Old Photographs of Calgary Zoo (Gallery)

Zoos can be divisive places, with some viewing zookeepers more as jail keepers. The vintage picture in the Glenbow Museum Archives of apes watching a TV in what look like prison cells seems to prove this point. While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to have animals imprisoned in cages, and not roaming free in the wild, zoos are educational, and play an important part in ensuring biodiversity. The world class Calgary Zoo’s staff include biologists who work at home and internationally in conservation to protect animals endangered and at risk of extinction.

The zoo also features botanical gardens, and a prehistoric park.

1930 – Brontosaurus model Dinny at Calgary Zoo

One of the stars is the iconic Dinny the Dinosaur, made of hand-poured concrete, and a zoo fixture since the 1930s. Dinny is the last dino standing as the others went extinct after being destroyed in the 1980s.

The most visited zoo in Canada, and a beloved Alberta institution, easily accessible by public transit, pedestrian and bicycle paths, its location on St. George’s Island makes it a must-see destination, or a place to revisit if it’s been a while.

May 18, 1991 – Aerial view of Calgary Zoo on St George’s Island

For more information on the zoo visit their website. You can search Glenbow Museum Archives here.

1925-1930 – Bandstand at Calgary Zoo – Demolished in 1949
calgary zoo
1933 – First polar bear at the Zoo
calgary zoo
1940-1949 – Group with Dinosaur
calgary zoo
Kanerva sculpted many of the dinosaur models at the Calgary Zoo including Dinny
May 1945 – Victory Parade, Calgary
calgary zoo
November 29, 1948 – Hedvig Willumsen holds a baby cougar and baby beaver
May 18, 1949 – Merry-go-round at Calgary Zoo
April 25, 1957 – New deck for Zoo Bridge under construction
1950-1964 – Tom Baines Calgary Zoo Christmas card
May18, 1953 – Victoria Day Calgary
June 26, 1953 – Mural created by John Kanerva
June 1953 – Baby porcupine at Calgary Zoo
February 1955 -New deck for Zoo Bridge under construction.
1960 – Dinosaur mural at Calgary Zoo
October 22, 1960 – Safety information board
1964 – Large Mammal House
April 9, 1964 – Zoo conservatory
calgary zoo
1965 – Aquatic displays
September 30, 1970 – Apes watching television through cage bars
October 7, 1972 – Pond at Calgary Zoo
January 1975 – Calgary Zoo encircled by ice
February 15, 1977 – Dall sheep at Calgary Zoo
October 15, 1973 – New polar bear enclosure at the Zoo
Miniature train, the Zoo Line Railway


About Tara Collum 6 Articles
Tara Collum is a Toronto writer, book hoarder, and aspiring cat lady.