Located in downtown Edmonton across the river valley, the symbol of our province, the Alberta Legislature Building truly is breath taking! It was the first place my parents took my sister and I when we moved to Canada 11 years ago. I still remember holding my father’s hand as he took us on a tour and explained to us the significance of the Building.
The Legislature Building, often dubbed as the Ledge, is my favourite place in Alberta! Here are a few reasons why it should be yours.
Designed in the Beaux- Arts style, the Alberta Legislature Building truly is the most iconic and majestic architecture in downtown Edmonton. The building stands tall with marble columns and a mahogany interior inspired from architectural styles of Greek, Roman and Egyptian designs that symbolize power, permanence and tradition. Visitors to the building are greeted by the seasonal flowers surrounding the fountain which was built to commemorate the first visit of Queen Elizabeth II . The grand staircase beyond the fountain leads to the third floor called the Assembly Chamber. The high domed Chamber is lit with skylight, with walls decorated by paintings that depict our provinces rich history.
Deep dive into history
The building houses 100 of years of history and is a great place for children to learn about Alberta’s values and ideals. Go on a free tour to see various artifacts and relics that connect us to the Alberta’s history. Learn about our historical local leaders such as the Famous Five who played a prominent role in changing the Canadian law to include women in the government.
On the far north side of the fifth floor is the most visited place called the Magic Spot. At this spot, the sound of the water trickling from the fountain below will seem to be falling down from above. It truly is a magical phenomenon. The sound from the water fountain below in the rotunda is reflected from the Grand Staircase and bounced off the domed ceiling, giving the listener the illusion of water trickling from above.
Gardens and reflective pool
The Legislature grounds are a great place to spend the evening with your family. Chasing my little sister around the beautiful grounds of the Ledge was my favourite memory from our trip that day! The grounds are surrounded by healthy trees and colourful flower beds that just make you smile! What’s more colourful is the variety of people you come across on your walk around the building. You are sure to see people from various races and religions, families having picnic, bride and groom sharing their first kiss after their affiliation and many more joyous sights. The building stands as a symbol of our diverse culture and accepting ideals
The reflective pools at the Ledge are a very popular attraction to children, especially in hot summer days! Grab your bathing suit and splash away in the summer, or bring your skates and glide away on the ice rink surrounded by Christmas lights in the winter.
The Legislature Building hosts various events and activities all year around. This year they partnered with Canadian Heritage and hosted the Canada 150 celebrations. The day was filled with fun and educational activities and performances from various cultures to celebrate our diversity. This summer the Ledge is holding outdoor concerts that will be featuring Albertan musicians every Friday.
End your day with hand-crafted gifts made by Albertan artists at the Ledge Gift Shop. The Ledge offers a variety of souvenir such as ornaments, paintings, posters and other hand- made items that signify Alberta’s rich culture.
There was a reason why my parents chose this building as our first place to visit in Canada. To them it was more than just a beautiful building with great grounds. To many immigrants such as my family, the Ledge stands as a symbol of hope. The government that sits in this building and its citizens accept families like mine with open arms and provide various opportunities to start a new and better life each and everyday.
So grab your loved ones and your picnic baskets and bask in the sun and the rich history of our province by spending the day at the Legislature Building. Don’t forget to snap some pictures !