9717 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton
The pre-eminent Ukrainian entrepreneur in early 20th-century Edmonton, Pavlo (Paul) Rudyk also played a pivotal role in Ukrainian community affairs as a politician, educational-cultural leader, organizer and benefactor. The Rudyk Block stood as a local landmark until redevelopment of the area around 97 Street and Jasper Avenue for the Conference Centre and Canada Place.
Immigrating to Canada in 1898 as a 20-year-old, Pavlo (Paul) Rudyk initially homesteaded east of Edmonton, but left for the city three years later and quickly became its pre-eminent Ukrainian pioneer-entrepreneur. Because of his prominence, knowledge of English and familiarity with the Canadian world, countless Ukrainian immigrants—en route to their homesteads, living or working in the city—sought him out for advice and assistance. By1911 Rudyk’s real estate and other business activities were said to have made him the wealthiest Ukrainian in Canada. Besides his realtor companies (run with different partners), he was at various times the manager of the International Hotel, the Farmers’ Loan Company and the Ukrainian National Cooperative Company general store at 10324 – 96 Street. He had helped create the latter company in Vegreville in 1910 to encourage economic independence among his compatriots. Rudyk built the four-storey Rudyk Block at 9717 Jasper Avenue in 1912. Its occupants reflected not only his pursuits but also included a poolroom and barbershop, lawyers’ premises, a music store and private rooms (a female resident was once charged with fortune telling). The Rudyk Block was demolished during redevelopment of the area around 97 Street and Jasper Avenue for the Conference Centre and Canada Place in the 1980s. At one point active in the Independent Greek Church that grew out of Presbyterian efforts to convert and assimilate Ukrainian immigrants, Rudyk eventually identified with circles around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church established in 1918. Both before and after that date he played a pivotal role in Ukrainian community affairs as a cultural-educational leader, organizer and benefactor; at the turn of the century, for example, he was a founding member of the first Ukrainian reading hall in the city. Rudyk died in 1936 and is buried at the Edmonton Cemetery.