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Home > History of Development > Early Industry: Case Studies > Edmonton Coal Mining > Effects on Landscape

Early Industry Case Studies

Effects on the Landscape

Mountain Park Coal Co., No. 7, n.d.After 1910, mines began to have a noticeable effect upon the city landscape. In 1911, a mine applied unsuccessfully for running rights over the street railway, although, the Board of Railway Commissioners granted the right to Ritchie Coal Company to build their spur line across Columbia Avenue. 

The Team Owners' Association complained that the city, and Clover Bar, were not maintaining coal haulage roads, leading to many overturned wagons and horse injuries. The city levied a ten cent charge to have coal loads weighed on city scales, further concerning the teamsters. 

In 1912, the Edmonton Interurban Railway hauled over 400 tonnes daily from St. Albert Collieries, a subsidiary of Canadian Coal and Coke Company, Canada's largest coal company. In 1913, the Bulletin declared that commercial coal mining in Edmonton "has passed out of the problematical stage into the region of accepted fact," and pointed to the new Great West Coal Company operation as proof, citing its intensive mechanization; Hardy puncher-type coal cutters, and longwall cutters, were used to produce 160 tonnes per day for construction.

By 1922, Edmonton was situated in the centre of a large coal area, stretching from Pembina to Tofield, and north to St. Albert and Morinville. This area produced 12,000 tonnes per day, and employed 3600 men. Much was sold for domestic use, but the large market provided by the new railways allowed the area generally to expand, and to capitalize the mechanization felt necessary for such expansion. The importance of the railway market was illustrated by the case of Stirling Collieries, located west of Edmonton. The Board of Railway Commissioners ruled that its coal could not be used by the G. T. P. during the summers due to the sparks produced by that grade of coal. This was a major factor in the mine closing for some time during 1922.

Kenneth Tingley. Coal Mining in Alberta: An Introduction to Changes in Coal-Mining Technology in the Plains and Parkland Areas, 1872-1955. n.p.: Reynolds-Alberta Museum. With permission from the Reynolds-Alberta Museum.

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