The Alberta Legislature building (also known as the “Ledge’) is where the Alberta Legislative Assembly meets. It is located on a hill that overlooks the river valley and has many parks and areas for activities. This makes it a perfect spot to go for a walk, picnic, or just some sightseeing.
The government of the province of Alberta is made up of two parts: the Legislative Assembly and the Queen, who is represented by the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta. The Assembly has 87 members (called MLAs - Members of the Legislative Assembly) who are elected from different electoral districts in the province. These MLAs, including the Premier (the head of government in the province of Alberta), make the laws for Albertans. Find out more about the roles in the Alberta Government!
The Ledge is open for free tours every day – just walk in the main building! They happen every hour from 9 am to noon, and every half-hour from 12:30 pm until 4 pm. I took a tour with a friend during an afternoon off classes. Check out some of our pictures below!
Above: (Left) The Alberta Legislature (photo credit: Panoramio Google Maps). (Right) A view of the legislature from a near by park.
The Legislature was built from 1907 to 1913. When you go inside, you can see the interior is made of marble, mahogany, oak and brass. You will also see a beautiful fountain right in the middle of the main entrance. This fountain was to commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 1959.
Above: (Left) The fountain. (Right) An inside view of the main entrance.
Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll was born Louise Carolina Alberta. The province of Alberta was named for both Princess Louise as well as her father, Prince Albert. Crowfoot was the chief of the Siksika first nation and helped forge a relationship between the first nation and the government centered upon peace and prosperity.
Above: (Left) The Princess Louise statue. (Right) The Crowfoot statue.
Fun Fact: The first premier of Alberta was the Honourable Alexander Rutherford, who was a big supporter of education and the University of Alberta. The Rutherford library and Rutherford house on the UAlberta campus were named in his honor!
The Coat of Arms above the entrance to the Chamber is made of mahogany and took 500 hours to carve. It has a crown to represent the Queen, and a beaver to represent Canada. The mace represents the legislative assembly’s ability to pass laws. It is made of gold, silver and jewels. The original mace for Alberta was needed very last minute, and was made with household items painted gold!
Above: (Left) The coat of arms (Right) The old and the new mace.
The Chamber is where the legislative assembly meets. Anyone from the public can attend the Assembly and watch from the upper galleries!
Above: The Chamber for the legislative assembly.
Last but not least, we made a stop in the Legislature Library!
Above: (Left) Inside the Legislature library. (Right) A display inside the library.
Thanks for checking out our tour of the Alberta Legislature. You'll have to see it for yourself when you come to UAlberta!
Learn more about studying in Canada.
Written by: Caitlin Chalmers