Day 64 – Fire Hall No. 1   2 comments

Built in 1909 and originally known as Strathcona Fire Hall Number 1 it was originally described as “unusually commodious”. It seems small now for a fire hall, but it wasn’t built for the firetrucks we know today. At that time, the fire-fighting equipment was horse-drawn. The new fire hall was proposed by the fire brigade to replace their existing fire hall that had only been built in 1901 but was “cold and unsanitary”.

Perhaps it was described as “unusually commodious” because  the council of the time did not want to spend the money ($15,000) to build the new hall. The persistence of the fire brigade eventually overcame the council’s will and it wouldn’t be surprising if some on the council were still not happy with the decision.

In 1907 (prior to the construction of this fire hall), the fire brigade was entirely staffed by volunteers. Although they were volunteers, they still received a quarterly stipend for their service. In 1907 the negotiated stipend was $15 per quarter, and they needed to threaten to go on strike to get that.

When Edmonton and Strathcona amalgamated in 1912, it was renamed to Fire Hall No. 6 (presumably one through five were already taken). It remained an active fire hall until 1954. From 1954 it was home to a furniture store for 20 years. It then became the home for the Walterdale Playhouse, one of the oldest amateur theatre groups in Alberta.

The building is equipped with a 23m tall bell tower that rises from the rear of the building and was used to rack the hoses.


2 responses to “Day 64 – Fire Hall No. 1

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  1. This building is quite interesting – I love the labels about each door, as if a firefighter might forget where to park. And the colour combination of the orange brick with the gray stone and the green doors is lovely. And then, of course, the snow piled in front tells yet another story. Nicely done.

  2. I like the symmetry in this shot. Inclusion of piled up snow in the foreground has added an interesting element to this shot.

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