It started as a one-time, two day party. The rest is Stampede history.

Every July, Calgary sees a massive influx of people clad in cowboy hats and boots, oversized belt buckles, and, yes, bolo ties. They’re here for the Calgary Stampede, an annual 10-day shindig that typically draws more than one million people to the Stampede grounds in Victoria Park. In fact, the event temporarily transforms the entire […]

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Happy 106th City Hall!

Calgary’s old City Hall is currently undergoing a massive rehabilitation. The 106-year-old storied sandstone building is shrouded behind scaffolding and a protective enclosure, covered with an image of the original City Hall. That building was officially opened June 26, 1911 by Sir Robert Borden, the leader of the federal opposition party, who became prime minister […]

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54 years ago today, a new Central Library opened

Today, the New Central Library describes a cornerstone project under construction in Calgary’s East Village. But more than 50 years ago, the new Central Library referred to the Central Library at 616 Macleod Trail SE, which opened June 15, 1963. The new New Central Library, slated to open in fall 2018, will provide 240,000 square […]

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Crossing a bridge? Leave pigs at home.

Back in Calgary in 1913, a newly passed bylaw regulated what could happen on streets, sidewalks, and thoroughfares in the growing city, all in the name of preserving order. Among the exhaustive list of rules under bylaw 1502? No running or racing on streets or sidewalks, and no crowding or jostling "other foot passengers so […]

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1909: When six stories equaled “skyscraper” in Calgary.

Clocking in at six-stories, the Grain Exchange building at 1st Street and 9th Avenue SW was one of the tallest buildings in Alberta when it was built in 1909. It was the first building to extend Calgary’s business section beyond 8th Avenue. The building’s owner William Roper Hull, was a local real estate mogul, and […]

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Pandemonium broke out in Calgary on May 18, 1914. Here’s why…

It was an enterprising Okotoks farmer's discovery near Turner Valley that led to the birth of Western Canada’s first commercial oilfield. William Stewart Herron recognized the odour bubbling up along the Sheep River from his days working the oilfields of Pennsylvania. He captured the vapour in a couple of gallon stone jugs and sent it […]

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Fighting Fires in Calgary: From Steam Engines to Engine23

Fighting fires was an ad-hoc affair when Calgary was still a sleepy little town. At the shout of “fire” people would come running with buckets filled up at the town water tank. In winter, some would battle the flames with snowballs. Neither technique, needless to say, proved effective. Ten years after the creation of Fort […]

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