An associate's point of view when moving from the coast to the prairies and seeing what a new city can offer - and Edmonton is sure offering up a lot these days!
Pictured above is the ever-growing skyline of downtown Edmonton along with the city's famous river-valley.
This year marks my 10th year as a resident of Alberta. The first five years as a young boy, and now my second stint since 2011 after 31 years in BC. Here in Edmonton we’ve had a bit of a rocky ride as of late. ‘Strong headwinds’ I heard it described as, but there has been enough conjecture, discussion and debate on that. In case you have not noticed, Edmonton is changing, for the better, and garnering international recognition for our urban development, steadfastness to preserving our River Valley and a little arena downtown that’s housing renewed hoped and dreams of Oiler faithful near and far.
Swagelok and Edmonton Valve & Fitting has been part of the fabric of Edmonton for over 50 years. A lot of the very values we cherish in our organization are the same values that has Edmonton leading the discussion of up and coming cities in Canada and North America. So in this light I’d like to highlight a few people who helped mold Edmonton into the city it’s becoming. If you have spent any time in the area you’ll instantly recognize these names.
Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Henrietta Muir Edwards, and Irene Parlby
Each of these extraordinary women played an important role in a variety of human right issues in Alberta that focused on woman’s rights, the right to vote and pay equality. Several of these ladies were elected MLA’s in Alberta. More info here at www.famou5.ca. Today their names grace River Valley Parks and are immortalized in murals and statues around the city.
The son of Ukrainian immigrants, William was first a local entrepreneur, who then went on to public life, serving as Mayor of Edmonton on three separate occasions, his last sitting ending November of 1975. Hawrelak Park in Edmonton now bears his name, renamed from Mayfair Park.
A Scottish immigrant, a Harvard grad and local Edmonton property developer, The MacTaggert Nature Sanctuary is a 40 hectares parcel of undisturbed land donated by Sandy that surrounds the Whitemud Creek in SW Edmonton. It is home to moose, deer, coyotes, beavers and water fowl. Reports of the occasional bear and cougar still come in from time to time. Sandy MacTaggert also served on the University of Alberta Board of Governors and donated his home to the Univeristy. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1997 and the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1998.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Best known as Canada’s 7th Prime Minister, Sir Laurier served in that capacity from 1896 – 1911. His contribution to our Province is significant, despite not ever living in Alberta. It was his leadership that saw Alberta and Saskatchewan’s entry into Confederation in 1905. Once again, we named a park after him.
Before there was a Canada, there was The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). Anthony Henday was hired by HBC to explore Canada’s Northwest and protect HBC’s trading interests in the area and he was also charged with exploring Canada’s prairies. That exploration had him in today’s Saskatchewan and Alberta, reaching as far as the area known today as Red Deer. The recently completed mega-project ‘Anthony Henday Drive’ is a ring road that circumnavigates Edmonton and keeps our city moving.
Those are a few of the familiar highlights of Edmonton’s rich history and the names behind the places. Edmonton’s a pretty great place to live and work, and the future is looking good!