Finding Calgary’s History

CB |


Image of Calgary c. 1946 [1]

mC:t    2015.08.14    

Hey Calgary! Why don’t we take a little stroll down memory lane?


Having only 140 years under it’s belt, Calgary is a very young city with so much potential to grow. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have history worth saving. There have been great efforts to ensure that we as a city protect the our heritage buildings so that in the future, Calgarians will still have the opportunity to experience our city’s humble beginnings.


Today we are going to take you on a walk through some of Inglewood‘s historic architecture. So grab your shoes and walk with us!



Map of Walking Tour through Inglewood. [2]


1. Deane House


Address: 802 9th Avenue SE [3]


Our first stop, the Deane House, is the only structure that remains from the original garrison at Fort Calgary. Having been moved twice, it found a home at the corner of 8th Street and 9th Avenue SW, on a beautiful plot of land along the Elbow River. The house, constructed in 1875, cost $6200 and became the residence of Fort Calgary’s commanding officer, Superintendent Richard Burton Deane, and his family. It has been said that many tragic events occurred in this house over the years, leaving behind ghosts that continue to haunt those who set foot inside. I don’t know how much I believe in ghosts, but if you are on a ghost hunt, this would be the place to go. 


2. Hunt House


Address: 890 9th Avenue SE [4]


Constructed in 1876 as a part of the HBC trading post, it is believed to be Calgary’s oldest building that remains in its original location. While it is currently under restoration, it simply could not be left on the list. If you don’t get a chance to see it now, make sure you pay a visit to the Hunt House when restorations on this little piece of history are complete.


3. Suitor House


Address: 1004 8th Avenue SE [5]


Architecturally marvelous, this home was constructed in 1907 by the primary resident. David Suitor was a carpenter who moved to Calgary from Quebec in 1902. The craftsmanship of this brick, sandstone and wood home can been seen in the unique appearance of each side of the house. While the home didn’t have an entrancing or haunting past, it’s stylistic quality allows the architecture to be the sole intrigue.


4. Cross House


Address: 1240 8th Avenue SE [6]


Originally constructed in 1891 for railway engineer Matthew Neilson, this farmhouse and the then surrounding farmland was purchased by A. E. Cross. Wonder why his name sounds familiar? He was the founder of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company and one of the Big Four ranchers who backed the original Calgary Stampede in 1912. Renaming the acreage “the Brewery,” the family kept farm animals, an orchard and a garden on the property. They went on to raise 5 children in the home and lived there until 1959. In 1973, the family donated the house to the city, becoming home to the horticultural division. In the early 2000s, the original grey siding got a boisterous red makeover when the building became home to Rouge Restaurant.


5. Stewart House


Address: 26 New Street SE [7]


Constructed around 1884 for land owner Major John Stewart, the house was intended to exemplify the beauty of the residential area he was promoting. Upon his young death in 1893, the house was passed on to new owners. By the time architect Jack Long purchased the house in 1969, the house had begun to decay. Restoring the building to be used as his own private residence and office, it became an early sign of the potential for revitalization in Inglewood.


6. Carson Block


Address: 1336 9th Avenue SE [8]


The Carson Block did not have an easy history to say the least. Prior to the completion of construction in 1912, the building twice made headlines in local newspapers. Due to the use of reinforced concrete construction, which was a new technology to Calgary at the time, the building’s concrete floors collapsed during construction. Controversy ensued, but nonetheless the building was completed in 1912 and still stands today.


7. East Calgary Telephone Exchange


Address: 1311 9th Avenue SE [9]


Constructed in 1909, this building was Calgary’s first automatic telephone substation. The sensitive equipment within required a unique envelope method. The building is constructed of two separate shells; an interior terra cotta shell and an exterior brick structural shell, which was entirely windowless. Windows were add when it was converted into a kindergarten in 1966.

Random fact: At one point in time the gap between the two shells was used as an illicit homeless shelter.


8. House & Hound


Address: 1030 9th Avenue SE [10]


Our final stop is the Hose and Hound, a popular neighborhood pub. It’s original purpose is no secret. One of Calgary’s first fire halls, Fire Station No. 3 was constructed in 1906, when the Calgary Fire Department was still using horse-drawn fire wagons. The building’s cornice and pediment create classical reference and arched bays elude to Romanesque influence, combined in a unique Canadian brick building. It seems fitting that the building remains a place where people meet and spend time with neighbors. The building has always served as a center piece of the community. The firemen used to freeze ice rinks for children in the winter and offer haircuts to neighbors. Even since the station closed in 1952, the building has been home to a school, a community hall and a variety of restaurants before the Hose and Hound.


Alright blog readers, this is where I leave you. But don’t be afraid to continue to explore on your own! If you feel an itch to find more of Calgary’s historic architecture, don’t fret. There are many resources out there, including Century Homes Calgary, the City’s historic resources inventory and Historic Walks of Calgary. Looking to walk with others? Check out Jane’s Walk or sign-up for a ghost tour and experience another side. Maybe I’ll even see you there!

Next: Coming soon…
Previous: Where is Calgary’s Nightlife


[1] Image:

[2] Base Map: Google Maps.

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[11] Sanders, H. (2005). Historic walks of Calgary: Ten walks to points of historical architectural interest. Calgary, AB: Red Deer Press.

[12] Leahul, D. (ND). Spooky city: Calgary’s most haunted houses. Accessed August 12, 2015.

[13] City of Calgary. Inventory of evaluated historic resources. Accessed August 12, 2015.



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  1. Candace Johner says:

    I guess you would call me an old time Calgarian(60). I was born & raised here, my parents were born & raised here, my father’s grand mother (native) was born around Cochrane & homesteaded with her English husband around Stettler. My mother’s parents homesteaded around Dapp, until they moved to Calgary in the late 1910s. They had a business on 5th ave & Center street SE called the Sharp Shop for many, many, years. I stood in a sky walk and watched their old house/business torn down when they wanted to build the new Encana/Cenovous building. I teared up, so many memories.

  2. Beautiful architecture and constructions I love that kind of design. Thanks for the pictures

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