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Edmonton's Little Italy

Year of the Coal Miner September 2003 - 2004

by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.

Edmonton, Alberta c1912.  Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton Archives EA-10-1289.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.

Related Links

To discover additional information of interest, please click on the highlighted text and/or images.

  • Oral 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!

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Copyright © 2002 Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D. and The Heritage Community Foundation

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