100+ years on the
1600 block of Broadview Road NW, Calgary

This site was made in 2012 to celebrate 100 years on this street. It is updated occasionally.

1912 was an exciting time in Calgary.

  • The first Stampede was held.
  • The Calgary Public Library opened. Early photo of first library here.
  • Natural gas arrived by pipeline to supply homes and businesses.
  • Calgary Power was generating electricity.

By 1912, Calgary's population had exploded more than 10-fold over the previous decade - from 4,091 in 1901 to 50,000 in 1912. (See Earle Gray's blog entry Calgary goes from cow town to tame town.) Our neighborhood, called Westmount (or Westmont), was annexed by the City of Calgary in 1910 - only 27 years after the buffalo disappeared from the North American plains. Originally our street was Third Avenue SW and Kensington Road was Centre Avenue. Its name was changed to Broadview Road NW around 1928. For an interesting history of the area see Hillhurst - Sunnyside Remembers by Margaret Tanko, 1978.

In 1912 there were 17 houses in the 1600 block of what is now Broadview Road, of which 15 remain. Now, 101 years later, there are 37 houses and 5 new ones coming. Many of these houses had suites at one time or another, possibly due to housing shortages in Calgary's boom and bust economy.

Corrections, updates and comments welcomed by Micky Gulless at micky@fuzzylogic.ca

Click here to see a Fire Insurance Map of our street in July 1913. (Use browser Tools > Zoom, or keys Control and + to enlarge.)

Photos of Domestic Architecture | Early Neighborhood Conditions | House Prices | The Land | Jack Peach on Hillhurst-Sunnyside

Last change October 15, 2016

Who lived here? Click a house photo or number to find out.

North
side
1602 1606 1610 1612 1616 1618
  1602
Built 1928
1606
Built 1943?
1610
Built 1910?
1612
Built 1912?
1616
Built 1973
(First house built 1912)
1618
Built 1910?
South
side
House gone 1607 1609-1611 1613 1615 1617
  1603
Built 1928
1607
Built 1945
1609
Built 2014
(First house built 1938)
1613
1615 1617
Built 1912
Built 1995
(First house built 1936)

North
side
1620 1624 old house 1626 1628 1632 in 2014 1634
  1620
Built 2013-2014
(First house built 1912)
1624
Built 2013
(First house built 1946)
1626
Built 2014
(First house built 1938)
1628-1632
Built 2014
(First house built 1920)
1634
Built 1910?
South
side
1619 1621 1623 1625 1629 1631 1633
  1619
Built 1979
1621 1623 1625
Built 1945
1629
Built 1912
1631
Built 1912
1633
Built 1912
Built 1990
(First house built 1949)

North
side
1636 1638 1644 1646
  1636
Built 1912
1638
Built 1996
(First house built 1913?)
1644
Built 1912
1646
Built 1912
South
side
1635 1637 1639 1641 1643
  1635
Built 1912
1637
Built 1912
1639
Built 1912
1641
Built 1981
1643
Built 1908
Moved here 1945

North
side
1648 1650 1652 1654 1658
  1648
Built 1912
1650 1652 1654 1658
Built 1997
(First house built 1930)
Built 1986
(First house built 1930)
South
side
1647 and 1649 1653-1655 1657
  1647 and 1649
Built 1997
(First house built 1946)
1653-1655
Built 2013-2014
(First house built 1944)
1657
Built 1926

24 Photos of Domestic Architecture

If your house was built before 1930, these photos might show what it looked like inside back then - Domestic Architecture 1920s.

House, Lot and Rental Prices and Wages

1910 Ad"In 1910 ... A house with five to seven rooms, either new or preowned, in the relatively close-in northern areas of Sunnyside or Hillhurst with proximity to street car service, electric light and probably only a stove rather than a furnace, ranged from $1,500 to $2,500. A similar house with a furnace, and connected to or at least fully equipped for water and possibly sewage, cost between $3,000 and $4,000. Equivalent fully modern housing closer to the city centre cost more, indicating that property in such a location still commanded a premium, especially in high status neighbourhoods. In Mount Royal, a "most up-to-date" five-bedroom house would cost about $6,500. Prices rose further in 1911 and 1912, with most houses reaching the upper end of the price ranges in 1910." (from Homes in Alberta: Building, Trends, and Design by Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R. A. Kmet, ©1991, page 111. Their footnote, page 317, says "Costs were calculated from advertisements and articles in the Calgary Herald ...". )

