Visit the city’s iconic beaux arts-style political building to see important relics and portraits, and let the kids wade in or skate on its parkland pools.
The iconic Alberta Legislature Building is a large granite, sandstone, steel and glass structure with a massive dome. It’s surrounded by 57 acres (23 hectares) of immaculate parklands. Join a free tour to see its marble and carved wood interiors and painted portraits. After learning about Alberta’s political history, take the children outside to spot squirrels and rabbits. The whole family can wade in the reflecting pool in summer and skate on the ice in winter.
The classic Alberta Legislature Building was built between 1907 and 1912, after Alberta became a Canadian province in 1905. To fully appreciate its interior, start at the rotunda on the second floor of the building. Admire the large solid Canadian marble pillars, which weigh 16 tons (14.5 tonnes) each.
Listen to the echoing fountain in the center of the rotunda. It was built to commemorate the first official visit of Queen Elizabeth II, as the Head of the Commonwealth. The Regimental Colours circling the rotunda represent Alberta’s military units.
Read the memorial plaques for lost soldiers and see portraits of historically significant local leaders. Don’t miss the statue of the province’s namesake, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, and the one of Chief Crowfoot, an important Native American leader.
Make your way up the Grand Staircase to the Legislature Library. It’s still in use by the Members of Assembly, but remains open to the public and displays interesting relics, including a preserved hamburger from 1969. Stop by the door to the Legislative Assembly Chamber to see the intricate carving of the Alberta Coat of Arms.
Some people come to the stately Legislature Building just to enjoy the surrounding parklands. Relax around the reflecting pools, see if you can spot the local wildlife and take photos of the colorful natural displays.
The Legislature Building near Victoria Park is a five-minute drive from downtown, or 10-15 minutes by public transport. It’s open daily, except Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Entry is free and complimentary English and French tours run throughout the day, lasting about 45 minutes.