Edmonton annexations

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The City of Edmonton has undertaken a series of annexations over its history since originally incorporating as a town in 1892 through incorporation as a city, amalgamation or annexation of other urban municipalities, and annexation of rural lands from its surrounding neighbours.

Early 20th century[edit]

The first private buildings outside the walls of Fort Edmonton date from around 1871 when Reverend George McDougall bought a plot from the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) to found the first Methodist church. Edmonton was created as a separate settlement from Fort Edmonton by the HBC on October 29, 1881.[1] Edmonton was incorporated as a town in 1892 and became a city in 1904.

On May 13, 1912, the HBC put the 1,600-acre (650 ha) Hudson's Bay Company Reserve on the market, prompting a massive land rush. The reserve occupied the land between what is today 101 Street to the east and 121 Street to the west, the North Saskatchewan River to the south and 122 Avenue to the north.[1] The portion of the reserve south of 109 Avenue was included within the Edmonton's boundaries when it was originally incorporated as a town on January 1, 1892.[2] The next portion to the north, south of 118 Avenue, was included within Edmonton's boundaries when it incorporated as a city on October 8, 1904.[2] The final portion of the reserve south of 122 Avenue was annexed into the city on May 8, 1908 along with other lands to the north, east and southwest.[2]


The City of Edmonton and the City of Strathcona, formerly called South Edmonton and which now includes the Old Strathcona district and surrounding neighbourhoods, officially amalgamated to become one city on February 12, 1912.[3] The merger followed a plebiscite held in both cities in which 518 Edmontonians voted in favour of the amalgamation (74%) and 178 voted against (26%), while 667 Strathcona residents voted in favour (87%) and 96 against (13%).[4] Edmonton's plebiscite, held on September 27, 1911, asked "Are you in favour of amalgamation of the Cities of Edmonton and Strathcona upon terms set out in Schedule A to Bylaw 356 of the City of Edmonton?"[5] The new city council was elected February 16, 1912.

Village of West Edmonton (Calder)[edit]

In 1917 Edmonton annexed the Village of West Edmonton, also known as Calder, which had formerly sat on the northwest edge of the HBC reserve.


In 1956, a royal commission recommended Beverly, as well as the Town of Jasper Place and portions of surrounding rural municipalities, amalgamate with Edmonton.[6] Five years later in 1961, residents of Beverly cast ballots in a referendum regarding amalgamation with Edmonton in which 62% voted in favour.[6] The Town of Beverly and surrounding lands were subsequently absorbed by Edmonton on December 30, 1961,[2] with Edmonton assuming the town's $4.16 million debt.[6]

Jasper Place and Sherwood Park[edit]

The City of Edmonton initiated a major annexation application in 1962 to absorb the Town of Jasper Place and portions of the Municipal District (MD) of Stony Plain No. 84 to the west. The application also proposed to annex a significant amount of the County of Strathcona No. 20 to the south, southeast and east, including industrial lands and Sherwood Park. The decision rendered by the Local Authorities Board in 1964 granted annexation of Jasper Place and the majority of lands sought from the MD of Stony Plain No. 84. The decision also enabled annexation of lands from the County of Strathcona No. 20 to the southeast and south, but annexation of Sherwood Park and industrial areas to the east were not approved.[7]

Mill Woods[edit]

In the 1960s Edmonton expanded south onto farmland that had once been part of the Papaschase Cree Indian Reserve to create what is now Mill Woods. The descendants of the inhabitants of this reserve believe their ancestors were cheated out of the land.[8] A legal challenge launched by the descendants in 2004 was summarily dismissed by the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta;[9] the judge found that the majority of the plaintiffs' claims had little merit. After several appeals, a subsequent challenge was taken to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2008, which re-instated the 2004 decision.[10]

St. Albert and Strathcona County[edit]

On March 22, 1979, the City of Edmonton filed an application with the Local Authorities Board to annex all of the City of St. Albert and County of Strathcona No. 20, as well as parts of the County of Parkland No. 31 and the MD of Sturgeon No. 90. If approved, the plan would have increased the Edmonton's area from 79,962 acres (323.59 km2) to 547,155 acres (2,214.26 km2). The proposed annexation was eventually rejected in 1980 after 106 days of testimony, 299 exhibits, and 12,235 pages of transcripts.[11]

