Besides being home to a world-class carriage museum, the small Alberta town of Cardston also has an impressive Mormon temple—the first built in Canada, as well as the first built outside the USA. Mormon settlers came to the region in late 19th century and settled here, some 15 miles north of the USA-Canada Border.
The temple site was dedicated on 27 July 1913 by Joseph F. Smith, with groundbreaking later that year. Construction was delayed because of World War I and the building was not completed until 1923, when the temple was dedicated. Cardston’s is just one of eight Mormon temples that do not have an angel Moroni statue.
The temple sits atop a small hill — the high point in the town — on a spacious 10 acres. The building has 88,562 square feet of space. It’s constructed of white granite quarried in British Columbia and every stone used in its construction was hand-hewn. It’s a testament to the hard work of the Mormon people that the temple was constructed as quickly as it was — often such massive projects can take many decades to finish.
The outside of the church is very impressive. I walked around its full circumference and studied it from different angles and there is harmonious symmetry to it, as you can see from the photos below.
The temple has a Visitor Center that was closed when I visited. As far as I know, non-Mormons can visit the Visitor’s Center, but cannot enter into a temple (please advise if you know that impression to be wrong). The interior of the temple is said to contained hand-painted murals and rare hardwoods on the walls of its ordinance rooms.
The temple was closed in the late 1980s for three years of renovations, including modernization of its electrical and mechanical systems, addition of an entryway to the front of the building (see above photo), and complete refurbishment of its interior.
On September 16, 1995, the temple was named a Canadian Historic Site.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photograph)