Calgary may appear as a sleek, bustling, and modern city to visitors nowadays, but it wasn’t always the case.
Much like every other metropolitan area, Calgary rose from the ground up thanks to settlers, pioneers, and an entrepreneurial spirit or two.
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It has only been 144 years since Calgary was founded back in 1875, and since that time skyrises have risen, suburban areas have sprouted, and the population has exploded to an astounding 1.2 million – making it the third most populous in all of Canada.
There are a few Twitter accounts that aren’t all that interested in present-day statistics, however, and are instead fascinated by the formative years of the city we call home.
Historians, along with accounts representing government archives, are constantly discovering new (yet quite old) photos of Calgary as it was growing into the steel and glass behemoth that is it today.
We’ve tracked down a select few of these accounts so that you can take a look back in time at the streets of Calgary, Alberta:
As a Calgary-based historian, Sanders’ professional account is chock-full of facts, photos, and newspaper clippings of a long-ago Calgary.
#100YearsAgoToday in #YYC: Architect Reginald T. Holman dies, aged 36. With partner Laurence Gotch, he designed the now-demolished City Hall Corner (now the Municipal Plaza) and 6 buildings on @YYCHeritageAuth inventory, including the home of #Titanic survivors Bert & Vera Dick. pic.twitter.com/3OqjY0zR4y
— Harry Sanders (@harry_historian) January 27, 2019
— Harry Sanders (@harry_historian) January 7, 2019
— Harry Sanders (@harry_historian) December 25, 2018
While this one might not be Calgary-specific, it is still a treasure trove of images showing what Alberta looked like in years past.
The original Al Rachid Mosque, Edmonton, Alberta, April 12, 1948 (G725). pic.twitter.com/iNLpoFRlif
— Provincial Archives of Alberta (@ProvArchivesAB) January 29, 2019
Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, December 1956: visible businesses include Esso, a bakery, the Pig n Whistle, Seven Seas, Beaver Lunch, Hotel Delmar and the Hudson’s Bay Company. There are also billboards for Cecil Hotel, Calgary Moosehead, Heinz Ketchup and Coca Cola (RP143.2). pic.twitter.com/JfHKIBHIvs
— Provincial Archives of Alberta (@ProvArchivesAB) January 15, 2019
View of Calgary, Alberta with three unidentified people in the foreground, before 1905 (A2431). pic.twitter.com/f5nIbgeWV7
— Provincial Archives of Alberta (@ProvArchivesAB) November 30, 2018
Telling the stories of southern Alberta’s first pioneers, this Twitter account specializes in easily-identifiable landmarks, buildings, and views.
— S. Alberta Pioneers (@sa_pioneers) November 1, 2018
— S. Alberta Pioneers (@sa_pioneers) October 29, 2018
— S. Alberta Pioneers (@sa_pioneers) October 22, 2018
Alan Zakrison is a Calgary-based (or Cowgry-based, as he puts it) history buff with a serious sense of humour. He’s quick with the retweet button, so following him gives you an insight into basically every account mentioned above.
Having a bit of a #BlueMonday? Perhaps this wee tale will help cheer you up. In 1934- the depths of the Great Depression- father/son George & Jerry Puckett took a chance on #YYC & built their sixth White Spot- the Mt Rundle Diner- on the SW corner of 8th Ave and 4th St SW. pic.twitter.com/evbubYHCTm
— Alan Zakrison (@AlanZakrison) January 21, 2019
Some recent updates to the @chca community asset map: “Freakin’ at the Beacon”, the Crescent Heights branch of the @calgarylibrary, Boogies Burgers, and the 1913 Crescent Theatre. Thanks to Kevin and Richard at @chca for setting this map up! Link here: https://t.co/X0MoniM1CC pic.twitter.com/frZA5kSNWp
— Alan Zakrison (@AlanZakrison) January 17, 2019
— Alan Zakrison (@AlanZakrison) January 9, 2019
And, finally, a look at just how far we’ve come:
— Alan Zakrison (@AlanZakrison) January 11, 2018
— Urban Calgary (@Surrealplaces) January 11, 2018