Creation of the Edmonton Settlement
Reverend George McDougall was one of the first men to claim land privately in the Edmonton area. He arrived in June 1871, and claimed land on behalf of the Methodist Church to the east of the Hudson's Bay Co. Reserve, while his son David claimed the adjacent property. By 1873 a church and house had been built on these properties, and so began the building of a town outside the walls of Fort Edmonton.
Employees of the Hudson's Bay Co. also made land claims at this time. Unlike the Methodist property, their lots were located on both sides of the river. An official survey was carried out in 1883 and the Edmonton Settlement, as this survey area was called, consisted of forty-four lots. The process of subdividing the Edmonton Settlement into urban land began in 1879 when Colin Fraser, an employee of the HBC, sold a small portion of his claim to Frank Oliver for $25. In February 1881, he sold a further two lots, fifty by one hundred feet in size, for $890.
The river lot or settlement plan was a rural form of land survey used to accommodate existing communities in the west, often those established by Métis.
This article is extracted from John Gilpin, Responsible Enterprise: A History of Edmonton Real Estate & the Edmonton Real Estate Board. (Edmonton: Edmonton Real Estate Board, 1997). The Heritage Community Foundation and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation would like to thank John Gilpin and the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton for permission to reproduce this material.