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Take a stroll through history

Canada Lands Company, (CLC) developer of Village At Griesbach, is committed to ensuring the legacy of the lands to which it is entrusted. In the Village, CLC has achieved this by creating a series of themed public spaces, statues, monuments, educational displays and titled parks in recognition of Canada’s military heritage and contribution to global conflict resolution.

Village at Griesbach was originally CFB Edmonton (Canadian Forces Base) also known as Griesbach Barracks. Established in 1950, the base had its beginnings as an ordnance depot, later becoming the home of Western Command Headquarters. Griesbach Barracks closed in 2000. The site, including its 750 PMQs (personal military quarters), were transferred to Canada Lands Company in 2002.

Canada Lands Company was entrusted with transiting the lands from a brownfield military base into the thriving master-planned, mixed-use neighbourhood that exists today.

Major General William Antrobus Griesbach

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment was founded in 1915 when the 49th Battalion, headed by then Lieutenant Colonel Griesbach, began recruiting soldiers from the region in response to a shortage of soldiers at the start of WWI. Lieutenant Colonel Griesbach was given command of the next infantry battalion to be raised from Edmonton and area, the 49th Battalion. In December 1915, the 49th joined three other battalions -Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and the 42nd Battalion from Montreal.

After several months of training, the 49th landed in France and moved to the front to start fighting, a grueling saga that lasted for three years. The Battalion earned ten battle honours, including an honour for one of its bloodiest fights, the Battle of Passchendaele, in October 1917. Twenty-one officers and 567 soldiers went into battle and only 145 survived. Of the 4,050 men who served with the 49th in France and Belgium, 977 died and 2,282 were wounded.

After WWII the 49th Regiment became formally affiliated with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Troops from The Loyal Edmonton Regiment remain active in this capacity and have supported Canada’s peacekeeping efforts since the 1950s.

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.

In his civilian life, William Griesbach was a lawyer, an Alderman, Edmonton’s youngest Mayor and later served as a Member Of Parliament and a Canadian Senator. In 1906 he married Janet Scott McDonald Lauder who played an important role in the history of Edmonton. Janet was Edmonton’s first telephone operator and a major public figure for charity and community activity. Fiercely committed to her husband, she joined his unit overseas during WWI, serving as a nurse.

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Major General Griesbach Parade

The community is named after Major-General William Antrobus Griesbach (1878–1945), a veteran of the First World War, Second World War and the Boer War.

Major General Griesbach stands watch over the community named in his honour through a statue located on Griesbach Parade. 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.

Patricia Lake and Park

Patricia Lake & Park

This park site was created to honour 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.

WWII Bailey Bridge

WWII Bailey Bridge

The Baily Bridge was 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.

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.

It is argued by military historians the invasion of Europe would not have been successful without this uniquely Canadian innovation. The Bailey Bridge on Patricia Lake is a replica of the WWII bridge, but is built on a smaller permanent scale. 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. The motto of the Canadian Military Engineers is “Ubique” which in Latin means “everywhere”.

Bedford Basin

Bedford Basin

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 battle ships during WWI and WWII.

Canada’s prominent role in WWI led to Halifax being selected as the primary logistics port for resupplying Western Europe and for transporting troops.

The protected waters of Bedford Basin allowed the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy to assemble convoys consisting of hundreds of merchant ships in relative security while torpedo nets kept German submarines at bay further out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Today CFB Halifax is at the entrance to Bedford Basin and is the home of Canada’s Atlantic fleet.

A Kisbie Ring at the entrance to our NAVY Plaza on Bedford Basin pays tribute to Canada’s naval services.

HMCS Nonsuch is the Edmonton Division of the Canadian Navy (Reserve), a name with a great legacy in the city and Great Britain. The reserve began service in September, 1939 and thousands of Navy volunteers did basic training on a land-locked ship which became HMCS NONSUCH.

HMCS Edmonton (703) whose bow has been recreated in the Bedford Basin tribute park is a Kingston-class coastal defence vessel that has served in the Canadian Forces since 1997. The ship is assigned to Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) and is homeported at CFB Esquimalt.


Roundel Lake & Ad Astra

This dramatic lake and park site are dedicated to the Canadian Air Force.

“Ad Astra” are Latin words meaning “To The Stars”, a motto adopted by the Canadian Air Force. It forms part of the lofty and noble aspiration of all Air Force personnel who serve, or have served, fought or died in service to Canada.

The Ad Astra monument is a 10-metre-high stainless steel sculpture representing a “star burst”. It is also an aerobatic manoeuvre familiar to many who attend military air shows. Installed alongside the steel sculpture are granite storyboards that tell the story of Edmonton’s great contribution to Canada’s Air Force history, which dates back almost 100 years, as well as plaques honouring eight RCAF veterans with strong connections to the region and province.

The monument is the centre point of Ad Astra Plaza, a symbolic runway with representations of legendary aircraft like the Spitfire, the Avro Arrow, and the C-130 Hercules.

Roundel Lake was named in recognition of the Roundels used on the wings and fuselage of Canadian military aircraft.

Canadian aircraft used the British RAF version of the Roundel until 1946 when the natural maple leaf was adopted. It was then revised in 1965 to the 11-point stylized leaf as portrayed on Canada’s national flag and has flown on all RCAF aircraft since. Roundel Lake is one of the four man-made lakes in Village At Griesbach.

Roundel Lake & Ad Astra

Flanders Field Park

Flanders Field Park

This very special tribute park pays homage to the 100th anniversary of the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918). “In Flanders Fields” is the most recognized war poem ever authored.

John McCrae served in France during the First World War as an Artillery Officer and doctor in the 1st Canadian Field Artillery Brigade.

In spring of 1915, he served at the second Battle of Ypres in Belgium near some of the heaviest fighting. McCrae was deeply affected by the loss of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer and the hundreds of wounded soldiers he treated routinely at St Julien (Belgium) and the staggering loss of life. It was under these circumstances he wrote the words that would capture the scene and moment forever.

The poem was initially published in England's in Punch Magazine on Dec 8, 1915. Within months it became a well-known poem of war. The poem has become part of our cultural heritage and a famous tribute to never forget those who died in service to Canada.

In January 1918, McCrae died and did not live to see the end of hostilities. He is buried in Flanders, Belgium.

In Canada, Remembrance Day occurs each year on November 11th. It is a day of national respect for the 100,000 Canadians who died and the 225,000 who were wounded during World War I and subsequent conflicts.

The adoption of the poppy as the symbol of remembrance has international origins. The first person to use it this way was an American, Moina Michael, who worked with the YMCA Overseas Secretaries. After reading John McCrae’s poem , she was inspired to wear a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance and "keeping the faith with all who died".

Madame Anna Guerin of France inspired by Moina and the poem introduced the idea of the memorial poppy to other nations allied with France during the war. The poem “In Flanders Field “and the red poppy carry an enduring message that war is the last resort in dealing with conflicts among nations and we can never forget those who have served our country.