Parkdale over the years… History helps us see the future.
Please take the time to walk & explore each place of interest through the attached individualized tabs that includes interesting details of the place and it’s history, including pictures. This walk can be done all at once or broken up into various smaller walks.
Walk, cycle, scoot, roll – any way of human-powered getting around that allows you to experience your surroundings closely. Go out & explore Parkdale and its unique architecture developed through time. Such a lovely unique gem Parkdale is in the City of Calgary. Enjoy!
Please be sure to follow all current public health guidelines.
Treaty 7 Territory Land Acknowledgement
In the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.
Parkdale Places of Interest
- 134 – 37 Street, 1912 McKay Sons’ Residence
- 140 – 37 Street, Grant Residence
- 35 Point Dr. NW Alfred S McKay Home
- 210 – 37 Street, King Residence
- 214 – 37 Street, Tregillus Residence
- 740 – 35 Street, Grant (Jones) Residence
- 3512 – 5th Avenue, Parkdale Gardens
- 3220 Parkdale Blvd, Betz Residence
- 3210 Parkdale Blvd, Withrow Residence
- 3208 Parkdale Blvd, Hill Residence
- 3204 Parkdale Blvd, Birtch Residence
- 3110 Parkdale Blvd, Willis Residence
- 3106 Parkdale Blvd, Grey Residence
- Lawrey Gardens—South Side of Bow River
- 843 – 27 Street, Riley Residence
Jane’s Walk Calgary – Parkdale: Map of 1-10 Points of Interest: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1WsXanDcUMfmkSlcPJKyE2KTCoato6w9r&usp=sharing
Jane’s Walk Calgary – Parkdale 2: Map of 11-15 Points of Interest: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1Ps1H_Ou9vB1erRNUPm_S0zKdNzCvcUvd&usp=sharing
This ad ran in the Calgary Herald on April 6, 1912. To put this into perspective, $3000 is the equivalent of $80,000 in today’s dollars. It was a bargain indeed for those brave souls willing to believe Calgary was set to expand into the prairie farmland west of the downtown.
Let’s step back for a moment to see what brought Parkdale to this moment in history. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s several crucial events took place, opening up the west to future development.
In July 1886, the first TransCanada Canadian Pacific Railway train ran through Calgary winding its way along the Bow river beside what would become the future Community of Parkdale.
In 1872, the government of Canada introduced the Canada Homestead Act, which was in use until 1918. They hoped to encourage settlement by European and American pioneers and settlers from Eastern Canada. The Act gave 160 acres (a quarter section) to any male farmer who agreed to farm at least 40 acres, and to build a permanent house within three years. The only cost to the farmer was a $10 administration fee. This condition of building a homestead was created to prevent unscrupulous speculators from gaining control of the land. The Act also allowed farmers to buy up the neighbouring 160 acres for an additional $10.00.
By 1911, Alfred McKay had 4 quarter sections including 37 St. which had future prime lots on Memorial Drive. At that time, the desirable lots were along the tram line from Bowness to Calgary. The lots near the river were considered too far away for convenience. McKay and Developers “Scott & Hartronft” attempted to sell the lots for $325 each with an 8% interest rate mortgage. Sales were slow. Alfred’s homestead home is located at what is now the end of first Avenue east of 37 street
. A detailed inventory of all historical homes in Parkade can be downloaded automatically at https://www.calgary.ca/content/dam/www/pda/pd/documents/heritage-planning/heritage-resources/heritage-parkdale-community-inventory.pdf
The five majestic brick houses on 37 St. (of which only 4 remain), were also built in 1911. By 1924, although there were a few houses scattered throughout Parkdale, development remained slow.
On Tuesday, June 4, 1929 Calgary experienced a major flood not unlike the flood of 2013. Headlines in the papers of the day described the devastation both throughout Calgary and in the High River area. One could almost be reading headlines describing the June 2013 flood. The Depression (1929 to 1939) and World War II (1939 – 1945) kept a lid on development until after the war. Once the war ended, the economy began growing again, and interest in developing Parkdale revived.
A more in depth presentation on Parkdale History can be found at https://oldcalgary.online/parkdale-history/