Researching Calgary’s Heritage Buildings, Homes and Sites
There are lots of reasons why you may be interested in finding out more about the history of your house or other buildings where you live, work, or frequent. Perhaps you are interested in the people who lived there before you or owned a business at that location. Or maybe you would like to learn more about the history of an older public buildings. This type of research is easy to do, and is an important first step in documenting a property for restoration or designation. We’ve collected the most common questions we get asked here along with some links to help you get started.
Where do I start?
Check to see if the structure you are interested in is listed on any of the following searchable sites:
- The City of Calgary’s Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources
- Alberta’s Register of Historic Places
- Canada’s Register of Historic Places
Where can I find pictures and other info?
Search the following image archives online:
- Calgary Public Library’s Williams and Harris Shared History Centre
- Glenbow Western Research Centre at Taylor Family Digital Library on the University of Calgary campus
- Peel’s Prairie Provinces Prairie Postcards at the University of Alberta
Survey information for many homes is available online through the Alberta Heritage Survey Program
How can I find the date of a house?
Check the top right corner of the property tax assessment. This is the approximate date the City has determined for your home.
What about the people or businesses at that address?
There are a couple resources you can check:
- The Henderson’s Directories, annually published listings of residents and businesses is searchable by name and address.
- Limited searching of the newspapers in Google News.
- Early Alberta Newspapers at the University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collection.
- Calgary Herald Archive online at the Calgary Public Library
- Visit Ancestry.ca or access the Ancestry Library Edition at Calgary Public Library branches (in house use)