The 1970s were a time of unprecedented growth in Calgary. As oil prices soared so too did the city’s population and skyline, as evidenced here in our photographic look back at the decade.

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Calgary late 1970s Photo: Calgary Public Library

In 1970, Calgary’s population was 389,000 residents. Over the next 10 years it would swell by 46 per cent, hitting 568,000 by 1980.

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Calgary history 1970s Photo: Calgary Public Library

The official description on the back of this postcard reads: “Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The 1970’s are bringing an unprecedented explosion in the industrial growth of Calgary; Canada’s fastest growing city. The skyline of downtown Calgary is a spectacular panorama of ever growing skyscrapers.”

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Calgary Tower 1970s Photo: Calgary Public Library

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Calgary 1970 Photo: Wikimedia

The Calgary Tower was the tallest structure in the city during the 1970s. It was surpassed in the early 1980s by the Suncor Energy Centre.

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Calgary 1971 Photo: lindsaybridge/Flickr

The original Eaton’s Centre as it was in 1971. In 1988, the building was demolished and redeveloped. However, he original facade was stripped, labelled and stored so it could go back up once the upgrade was complete.

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Calgary 1971 Photo: Reddit

Like its population, Calgary’s economy grew tremendously in the 1970s as oil prices soared during the Arab Oil Embargo. In 1973 the price of oil was trading at $3 (USD) a barrel, and it climbed to $15 almost overnight. By the end of the decade, the price was almost $40 a barrel.

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Calgary 1970s Photo: Clive Ball/Flickr

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Calgary history 1972 Photo: history.alberta

At the height of the Alberta oil boom in the 1970s, Calgary issued more than $1 billion worth of construction permits annually, more than Chicago or New York, according to CBC. Apartment vacancy rates during this period approached zero as Ontarians and Maritimers arrived daily in search of high-paying jobs.

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Calgary history 1972 (2) Photo: David Ross/Flickr

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Calgary 1972 Photo: David Ross/Flickr

Construction of the Plus 15 pedestrian network, linking major office buildings in the Central Business District, began at the beginning of the 1970s.

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Calgary 1973 history Photo: zemistor/Flickr

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Calgary 1973 Photo: James Tworow/Flickr

Queen Elizabeth’s motorcade. This picture was taken from the intersection of 16th Avenue and Centre Street N during the Royal visit of June 1973.

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Calgary history 1974 Photo: Bernie/Flickr

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Calgary 1974 Photo: srv007/Flickr

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Calgary 1975 Photo: imgur via Reddit

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Calgary 1975 Photo: photos by Bob V/Flickr

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Calgary history 1975 Photo: history.alberta.ca

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Calgary 1979 Photo: Gord McKenna/Flickr

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calgary history 1979 Photo: Calgary Public Library

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