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The Tallest Buildings of Calgary’s Past, Present and Future

Calgary’s Skyline Just Keeps Getting Taller… and Taller…

Calgary YYC Tallest Buildings Infographic

1914 – Fairmont Palliser HotelFairmont Palliser Hotel Downtown Calgary landmark

  • Calgary’s tallest building until 1958
  • 12 stories
  • 60 metres, 197 feet

The Fairmont Palliser Hotel is Calgary’s most historic and luxurious hotel.

Located in the downtown business core, it was originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway to accompany the influx of people from the east once the railway was completed.

In 1929 an additional three stories were added which made it the tallest building in Calgary until the Elveden Centre was constructed.

1958 – Elveden CentreI love Calgary

  • Calgary’s first official skyscraper
  • 20 stories
  • 80 metres, 263 feet

The Elveden Centre became Calgary’s tallest building during the beginning phases of its construction in 1958.

It consists of three towers: the first was built between 1959 and 1960, the second between 1960 and 1962, and the third, 1962 and 1964.

Originally commissioned by British Pacific Building, it was one of several new office buildings built with the intent of housing oil companies that had moved to the city in the years following the discovery of oil in Leduc, Alberta in 1947.

1968 – Calgary Tower225 SIXTH New Downtown Calgary Skyscraper

  • Iconic city landmark
  • Calgary’s tallest building until 1983
  • 191 metres, 627 feet

The Calgary Tower is one of the founding members of the World Federation of Great Towers.

Completed in 1968, it became YYC’s tallest building and the tallest in Canada outside of Toronto at the time.

Today the tower features a 360-degree glass observation deck and a restaurant called Sky 360 that rotates about the axis of the tower every 45 minutes or so, making it one of the best Calgary tourist attractions!

1983 – Suncor Energy CentreBow Tower Petro Canada Building Downtown Calgary

  • Calgary’s tallest building until 2010
  • 53 stories
  • 215 metres (705 feet)

Originally named the Petro-Canada Centre, this two-tower development became the tallest building in YYC during the west tower’s construction in 1983.

During its early years many referred to the buildings as the Red Square because it was owned and operated by Petro-Canada, a government owned and operated corporation at the time.

In 2009 Petro-Canada was privatized and bought out by Suncor Energy; the buildings main tenants include Suncor Energy, Direct Energy, Weatherford, Enbridge and Precision Drilling to name a few.

2010 – Bow TowerCalgary Bow Tower

  • 2nd tallest building in western Canada outside of Toronto
  • 58 stories
  • 236 metres (774 feet)

The architecturally sound Bow Tower reigned supreme as tallest structure in Calgary from 2010 until 2016 when its height was surpassed by Brookfield Place.

It was named the top corporate office building in the world in 2012 by Emporis and also ranked among the top 10 architectural projects the same year by Azure Magazine.

Original plans specified the Bow Tower at 305 metres, or 1000 feet tall, but was reduced to coincide with the City of Calgary’s height restrictions that prevent shadows from being cast onto the Bow River during the spring and summer months.

2016 – Brookfield PlaceBrookfield Place Calgaryism Infographic Calgary Alberta Skyscraper

  • Tallest building in Canada outside of Toronto
  • 56 stories
  • 247 metres (810 feet)

Brookfield Place reigns supreme as Calgary’s tallest building, surpassing the Bow Tower during construction in the summer of 2016. Also see Brookfield Place: Soon-to-be Calgary’s Tallest Building.

The first building – the east tower – is slated for completion in 2017 with construction on the second to follow soon afterwards.

Brookfield is an international asset management company with over $250 billion worth in assets under its control.

Calgary’s emerging presence as an international city makes it the perfect place for the asset management firm to gain a foothold in a consistently strong downtown office space rental market.

The question remains; how long will it be until Brookfield Place is overturned as Calgary’s tallest building? Only time will tell!I love Calgary

I Love Calgary

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  1. Brookfield Place will actually be the second tallest building in Canada outside of Toronto because Edmonton’s Stantec Tower slated for 2019 completion will be taller (251m).
    I also disagree with the part of this where you say “consistently strong downtown office space rental market” judging by the fact the vacancy rate is 27.9%.

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