History of Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is a city located on the Western side of Alberta Province in Canada. The city sits at the convergence of two major rivers, the Elbow and Bow Rivers, surrounded by a prairie landscape and gorgeous foothills. It is a beautiful metropolitan, characterised by a contemporary highly built area, while retaining its characteristic natural feel, thanks to the rivers, hills and the Canadian Rocky Mountains. After Montreal and Toronto, Calgary is the third-largest municipality, boasting a population of over 1.2 million people.

The town began as a settlement zone for early natives such as îyârhe Nakoda, the Tsuut’ina and Métis and had been so for about 10,000 years before 1875. In this year, the North-West Mounted Police set up a post at the site and as such, these Mounties erected a fort. At this time, it was nameless but in 1876 was named Fort Calgary, etymology based on Calgary Bay in Scotland. This Scottish name in Gaelic translates to pasture by the bay, which is what the bay in Scotland represented.

In 1883, a railway station was built near Fort Calgary and based on the presence of security from the Mounties, the area grew in population rapidly. In 1884, it was recognized as a town, only to be taken a few steps back by a catastrophic fire in 1886, though without fatalities. Soon enough the small town revived its small economy and 8 years later, was named a city, with a population of about 4000.

As the city continued to grow, Calgary City hall was constructed, in 1911 and in 1912, the famous annual event, the Calgary Stampede began. This fuelled a lot of growth through domestic tourism, which explains why festivities remain a backbone of the city till today. Indeed the History of Calgary Alberta as with any other town, informs a lot on current trends. The spark that ignited Calgary’s economy though, is perhaps the 1914 discovery of oil near the town, therefore the construction of an oil refinery in the city. This triggered progression and the city started diversifying its economy, and a zoo was even set up in 1920.

Today, Calgary continues to thrive from all corners. There are universities, corporate businesses, shopping malls and administration centres. It has a population of about 1.4 million people, recorded in 2016. The industrial sector is primarily dominated by gas and oil and the city is characterized by a robust corporate stature, being the 2nd largest city to have the most corporate offices of all 800+ corporate companies in Canada. Tourism without doubt also continues to be a major economic spine, with many centres of the town being tourism sites notably The Military Museums, The Calgary Tower, Devonian Gardens, Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts and many others. A simple History of Calgary Alberta, but one that elaborates why things are as they are today!