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The History of Victoria Park

  • July 25, 2011
  • By Cody Battershill

Downtown Calgary Beltline Revitalization

Refreshed, Renewed, Revitalized Victoria Park

The History of Victoria Park CalgaryThe area’s name originated back in 1889, when the Calgary Stampede & Exhibition Grounds completed the construction of a race track and exhibition building on their newly purchased permanent site.  The area was named Victoria Park after Queen Victoria.

Victoria Park has been a centre of growth and investment since Calgary’s first boom in the early 20th century. The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) built a station and loading docks in 1902, in what is today’s “Warehouse District” between 9th and 10th Avenue SE, enticing people to the area.

The CPR then began to purchase plots of land from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, so their employees would have somewhere to live close to their place of work.  The plots were then divided into 25 by 100 foot properties and sold in lottery-type sales.

This influx of people into the area allowed for the development of Haultain School, the original 2-room schoolhouse which still stands in Haultain Park today. Today, it is surrounded by a state-of-the-art playground, grass field, and tennis courts.

Victoria Park and 1st Street in downtown CalgaryMemorial Park Library was also opened during Calgary’s first boom, in 1912.  It was the first public library in all of Alberta, and Victoria Park residents still enjoy its services today.

 Today, these original houses are mostly gone, and the past five years have seen incredible growth in the area as urban Calgary’s newest lifestyle destination.  With new restaurants and retail shops bringing life to 1st Street SW, and beautiful apartments and condominium complexes, there is a new boom happening in Victoria Park today.