Hudson's Bay Co. Land Sale
The most celebrated example of land speculation was the Hudson's Bay Co. land sale in May 1912. The Hudson's Bay Co., which began the land boom tradition in Edmonton, had waited until May 13, 1912, to put most of its land on the market. The time for the sale was set at 2:00 p.m., but it did not announce the location. The location was discovered, however, by F.T. Aitken who installed himself at the door of the Little Gospel Mission Hall along with 2,000 other people. During the morning of May 13, numbered slips were given to those people who had waited through the night. This protected their place in the line but not the order in which they would be allowed to buy land. When the sale began, those with numbered slips were required to draw another ticket to determine the order in which they would be allowed to buy land.
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.