Growing with the Community
In 1881 when conversations around public schooling in Edmonton first began, the population was only 263. Over the next few years many more people arrived in the community. Despite several additions, the Edmonton School was too small, and soon other schools had to be built, starting with College Avenue School in 1895, followed by Queen’s Avenue School in 1902.
In the early 1900s, prompted by available land, access by rail, and sustained promotion, Edmonton’s population exploded. Between 1901 and 1914 Edmonton’s population expanded from 2,626 to 72,512 – an increase of more than 2,700% in only 13 years.
Early trustees expected that the City would expand in all directions, in both population and size. This posed a problem and opportunity. In response, ambitious plans for new schools were crafted. Between 1904 and 1918, twenty more permanent schools were built in Edmonton, and several had large additions built as well. These schools were scattered throughout the city, and although today many may be considered inner-city, at the time they were in the bush!