Monday, October 22, 2012

Expansion and Restoration of Fort Calgary

Construction on the W-SW side of Fort Calgary Historic Site
In Mid-Summer, 2012, construction started in the W-SW side of Fort Calgary; a new entrance to the Historic Site is being built. Although details regarding this specific section are not out yet, representatives of Fort Calgary have confirmed the plan. This new entrance is a part of the massive Expansion and Restoration Plan of Fort Calgary. 

Allow me to explain;

It was 1875. Law and Order were needed at the West, so the North West Mounted Police built a small wooden fort, right where the Bow and the Elbow Rivers meet. That was the foundation for the City of Calgary.

Time has passed; the Fort now operates as an interactive and interpretive centre for locals and visitors and includes exhibitions, tours and school programs. The Deane House Restaurant - built in 1906 for the last superintendent of Fort Calgary, Captain Richard Burton Deane - serves lunch and brunch and is mostly famous for its "Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre". The Hunt House - built for Hudson's Bay officials in 1876 and was later used as the home of William Hunt - is used as a shed and appears to be falling apart.

Expansion and Restoration Plan for Fort Calgary
Nicky Peeters, Marketing Manager
of Fort Calgary, provides an update
on the project
During the last eight years, a Fort Calgary Expansion and Restoration Plan has been forming. The renovations include the expansion of the Interpretive Centre, restoration of the Deane House and conservation of the Hunt House. The plan entails an expanded museum, school and meeting space, as well as a second story which will offer a 360° view of Calgary and the entire Fort Calgary Historic Site.
A second story  will provide a  360° view of the City and the Historic Site

Though the initial phase has already began, the massive construction is set to commence in the Summer of 2013, hopefully the day after the Stampede ends, according to Sara-Jane Gruetzner, President and CEO of Fort Calgary. The project will temporarily close certain areas of the site, each for the specific amount of time needed for the redevelopment. This huge project will go hand-in-hand with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation's $15M East-Village redevelopment project, which includes the surrounding area of Fort Calgary; "They're building a doughnut and we're building a Timbit", said Gruetzner.

On July 1st, 2012, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel - Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities - MP Devinder Shory announced of an $8M funding from the Federal and Provincial Government; "Today, on Canada Day, our government is proud to announce significant funding for Fort Calgary - one of Canada's most important historical sites." Along with the City of Calgary's funding, the boost put the Expansion Plan at its half-way point towards the $21.3M required for the project.

Project is set to be completed by 2015.

Government of Canada News; Canada and AB to Invest in Fort Calgary Expansion

Alberta Canada; Inventory of Major Projects

Alberta Canada; Projects Information

CalgaryHerald; Fort Calgary plans Massive Makeover by 2015

CalgarySun; Funding Boost for Fort Calgary

RecentNews; $8M Funding for Historic Fort Calgary, Dedicated to Expansion/Restoration


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