by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.
Italians probably came to Edmonton before the turn of the
century, but their numbers were not significant. It was the
arrival of Italian men to work in the coal mines of the Rockies and
in the gangs building the railways that, ultimately, meant
that those who craved other ways to earn a living would be attracted
to the Province's new capital city.
As a railway centre and staging point for development to the West
in the Coal Branch and to the North, Edmonton became a destination
early in the century. It attracted people not only from
southern Italy but also from the North as the Venice agricultural
colony made clear. These hard-working men and women left their
mark and introduced the region to Italian culture and traditions, as
well as contributing to its economic development. This section
provides insight into 100 years of Italian settlement history.
To discover additional information of interest, please click on
the highlighted text and/or images.
History Projects: Learn about oral history
projects that not only interviewed and recorded many interesting
conversations with members of the Edmonton Italian Community but
also uncovered the fact that the mosaics that exist at the Alberta
Legislature, built circa 1912, were laid by an Italian mason!