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Rossdale Power Plant


The City of Edmonton is balking at the cost of rehabilitating the decommissioned industrial site and contemplating stripping it of its heritage status and demolishing.

Why it Matters

Prominently situated on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River below the downtown core, the Rossdale Power Plant was designated as a Provincial Historic Resource in 2001 after an application for partial demolition by then owner EPCOR Utilities Inc. The power plant consists of three separate but interrelated structures: the Low Pressure Plant, including the Turbine House and Boiler House, the Administration Building, and Pumphouse No.1. Constructed between 1931 and 1954, these buildings represent the history of electrical power generation in Edmonton and Alberta. It is the last steel and brick building of its size remaining in Edmonton and it is the only power plant from this period of this scale in Alberta.

Why It’s Endangered

For the past several years, the City of Edmonton has touted a rehabilitated Rossdale Power Plant as the centre of its plans for a showpiece riverside arts and cultural centre. EPCOR has been negotiating for months to transfer ownership to the City. City Council is balking at a report which says $4.5 million in immediate repairs are needed just to keep it stable, with a further $87.3 million needed to upgrade the facility and the 1.8 hectare site for commercial tenants. The plant does not have a municipal heritage designation.

Where it Stands

While some have openly mused about leaving the plant as an industrial ruin, heritage advocates are calling for the City to maintain provincial heritage designation and commit the required funds to stabilize the buildings and allow time for a repurposing plan to develop. The Alberta Minister of Culture, Heather Klimchuk, has said the Province will not support de-designation of the site, until all options have been explored. A further report on the viability of the plant rehab is expected in July at which time City Council will make a decision on its fate. The Rossdale Regeneration community group is set to release ideas for the site, which could include a microbrewery, restaurants, housing, art space, and more. See

UPDATE: In August, 2013, City Council unanimously voted to invest $3 million to stabilize Rossdale Power Plant over a 10 year period, but delayed a decision on the long-term future of the site, asking city administrators to prepare a capital profile and long-term strategy and report back in a year. Advocates for the site’s protection hailed the decision as a terrific first step to saving the plant.

Construction work to stabilize the building’s roof and exterior walls began in spring of 2015. Earlier in the year, Council voted to set up a special session to consider the various proposals for the site, with the date to be determined.