Calgary is a unique city in many ways. One of the biggest things that distinguishes us from other metropolitan areas is how we name our major thoroughfares. The word “trail” is used across our city and pays homage to the the old oxcart trail that existed between Calgary and Fort Benton in Montana. Stoney, Blackfoot, Metis, Shaganappi, Sarcee, and Peigan Trails are all named in honour of the first people on this continent, although the latter two have since changed their names. The Peigan are now known as the Piikani Nation and the Sarcee are now the Tsuut’ina Nation, but both street names remain. Others, such as Edmonton, Banff, Morley, Beddington, Airport, Spruce Meadows, and Bow Trails are named after destinations or nearby landmarks. Glenmore Trail is named for a Gaelic word meaning, “big valley”, which was bestowed upon the area now covered by the Glenmore Reservoir by early explorer Sam Livingstone. What follows are photos depicting the people that our trails, and other prominent roadways, are named after. Each individual has a historical connection to this city, this province, or this country and by using their monikers we are respecting our past, while looking towards the future. How many of these did you know before?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a collection of some of the more popular roadways in our city. The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives, Wikipedia, and the Calgary Herald. Additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on each photo. There is also the option to purchase a high resolution copy. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from Alberta. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.