Proof that Calgary is, and always has been, a real groovy city.

Aerial view of downtown, ca. 1965

Calgary 1960s historicPhoto: Striderv/Flickr

When Calgary was first incorporated in 1884 — then known as the Town of Calgary — it had a population of only 506 people. By 1965 the city was home to some 311,116 residents.

View from Scotchman’s Hill, ca. 1960

Calgary 1960 historyPhoto: Calgary Public Library

Looking West at the CPR Station and Palliser Hotel from 1st Street SE, ca. 1966

Calgary Pallister Hotel 1960sPhoto: Calgary Public Library

Looking down 9th Avenue at the CPR station and Palliser Hotel, year unknown

Calgary 1960sPhoto: Calgary Public Library

The Canadian Pacific Railways station was demolished in June 1966 to accommodate the Palliser Square project and the Calgary Tower — originally known as the Husky Tower.

Husky Tower construction, ca. 1968

Calgary history 1960sPhoto: Calgary Tower

Husky Tower, ca. 1969

Calgary Tower 1969Photo: Calgary Public Library

While it was under construction, developers claimed the Huskey Tower would be only 614 feet tall in hopes of preventing competing projects from surpassing its height record. After construction wrapped up, the City of San Antonio promptly built a tower that was 623 feet. Only when the San Antonio tower was finished did the City of Calgary revealed that its tower was actually 628 feet. When it first opened on June 30th, 1968, the Husky Tower was indeed crowned the tallest structure of its type (free-standing tower) in North America.

North side of 9th Avenue between 1st Street SW and 2nd Street SW, ca. 1964

Calgary 1964Photo: Calgary Public Library

Aerial view, ca. 1960

Calgary 1960 aerialPhoto: Glenbow Archives

In 1960, Calgary was a thriving city with a population of 261,200. The city covered 75.8 square miles, including several new areas annexed in 1956.

Queen’s Hotel at the corner of 8th Avenue and 2nd Street SE, ca. 1963

Calgary history 1963Photo: Calgary Public Library

The Queen’s Hotel was built in 1893 and demolished in 1982 to make way for the new municipal building and underground parkade. Calgary Mayor Ralph Klein officially opened the new City Hall in October 1985. A time capsule, buried in the atrium floor, is scheduled to reopened during the 200th anniversary of the city in 2084.

Hotel Wales at 709 2nd Street SW, year unknown

Calgary 1960sPhoto: SwellMap/Flickr

The 1974 demolition of the Hotel Wales didn’t go as planned. Some 200 pounds of explosives were used to bring down the 43-year-old building, which “came down slightly off of its intended target,” according to the Glenbow Museum website. Debris was scattered into the intersection of 7th Avenue and 2nd Street SW and windows at the nearby Royal Bank were smashed.

Central Public Library, year unknown

Calgary Public Libary 1960sPhoto: SwellMap/Flickr

View from the roof of the Central Public Library, ca. 1963

Calgary 1961 rooftop viewPhoto: Calgary Public Library

Calgary’s Central Public Library building — officially the WR Castell Central Library  — was built from 1962 to 1963 at a cost of $1.2 million. It would undergo a $2 million expansion just 10 years later.

After a fire at 14th Street and 17th Avenue SW, ca. December 1964

calgary historyPhoto: Calgary Public Library

Picture above is a scene from the Condon Block Fire which broke out on December 15th, 1964. According to the Calgary Fire Fighter Museum website, the blaze destroyed an entire city block during a cold snap. The low temperatures made firefighting extremely difficult and 28 firefighters were taken to hospital with frostbite from the cold conditions.

The Palliser Hotel, year unknown

Palliser Hotel Calgary 1960sPhoto: SwellMap/Flickr

Inside the Palliser Hotel, year unknown

Palliser Hotel Calgary historyPhoto: Tom Barnes/Flickr

From 1962 to 1965 the Palliser Hotel underwent a $2.5 million renovation. Ceilings were lowered, air conditioning was installed, 475 suites were updated and a new dining area and bar, the Rimrock Room and the Big Top Lounge opened.

Elveden Centre, year unknown

Elveden House Calgary historyPhoto: SwellMap/Flickr

Standing 262 feet above ground, the 20-storey Elveden Centre was the tallest building in Calgary from 1958 to 1968.

Dowtown, year unknown

Calgary history 1960s-1Photo: SportSuburban/Flickr

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