Nov 022015
Crescent Heights High School

An article by Chris & Connie.

The location for today’s then and now shoot is Crescent Heights High School in Calgary. The old photo used (from about the 1960s) comes in from an associate and shows a group of students participating in some sort of demonstration in front of the building’s main entrance. On our visit things were a bit quieter and no protesters were seen.

The then photo was supplied by a friend at the Calgary Board of Education. Thanks Evelyn, it’s great! It came with no accompanying information as I guess there is none – the file we’re told was blank. It’s just a photo with no notes or other data attached. We don’t know the year it was shot (but can guess), the photographer or even specifics of what exactly is happening in the scene. Nothing! Oh well…

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Scroll down for photos and to comment ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

Guessing the date of the photo seems easy enough – the style of dress suggests it’s from the mid to late-1960s. We’re pretty confident about that.

Just what is being protested is a bit unclear. We can easily read much of what’s seen on the large sign, but the message seems a bit odd and cryptic and does little to lessen the mystery of what exactly is happening. As best as we make out it reads: “Don’t Mind $ For Social St. But What Do Union Do?” Just what the heck does that mean? Regardless, the person holding the sign seems quite passionate about his feelings. He was captured mid-shout. Down with this! Up with that! We’re not sure what he’s saying, but he’s doing it loud!

The people seen, save for one or two, are all male. Not sure if that’s significant or not.

If any of our readers were at this protest or even know about it, we’d sure love to hear from you. We’re curious as heck to know what’s going on.

The trees have grown up a lot since the old photo was captured. They’re huge now! The fence has changed somewhat, but it’s instantly recognizable. The section of the building seen in back is the gym and is much higher today (the school has been renovated and added to over the years). Just to the right in both scenes is the main entrance.

Crescent Heights High School was built in the 1920s. Enrollment is close to a couple thousand students covering grades ten through twelve.

The community where it stands dates back a hundred years or so and is one of Calgary’s longer established neighborhoods. It’s on a high bluff across the Bow River, just north of downtown core.

The aspect ratio of the original photo was 1:1, so we did the same with our shot. Shooting square, for some reason, seemed really odd and weird to us. As is always the case, we lined up our now shot in camera using special techniques we’ve developed over the years. Post production is limited to small distortion fixes and the like and nothing major. Most of the work is done at the time the photo is captured.

The majority of then photos used by us in this ongoing series are supplied by our readers. This one was. If you have an old image you think we’d be interested in, email us. We’ll revisit the location seen, shoot a similar picture showing what things look like today and post it on this website for all the world see.

More then and now posts…
Calgary Transit then and now – 17th Ave SW.
Calgary then and now – those 70s condos.
Calgary then and now – Currie Barracks Parade Square.

If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!

Date: November, 2015.
Location: Calgary, AB.
Article references: Calgary Board of Education.
The building exterior can be viewed and photographed from public property.

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Crescent Heights HS

Crescent Heights High School in the 60s and today.

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13 Comments on "Calgary then and now – Crescent Heights High School"

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Barry Ross
Barry Ross

Good story Chris…

I went to CHHS in 75-76!
Sheet Metal Shop (12 & 22) with Mr. Pritchard was my best subject.

Terry Carroll
Terry Carroll

(via Facebook)
Graduated from Crescent in 1969.

Frank Phillips
Frank Phillips

I graduated in 62. My brother graduated in 65. I remember him saying that there had been a demonstration about student union fees and he was about to join it with his friend Gordon but was intercepted by Mr. Cooper the principal who pointed out that they had both got student union scholarships so they thought better of it.


Mr. Winston H. Cooper is my grandfather and this sounds like something he would say. I sure love and miss him.

Cynthia Peebles Guibord
Cynthia Peebles Guibord

I was there 72 to 76.

Brian Holt
Brian Holt

My Brother inlaw is in the picture, he is the very small fellow wearing the trench coat. He was all of 16 on that day and he quit school the following year so he could go to work.By the way, even he is not sure why they were protesting. I do remember in the day back in Victoria our Jr HIgh would protest some silly cause, but most of just wanted a day off of school, so we would all bugger off and enjoy the rest of the day running free.

Guy Smiley
Guy Smiley

Class of 1971. The place hasn’t changed.