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01 Opening a New.jpg
40 Year Stroll Image 03 04.jpg
04 Sandstone.jpg
05 From Plows.jpg
07 Riding High.jpg
09 First Class INSET.jpg
10 Legendary Check-ins.jpg
12 Railway Tycoon.jpg
13 Posing as Art.jpg
14 Turning Heads INSET.jpg
15 Devoted Audiences.jpg
16 Horseplay.jpg
18 Urban Forest.jpg
21 Cyber Maids.jpg
23 Ewok Wars.jpg
24 Harmony on the Roof.jpg
25 Good Old Boys Club.jpg
28 Reel Treasure.jpg
29 Artful Hijinks.jpg
30 Seeing Red INSET.jpg
31 Family Ties.jpg
32 Flood of Support.jpg
35 Dream Role.jpg
36 Riding the Rails.jpg
37 Fanning the Flames INSET.jpg
38 Wolly Women INSET.jpg
40 Pinning Down.jpg
Announcement Intro_04_150dpi.jpg

Intro


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Intro


 
 
To celebrate our 40th anniversary, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) is proud to offer you a 40 Year Stroll through downtown Calgary. Take a stroll through four decades of Calgary’s quirky, strange and startling political, musical, financial, Olympic and cultural history. Stop at 40 landmarks (with plenty of places to eat, drink and ponder in between), each illuminating Calgary’s rich and colourful past.
 
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Map


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Map



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1. 

1974
OPENING A NEW CALGARY LANDMARK

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre, 120 9 Ave SE

Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker officially opens the Calgary Convention Centre, the largest full-service meeting space in Canada. In its first year of operation, the Centre hosts 90,000 visitors at 350 events. Thirty-nine years later in 2013, the Centre hosted 350,000 visitors who attended 700 events.

 
 

2. 

1998 
OVER-THE-WEATHER WALKWAYS

Stephen Ave between 1 St SE + Centre St

A Plus 15 connecting the north and south sides of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre is built based on a design by city planner Harold Hanen, who envisioned the world’s longest skywalk system (16 km). In 2000, it was the setting for the movie Waydowntown a sardonic comedy about 30 something Calgarians who bet a month’s salary that they can avoid going outside. 

 

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3. 

2005
DRAINSPOTTING

Stephen Ave between 1 St SE + Centre St

Look down: The City of Calgary commissions an extensive manhole art project. The chinook wind cover was designed by local artist Garry Williams; it’s one of 500 such public art pieces scattered throughout city streets.

 

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4. 

1994
SANDSTONE CITY GEM

Doll Block, 116 Stephen Ave SE

The Doll Block building is extensively restored and awarded a Community Heritage Plaque. The building was constructed of locally quarried sandstone in 1907 by Toronto businessman Louis Henry Doll to house his jewellery shop, Doll’s Diamond Palace. Following the tragic death of his young daughter that same year, Doll closed his business and leased the space to his apprentice who, in 1910, fell victim to the biggest diamond heist of the day. No word on whether the building’s second-floor ghost – said to be Doll’s wife, who sits at the curved bay window – was disturbed by the modern renovation.

 

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5.

2000 
FROM PLOWS TO PLOWHORSE 

Corner of Centre St + Stephen Ave

Variously referred to as the steam-punk Clydesdale and the mechanical horse, this rusty statue officially answers to Powder the Plow Horse. He was built by American sculptor Dixie Jewett out of old farm machinery and arrived in Calgary via flatbed truck from Sedona, Arizona.

 

6.

2001 
SPACE COWBOYS

9 Ave SE

Canada’s astronaut Chris Had­field serves as Stampede Parade Marshal. A dozen years later after a sensational YouTube filmed ride in space, Canada’s rock star astronaut joins a rare circle of two-time marshals that includes Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

 

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7.

1999 
RIDING HIGH 

Calgary Tower

Rancher David Cowley and his horse take the elevator to the top of the Calgary Tower for a ride around the Observation Deck. The hi-jinx event becomes the Tower’s official kick-off to every Stampede.

