Federal Building

Designed in 1939 but not built until the 1950s, the Federal Building is the newest example of Art Deco influenced architecture in Edmonton.

The conceptual design for the Federal Building began in 1939 as a means to consolidate Edmonton-based federal employees, but due to the outbreak of the Second World War, construction was delayed until the 1950s. The ten storey, granite and Tyndall stone, steel-framed structure was designed by architect George Heath MacDonald. The lavish lobby contains six kinds of marble, nickel-plated metal work and decorative, ornate ceilings. The exterior of the building utilizes concrete and stone to create smooth wall surfaces and rectangular blocky forms arranged in a geometric fashion to create symmetrical facades. The building has a flat roof and employs uniform punctured openings for windows. In keeping with the large scale of the building, there is a massive Canadian coat of arms above the main entrance. It is made of Tyndall stone, weighs 4.5 tons and is about nine feet square. 

The building was finally finished in 1958 and was opened by Prime Minister Diefenbaker. It is one of the newest authentic examples of a grandiose Art Deco building in Canada. The federal government used the building until they moved to Canada place in 1988. Ownership of the building was transferred to the Province in 1983, but after 1988 it stood empty for many years. It has since received much needed upgrades and is now an active part of the Legislature complex.




Designation Status

No Historic Recognition



Year Built


Architectural Styles

Art Deco influences

Character Defining Elements

Carving , Flat roof , Irregular footprint , Metal structure , Pilaster , Smooth stone , Stone cladding , Three storeys or more


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