Historic Calgarywww.glenbow.org  

Connaught / Beltline

During its heyday, the community of Connaught-Beltline was home to some very fashionable addresses: the Devenish, the Lorraine, the Congress, and the Moxam were just some of the apartment buildings that sprang up in this area to meet the demand for housing during the boom between 1905 and 1914.

The Devenish apartment block, situated on the corner of 17th Avenue and 8th Street S.W.  1912. NA-4585-9      The Devenish apartment block, July 1996. P-4781-23


Some of the city's business elite built their homes in Connaught-Beltline. Calgary's first millionaire, Patrick Burns, built his sandstone mansion in 1901. (It was demolished in 1956 to make room for the expanding Colonel Belcher Hospital.) Alberta's first senator, James Lougheed, built his grand home - Beaulieu - in 1891 on what was then bald prairie south of Calgary. And Nellie McClung - activist, author, teacher, mother - resided in Connaught-Beltline with her family from 1923 to 1932. Even the hand of American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie touched Connaught-Beltline in the form of the Memorial Park Library. Carnegie financed the library, which was built in 1911, making it the first public library in Alberta.

The home of Patrick Burns. NA-1655-1      Central Park looking east, the Memorial Park library is in the background. NA-3884-8      Lady Lougheed and her daughter, Marjorie, with their chauffeur in front of Beaulieu, c.1911. NA-3232-6


Around these homes and structures, a middle-class neighbourhood developed, and with it all the amenities its residents required. Haultain school, built in 1894, was the third school built in Calgary; Central High School was the first structure in Calgary built (1907) for secondary education.

Memorial Park Library.
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