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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
community events


Structures of Fort EdmontonStability has been fundamentally linked to ownership of a site and as such, the various properties occupied by Northlands Park are of historical significance. 

Rossdale Flats' grounds openingDuring its beginning the organization did not occupy a particular site during the whole year, rather, it relied on its community partners to assist in providing land for the annual summer fair. An agricultural show that benefited many, finding land for temporary use was not too difficult.

An influential entity in the community, the Hudsonís Bay Company (HBC) owned a significant number of lots. Local company representative, Promotional postcardChief Factor Richard Hardisty, was one of the Edmonton Agricultural Society (EAS) founders, making it a natural fit to have the first exhibition hosted inside the HBCís Fort Edmonton. The fort had evolved with the regionís European settlement and served to unite the local immigrant community. It was also the venue for trading with local Aboriginal communities and was an enclosed site seeking a level of self-sustainability.

Donald RossAs the EAS garnered more members and increased its breadth of activity, more room was sought. EAS executive members were after a central location that could facilitate construction of structures such as a racetrack and grandstand while providing suitable surroundings for livestock.

Donald Ross, a prominent figure in Edmontonís commercial development and founding EAS member stepped up and offered one of his river lot properties referred to as Rossdale Flats. Seizing the opportunity, the organization acquired the land and set about developing the site.

Complete view of the Northeast siteCoinciding with this period in the organizationís history, Edmonton was growing and required accompanying services for its residents. The City of Edmonton was interested in erecting a power plant on the exhibition grounds and offered to assist the organization in procuring a new site suitable for its activities. Northlands Parkís relocation period came about as a result of this arrangement, whereby the city purchased the site and leased it back to the organization at a nominal rate.

The final destination was a large, cheap piece of land in what is now northeast Edmonton owned by James Kirkness. Northlands bought the marshy, triangular shaped lot and coordinated efforts to transform it into welcoming grounds.

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Fort Edmonton

Rossdale Flats


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