Quick links

Faculty Row and the Taxation Battle of the 1930s

After Concordia had constructed its permanent campus in 1926, Reverend E. Eberhardt, Professor M.W. Riedel, and Mr. John Armbruster formed a building committee in 1929 to build residences for the institution’s teachers who had been living in rented homes. Upon agreement with the city land department, eleven lots were selected. The Edmonton Charter had stated that any land that did not exceed four acres and was used by a university, college, or high school, would be exempt from taxation. Once the institution had received confirmation that the teachers’ residence, named Faculty Row, would be exempt from taxation, the construction moved forward. In 1930, after these residences were completed, the Board received a surprising notice that these houses were, in fact, being taxed. Concordia’s arguments led to the city’s legal department bringing the case to the Supreme Court of Alberta where the trial judge decided in Concordia’s favour. Unfortunately, the city appealed to the Appellate Division of Alberta and the case was eventually brought before the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa. On February 6, 1934, Concordia lost its Tax Case.


by Natasha Eklund