 

8.

2011 
PSSSST . . . DO YOU WANT TO BUY A BURGER? 

Alley behind Charcut, 899 Centre St SW 

Hundreds of dressed-to-the-nines, in-the-know Calgarians flock to the alley behind Charcut and stand in line to get their hands on a gourmet burger. This social-media-fuelled craze for what became known as the Alley Burger was the genesis of Charcut’s food truck, one of the city’s first roving restaurants. Three years later, Calgary is home to nearly two dozen food trucks.

 

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9.

1999 
FIRST CLASS

Canadian Pacific Railway, 1 St Overpass

The CP Pavilion makes its debut. Inspired by classic railway-station architecture, the Pavilion is the departure point for North America’s most luxurious train – the Royal Canadian Pacific.

 

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10.

2009 
LEGENDARY CHECK-INS 

Fairmont Palliser, 9 Ave SW + 1 St SW

Following the lead of previous VIP guests like Brad Pitt, Oprah Winfrey and Elton John, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gets a room at the Fairmont Palliser. The hotel’s very first guest, banker Charles W. Rowley, checked-in a hundred years ago.

 

11.

2002 
MEGA-MERGER 

Corner of 9 Ave SW + 1 St SW 

PanCanadian Petroleum and Alberta Energy – two Canadian energy giants – seal the deal on a $30-billion merger. The resulting venture – EnCana Corporation – instantly becomes one of the largest independent oil and gas companies in the world. The hush-hush deal involved secret meetings between the CEOs at a downtown hotel, and talks were fast-tracked as rumours of a merger intensified.

 

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12.

2002 
RAILWAY TYCOON

Stephen Ave

Stephen Avenue is designated a National Historic Site. Calgary’s pedestrian mall was named in honour of entrepreneur George Stephen, who started his career as a silk merchant’s apprentice. By the 1870s, he was one of the richest men in Canada. He risked much of his wealth to finance the Canadian Pacific Railway, and become its first president in 1881.

 

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13.

2011 
POSING AS ART 

Corner of Stephen Ave + 1 St SW

Dozens of freeze-mob twosomes swarm Calgary’s most iconic public art piece – William McElcheran’s The Conversation – and freeze into a various interpretations of the statues’ poses to bring awareness to public art.

 

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14.

2008 
TURNING HEADS 

Corner of 9 Ave SW + 2 St SW

American sculptor Beverly Pepper’s Nuova Twist gives downtown a touch of gravitas – and puts Calgary in an elite club of cities that are home to her work, including Rome, New York, and Tokyo.

 

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15.

1996 
DEVOTED AUDIENCES

Flames Central, 219 Stephen Ave SW

The swanky, circa-1921 Palace Theatre – once home to William “Bible Bill” Aberhart’s religious radio broadcasts – is declared a National Historic Site. In 2006, a twist of fate has the band Bad Religion playing in the building, now known as Flames Central.

 

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16.

2010 
HORSEPLAY 

Riley & McCormick, 220 Stephen Ave SW

This two-of-a-kind, hand-carved wooden horse in front of Riley & McCormick Western Wear (the other one lives at the Glenbow Museum) stood here for nearly 90 years before an inebriated, Stampede-happy passerby managed to knock ol’ Riley over, breaking the horse’s neck, jaw and tail. Glue and paint fixed up the worst of the injuries and, with any luck, a new wooden platform will help keep this equestrian relic in place for 90-plus years to come. 

 

17.

1975 
S**T HAPPENS 

Bankers Hall, 315 Stephen Ave SW

On April 11, folk musician Cal Cavendish piloted a low-flying plane over downtown Calgary, where he dropped a load of manure and 100 copies of his latest LP. While Cavendish’s stunt successfully drew attention to his plight as a folk artist struggling in a town where, he thought, everyone else was getting rich, it didn’t improve his financial situation: the artist got a $3,000 fine for reckless flying.

 

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18.

