Calgary at a Crossroads

Calgary — a city of "firsts."

Time to wander back in time with legendary historian Jack Peach. To when early venture capitalists were making so much money in our city, they could hardly carry it all. To when our mayors were busy building the buildings and roads we still know today. And when gentlemen were not permitted in the lady's lounge at our grand "movie palaces."

Jack Peach recorded these segments for the the CBC back in the late 1970s. His memories of our city.

1912. Calgary's first oil boom

Vintage well Turner Valley

Calgary investors on visit to Discovery Well in Turner Valley in 1913. (Glenbow Archives)

"Once upon a time, for a few short weeks, downtown Calgary saw so much cash changing hands at a feverish clip that it had to be stuffed into wastepaper baskets and carried to the banks on Eighth Avenue."

Calgary's first mayors

George Murdoch

George Murdoch was the first mayor of Calgary, and served from 1884-1886. (Glenbow Archives)

A colourful cast of characters who lent their names to many of the roads and buildings that still stand in our city today. 

Calgary first 'movie palaces'

Calgary movie theatre vintage

A look a the Stage of Capitol Theatre in 1921. (Glenbow Archives)

Vaulted ceilings, marble, crystal chandeliers and tapestries.

When going to the movies was a classy experience and the cinemas were "shaking with the majesty of it all."

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.