Jane's Walk Calgary has been an initiative of the Calgary Foundation since 2008 in partnership with Jane's Walk international. In our first nine years, over 250 volunteer walk leaders have led over 200 distinct walks in 88 neighbourhoods across Calgary and nearby on a diversity of topics.
Jane’s Walks are free, locally organized walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about and celebrate their neighbourhoods. Where more traditional tours are a bit like walking lectures, a Jane’s Walk is more of a walking conversation. Leaders share their knowledge, but also encourage discussion and participation among the walkers.
Eau Claire Smokestack
As many of you know on April 24 City Council voted to de-designate the Eau Claire smokestack so it can be moved to accommodate the proposed development by Harvard Developments.
The letter sent by the CHA to City Council can be found here.
There’s a brick structure on the move in downtown Calgary, and councillors are hoping it makes the few-metre shift in one piece.
The smokestack in Eau Claire was built in the 1940s and marked the Calgary Transit garage during that period. It was the only physical reminder of a development boom in the area at that time. The smokestack was first municipally designated in 2008 and now, nearly 10 years later, it’s been de-designated so that a development can go in its place.
It’s an odd process, but because the smokestack was recognized as a municipal historic resource it can’t be moved without being de-designated. The city plans to re-designate it again, but heritage advocates fear the precedent being set by council’s decision.
The proposal would move the smokestack in one piece and pay the city (on top of the moving cost) $300,000 from the developer which will be put into the City of Calgary Historic Resource Conservation Grant Program.
Coun. Druh Farrell said she’s already had meetings with groups asking about de-designating heritage.
“This is the highest designation in the land, it means something, and at the stroke of a pen we can undo that,” said Farrell.
“I think the word is out that it doesn’t mean anything; we’re trying to save buildings that don’t have designation. Now, if the heritage community are having to save buildings that have designations as well as the ones that don’t what kind of message are we sending.”
She was concerned about breaking the smokestack in the move, and spelling out responsibilities around that, but administration said an agreement like that hasn’t been finalized but would be implicated in a final agreement.
Finally, only Couns. Farrell and Brian Pincott voted against the de-designation.
Coun. Andre Chabot underscored that the smokestack would be moved so marginally, still within the existing site where it was built, that it will still contribute to the community as a whole. He described the smokestack as the exception to a rule, and said it will create something better than leaving the stack where it was.
“I don’t see this as precedent-setting,” said Chabot.
After the vote, Mayor Naheed Nenshi added his two cents, directly to Clint Robertson, senior heritage planner for the city.
“I know this has been zero fun, it’s the thing a heritage planner does not want to do, but thank you so much for your diligence on this,” said Nenshi. “It’s a better solution than what was before council before – just don’t break it.”
"They may be popular now, but some of Calgary’s iconic Centennial attractions had less than glamorous beginnings. No matter how they got their start, they join the ranks of thousands of buildings and monuments across the nation that were created in 1967 to mark the 100th anniversary of Confederation."
The following sites were evaluated or re-evaluated for addition to the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources in March and approved by the CHA at the April board meeting.
Bridgeland School (1921) – 414 11A ST NE (Bridgeland) Re-Evaluated as a City Wide Historic Resource (CWHR)
Bridgeland School has been a neighbourhood educational institution, and was one of the first schools in Calgary to specifically accommodate students with special education needs. (Institution Value, Community Significance) Bridgeland School was the first school built under relaxed building codes adopted in 1913 (Construction Value, City Wide Significance) The tall and distinctive school is a landmark building situated at the base of the escarpment in the east end of Bridgeland. (Landmark Value, Community Significance) The 1921 building and 1930 extension designed by William A. Branton, Chief Architect and Building Superintendent for the School Board, is a unique vernacular design with Edwardian Commercial-style influences applied to a school. (Style Value, City Wide Significance)
West Telephone Exchange Building (1912) – 1010 14 AV SW (Beltline) Re-Evaluated as a City Wide Historic Resource (CWHR)
The West End Telephone Exchange Building possesses activity value as it delivered telephone service to the community for more than two decades, playing an important role in the development of the city's telecommunications system. (Activity Value, City Wide Significance) The building was the home from 1938 until at least 1991 of the American Woman’s Club, a significant organization in Calgary for its philanthropic and civic improvement activities. (Activity Value, City Wide Significance) The West End Telephone Exchange Building is a rare and well maintained example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the community. (Style Value, Community Significance) The structure's innovative double-wall construction is also a rare example of how buildings employed new construction methods to meet the needs of emerging technologies. (Construction Value, City Wide Significance)
Riviera Apartments (1954) – 1301 9 ST SW Evaluated as a Community Historic Resource (CHR)
It is a quality example of a small-scale modernist apartment building, with a high degree of integrity. (Style Value, Community Significance) It is associated with rapid development during the Oil Boom period in Calgary, and a transition towards modernity for the city. (Symbolic Value, Community Significance)
Calgary Heritage Events
Below is a listing of heritage events happening throughout the city. We are always happy to include the events of other organizations in our monthly newsletters. We only ask that you have them to us by the end of each month. Events can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAGS OF SWANK: Churchill and the Royals (May 23)
Enjoy a unique look at Winston Churchill and his lifelong relationship with the British monarchy. Discover its intricate and complex nature through 2 centuries and 2 world wars. A rare multimedia lecture with photos, videos. Led by Dr. Stephane Guevremont
TUESDAY, 23 MAY 2017, 7:30 p.m.
John Dutton Theatre, Central Library
FAMILY HISTORY COACHING (May 27)
Drop in for help with genealogy research. In partnership with the Alberta Family Histories Society.
Saturday May 27, 10:00 a.m.
Central Library 4th floor
Our History Through Images: Lois Riel Then and Now (May 31)
Explore the history and representations of Louis Riel, the most controversial figure in Canadian history. Led by Dr. Kirk Niergarth of Mount Royal University.
Wednesday May 31 7 p.m.
Our History Through Images: Residential Schools (June 14)
Through many different images explore the origins and effects of residential schools in Canada from the 1600s to the present. Led by Dr. Jennifer Pettit, Mount Royal University.
Wednesday June 14 7 p.m.
Fish Creek Library
D-DAY: THE CANADIANS AT NORMANDY (June 27)
Join military historian Stéphane Guevremont as he presents a fascinating multimedia interpretation of this famous battle, highlighting Canada’s crucial contribution
Tuesday June 27, 7:00 p.m.
Central Library, John Dutton Theatre