The McLeod and Japanese Village

Building Information:

McLeod Building - 10134 100 Street NW
Built in 1915, 9 stories, 35m/115', 9000 sqft floorplates, John K. Dow Architect

The McLeod Building was built by Kenneth McLeod, and it is a replica of the Paulsen Building in Spokane which was designed by the same architect. The Mcleod was the tallest office building in Edmonton for nearly 40 years, and its footings were overbuilt and could support a 50 story building. In 1995 the building was declared a Provincial Historic resource, and in 1999 it was converted into condos.

(Source: Real Estate Weekly)

Japanese Village - 10126 100 Street NW
Built in 1910, 3 stories, 12m/40', 1500 sqft floorplates, Roland W. Lines Architect

Officially known as the Canadian Permanent Building, after the original tenant the Canadian Permanent Bank.

(Source: Real Estate Weekly)

Model Commentary:

The McLeod is another building that is possibly my favorite. It is the only surviving chicago-school high-rise in Edmonton, and so it is a unique presense in the city much like the Federal Building. And like the Federal Building there is a cleaness and simplicity to the McLeod that I find appealling. Both buildings are very nicely detailed, striking a balance between the stripped-down starkness of modernism and the fiddliness of neo-classical.

The Japanese Village is also a very nice building, but it's a bit too fiddly and baroque for me.

These are fairly early models, and again, they were made before I really knew what I was doing. I was starting to figure things out, though. There are things that I would like to change one day, but for now I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

The Federal Building

Building Information:

9820-107th Street NW
10 stories, 36m/120', 17,000 to 22,000 sqft floorplates, 256,000sqft total.

The Federal Building was designed by Edmonton architect George Heath MacDonald in 1939, however it was not built until the late 1950's following World War II. In 1988 the Federal government moved its offices to Canada Place, and the Federal Building has been vacant ever since.

(Source: Real Estate Weekly)

Model Commentary:

I love the Federal Building. It's possibly my favorite building in Edmonton.

My mother worked there when I was young, and so I have a mish-mash of fond half-memories of visiting her there, and of being awed by all the tiny little people and cars ten stories below.

The Federal Building is also something of an underdog because it has been abandoned since 1988. There have been several proposals to revive it over the last two decades, but they have all fallen through. You have to keep hoping though, that one day the right one will come along, and that the building will be revived as something amazing.

Honestly though, the main reason that I love the Federal Building is this:

Is there anything that conveys the concept of blandness better than the three words "Canadian Federal Government?" And yet once upon a time the Federal Government had a building with lightning bolt door handles.

That. Is. Awesome.

The Federal Building is great because it is art deco, and because Edmonton has very few art deco buildings. I can think of only six others - two hospitals, two schools and two theatres. I'm not sure why there are so few, but it is probably because when art deco was at its peak the prairies were at a low point.

As for the model itself, when I made it I still didn't know what I was doing, but I do think that it turned out well. If I were building it today I would do many things differently, but I'm in no rush to "fix" it.

The Lamplighter

Building Information:

10333 121 St NW
25 stories, 75m/250', 8000sqft floorplate

Model Commentary:

The Lamplighter is an odd looking building. It's very tall and very thin, and the balconies protrude out from the building at all of the corners. This gives it an almost skeletal appearance - or maybe it's more like a tree that has lost its leaves.

The balconies of apartment building are very fiddly, and so normally I don't put much detail into modelling then. I think that I'll have to add them when I retexture it though, because without them the model isn't quite right.

Top of the Valley

Building Information:
12141 Jasper Avenue NW
Built in 1975, 16 stories, 48m/160', 7,000sqft floorplate per tower

Model Commentary:

This is notable as my first model that was of more than one building. Beyond that there's not much to say.

Signature Place

Building Information:

10145 121 Street NW
Built 1963, 14 stories, 45m/140', 10,000sqft floorplate

Model Commentary:

This is certainly not one of my finest models. It was, however, my first use of a transparent texture and my first attempt at an awning. It was very exciting.

The Pinnacle

Building Information:

10127 121 Street NW, Edmonton, AB
Built in 1972, 26 Floors, 80m/260', 11,000sqft tower floorplate

Model Commentary:

The Pinnacle was my fourth model, and with it I started to figure out what I was doing. It was the first building that I attempted to model a podium for, and it was the first to incorporate a logo. It was also the first building which was reasonably symetric, and that let me copy and reuse some of the sections. I still wouldn't mind retexturing it, but I am much happier with it than with many of my other early models.

As for the building itself; I kind of like it. It is a slab tower, and Edmonton certainly has enough of those. It has a huge setback though, which minimizes its impact. It is the tallest building outside of the downtown core, and because of that height it is nicely proportioned. It is also all-white, which is a rarity in Edmonton.

The Glenora

Building Information:

12319 Jasper Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta
Built in 1989, 17 stories, 56m/180', 6000sqft floorplate

Model Commentary:

This was my third model, and as with my other early models I would like to retexture it one day. It does have interesting geometry though, and it was definitely the most complicated of my early attempts.

The Gainsborough

Building Information:

10011 123 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta
Built in 1981, 23 stories, 70m/230' tall, 6000sqft floorplate

Model Commentary:

The Gainsborough was the second model that I made, and it is one of a half-dozen that are from the weekend when I first started to play with Sketchup. Those early models were all of buildings in the Oliver area; which is where I live. Initially I had intended to focus on Oliver, but that quickly changed and I moved on to modeling the larger downtown area.

Starting in Oliver was a good though, because the early models were a learning experience. This shows in these models - particularly in their textures - and one day I hope to go back to update them.

A disclaimer

The information presented on this site will come from a variety of sources, including,,, wikidepia, commercial realtors, and elsewhere. Where possible the original source will be credited. The information should not be considered accurate.

2007.07.25 Cityscapes

Before I start posting the individual buildings, here are some skylines showing the current progress.

From the river valley:

West from Jasper Avenue:

South from 101st Street:

East along Jasper Avenue:

From the Legislature grounds:

From MacEwan City Centre Campus:


The core:

The Mission Statement

Edmonton - one building at a time.
Or maybe sometimes two.

Since early 2007 I have been making sketchup models of prominent buildings in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for inclusion in Google's 3D Warehouse and in Google Earth. With 77 models now completed it is time to come up with a more permanent way to archive and document them.

The models will still be easily accessible through Google here and here, but this page will allow me more freedom and options.

I hope to post all of the models that I have completed so far, as well as any new ones that I work on. Where possible I will try to provide some background information on the buildings, and I may post the photos that I worked from to create the models.

Edited to add:

Posting individual pages for all of my models didn't end up being very interesting. So after sitting idle for quite awhile, edmonton in three dimensions is being repurposed into more of a photoblog and for whatever Edmonton-related thoughts I may have.