life and providing striking vertical landmarks against the often monotonous flatness of the West. Like other grain elevators in Alberta, the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator was an integral part of St. Albert's social fabric. The site encapsulates a pattern that defines the history of many of Alberta's early communities - the growth of settlement following the arrival of the railway and the construction of grain elevators, the rise of the co-operative ethos that changed the nature of grain marketing in western Canada, and the closing of older grain elevators in recent decades as a result of improvements to the province's transportation infrastructure and the development of mass storage facilities for grain. The elevator complex thus represents in microcosm a whole range of changes to Alberta economy and society during the twentieth century. Together, the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator and the Alberta Grain Company Grain Elevator form an elevator row that is a landmark for the community of St. Albert.
Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (Files: Des. 1723 and Des. 2174)
The heritage value of the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator lies in such character-defining elements as:
- scale and massing of the elevator;
- the tall rectangular design expressing its grain handling function, with wooden crib construction, exposed structural members, sloping shoulder design, wood framing, and cupola;
- bevelled cedar siding;
- in situ components of the grain handling systems, such as the elevator leg and distributor, weigh scale, hopper scale, and drive shed scale bed, control wheel and levers, electric motors, bins, hopper, belts and pulleys for the vertical conveyor belt, wood bins and chutes, and man-lift;
- prominent corporate signage;
- spatial relationships between the Alberta Wheat Pool Grain Elevator, the Alberta Grain Company Grain Elevator, and the railway line.
Autorité de reconnaissance
Province de l'Alberta
Historical Resources Act
Type de reconnaissance
Ressource historique provinciale
Date de reconnaissance
Données sur l'histoire
1989/01/01 à 1989/01/01
Thème - catégorie et type
- Économies en développement
- Commerce et affaires
- Économies en développement
- Exploitation et production
Catégorie de fonction / Type de fonction
- Approvisionnements en vivres
- Silo à céréales
Architecte / Concepteur
Emplacement de la documentation
Alberta Community Development, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 2174)
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