2001 
URBAN FOREST 

Corner of Stephen Ave + 3 St SW

These 26-metre metal “trees” became one of the most controversial structures ever erected in a public space in Alberta. Commissioned by Bankers Hall, the structures are actually the vestiges of what was intended to be an enclosed galleria – an extension of the mall. Instead, they are widely accepted as a public art project – commonly thought to have been designed to help reduce wind gusts along the downtown corridor.

 
 

 

19.

1983 
HOLLYWOOD COMES TO CALGARY

401 9 Ave SW

Gulf Canada Square makes a cameo appearance in Superman III, which was filmed largely in Calgary. The Man of Steel also flies past the Calgary Tower, uses a photobooth outside Bow Valley Square and has drinks in the bar at the St. Louis Hotel, former Mayor Ralph Klein’s favourite watering hole.

 
 

20.

2014 
GREENING yyc

525 8 Ave SW

Completion of Eighth Avenue Place takes environmental sustainability to new heights. Awarded LEED® Platinum, it’s the first office tower of its kind in Canada, and home to Canada’s largest green roof.

 
 

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21.

2008 
CYBER MAIDS

Parking Meter on the Corner of 8 Ave + 5 St SW

Calgary’s coin parking meters and meter-maid foot patrols go the way of the dodo bird, replaced by solar powered machines and GPS camera cars.

 

22.

2012 
DOG PARK IN THE SKY

Barron Building, Corner of 8 Ave + 5 St SW

Look-up – You’re standing in front of Calgary’s first sky­scraper. Following threats of demolition, the 1950s-era Barron Building is promised protected status in 2012 as a Provincial Historic Resource. In its heyday the building was home to Mobil Oil, the glamorous two story Uptown Theatre, and a residential penthouse complete with a rooftop garden for J.B. Barron’s dog Buster.

 

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23.

1990 
EWOK WARS

Court of Appeal of Alberta, 7 Ave + 5 St SW

George Lucas arrives in Calgary to defend himself against a local writer who claims the Star Wars creator stole his idea for Ewoks from a script called Space Pets mailed to Lucas in 1978.


 
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24.

2011 
HARMONY ON THE HOOF 

Harley Hotchkiss Gardens, 7 Ave + 4 St SW

Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, an eight-horse sculpture cele­brating harmony between sister cities, is unveiled. The work of internationally acclaimed Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard is one of two identical sculptures; the second herd runs along the banks of the St. Lawrence in Quebec City.


 
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25.

1982 
THE GOOD OLD BOYS’ CLUB 

Calgary Petroleum Club, 319 5 Ave SW

National Energy Minister Pat Carney is denied entry to an industry meeting at the all-male Petroleum Club due to her gender. Understandably, the Minister takes great offense (the next such meeting was held at her club, the YWCA) and ignites a heated, years-long debate about whether women should be allowed into the Petroleum Club after four decades. In 1989, the membership votes to allow women as full members.


26.

1977
BIRDS OF THE BOOM 

Bow Valley Square Parkade, Corner of 5 Ave + 2 St SW

Look up and imagine a growing city. In honour of the hundreds of cranes employed to build dozens of skyscrapers, including Bow Valley Square, Calgary’s unofficial bird of 1977 is declared cranus constructus.


27.

1996
RAISING THE ROOF 

Bow Valley Square, Corner of 5 Ave + 2 St SW

After the building booms of the 1970’s and 80’s Calgary experiences a new boom – SUVs. The vehicle was popular with the city’s oilmen who waited months for the arrival of their new auto­mobiles. Unfortunately the 70’s era parkades were unable to accommodate their height and rumour has it more than one oilman got his vehicle stuck by the low ceilings. By the late 90’s most parkades (like the ones you see around you) were forced to keep up with the popularity of SUVs by increasing the maximum headroom by mere inches.


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28.

2013
REEL TREASURE TROVE REVEALED 

Grand Theatre, 608 1 St SW

A secret room is discovered in the 101-year-old Grand Theatre. The second-floor room, which appears to have been used for film-reel storage at the 102-year-old former cinema, was stumbled upon by a staff member who noticed an oddity on blueprints as the theatre prepared to renovate its bar and restaurant.


