History of Calgary – Then & Now – 1885 and 1912
1885 – Population of 500
2012 – Population of 1.1 million
2016 – Population of 1.3 million
In February of 1885, Jack Ingram was officially named as the first police chief of Calgary.
His experience as a former police chief of Western Canada, out of of Winnipeg at the time, helped supplement him into the new job. He was initially given two assistant constables to help him with his duties.
The first city police station was based in the back of a pool hall located on 8th Avenue SW (Stephen Avenue).
Funny thing is that the station had to wait several months before the facility even had a phone installed. At the time the city was home to a bit over 500 people.
In November of 1886, a fire rampaged through the city burning down its wooden structures with ease.
The fire either directly or indirectly caused the destruction of 14 buildings in total and financial losses were estimated at approximately $100,000. Fortunately for Calgary’s residents, no one was injured or killed during the incident.
City politicians responded by creating a law stipulating that downtown buildings needed to be constructed out of Paskapoo Sandstone, a fire retardant building material made into bricks.
Today you will still see several buildings made out of this sandstone material in and around the downtown area.
Calgary 1912 – Eighth Avenue was the commercial heart of the city, with original sandstone buildings containing retail, serviced by streetcars
Calgary 2012 – Today Stephen Avenue is one of only three National Historic Districts of Canada, preserving an important piece of Calgary’s history
In 1912, an American named Guy Weadick partnered with a man named H.C. McMullen and rallied enough financial support from local businessman to begin a “wild wild west” outdoor show.
The City of Calgary began constructing an outdoor rodeo grounds and over 100,000 people attended the rodeo over a 6 day time frame to be entertained by the cowboys who had come from all over North America. At the time prizes for the contestants totalled over $200,000!
This was the beginning of the Calgary Stampede, the greatest outdoor show on Earth and as you know, this year in 2012 it is its 100th anniversary!
Quite a few different Calgary Landmarks are also connected with the year 1912 in some way or another.
Some built that year include the first Calgary Public Library, the Grand Theatre and the Lougheed Building, while the establishment of the University of Calgary also occurred.
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