Why this Calgary community is as happy as a lark…

The Bird House - "This home's artist has created a house shaped like a bird.  With art works decorating the yard, this home has been the focus of magazine articles, artistic study, student exploration and shear enjoyment.  It is truly a unique and fanciful addition to our community.

The Bird House – “This home’s artist has created a house shaped like a bird. With art works decorating the yard, this home has been the focus of magazine articles, artistic study, student exploration and shear enjoyment. It is truly a unique and fanciful addition to our community.”

Walking around this eclectic northwest neighbourhood, it is easy to see why so many people call it home. One of the oldest communities in Calgary, HillhurstSunnyside, located just north of the Bow River between Centre Street North and 18A Street NW has been home to numerous generations since the yearly 1900’s.  At the turn of the century, the majority of the homesteaders were employed with either the Canadian Pacific Railway or Eau Claire Sawmill; however this has all since changed.  Now attracting urban professionals and families, this neighbourhood has a blend of new and old, trendy shopping areas in the nearby Kensington in addition to being surrounded by beautiful parks and pathways.

One of many unique homes...

One of many unique homes…

"Sunnyside School, built in 1919, is one of a number of small "bungalow" schools constructed between 1913 and 1920 to respond to Calgary's rapid growth.  These structures were originally meant to be converted to apartments after larger schools were built, but several of them live on."

“Sunnyside School, built-in 1919, is one of a number of small “bungalow” schools constructed between 1913 and 1920 to respond to Calgary’s rapid growth. These structures were originally meant to be converted to apartments after larger schools were built, but several of them live on.”

 

A buffalo jump in the middle of the city. "Located in today's McHugh Bluff hillside park, the buffalo jump was used by aboriginal peoples to slaughter buffalo.  By herding the animals over the cliff, the people were able to get meat and hides.  They also left the bones out to bleach in the sun so they could use them for jewelry and weapons. Early residents of Sunnyside would find buffalo skulls and place them on their fences; current residents still find the occasional bone while completing renovations on their properties.  The buffalo jump itself is now one of Calgary's busiest pathways."

A buffalo jump in the middle of the city. “Located in today’s McHugh Bluff hillside park, the buffalo jump was used by aboriginal peoples to slaughter buffalo. By herding the animals over the cliff, the people were able to get meat and hides. They also left the bones out to bleach in the sun so they could use them for jewelry and weapons. Early residents of Sunnyside would find buffalo skulls and place them on their fences; current residents still find the occasional bone while completing renovations on their properties. The buffalo jump itself is now one of Calgary’s busiest pathways.”

 

Samies - "A typical structure for its era, this corner store once housed a laundry, rooming houses on the top floor and a small grocery/confectioner in the front.  It was the primary provider for local residents who did not have automobiles or access to public transit.  Once found throughout the city, most corner stores have been turned into other businesses or torn down and replaced with housing.  Hillhust-Sunnyside is fortunate to have a number of these outlets still available and accessible.

Samies – “A typical structure for its era, this corner store once housed a laundry, rooming houses on the top floor and a small grocery/confectioner in the front. It was the primary provider for local residents who did not have automobiles or access to public transit. Once found throughout the city, most corner stores have been turned into other businesses or torn down and replaced with housing. Hillhust-Sunnyside is fortunate to have a number of these outlets still available and accessible.

 

More unique houses...

More unique houses…

 

Hillhurst - Sunnyside Community Centre - " This stretch of land was once the Hillhurst Athletic Park.  The park was sold to The City by the Riley family around 1910.  A grandstand, dressing rooms and bleachers were built in 1912; the dressing rooms later became the original community centre.  In 1953/54, a hall and kitchen were added to the centre, and then, in 1970's, a gymnasium and recreation complex."

Hillhurst – Sunnyside Community Centre – ” This stretch of land was once the Hillhurst Athletic Park. The park was sold to The City by the Riley family around 1910. A grandstand, dressing rooms and bleachers were built-in 1912; the dressing rooms later became the original community centre. In 1953/54, a hall and kitchen were added to the centre, and then, in 1970’s, a gymnasium and recreation complex.”   On Sunday mornings, the Community Centre has a Flea Market that draws large crowds. 

 

Bargains to be found…

Bargains to be found…

 

and plants to be sold...

and plants to be sold…

 

Can't forget about those toys...

Can’t forget about those toys…

Taking in the sites...

Enjoying the shade…

I would like to thank The City of Calgary and the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association for providing some very interesting history.

 

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Categories: Around Calgary, Calgary's Scene, The Unusual...

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Omg, what an absolutely wonderful post! You seem to always post interesting stuff. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Fascinating, really enjoyed this! I think I need to explore my city a bit more…I didn’t realize that bluff was a former buffalo jump, for example. The history of Calgary’s communities is so interesting. I went on a Jane’s Walk this year in Brentwood and learned so much.

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