"By 1911, lots in south Calgary in proximity to street car service were selling for $300 to $650, while similar ones in the northern suburbs of Sunnyside and Hillhurst were a minimum of about $250." (from Homes in Alberta: Building, Trends, and Design by Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R. A. Kmet, ©1991, page 111.) I found an advertisment on page 29 of the 1910 Henderson's by O.G. Devenish & Co., Real Estate Investments, saying "Owners of "Westmont" and "Capitol Hill" Additions. Street Railway Service to Both Properties to be Constructed This Year. Prices $100.00 to $300.00 per Lot, Liberal Terms." (see image on left)

1911 rental prices: a shack $8-10, 3-5 room house $15-30, fully equipped (electricity, furnace, water) 7-room and larger $60-70 per month. (from Homes in Alberta: Building, Trends, and Design by Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R. A. Kmet, ©1991, page 112.)

Wages for skilled workers were only about $70 per month. (from Homes in Alberta: Building, Trends, and Design by Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R. A. Kmet, ©1991, page 113.)

Most workers could not afford to buy a house. Before 1914, a mortgage could be obtained from a trust company at 5% to 8% interest. A down payment of 40-50% was required, interest only was paid for the term (usually 5 years), and the entire principal was due at the end of the term. Builders and owners offered some easier terms, with down payments as low as 20%, with the balance as rent. "... fully modern six-room house with bath and furnace in the suburb of Hillhurst was for sale at $3000, available for $800 in cash with the balance at $35 per month." (from Homes in Alberta: Building, Trends, and Design by Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R. A. Kmet, ©1991, page 115.)

Early Neighborhood Conditions

Houses built in 1912 or earlier may have had electricity. From what I've seen in our houses, these early homes were wired for electricity when built, and probably had bathrooms equipped for running water, although they may not have been connected to water and sewage mains yet. It seems unlikely they had natural gas service. Natural gas arrived in Calgary on July 17, 1912. Here are ATCO Gas centennial stories.

Furnaces, if the house had one, would have been large, either gravity or water heat (radiators). If there was no natural gas service here, they would have been fired with coal, oil or wood. Have you found evidence of a coal chute or coal storage at your house?

In 1910, "a serious outbreak of typhoid occurred in in the poorer sections of Calgary where, lacking connection to the water and sewer mains, people got their water from back yard wells polluted with seepage from outdoor privies and cesspools." Hopefully Broadview Road was not part of the poorer sections. (from Homes in Alberta: Building, Trends, and Design by Donald G. Wetherell and Irene R. A. Kmet, ©1991, page 51) Even cholera occurred in Alberta in the early 1900s due to poor sanitation.

In 1912, horses would still be seen on the streets. Ladies wore floor-length dresses. Milk, cream and butter were delivered to your home by a horse and wagon. Interesting Calgary photos, taken in 1912-1913, are in the Thomas H. Mawson Collection on the University of Calgary website at http://caa.ucalgary.ca/mawson.

When two residents names are shown on this website, it may mean suites (especially if a long time ago) or it may just mean people with different last names lived there (especially in more recent years).

Lawrence Herchmer
   Lawrence Herchmer

The Land

Our neighborhood was originally part of the CPR main line grant. In 1881, in exchange for building the railroad, the Canadian Government promised to give the Canadian Pacific Railway 25 million acres in the Northwest Territories (now Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) in a belt 24 miles wide on each side of the CPR railway tracks, as well as $25 million and 713 miles of existing railroad. On May 16, 1901, Lawrence W. Herchmer of Calgary purchased, from the CPR, the north 1/2 of Section 17, Township 24, Range 1, west of the 5th Meridian for (150.9 acres) for $15 per acre. The CPR land records read "All land north of Boulevard". (I think Boulevard is now Westmount Boulevard.) I did not research the land from then until it was annexed by City of Calgary in 1910.
Jack Peach on Hillhurst-Sunnyside http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/jack-peach-calgary-early-20th-century-history-1.3386849

Resident information from Henderson's Directories (1912 to the last one in 1991) at the Glenbow Archives and at the Peel Library University of Alberta website.
In the 1910 and 1911 editions, there is no Third Avenue NW nor SW.
The Street Name of Third Avenue NW, as shown in the 1912 Henderson's, probably should be SW.
* indicates home owner -started in 1934, stopped by 1943, back again in 1949.
1979 Residents from a 1979 Preliminary List of Electors
Date built information from the property section of www.calgary.ca.
All source data has some errors and inconsistencies. I tried not to add any more, but I make no promises.
Research and photos by Micky Gulless except where noted.

© Copyright 2012-2016 Micky Gulless