The Red-Light District – Bridgeland / Riverside

There was no stopping at this “Red-Light”……

Prior to World War I, the communities of Bridgeland and Riverside not only had a diverse population, it also had a diverse amount of brothels.  Until this area was annexed by the City in 1907 and 1910, it remained mostly untouched by the local officials.  Due to the proximity of the local railway local young men who toiled on the railroad made this area very popular destination, even though neighbours would often complain about the noise and disturbances.  Numerous brothels dotted the landscape from the Langevin brothels to the renowned Nose Creek brothels.

However, it just wasn’t Bridgeland / Riverside neighbourhoods that would experience an influx of this profession, numerous other communities would also fall victim to the “ladies of the night”.    The community of Hillhurst had their own “Diamond Dolly”, who would parade around wearing fancy hats and embarrass gentleman by calling them by their first names and she passed them by.   The downtown would soon see the return of the brothels as army men from the World War I would setup room and board in the core area.  However, the most infamous one of them all would be Pearl Miller.   On occasion, this entrepreneur would up and move her brothels to other locations around the city; from across the King Eddy to MacLeod and Heritage and back up to the affluent neighbourhood of Mount Royal.  Calgary would remain her home until she passed away in 1957.

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