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Calgary Brewing and Malting - Follow-Up

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

PC 758

East Calgary, Alberta with the Brewery in the background, ca. 1910s

Postcards from the Past, PC 758

The Town Hall Meeting regarding the Calgary Brewing and Malting site at the Inglewood Community Centre last Thursday was a resounding success. Nearly 200 people listened to a variety of speakers including Max Foran, who spoke about the history of Calgary Brewing and Malting, his wife Heather, who told about her experience as the underwater fish feeder at the aquarium and Darryl Cariou, Senior Heritage Planner for the City of Calgary, talked about the heritage value of the site and the status of the project. We also heard from community members who shared their experiences of the Brewery and the significance of the site to their lives and we heard about projects such as the Ramsay Exchange, where preservation of heritage buildings has fit in successfully with development plans. It was a very positive meeting, and raises hope that the needs of the community, both the immediate community of Inglewood and the larger community of the city, and the needs of the developer can be accommodated. For the latest information and updates visit

Calgary Public Library had a display of materials related to the subject and were our resources well used. Dr. Foran read from a copy of the Heritage Resource Impact Assessment done by Molson’s in the 1990s and Global TV used two of our postcards of the Brewing and Malting site to illustrate their news story. We do have a good collection of material related to Calgary Brewing and Malting including the postcards in the Community Heritage and Family History Digital Library. Use the search term “brewery or brewing”. The results should include a postcard of the Brewery gardens and the Horseman’s Hall of Fame. If you are interested in finding out more about the history of the brewery, the history of the neighbourhood or the history of the Cross family, come down and visit us in the Community Heritage and Family History collection at the Central Library. We are open from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 8pm, Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm. Stop at the reference desk at the 4th floor and we'll show you around.

Calgary Brewing and Malting

by Christine Hayes - 3 Comment(s)

PC 1376

Calgary Brewing and Malting Co.

Postcards from the Past, PC 1376

Another historic Calgary site has been in the news recently. The owner of the Calgary Brewing and Malting site in Inglewood has applied for demolition permits for some of the buildings on the site. Although it is a Class A heritage site, this designation does not legally block the owner from demolishing the buildings. A Historic Resource Impact Assessment has been ordered.

The Calgary Brewing and Malting Company was really one of the very first Calgary industries. It was founded in 1892 by A.E. Cross, one of the Big Four, on a site which was, at the time, just outside of the city limits. It had two key elements important to a brewery; its proximity to the rail line and an artesian well nearby (because we all know, "the water makes the difference, naturally.") Some of the buildings on that site date to the original founding of the company. There are also buildings on the site that hold historic significance because of their architecture. For example, the administration office was designed by Hodgson and Bates in 1907 and maintains some of the original detail including a sandstone carving of a buffalo head and horseshoe, the logo of the company and a familiar symbol to anyone who grew up quaffing the company’s products (which did include soft drinks!) Calgary Brewing and Malting was the first industry in Calgary to use natural gas in 1908. The gas came from a well drilled by Archie Dingman's Calgary Natural Gas Company on Colonel Walker's estate.

The site also bears historic importance because of the role of the company in the life of this city. The area around was known as Brewery Flats because of the importance of the industry as an employer to the people who lived there. The Cross family employed people in good times and in bad. During the Depression, rather than lay off employees, they were put to work creating the Brewery Gardens, trout ponds and fish hatchery. They held the jobs for those who had gone to serve in World War II. The grounds also housed the largest salt water aquarium west of Vancouver and the Horseman’s Hall of Fame. There is an excellent discussion of the site and its importance to the city on the Calgary Heritage Initiative’s website:

The Community Heritage Roundtable and the Inglewood Community Association are hosting a meeting regarding this site on July 16, 7 pm at the Inglewood Community Hall, 1740 – 24th Avenue SE. RSVP your intention to attend at the following website by July 14:

or you can telephone 403-244-4111.

We also have resources available here at the Calgary Public Library. Of particular interest is the four volume Historical resource impact assessment done by Ken Hutchinson Architect Limited for Molson’s in 1997. This is in the Community Heritage and Family History room at the Central Library, along with other information about the company.

The Stampede Parade

by Christine Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

PC 868

Parade on Stephen Avenue, ca 1900s

Postcards from the Past, PC 868

Did everyone see the parade? We are strategically placed here at the Central Library. We have windows that look right over 6th Avenue E, right at the beginning of the parade route. We were able to catch a little of the action on Friday morning. Mike Holmes was the Grand Marshal and in good cowboy style, he was proudly astride a horse. No buggy rides for him.

The parades haven’t changed too much in the many years I have been watching them. There are always lots of horses (and the attendant street sweepers) lots of bands, plenty of colourful costumes and our First Nations neighbours in traditional dress. The Native bands around Calgary were among the first people that Guy Weadick approached when he was putting together the first Stampede in 1912 and they have been a part of the parades and, really, every aspect of the Stampede since then.

Our first Stampede parade was led by the fire chief Cappy Smart. Of course, parades were a part of city celebrations long before the Stampede. There was a great parade for the Dominion Exhibition in 1908. The postcard image in this entry is of a Roman chariot being driven through the streets of Calgary for that parade. I don’t know why I’m always surprised to realize that the streets in Calgary were dirt at that time, but they were. We have lots of postcard images of parades in Calgary. You can search the Community Heritage and Family History Digital Collection (the link is on the left side of this page) for “parade” and turn up some interesting ones. If you’re interested in Stampede history, we have a very fine collection of postcards of the original Stampede along with cards from other events, including the 1908 Exhibition. Use the search term ‘stampede’ or ‘dominion exhibition’ to see those. We also have a good collection of material such as programs, livestock catalogues, lists of prize winners and even planning documents from when the Stampede was proposing to move to Lincoln Park. Come on down and see us!