Living in Griesbach Edmonton
Griesbach homes are situated on the former site of the Canadian Forces Base in north Edmonton which has now won the best community award on the local (CHBA Edmonton Region), provincial (BILD Alberta), and national levels. Congratulations to Griesbach developer Canada Lands for winning “Best New Community” for Griesbach at the national level! Canada Lands has won awards at the local level for the neighborhood, but to be singled out amidst all neighborhoods in Canada at the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence is an astounding achievement. Congratulations to all residents for making this a beautiful community to live in.
The Griesbach community has an identifiable architectural character that has been established to keep a consistent
image throughout the mix of real estate uses. The theme is communicated through Architectural detail, massing, and color palettes that emphasize a combination of Heritage contemporary design with warm tones and accent colors at specific locations. There is an emphasis on stone or masonry finishes is encouraged on selected building elements. Griesbach has dedicated 26% of its land use to green spaces, retention lakes, and natural habitats.
Throughout the Griesbach community, there are several statues representing our Canadian Military heritage. Learn more about each of these Griesbach statues below:
Major General Griesbach Parade
The Griesbach Edmonton community is named after Major-General William Antrobus Griesbach, a veteran of the First World War, Second World War, and the Boer War. Major General Griesbach stands to watch over the community named in his honor through a statue located on Griesbach Parade and Gault Boulevard. He is depicted riding a horse as he played a key role in establishing a militia cavalry unit based out of Edmonton called The Loyal Edmonton Regiment.
Griesbach was born in Fort Qu'Appelle in the North-West Territories, the son of Henry Arthur Griesbach, a North-West Mounted Police officer who was transferred to command Fort Saskatchewan in 1883. William Griesbach left the rest of the family in 1891 in order to attend St. John's College in Winnipeg. Upon graduating in 1895, he returned to Edmonton and worked in a law firm and the Imperial Bank, then to study law.
Griesbach enlisted with the Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1899 to fight in the Second Boer War. During his service, he was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal and received four bars. Upon his return in 1901, he opened a law office of his own.
Griesbach's first bid for political office took place in the 1903 Edmonton election but was more successful in the 1904 election when he was elected to a one-year term as an alderman to Edmonton's first city council placing eighth. He resigned as alderman one year into his term in order to run for mayor in the 1906 Edmonton election. Griesbach was victorious, collecting more than sixty percent of the votes, becoming the youngest mayor in the city's history.
In 1906, Griesbach was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 19th Alberta Dragoons. He was promoted to captain in 1907. When World War I broke out, the Dragoons volunteered as a unit. In December of that year, Griesbach was promoted to major assigned to command the 49th Battalion. He was able to recruit 1000 men in eight days in January 1915. The unit served in various engagements, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, and the liberation of Mons.
In 1917, Griesbach was promoted to Brigadier-General and assigned command of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 1st Canadian Division. Griesbach was awarded the Distinguished Service Order twice and the Victorian Decoration for long service and during World War II, Griesbach was made Inspector General of the Canadian Army for Western Canada and was promoted to the rank of Major-General. He retired from that position in 1943.
William Griesbach was elected to the House of Commons of Canada as a Government member for the riding of Edmonton West in the 1917 election, defeating incumbent Laurier Liberal Frank Oliver. He served until 15 September 1921, when he was appointed to the Senate of Canada, which he served until his death.
Patricia Lake & Park
This Griesbach park site was created to honor one of Canada’s most accomplished military regiments – The Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. It was created in memory of the almost 2,000 soldiers from (PPCLI) who have given their lives in the service of the regiment over the past 100 years.
On May 8th, 1915 the PPCLI (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry) was attacked at Frezenberg and Bellewaerde Ridges. By the end of the final German assault, the Patricia’s were reduced from 554 to four officers and 150 men. The Memorial is a replica of the original monument to the Patricia’s which is located near their heroic stand at Bellewaerde. The original monument includes the inscription “Here 8th May 1915, the originals of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry commanded by their founder Major A Hamilton Gault held firm and counted not the cost.
Canada’s first soldiers died in Afghanistan in April 2002 when a “friendly fire “incident killed four and wounded eight members of the PPCLI. The four trees that surround Patricia Park represent not only the four Edmonton soldiers but all those killed and injured in Afghanistan and are a tribute to their sacrifice and courage.
A time capsule containing regimental artifacts and items of significance is encapsulated in a specifically designed cavity in the Patricia Park Memorial with the intent that it will be retrieved from the memorial and opened on August 10, 2064, on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Regiment. The artifacts represent the first 100 years of the service by the regiment. Also inside are three letters from Pte. Cole Lisowski, Pte. Mark Brushett and Pte. Dylan Renaud, three of the youngest members on active duty with the PPCLI, was given the task and honor of returning to the site 50 years from the unveiling to open the capsule.
The dedication of Patricia Park, in the community of Griesbach, offers Patricia’s and civilian citizens a place to reflect on both the achievements and sacrifices of the PPCLI, with over a thousand names of those Patricias lost because of active duty etched on a wall of honor. “This memorial will pay homage to that same courage and sacrifice of Patricias through the last hundred years and the next hundred years,” said Laurie Hawn, member of parliament representing Edmonton Centre.
In early August 1914 as events that led to the First World War unfolded, Andrew Hamilton Gault (named for the main road in Griesbach) conceived and organized a new military regiment for rapid mobilization to Europe. He spent $100,00 to raise Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry(PPCLI), which was composed entirely of experienced military men. As Major Gault, he becomes second-in-command. Gault was seriously wounded in the Battle of Frezenberg. He was the first Canadian in the war to be awarded the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry in the field. Lieutenant-Colonel Gault brought the regiment home as its commanding officer in March 1919 and he proudly led his men on a final parade through the streets of Ottawa. During the Second World War, Gault commanded a Canadian army reinforcement holding unit, and he was promoted to Colonel in 1940 and to Brigadier- General in 1942.
WWII Bailey Bridge
The Baily Bridge located near Kapyong Avenue in Griesbach is a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge used during WWII for the invasion of Europe by Allied forces. It was primarily designed and created by Canadian military engineers and is credited with much of the invasion's success as it permitted forces to advance rapidly on Nazi positions, despite the enemy's great destruction of regular bridges in France during their retreat.
This replica was constructed by members of the 8th Field Engineer Regiment in 2005 as a project to commemorate Alberta’s Centennial. It was built with “some” original components harvested from Bailey bridges used during the WWII invasion and transported to Canada from France. A Bailey bridge had the advantage of requiring no special tools or heavy equipment to assemble. The wood and steel elements were small and light enough to be carried in trucks and lifted into place by hand, without a crane.
Griesbach Bedford Basin
The Griesbach Edmonton Bedford Basin pays tribute to Canada’s Navy. Bedford Basin is a large enclosed anchorage forming the northwest end of Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia along Canada’s Atlantic coast. The basin is very deep and the solid holding ground on the basin floor made it an ideal anchorage and protected location for battleships during WWI and WWII.
There are a few more monuments in Griesbach Edmonton. Be sure to stop by and visit this fantastic north Edmonton community.