 
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29.

2014
ARTFUL HIJINKS 

The Bow, Corner of 6 Ave + Centre St SW

Jackass comedian and stuntman Steve-O climbs Juame Plensa’s Wonderland, the giant sculpture in front of The Bow. While he wasn’t arrested, he’s no stranger to our legal system, having spent a night in jail here following a kerfuffle with a fan in 2003.


 
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30.

1974 
SEEING RED 

No.1 Firehall, Corner of 6 Ave + 1 St SE

In response to claims that the public no longer pays attention to red, the Calgary Fire Department switches their trucks from red to yellow. In 1998 they do a bureaucratic two-step, and go back to red.


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31.

2011 
FAMILY TIES 

Corner of 6 Ave + 1 St SE

The Calgary Board of Education is forbidden from taking the Family of Man statues with them when they move out. Loyal to the end, the CBE keeps their tall naked friends on their letterhead.


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32.

2013 
A FLOOD OF SUPPORT 

Central Library, Corner of 7 Ave + Macleod Tr. SE

Upwards of 20,000 books and maps, are destroyed when the basement of the Library is flooded. Calgarians respond to a call for help by donating upwards of 270,000 items.


 

33.

1993 
ENTER GHOST 

Teatro Restaurant, Olympic Plaza

Teatro Restaurant opens inside a circa-1911 bank building. Rumour has it that a ghost haunts the wine cellar. She has also been seen sitting in the powder room. No word on what or whom she’s waiting for.

 

 

34.

1985 
Ghost Station

City Hall Plaza, 800 Macleod Tr. SE

An LRT tunnel is abandoned underneath City Hall and can only be reached via a locked doorway inside the city parkade. It’s inaccessible to the public. Subway plans were shelved when it was decided that the original 7th Avenue line had all the passenger capacity the city needed. Twenty-nine years later, the tunnel has yet to see any light-rail action.

 

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35.

1993 
DREAM ROLE 

Theatre Calgary, Olympic Plaza

Actor Stephen Hair wins the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in Theatre Calgary’s A Christmas Carol. Hair has no way of knowing he’ll play the same role, in the same play, on the same stage, for the next 20 years and counting.


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36.

1981 
RIDING THE RAILS

C-Train Platform, 7 Ave + 1 St SE

We became the second city in North America to operate a LRT (Edmon­ton beat us to it). The train’s success is solidified 33 years later when more than half the city’s downtown workers commute via C-Train.


 
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37.

1989 
FANNING THE FLAMES

Olympic Plaza

Fifty thousand people crowded into the plaza to celebrate the Flames’ Stanley Cup win. Days later, Flames player Tim Hunter pops the Cup into his truck, fastens it in, and takes it home.


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38.

2010 
WOOLLY WOMEN
 

Olympic Plaza beside Teatro Restaurant

On the first snow day of November, the Famous 5 statues are yarn-bombed with scarves to warm each of these pioneering feminists. No one is quite sure who’s involved in this subversive knitting circle.


39.

1982 
HOT DINNER GUEST 

Glenbow Museum, 130 9 Ave SE

Controversial feminist artist Judy Chicago exhibits The Dinner Party. Despite critics calling it crass, kitschy and vulgar, Calgarians line up around the block and the show is held over.

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40.

1988 
PINNING DOWN A MEMORY

Stephen Ave between 1 St SE + Centre St

Calgary is the first Olympic city to create an official pin-trading venue. Seven million souvenir pins in 600 different designs commemorating the XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary are bought, sold, given away and traded by obsessed “pinheads” from around the world. Collectors set up mini trading booths along Stephen Avenue, with the mother ship Pin Trading Centre located under a 22,000-square-foot tent. Favourite pins include the Jamaican bobsled team and the 1988 Winter Olympics mascots, Hidy and Howdy.

 

Full 40 Hours of Fun, Food & Culture contest details are here.