About John Walter Museum Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
John Walter Museum interprets the life of John & Annie Walter and the community of Walterdale from 1875 to 1920. It tells the story of a rugged Scot from the Orkney Islands, John Walter, who came to Canada in 1870 to build York boats for the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Five years later he acquired land on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River and built his first home, one of the first private residences outside the walls of Fort Edmonton. Through John’s diverse business endeavors, like his ferry service, general store, freighting company, lumber mill & coal mine, he became one of Edmonton’s wealthiest citizens. But, the wind of good fortune quickly changed in 1915 when the North Saskatchewan River flooded Edmonton’s river valley, effectively destroying his business empire and the young community that built up around him. John Walter died five years later without recovering his losses.
The buildings at the John Walter Museum include 1875 House (First House), 1886 House (Second House) and 1901 House (Third House).
What to do at the John Walter Museum?
Saturday and Sunday Drop-In Programs
Join us at the John Walter Museum for a grand old time in Edmonton’s river valley. A costumed interpreter will lead visitors through the original houses of one of Edmonton’s most hard working pioneers and tell stories about Walterdale – the community that developed around him. Museum-goers will also get hands-on experience with a different historic activity each week, based around the museum’s seasonal theme.
Children will love to explore and play with the toys of yesterday. Be sure to visit the new Discovery Room upstairs in John Walter’s second house.
Courses and Programs
The John Walter Museum also offers a variety of courses and programs geared specifically for Preschoolers, Children and Adults. Children can learn to make ice cream and crochet, and adults can take bike tours and learn felting, spinning and weaving. View the website for more details and registration.
Summer Day Camps
Make history every day at a John Walter Museum day camp! The museum offers a variety of day camps, beginning July. Kids can learn about the pioneer experience and explore the wilderness. Day camps are targeted for children between the ages of four and 12. Visit the website to find out how to register.
The Museum displays the three original homes of John Walter. Students will learn not only about John Walter, but also about the growth of the river valley communities. Students will engage in activities and traditions that have shaped Canadian identity. Through hands-on experiences, students will gain an understanding of historical realities and the unique relationship humans have with the land. Programs are cross-curricular in nature, and suitable for preschool through high school students.
The fully restored 1901 (Third) House is available for special events, dinner functions, birthday parties, corporate events or meetings. Birthday parties are pioneer themed, and children get to experience baking on a wood burning stove, churning fresh butter or building their own toy to take home! Parties must be booked at least one month (30 days) in advance.
Third House is also a picturesque setting for wedding and family photographs. All events and meetings must end by 11 p.m. (including clean-up). Photography and interpreter services are also available for an additional fee. View the website for full details.
To book your event, please contact our office by telephone at 780-496-2601, or via email at [email protected] and be sure to put John Walter Museum in your Subject line.
Who will enjoy the attraction the best?
The John Walter Museum has programs and courses for all ages to learn something new about Edmonton’s past and pioneer living.
When to visit John Walter Museum?
|Jan, Feb & Dec 2018||Closed|
|March – November , 2018||Sundays, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM|
|July – September, 2018||Saturdays 1:00 – 4:00 PM
Sundays, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
In January and February the museum is not open to the general public, but is available for birthday parties and school programs.
How much will it cost visit the John Walter Museum?
$2 admission at the door.
How to get to the John Walter Museum?
The John Walter Museum is located at 9180 Walterdale Hill NW; located at the bottom of Walterdale and Queen Elizabeth roads, on the north side of the Kinsmen Sport Centre parking lot.
Please Note: Walterdale Bridge construction is ongoing. When planning your trip to the Museum, check for construction updates.
See the ETS Trip Planner on the website to see how transit can get you there.
For detailed directions, see the map tab.
Parking at the John Walter Museum is shared with the Kinsmen Sports Centre.
What about amenities and accessibility at the John Walter Museum?
The John Walter Museum is partially wheelchair accessible. First House (built in 1875) and Second House (built in 1886) have ramps, but they may not be able to accommodate all types of wheelchairs. Paved walkways and boardwalks connect the houses and the public parking lot.
Third House (built in 1901) is accessible by ramp. The Museum has an accessible entrance to the visitor orientation building and accessible washrooms in the administration building.
Pets are allowed in the outdoor areas of the Museum, but cannot be accommodated in the buildings.
All photos ©John Walter Museum