An authentic reconstruction of the early trading post from which Edmonton  grew is only a small part of exciting Fort Edmonton Park (off Whitemud Dr. near Fox Dr., 780/496-8787, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. May and June, daily 10 a.m.–6 p.m. July and Aug., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sept., adult $13.50, senior $10.25, child $6.75), Canada’s largest historic park.
From the entrance, a 1919 steam locomotive takes you through the park to the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort, which has been built much as the original fort would have looked like in 1846—right down to the methods of carpentry used in its construction.
Step outside the fort and walk forward in time to 1885 Street, re-creating downtown Edmonton between 1871 and 1891, when the West was opened up to settlers. The street is lined with wooden-facad shops such as a bakery, a boat builder, a blacksmith, and a trading post. As you continue down the road, you round a corner and are on 1905 Street, in the time period 1892–1914, when the railway had arrived and Edmonton was proclaimed provincial capital.
Reed’s Tea Room, near the far end of the street, serves English teas and scones noon–4 p.m. in a traditional atmosphere. By this time, you’re nearly on 1920 Street, representing the years 1914–1929—a period of social changes when the business community was developing and the city’s industrial base was expanding. Stop by Bill’s Confectionary (noon–4 p.m.) for a soda or sundae, hitch a lift aboard the streetcar, or plan an overnight stay at the Hotel Selkirk  to round out the roaring ‘20s experience.
What really makes Fort Edmonton Park come alive are the costumed interpreters, immersed in life as it was in the Edmonton  of days gone by—preparing cakes and pastries for sale at the bakery, tending to carefully re-created vegetable plots, making butter beside the farmhouse, giving piano lessons to interested passersbys, or just getting together for a friendly game of horseshoes.