ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Galt Museum and Archives, Lethbridge, Alberta: Housed in the Former Galt Hospital, Completed 1910

Updated on August 30, 2019
Provincial flag of Alberta
Provincial flag of Alberta | Source
Galt Hospital 1910. Now Galt Museum
Galt Hospital 1910. Now Galt Museum | Source

Striking Neoclassical features

In Lethbridge, Alberta, what is now the Galt Museum and Archives (1) is housed in the striking Neoclassical building which formerly housed the Galt Hospital. This structure was commenced in 1908 and completed in 1910. This building replaced an earlier facility dating from 1891. At its inception, Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, coming towards the end of a long period in office, presided over the hospital's inauguration.

To give it its complete former name, the Sir Alexander Galt Hospital (2) served its original function until 1955. After care facilities were somewhat restricted from this date, the building continued to serve as a rehabilitation centre until 1964.

The Hospital was originally built particularly to serve local people who worked at the Alberta Railway and Coal Company, of which the Galt family were founders and owners.

Neoclassical features include an entrance way pediment and several pilasters at the same elevation. The clean lines of this partly brick and partly sandstone structure give these Neoclassical features clarity. The building's cornice is notably ornate.

Today, the Museum contains over 17,000 items and over 1 million documents, with strengths in local history (3). Particular strengths of the Museum's collection include sections on coal mining and on the Blackfoot culture of First Nations. The adjacent Museum Grounds contain a large variety of grasses and wildflowers.

The building has been entered into the Alberta Register of Historic Places. It thus effuses memories of a long-gone era of Western Canada, when the Province of Alberta was still in its infancy.

The Galt Museum and Archives — my visit to which was all too short — are situated at 502 1 Street South Lethbridge, Alberta.

August 30, 2019


(1) See also:

(2) Among other roles, Sir Alexander Galt (1817-1893), one of the architects of Confederation who was notably involved in railway interests and irrigation projects in Southern Alberta, at various times served as the Dominion (Federal) Government's Finance Minister, and Canadian High Commissioner in London, England (Interestingly, Sir Alexander Galt, while serving as Canada's representative in London, managed to annoy the British Government because he "dared" to negotiate trade issues with French and Spanish officials. Thus, in a benign way, he is remembered as a historical figure who quietly undermined British Imperialism.) He is particularly noted locally as the founder of Lethbridge. Soon after the opening of the Hospital, named for Sir Alexander Galt, came the cataclysmic events of World War One; the Government of Canada continued in stages to become more independent; and the custom of conferring knighthoods on prominent personalities ceased.


 Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt.
Sir Alexander Tilloch Galt. | Source

Also worth seeing

In Lethbridge, notable sights include Henderson Lake; the Japanese Gardens; the record-breaking High Level Bridge, dating from 1909; dining in the Water Tower Restaurant; and many others.

Nanton (distance: 121.4 kilometres); the Air Museum commemorates Canadian aviators of Bomber Command during World War Two; the Museum notably possesses a Lancaster bomber. There are various well appointed antique shops close by.

Waterton (distance: 124.6 kilometres): this outstandingly scenic location - part of Warterton-Glacier International Peace Park - has striking views from the much photographed Prince of Wales Hotel over the often snow-capped Rockies and the Waterton Lakes.

How to get there

Air Canada, flies to Lethbridge Airport, via Calgary, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Lethbridge Census Division, Alberta
Map location of Lethbridge Census Division, Alberta | Source

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)