Parish and Building

History of the Parish and Building

Holy Trinity is one of the oldest parishes in the Edmonton area. It was founded in 1893 in the Town of Strathcona across the North Saskatchewan River from Edmonton – about the time the Canadian Pacific railway arrived from Calgary and prior to the creation of the Province of Alberta and the arrival of the transcontinental railways (1905), the foundation of the University of Alberta (1908), the building of the High Level Bridge, the amalgamation of Edmonton and Strathcona (1912), and the creation of the Diocese of Edmonton in 1913.

The Church building is made of clinker bricks. “Clinker refers not to a style, but to a construction material that proved quite popular in Edmonton. Clinker bricks were bricks that were overfired when being made. The excessive temperatures caused minerals in the clay to form a natural glaze, with hues of red, green, yellow, and purple. Some bricks also fused together in clumps, adding to their unpredictable appearance. Unlike elsewhere in Alberta, builders in Edmonton came to value these unique bricks for the aesthetic quality they provided.” (Taken from the Edmonton Historical Board)

The building is a provincial registered historic site. The traditional nature of the Church building is a symbol of tradition, continuity, and spirituality.

Historical Timeline

  • 1893, Spring: First Service held in the Canadian Pacific Railway Station, Strathcona.
  • 1893, Summer: Site at 81 Avenue and 100 Street was donated.
  • 1893, November 26: First Service (and Consecration) in the original (wooden) frame church at the 81 Avenue/100 Street site.
  • 1900: A site at 84 Avenue and 101 Street was donated.
  • 1902: The first Rectory was built.
  • 1906: Excavation and building of the basement of the present building began.
  • 1907: The basement of the church was almost complete but then an economic depression hit and work on the building was stopped.
  • 1909: A temporary roof was built over the basement and church services were held there – the first service held on April 19, 1909 in the basement space.
  • 1913, June 8: The cornerstone is laid.
  • 1913: The building was completed at a cost of $36,000 and officially opened on October 12, 1913.
  • 1914-1918: The Rector and many parishioners served in World War I.
  • 1923: The Casavant Pipe Organ was in installed in memory of those who served in World War I.
  • 1939-1945: During World War II, 235 men and women of the congregation served.
  • 1948: Construction begins on the Memorial Parish Hall (the section just South of the Sanctuary).
  • 1949, October 24: The Memorial Parish Hall (now the Upper Hall) is completed and opened.
  • 1953: Completion of a new Rectory directly across the street from the church building. Reception to celebrate the opening of the Rectory was held on September 19, 1953. The old Rectory was sold and moved to a new location in 1954 and continued to be used as a residence in the community (the new Rectory was later sold as well and is now a private home in the community).
  • 1962: An extension is built onto the Parish Hall (the East-most section of the building).
  • 1983, May 25: The building is designated a Provincial Historic Resource.
  • 1993: Holy Trinity Parish celebrates its Centenary.
  • 2003: Installation of a wheel chair accessible Lift.
  • 2018: Holy Trinity celebrates 125 years as a parish and the 105th anniversary of the current Sanctuary and main church building.
  • 2018: The Organ was restored, and a new antiphonal organ installed below the Ascension Window at the west end of the nave.