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History of Calgary – Then & Now

  • June 13, 2012
  • By Cody Battershill

History of Calgary – Then & Now

Have you ever wondered what Calgary looked like in the past? Our city didn't always have as many towering skyscrapers as it did today... not even trees!

History of Calgary 1908 2012

Our history of Calgary then and now comparisons have a split image of the downtown skyline from past and presents times, its simply amazing to see how much our city has changed over the years. Check them out, between even some more important events in the history of Calgary!

Calgary History

A long time ago in 1873 European settlers came to the area known as Calgary and did what they set out to do. They built a settlement, which was first named Fort Brisebois by a North West Mounted Police Officer (NWMP) Ephrem Brisebois in 1875.

In 1876 the settlement was renamed Fort Calgary by a Colonel of the NWMP, James Macleod. During those years, the NWMP upheld a post in the settlement to safeguard the fur trade as well as protect the western Canadian plains from any whisky traders from the United States. Find out more at the History of Calgary Then & Now – 1885 and 1912.

Calgary began to grow into an important western Canadian agricultural and commercial centre after the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) had managed to build a railroad and railway station in the region in 1883. Learn more at the History of Calgary Then & Now - 1880's.

However, during these growth years "The Town of Calgary" faced its own challenges. Most particularly, it was the fire of 1886 that destroyed a large amount of the town's wooden structures, but led city officials to recommend that they begin building important city structures of a fire retardant material instead of wood. Find out more at the Dawn of "The City of Calgary": 1894.

In the years to follow, people from around the world were attracted to the region by the promise of free land for agricultural use. As a result of population growth between 1896 and 1914 and a few other variables, what we know today as the greatest outdoor show on earth, the Stampede, began in 1912 as a small rodeo and agricultural show. See more at the History of Calgary Then & Now - 1908.

History of Calgary - Calgary Facts 1923

1923 marked a new era for the City of Calgary and the Calgary Stampede. It was the first time it would be considered an annual event made true by a merger, while inventive new ideas from founder Guy Weadick were both the beginnings of its future success and an important part in the history of Calgary. Learn more at the History of Calgary Then & Now - 1923.

The early 1940's were a time of much strife throughout the globe as a result of the Second World War. The Calgary Highlanders, a local army battallion, began fighting Nazi Germany in the summer of 1944 and would see a long and arduous campaign until the Allies victory in 1945. See more at the History of Calgary - Then and Now - 1944.

In 1947, vast oil reserves were found in Alberta, creating a huge oil boom in the province. Calgary’s economy began to develop around the oil industry, since the city became somewhat of a central hub for the oil industry. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always good for the city. Find out more at the History of Calgary Then & Now - 1947.

During recessions the city suffered immensely due to its close ties with oil, therefore the city learned to diversify culturally and economically. It is this era in time that the city transitioned from being a middle-sized, somewhat undistinguished town in the prairies to a main economic and cultural hub of Western Canada. Read more at the History of Calgary Then & Now – 1968.

Olympic Winter Games 1988 infographic history of Calgary1988 Olympic Winter Games

The 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games was a monumental event that changed our city for the good through several different Olympic venues still in use today!

Learn more about how lucky we were to be host to the games at the History of Calgary - 1988 Olympic Winter Games 25th Anniversary!

History of Fort Calgary and the Man Who Named It

Did you know that Calgary originally had a different name than today? Learn more about the History of Fort Calgary and Colonel James Macleod, the man who gave our city the name it has today.

Today, Calgary has a full-spectrum of people, cultures and industries. YYC....

  • Was rated 5th best city to live in the world
  • Is young; the average age is just 35.7 years old
  • Is the business and financial centre of western Canada, and has the strongest economy in the entire country
  • Is approximately 848 square kilometers and still growing
  • Is culturally diverse; approximately 25% of its citizens are born in a foreign place

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Come back soon for more history, landmarks, info and more concerning the wonderful YYC. Thanks for stopping in! Check out these 20 Reasons Why I Love Calgary!

Category: Blog, Calgary