1982 general annexation[edit]

Edmonton's last major annexation, referred to as the 1982 general annexation,[12] came into effect on January 1, 1982, when lands were absorbed from the County of Parkland No. 31 to the west, the MD of Sturgeon No. 90 to the north, and the County of Strathcona No. 20 to the east and south. A portion of the City of St. Albert to the northwest was also annexed. As part of the decision, additional lands were transferred from the MD of Sturgeon No. 90 to St. Albert, while the remaining 3.2 km (2.0 mi) of the County of Strathcona No. 20 to the south of Edmonton was transferred to the County of Leduc No. 25.[13]

1998 and 2002 adjustments[edit]

Since 1982, there have only been two minor adjustments to Edmonton's boundary. In 1998, a less than 20 hectare portion of Whitemud Drive's approach to Anthony Henday Drive (then Highway 14) in southeast Edmonton was transferred to Strathcona County.[14] Similarly, a less than 2.5 hectare piece of land along St. Albert Trail was transferred to St. Albert in 2002.[15]

Leduc County and Beaumont[edit]

A proposal to annex land from Leduc County, including the Edmonton International Airport, emerged in 2004 during Bill Smith's final term as mayor.[16] A similar proposal resurfaced in 2008,[17] which was reported to include the airport and a portion of the Nisku Industrial Park.[18] The possibility of annexing land emerged again in October 2011, when Mayor Stephen Mandel indicated to the Edmonton Journal the need to work cooperatively with its neighbours, including Leduc County, to address Edmonton's future land needs.[19] Negotiations between Edmonton and Leduc County commenced in April 2012.[20]

In November 2012, the Town of Beaumont unveiled a proposal to annex twenty-four quarter sections (560 ha) from Leduc County including twelve quarter sections to the north, eight to the west and four to the south.[21] Four months later in March 2013, after Edmonton's city council voted 11-1 in favour, Mayor Mandel announced the city's intent to annex approximately 15,600 ha (39,000 acres) of land from Leduc County along the entire length of the city's southern boundary, including the Edmonton International Airport (EIA).[20] The area included eight of the twelve quarter sections previously identified for annexation by Beaumont. Two months later in May 2013, Beaumont amended its notice of intent to annex after consulting with the public and conducting negotiations with Leduc County, which changed the configuration and reduced the amount of quarter sections to its north.[22] The amendment reduced the overlap from eight to five quarter sections.[22] Nearly a year later, Edmonton expanded its notice of intent to annex in April 2015 to include lands adjacent to Beaumont's northern boundary, increasing the overlap from five to nine quarter sections.[22] A merit hearing before the Municipal Government Board (MGB) was conducted in June 2016 on Beaumont's annexation application, after which the MGB recommended to the provincial government to approve the application.[22] The provincial government approved Beaumont's annexation application in November 2016 with an effective date of January 1, 2017.[23]

On November 30, 2016, Leduc County and Edmonton announced a framework for an agreement on Edmonton's annexation proposal,[24] a week after the province's decision on Beaumont's application.[23] The western portion of Edmonton's annexation area was reduced to exclude lands west of the EIA and south of Highway 19 as well as the EIA itself, though a potential remains to include the EIA upon further negotiations.[25] This western area, now bounded by Edmonton to the north, Highway 2 to the east, Highway 19 to the south, and the Town of Devon and North Saskatchewan River to the west,[26] was reduced by 2,584 ha (6,390 acres) from the original 12,053 ha (29,780 acres) to 9,469 ha (23,400 acres).[24] The eastern portion of Edmonton's annexation area was reduced to exclude lands within the north part of Nisku Industrial Park and the lands recently annexed by Beaumont,[24] though Mayor Don Iveson announced the City of Edmonton will now pursue annexation of the previously overlapping nine quarter sections from Beaumont.[25] This eastern area, now bounded by Edmonton to the north, Range Road 243/Meridian Street to the east, Township Road 510 and the Town of Beaumont to the south, and Range Road 243/91 Street SW to the west,[26] was reduced by 1,313 ha (3,240 acres) from the original 3,945 ha (9,750 acres) to 2,632 ha (6,500 acres).[24]

Sturgeon County and St. Albert proposals[edit]

