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Unique Edmonton heritage building declared a historic resource

The Canada Permanent Building, a small but iconic downtown heritage structure, will experience new life after being declared a Municipal Historic Resource by City Council.
This historic Edmonton downtown building is getting a new lease on life. Photo:


The Canada Permanent Building has stood on 101 Avenue and 100 Street since 1909. It was designed by early 20th century architect Roland W. Lines for the Canada Permanent Mortgage Company.

“Although it’s not a large structure, the elaborate detailing of the Canada Permanent Building’s primary facade makes it a memorable and much-loved landmark in downtown Edmonton,” said Heritage Planner Scott Ashe.


The building, which features Edwardian Baroque-style architecture, was built to convey strength and stability—an important message for a mortgage company. Canada Permanent provided mortgages for farms, residences and small businesses in Edmonton during a period of rapid growth. The building was advertised as Edmonton’s first “fireproof bank” because of its reinforced concrete structure.

Roland Lines had a short but significant career in Edmonton and is still known today for his architectural work on the Union Bank Building and the Norwood School, among others. Lines’ career was cut short when he died in the First World War.

The current owners of the Canada Permanent Building will receive a grant of $112,620 from the City’s Heritage Resources Reserve fund to assist in rehabilitation costs to the building. The building was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 1995.

The City’s Historic Resource Management Plan outlines the City’s mission to identify, protect and promote the preservation and use of historic resources. The Plan contains 24 policies and 88 action items that direct how Edmonton’s heritage should be preserved and celebrated. Since the plan was initiated in 1985, 169 properties have been designated, with more designations planned in the future.