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July 30, 2021

CHI Unmasks Heritage Buildings for Historic Calgary Week!

During the 2021 Historic Calgary Week, CHI takes you on a virtual tour that unmasks hidden history, architecture, and forgotten stories.

In English: 

in French:

Other ways to participate virtually

Visit the Heritage Places tab on our Heritage Inspires YYC web site.  Discover historic neighbourhoods, cultural landscapes, old photographs, and for the inspired, click on one of the Community Histories tiles and look for a self-guided walking tour.

For a Virtual Heritage Walk Experience from a bird’s eye view, explore our Heritage Inspires YYC YouTube Channel. How do you think Calgary’s historic areas should evolve?

Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages at @calgaryheritageinitiative and @heritageispiresyyc. Walk or bike a route to find Century Homes; retrace a Calgary Herald history walk, published in the mid-1990s, and think about what’s changed in 25 years; seek out lost heritage and historic buildings that have been given new life.

View the full Historic Calgary Week Program here, for more more great virtual and in-person events. 

Organized by our friends at... 

Happy Heritage Day everyone! Let's celebrate! 


Summer Fun in Bowness Park

Bowness Park has been a summer gathering place for Calgarians since 1911. Over its 100 year history, the park has undergone several phases of redevelopment reflective of the changing cultural uses of the landscape. Today the park features a swimming lagoon, an outdoor swimming pool, boat rentals, a miniature train ride, a concession building, and picnic and restaurant dining in addition to grassed open spaces and naturally forested areas. Many of these features are reconstructions in the spirit of their historic predecessors. As a result of its long history as an urban historic landscape, Bowness Park is designated as a municipal heritage resource. 

The earliest period of development beginning in 1914 resulted in the construction of the swimming lagoon, playground, and grassed versus naturally forested areas. This phase of the park development was overseen by William Reader and inspired by the City Beautiful Movement, a planning tradition that believed that parks and greening urban spaces resulted in social harmony and order. Throughout the 1920’s a teahouse was built, along with a Canada’s first floating fountain, and in 1929 an orthophonic device was installed in the centre of lagoon that played music.

In the 1950’s and 60’s, an expanded dance hall and a concession building were added.

A portion of the park known as Funland operated until 1988, and featured several amusement rides. The most recent redevelopment occurred after the 2013 floods. Interpretive signage and several historic elements were incorporated into the redevelopment to celebrate the 100 year history of the park. Among these features are the ‘orthophonic’, the concession building, and the historic circulation pattern of the pathways (consisting of two road loops on the east and west side of the park).

Bowness park is a valued example of a historic designed landscape in Calgary and is well worth a visit on a hot summer’s day. 

- Sarah Ebbern is a Heritage Management Consultant and Director of Research with CHI.

Start or renew your membership today!

You can help preserve Calgary's heritage simply by becoming a member for only $10/year! You will be supporting CHI's advocacy and awareness activities and events. Your membership entitles you to a vote at CHI's AGM

For the ambitious, there are a number of ways to engage or volunteer and there are no prerequisites for membership. 

Visit CHI's membership page to start or renew!


About the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society

CHI is a city-wide, member-based heritage advocacy group, founded in 2005. CHI advocates to preserve and promote the productive use of buildings and areas of historic significance. 
We are volunteers who love heritage and want to share that with fellow Calgarians and future generations.

Further information about CHI and our activities is available on our website at It has many great features like Fact Sheets about our most watched buildings at risk of demolition, heritage issues, resources and upcoming events. Don’t forget to join us on social media for all of our latest updates and timely conversations.
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