The City of Calgary has come a long way in the last 100 years – but this is only the beginning. As a collective, we’ve got a pretty bright future ahead, but today we thought we’d throw it way back to the years after it was incorporated as a town in 1884.

As you can imagine, photos found in the city archives show a very different place than the one we now call home.

For starters, there were no skyscrapers to be seen and our stadiums and overpasses? They certainly weren’t built yet.

Instead, those who took up residency near the Bow River lived pretty humble lives and laid the groundwork for generations to come.

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Here are just a few snaps taken between its inception and 1923.


city of calgary
Photo via City of Calgary Archives

With a population of 506 people, Calgary was officially incorporated on  November 7th, 1884. The photo above shows council members and George Murdoch, the town’s first Mayor.


city of calgary
Photo via City of Calgary Archives

Built with a jail, a market and a pound, Calgary’s first town hall looks significantly different than the one we’ve come to recognize in more recent years.


Photo via City of Calgary Archives

A building that is actually still standing today – Calgary’s first fire hall was completed in May of 1887.


city of calgary
Photo via City of Calgary Archives

The birth of transit! With two Calgary Electric Railway streetcars, Calgarians were finally able to get from point A to point B in what was officially established as a city just 15 years before.


Photo via City of Calgary Archives

Who’s who? Taken in 1929 the photo above shows Tom Baines, the first curator of the Calgary Zoo.

Pretty cool, right? We can’t say for sure what the future holds for Calgary, but it’s sure to be a wild ride!

We can’t wait!