Highlands School

Highlands School was designed by Edmonton Public School Board architect George E. Turner in the Collegiate Gothic style.

Essentially created as a twin to King Edward Park School in Strathcona, Highlands School is a beautiful example of the detailed work Turner put into many schools in the early part of the twentieth century. A central tower commands immediate attention, and arches over the tall, narrow windows and door draw the eye upward toward the crenellated parapet. The main entrance is recessed, surrounded by stone detailing, and is made more pronounced by the oriel window above it. Shields and stonework adorn the brick cladding.

The first school in The Highlands was built in 1910 when the Department of Education  approved the organization of what the Edmonton Bulletin described as "the suburban school district of Edmonton Highlands, east of the city limits in the new subdivision". The two-roomed wooden 'cottage school' sat across 62nd street from the school's  present location. The new community of The Highlands was annexed by Edmonton in 1911, and a permanent  school was commissioned by the school board. Before it could be built however, a temporary school needed to be constructed to hold the incredible influx of students; despite this measure, some classes still had well over 60 students in each room. The critical need for a permanent school was interrupted by  immediate wartime concerns. The building was started in 1914 and housed students on the main floor by the following year byt the school wasn't completed until 1920. The total cost came in at just over $210,000.

From 1921 to 1930, Highlands Normal School operated out of the second floor; it was the first teacher training institute in Alberta, serving 110 student teachers the first year. The public school served the community well and didn't see any significant structural changes until another population boom followed the Second World War. Architect Max Dewar designed the addition of an assembly hall in 1946, but even so, the surge in population meant that Highlands became predominantly a junior high school within a few years. Six new classrooms were again added in 1954, and more upgrades and renovations took place in 1977. The impressive main facade has thankfully remained relatively unchanged over the past century, and today Highlands School is listed on the Inventory of Historic Resources in Edmonton.




Designation Status

Municipal Historic Inventory



Year Built


Architectural Styles

Collegiate Gothic

Character Defining Elements

Irregular footprint , Two storeys , Steel Structure , Concrete Structure , Brick cladding , Stone cladding , Flat roof , Crenellated parapet , Tower , Pediment , Oriel Window , Arch , Mullion


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