Edmonton Councillor Ed Gibbons referred to the possibility of annexing land from Sturgeon County to the north in November 2012.[27] Edmonton subsequently submitted an application in September 2014 to annex 16 ha (40 acres) from Sturgeon County in the vicinity of 66 Street NW and 195 Avenue NW.[28] The annexation would enable the City of Edmonton to acquire jurisdiction over the realigned 66 Street NW, which provides a direct link from Anthony Henday Drive to the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park.[28] The road was realigned as a result of the construction of Anthony Henday Drive to the south.[28]

The City of St. Albert proposed an annexation of 38 ha (94 acres) of fragmented land from the City of Edmonton in January 2016.[29] The subject lands are located northwest of Anthony Henday Drive, west of Ray Gibbon Drive and southwest of 137 Avenue NW.[30]

Other potential proposals[edit]

In October 2013, the possibility of annexing lands to the west and northeast emerged to facilitate future industrial development.[31]


  1. ^ a b Real Estate Weekly
  2. ^ a b c d History of Annexations (PDF) (PDF). City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  3. ^ "City of Edmonton Population, Historical" (PDF). City of Edmonton, Planning and Development Department. August 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  4. ^ "Feb. 1, 1912: Edmonton expands with annexation of Strathcona". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network Inc. February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Election Results 1892 - 1944". City of Edmonton. p. 27. Archived from the original (DOC) on September 4, 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Dec. 30, 1961: One-time coal-mining town of Beverly swallowed up by Edmonton". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network Inc. December 29, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  7. ^ "Board Decision and Board Order No. 1234" (PDF). Province of Alberta. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-26. Retrieved 2008-04-25.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ http://www2.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb/2003-/qb/civil/2004/2004abqb0655.pdf
  10. ^ "Storytelling experiment PenTales comes to Toronto | National Post". 2010-03-30.
  11. ^ T.J. Plunkett and James Lightbody (1982). "Tribunals, Politics and the Public Interest: The Edmonton Annexation Case". Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques. University of Toronto Press. 8 (2): 207–221. doi:10.2307/3550157. JSTOR 3550157.
  12. ^ "Population History". City of Edmonton. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  13. ^ "Order in Council (O.C.) 538/81" (PDF). Province of Alberta. 1981-06-11. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  14. ^ "O.C.453/98" (PDF). Province of Alberta. 1998-11-12. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  15. ^ "O.C.78/2002" (PDF). Province of Alberta. 2002-02-27. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
  16. ^ "City eyes expansion south to airport". Edmonton Journal (via Canada.com). Postmedia Network. July 22, 2008. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  17. ^ Bill Glen (July 25, 2008). "Land grab raises ire of Leduc County". Leduc Representative. Canoe Sun Media. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  18. ^ "Annexation plan angers counties". Edmonton Journal via canada.com. Postmedia Network. July 23, 2008. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  19. ^ Elise Stolte (October 18, 2011). "Limits to growth on horizon". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  20. ^ a b Elise Stolte (March 6, 2013). "City plans to swallow airport". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Archived from the original on February 28, 2015. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  21. ^ "Annexation Proposal". Town of Beaumont. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  22. ^ a b c d "Board Order: MGB 012/16" (PDF). Municipal Government Board. March 16, 2016. pp. 22–23. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  23. ^ a b "Order in Council (O.C.) 302/2016" (PDF). Province of Alberta. November 22, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  24. ^ a b c d "Edmonton and Leduc County agree on future growth". Leduc County in principle. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  25. ^ a b Elise Stolte (November 30, 2016). "Edmonton, Leduc County agree on smaller annexation proposal; airport status still in limbo". Edmonton Sun. Canoe Sun Media. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  26. ^ a b "City of Edmonton / Leduc County Annexation: Framework for Agreement". November 30, 2016. p. 5. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  27. ^ Elise Stolte (November 20, 2012). "City farming dream withers in Horse Hill". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  28. ^ a b c "The Proposal". City of Edmonton. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  29. ^ "St. Albert Annexation". City of Edmonton. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "Proposed Boundary Adjustment" (PDF). City of St. Albert. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  31. ^ David Staples (October 30, 2013). "Time for city to 'go for the gusto'". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network. Retrieved July 16, 2014.

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