1206 Memorial Dr NW, Calgary

Year of Construction: 1912

OWNERS & TENANTS
Our deepest appreciation to the Blackfoot Nation,
outstanding and conscientious stewards of this land for many centuries

1910 R. Chiconi (Cicconi) bought the property from the City of Calgary
1911 Michael Gleason and his brother James built 1206 and 1208. They moved to Calgary from the Eastern Townships of Quebec, outside of Victoriaville. Both had been carpenters but worked as motormen (streetcar drivers) for the Calgary Municipal Railway their entire working days
1913 Charles Connell,managing director of The People’s Security Corporation Ltd, and his wife Ada purchased the house and lived in it with children Charles, George, Rita, Jean and John
1919 J R and Florence Eustice purchased the house and lived in it for 10 years before renting it to Percy Colbeck, a clerk at the Land Titles office
1934 Robert and Della Robinson. Retired, possibly from farming, owned the house and lived in it for 20 years.
1954 Harold and Helen McArthur purchased the house in order to be close to Helen’s widowed mother Marie Louise who lived next door in 1208. Helen’s sister Gertrude assisted with the care of Marie Louise until her death in 1967
1968 Benjamin Fisher purchased four houses on Memorial Drive, 1202, 1204, 1206 and 1208
1970 The City of Calgary purchased all of the above houses plus many others along Memorial Drive NW in anticipation of creating an East West traffics corridor. The houses were rental properties for fourteen year. Tenants included:City of Calgary employees, waiters, artists, students, musicians, drug counselors and entrepreneurs
1984 The current owners rented the house from The City of Calgary
1989 After the construction of Bow Trail and during an economic crunch, the City of Calgary sold all the properties they owned along Memorial Drive. Tenants were offered first rights to purchase and the current owners purchased the house and property. One owns a retail business on 10th Street and the other is an artist working at the Alberta College of Art + Design

THE HOUSE AND PROPERTY
Brothers Michael and James Gleason built the houses at 1206 & 1208 Boulevard in the Calgary suburb of Hillhurst. The houses, mirror images of each other, may have been “kits”, available from catalogues, possibly Eaton’s. The cost of materials for both houses was approximately $2,500. The original house remains underneath the slick exterior of 1208 to the West of 1206. The arch on the third floor hot tub patio references its past, mimicking the previous window on the second floor which can still be seen on 1206.
1919 – The lot was valued at $650 and the building $1250. Taxes were $68.50 per year
1937 – The garage, which still stands, was built
1940 – A telephone was installed

THE STREET HAS GONE THROUGH MANY NAME CHANGES:
Prior to1911 – Broadview Boulevard NW
1911 – Boulevard NW
1919 – Westmount Boulevard
1965 – Memorial Drive NW
1970 – The City of Calgary purchased many properties on Memorial Drive NW, including 1206, with the intention of building a freeway, but the feisty community of Hillhurst/Sunnyside fought the idea and suggested an alternate route, Bow Trail, on the South side of the river. The City continued to rent the properties throughout the 1970’s and 80’s.

Many thanks to Jennifer Hill, daughter of Bernadette Gleason (who lived with her family in 1208 Memorial Drive NW) for providing the family history and photographs