Slide between the past and present with these nine comparative photos of the Stampede City.
Centre Street Bridge ca. unknown and 2012
The Centre Street Bridge was built in 1916 for $375,000. Eight decades later the City shelled out $13 million for much-needed upgrades and repairs.
Knox Church ca. unknown and 2012
Construction of the Knox Church took place from 1911 to 1913 and cost somewhere between $185,000 and $200,000. The church’s 743-member congregation sold their previous home, a sandstone church located at 120 7th Avenue SW, to pay for construction. The original guarantors of the mortgage were R.J. Hutchings, John C. McNeill, T.J.S. Skinner, A.M. Terrill, John A. Langlands, J.T. MacDonald and O.G. Devenish. A number of other men put up life insurance policies as further guarantee. By 1917 the debt load had increased to $210,453 and in 1927 a debt reduction drive was launched. The mortgage was finally burned in 1954, and the building was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1980.
8th Avenue and Centre Street ca. 1910 and 2012
The historic photo was taken from the north side of Stephen Avenue sometime around 1910. Stephen Avenue, originally named for Baron George Mount Stephen, president of the Bank of Montreal and first president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, became 8th Avenue when street names changed to numbers in 1904. For many years, Stephen Avenue was Calgary’s main street and the commercial centre of the city.
Fairmont Palliser Hotel ca. 1920 and 2013
The Palliser was named in honour of Captain John Palliser, leader of the famed British expedition responsible for exploring Western Canada between 1857 and 1860. The 12-storey hotel was Calgary’s tallest building from 1914 until 1958 when it lost the title to the 20-storey Elveden Centre.
8th Avenue and 4th Street looking east ca. 1950s and 2012
A look at the first Eaton’s Centre before it was demolished and redeveloped in 1988. The original facade was stripped, labelled and stored so it could go back up once the extensive upgrade was complete. Before the structure was built in the 1920s, Eaton’s originally envisioned a 10-storey structure covering an entire city block, but the economy faltered in the years leading up to the depression and the company settled on a four-storey building which was completed in 1929 for $1 million. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $13.5 million today.
Central United Church, 131 7th Avenue SW ca. unknown and 2012
The city’s first united church opened on February 5th, 1905 and was deemed by its builders as a “conspicuous tribute to Calgary’s progressive spirit.”
Burns Building ca. 1930s and 2012
The building was commissioned by meat baron Pat Burns as the corporate headquarters and flagship market for his empire, Burns Foods. Completed in 1912, Burns exchanged the building for the Glengarry Ranch in 1923.
City Hall ca. 1920 and 2013
The current City Hall building was completed in 1911, a notable year for construction in Calgary as it was the same year that the Palliser Hotel, Hudson Bay Store, Grain Exchange building, Lougheed Building and Dominion Bank were being built.
Thomson Brothers Block, 112 8th Avenue SE ca. unknown and 2013
The Thomson Brothers Block was erected in 1893 to house the Thompson Brothers stationary and periodicals shop. With its rock-faced and dressed sandstone facade, it is one of the many buildings that helped establish Calgary’s reputation as the “Sandstone City.”