Calgary at a Crossroads

This story was originally published Dec. 26, 2015

Jack Peach

Jack Peach was born in Calgary in 1913 and died here in 1993. (

Interested a little historical gold?

Well, we've hit the motherlode.

While digging around in our archives, we here at Calgary at a Crossroads ran across a treasure trove of audio recordings: Jack Peach's Calgary.

The grandfather of Calgary historians made several dozen recordings that ran on CBC's Calgary Eyeopener in the 1970s.

Peach, who was born in Calgary in 1913 and died here in 1993, wrote many historical books on the city and its institutions, as well as a column in the Calgary Herald. 

Downey home

The home of Harold L. Downey, circa 1910, was one of the first stately homes along what is now Elbow Drive. (Glenbow Museum photo archives)

What makes these broadcasts so special are Peach's voice and the wealth of personal anecdote, which brings our city's history to life.

To understand who we are as Calgarians today, we need to understand who we were, and how our city developed its unique character. Peach's recordings do just that.

Eighth avenue

The construction of the Alberta Hotel on Eighth Avenue, better known as Stephen Avenue, circa 1888. (Glenblow Museum photo archives)

Peach had a way about him — a kind of presentation or way of speaking that has itself become history. 

Calgary street car service

As Calgary expanded in 1911, so did its street car service (all the way to Crescent Heights). (Glenbow Museum photo archives)

It's the kind of Calgary voice you imagine coming out of an old wooden radio powered by vacuum tubes. When the rumble of street cars was part of our city's symphony.

Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn, a look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads