Collection 0460 - City of Grande Prairie Historical Photograph collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

City of Grande Prairie Historical Photograph collection

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Cartographic material

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Reference code

CA GPR 0460

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • [1907-1963] (Creation)
    City of Grande Prairie Council

Physical description area

Physical description

95 photographs
1 map

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The first meeting of the ratepayers of the Village of Grande Prairie was on June 1, 1914. John B. Taft, William H. Smith and Sylvestor Bowen were elected to the village council with J.B. Taft as Reeve. At the next meeting, on July 6, the first two by-laws were given first reading. So the basis of the government of Grande Prairie was formed.
In the next two years, the village increased in population, and in 1916, 200 acres were annexed by the town. In 1917, for the first time, duties were divided into departments: Finance, police and licensing; Fire, water and light; and Road and sidewalks.
By the time Grande Prairie achieved town status in 1919 with a population of 1040, there were already 23 by-laws on the books. Now the three councilors were increased to seven. Mayor G.A. James was elected. In 1921 a new town hall was built in conjunction with the fire hall on the north west corner of 101 Street and 101 Avenue. A replica of this building can be seen at the Grande Prairie Museum. This town hall served for the next 40 years, while the population more than quadrupled.
After W.W.II, the population increased rapidly: from 1,700 in 1942 to 4,000 in 1950. This was the period when many public buildings were erected: Grande Prairie High School, Wapiti Lodge, the Memorial Arena, the Grande Prairie Municipal Office and the School Division Office. New developments in tune with this period of growth were the start of senior citizens residences and the approval of the first large apartment complex.
By the time Grande Prairie became a city in 1958, the population was 8000. Now council was composed of mor and ___ aldermen. Soon discussion began on building a new City Hall. This became a necessity when the current offices burned to the ground in 1961, and the new City Hall was built on the same site in 1962.
In the year 2000, with a population of over 37,000, Grande Prairie is served by a council of mayor and 9 aldermen. The 1962 City Hall was outgrown in the late 80s, and municipal operations were moved into the old Provincial building. Once again the city is looking at options for new quarters.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Collection of photographs removed from a display, possibly created for the 25th anniversary of the City of Grande Prairie in 1983. The photographs were arranged mostly in date order, from the first business on the future site of Grande Prairie ca. 1907 to members of the Old Timers Association in 1963. The photographs were numbered in order of how they were arranged in the display, and that original order has been retained, along with the item descriptions which accompanied the photographs. Subjects include buildings, people and events associated with the history of Grande Prairie.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Language of material

  • English

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Alpha-numeric designations

Accession number: 2013.022

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South Peace Regional Archives

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Language of description

  • English

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