The beautiful Gothic Revival church in front of you was the center of Edmonton's first French-speaking parish, established in the 1850s by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Bishop Taché chose to name the mission of St. Joachim, and later the church, after the grandparents of Jesus, to demonstrate the Church's solidarity with family ties and respect for Elders, a central value among First Nations and Métis people. The first chapel of the parish was built of logs. The second chapel was larger, but by the end of the 19th century, space was running out and expansion was needed.
Designed by Francis Deggendorfer and built in 1899, the classical elements of this third church, such as symmetry and arched windows, are accompanied by Baroque features such as a bull's eye and a projecting front entrance. This red brick gem of late 19th century French-Canadian architecture has dramatic pinnacles on each side and a Victorian-style bell tower.
Inside, the Baroque influence is evident in the woodwork, stained glass windows and faux-marble altar. The stone stringcourses lighten the heaviness of the brick and lift the eye upward, a characteristic of the Gothic style. St. Joachim's was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1978, and a Municipal Historic Resource in 2018.