Historic Calgarywww.glenbow.org  

The centre of Rouleauville today, as it has been for more than a century, is the Catholic Church. Rouleauville had its origin in the Catholic mission, Notre Dame de la Paix, which was first located 25 miles up the Elbow River in 1872. In 1875, Father Doucet moved the mission closer to the confluence of the Bow and the Elbow rivers, and it was that building which was used by the North-West Mounted Police when they arrived that autumn. Larger, more substantial church buildings followed and, by the early 1880s, the Catholic Church had become the centre of Calgary's French-speaking community.

The Roman Catholic mission in Calgary in early 1883.   (Possibly Father Lacombe on the left.) NA-839-1

To ensure that the area remained French and Catholic, Father Lacombe travelled to Ottawa and secured a land grant for the entire "Mission" district. The new village, named "Rouleauville" for Charles and Edward Rouleau, the brothers who had promoted the idea of a French village, was centred around the Church on rue Notre Dame. Other village streets were named for the Catholic priests, such as Lacombe, Doucet, and Grandin, who had a strong influence on the community. In September of 1885, several teaching sisters from the Order of the Faithful Companion of Jesus arrived and opened up the first Catholic school. Within a few years, however, the French character of the area disappeared. The church became St. Mary's Cathedral and, when the village was annexed by the City of Calgary in 1907, rue Notre Dame became 17th Avenue S.W. to conform with the numbering practice of the city.

St. Mary's Cathedral (shown  in 1905) was built in 1889

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