Calgary

Historic French community in Calgary to get bilingual stop signs

A neighbourhood that was once home to hundreds of French-speaking Calgarians is getting bilingual stop signs.

Rouleauville, now Mission, was founded by French Canadian priests

A Calgary neighbourhood will soon be getting bilingual stop signs, like the one pictured here in Vancouver. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

A neighbourhood that was once home to hundreds of French-speaking Calgarians is getting bilingual stop signs.

Rouleauville, now Mission, was originally named for Charles and Edward Rouleau — brothers who moved to Calgary from Quebec in the late 1800s. The village had been founded by French Canadian priests. 

In 1907 when the village was annexed by the Calgary its French street names were replaced with the current numbered street system.

Council voted in favour of adding the street signs, which will be put up by community volunteers who are raising money for the project.

"You know, I don't speak a word of French but I can still appreciate where the volunteers are coming from and what they want for their neighbourhood," said Coun. Jeromy Farkas. "After I learned that no taxpayer money would be involved … I thought yeah, why not?"

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city's history is a Francophone history, en francais, before the vote.

"L'histoire de Calgary est une histoire francophone," he said.

The motion was passed eight to five. 

The new signs will read STOP/ARRÊT, and could be in place in time for the 120th anniversary of Rouleauville's annexation to Calgary later this year. 

For those who don't want to wait for the new signs to be installed, there's a podcast walking tour in French of the neighbourhood. 

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