St. Stephen's College

St. Stephen's College on the University of Alberta Campus is a classic example of the Collegiate Gothic style.

Originally known as Alberta College South, this was the first building on the University of Alberta campus. Completed in 1911, the structure was designed by well-known Edmonton architect Herbert Alton Magoon in Collegiate Gothic style. This style was popular among other academic institutions across North America and established the precedent for many other buildings on the University of Alberta campus until the 1950s. 

The Collegiate Gothic style is evident in the tall narrow windows, red brick exterior finish, stone detailing, and crenellated parapet roof line. As well, the building front features Gothic details such as the arched main entry, octagonal five storey stairwell towers and wood tracery windows. 

Henry Marshall Tory, the University of Alberta’s first president, envisioned a non-denominational university but with the provision for denominational colleges. The Alberta College South building was originally a Methodist theological college and residence, with forty-one students enrolled in the Faculty of Theology. 

The building was used as a convalescent hospital during the First World War, at which time a fire escape was added. In 1935, a chapel was added on the main floor. This chapel has been preserved and still remains today. A new college was built next to this one in the 1950s. After avoiding demolition in 1977, the provincial government purchased the building, restored it and made it the home for the Province of Alberta’s Historical Resources Division. 




Designation Status

No Historic Recognition

Year Built


Architectural Styles

Collegiate Gothic

Character Defining Elements

Brick cladding , Carving , Crenellated parapet , Dripstone , Flat roof , Gable roof , Nailed frame structure , Quoins , String course , T shape footprint , Three storeys or more , Turret


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