Mar 192013
 
Inglewood barn

I doubt there are many cities that can lay claim to having an old livery stable barn within such close proximity to downtown. Surprise, Calgary does and just east of city centre and within sight of its many towering skyscrapers, we see a throwback to day’s past when the main form of transportation was horse and buggy. Our subject is located just off a main thoroughfare busy with traffic, but it’s doubtful many of the drivers passing by see it. It looks lonely, neglected and certainly out of place in today’s busy world, yet proudly it stands. Amazingly the barn we see here is not alone either and a few blocks west there is another, this one connected to the old National Hotel (link below).

Our structure is well over one hundred years now (I’ve been told it was built around 1909) and even in spite of sagging and leaning a bit it was clearly well constructed and appears solid and ready to face the coming decades. It’s located within the mixed retail/residential neighbourhood of Inglewood and is next to a small park.

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In spite of its long history there is little information to be found on the barn. I actually hate reports like this as I always want to present a fuller more rounded article. With so little to be found, there are big holes in the time line and the data I’ve gleaned from others is lacking and likely full of assumptions, guesses and most certainly errors.

We know in the early days it was a commercial livery. Called the Stewart Stables or simply the Stewart Barn, so named after its owner, it was a place where visitors to Calgary could temporarily house their horses while they went about their business in town (you could also rent a horse). One can assume it served in this capacity for a time but certainly the coming of the automobile impacted on business, so much that by the 1920s or 30s it must have been put to other uses. I have found mention it was used as by a animal feed company and later as storage space for postal vans, but that’s about it and its not clear even when.

Fast forward to the 1950s and we know it’s under new ownership. Called the Cinnamon Barn, it was not named for the spice but rather the fellow who at the time who held the property. one Mr Cinnamon. What purpose it served by this date is not clear. Was it used for storage perhaps? By then the the barn would clearly be an anomaly, a strange and odd anachronism from a simpler time. In spite of the world zipping by, it stood fast.

On to today and not much has changed – the building stands and its purpose is still unclear.

This author has found no solid information on who owns it today although another report briefly mentions a group of lawyers. Odd since those is that occupation are not well known for their philanthropy and so it begs the questions why would lawyers want an old barn? Something to do with money perhaps, and maybe they hope to redevelop the site.

Which leads us to, what’s in store for the building? Is it safe from the wrecking ball? Is it an historical site? So far I don’t know, but of course I will always keep my ears open for additional information. Plus, readers of this blog are welcome to submit anything they know about this place.

Even though today Calgary is still known as Cowtown, there few remnants to hint at why it has such a name. If anything, this building helps remind people, the few that even pay attention to it, of Calgary’s agricultural based past. So it does serve somewhat of a purpose.

Just down from the barn is another Calgary landmark from the same era, the now closed Molson Brewery. Formerly called as the Calgary Brewery, and then later the Carling O’Keefe Brewery, it does not appear to be connected to the barn in anyway other then by close proximity. Except perhaps the chance that some of those who boarded their horses at the barn so long ago may have been in town to enjoy a beverage at one of Calgary’s drinking establishments which would have course served the the fine golden liquid produced here.

Be sure to comment on this post (below pictures).

In the 1970s we lived within a block of this barn, just on the other side of the park. I guess my step father picked that location as he liked the idea of being close to church (the brewery). I don’t recall the barn from those days which is odd since I was always wandering and exploring, a trend that continues unabated to this day.

We had mentioned another barn in the same neighbourhood and it’s attached to and part of the redeveloped National Hotel complex. Its future seems assured and it’s currently home base from the TV show Canadian Pickers. To see it, go here…
The Nash aka the National Hotel.

Click the links below to see some other reports from the Inglewood area…
Calgary then and now – Alexandra School.
Farmer Jones Carz.

Another nice barn can be seen in this report…
Doukhobors in Alberta – Anastasia Village

If you wish more information on this place, by all means contact us!

Date: February, 2013.
Location: Calgary, AB.

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Calgary Alberta barn

This is one of two old barns within sight of downtown Calgary.

Calgary AB livery stable

This weather beaten wood must have a story to tell.

Inglewood barn

I doubt there are many cites who can say they have such a structure in an inner city neighbourhood.

Inglewood neighbourhood barn

A bottle collector goes about his business.

Calgary Brewery

Across the street is the now closed Molson Brewery.

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9 Comments on "Old barn, big city"

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Gerry
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Gerry

Very cool!

Cochrane
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Cochrane
I lived on 8 Ave looking at this barn for several years, and finally got to go inside about 6 years ago (2007)when the owner passed away and it was sold. It was full of things abandoned from the tenants of rental properties he owned — ancient beds, chairs, console TVs, pedestrian items like hard hats and board games. The new owner (a lawyer, last name Lee, can’t remember her first name) had a one-day garage sale, and that’s the first and last time I’ve seen the barn doors open. I imagine it’s still full of that stuff, as it was late in the day and not much was going out the door, though she may have had it cleared out since. The last thing on title is the purchase March 27, 2007 for $753,000. Here’s the best part: my neighbour told me the vacant lots to the left of… Read more »
Andy Robinson
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Andy Robinson

I think they could, or SHOULD, make this into a country and western or alt-country performance space, sort of like a mini Grand Ole Opry for Calgary. The idea of taking a disused commercial/industrial space has been done before in the Pumphouse Theatres, and we know that there is a scene for this in Calgary. I don’t see it as a bar, but more of a theatre, like the Folk Festival’s Festival Hall, not far from there. And people doing productions could rent it out for other things as well. Maybe it’d be a really classy-country-artsy style place, like Wolf Trap, that we used to see on PBS’ “On Stage at Wolf Trap”. The barn structure would be tailor-made for country music, and there’s certainly a lot of that music around in Calgary.

Dale Lariviere
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Dale Lariviere

It’s such a cool unique sight in Inglewood.

Nick
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Nick

I’ve always wondered about that barn. It’s a beauty.

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