McKay Avenue School

10425 - 99 Avenue, Edmonton

McKay Avenue School has played a significant role in the educational, social and political development of Edmonton and of Alberta.

The school was named after Dr. William M. MacKay, a Hudson’s Bay Company officer and surgeon. Dr. Mackay served at several posts, including York Factory, Norway House, Dunvegan, Lesser Slave Lake and Fort Chipewyan. After retiring from the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1898, Dr. MacKay moved to Edmonton with his family and opened a medical practice. A spelling error in the naming of the street in front of where the school now stands was perpetuated in the naming of the school.

This substantial three-storey brick school, designed by H.D. Johnston and contracted by R. J. Manson, was constructed  over 1904 and 1905 and cost Edmonton Public Schools approximately $44,000 to build. After the Province of Alberta was created in 1905, the school’s third floor assembly hall housed the first two sessions of the Alberta Legislature, held in 1906 and 1907. In 1912, due to increased need for classroom space, the school was enlarged to the west.

McKay Avenue remained an operating school until 1983. At that time, the school board made the decision to restore the building as Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum.

Built using the then popular Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture, McKay Avenue School embodies the optimism of turn-of-the-century Edmonton. The exterior remains substantially unaltered, while the interior has been extensively restored to reflect its use as a school and the appearance of the third floor assembly hall during the time it housed Alberta’s first Legislative Assembly.

-Edmonton Historical Board

Designation & Awards

Edmonton Historical Board Plaque Award

Provincial Historical Resource, Province of Alberta 1976/05/18


Alberta Register of Historic Places: McKay Avenue School

For information about booking McKay Avenue School as an event venue, please call the EPSB Archives at 780-422-1970.


RolandBressmer - 21 Nov 2014

September 1, 2013 is when i took this Picture.

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RolandBressmer - 21 Nov 2014

Behind the Old School September 1, 2013.

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Neil Evans - 17 Apr 2017

I've always loved this school, which I attended in the early fifties for grades one to five. The school and its surroundings have left me with many great memories, and then in the eighties and nineties, I was able to go back for a number of seminars and school PD days, as well as a wedding. What a historic treasure this is for the city and province.

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June King - 26 Oct 2017

I work for Alberta Community Services and Supports, in one of the Assistant Deputy Minister's office. In the past, we have booked your upper floor for meetings. I am wondering if that is still available. We are looking for Nov. 28 as a meeting date. Please have someone contact me at 780-638-1351 to let me know if we can book meeting rooms and if it is available on that date. Thank you!!

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Era: Urban Growth
Themes: Education
Cultural Groups:
Area: Central

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