618 23 Avenue Southwest, Calgary

Year of Construction: 1912-1914

Welcome to Highnote.

The CPR connection: Early in Calgary’s history, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company owned the land west of what is now 4th Street SW, including the neighbourhoods of Cliff Bungalow, Sunalta and Mount Royal. These neighbourhoods were annexed by the City of Calgary in 1907.

1911 – the CPR sells this lot and the one next door to William Peacock for $3,000. Covenants on the property, which exist to this day, prohibit the operation of a train station or a mercantile, but we still retain mineral rights.

1912 to 1914 – The home, a three story Queen Anne Revival, is built. The bricks may have come from the Peel & Sparrow Brick Yards that were located across the river in the neighbourhood that is now Rideau. The home’s first occupant is Wm. H. Chittick, who operated a cigar store across the street from the CPR’s Palliser Hotel.

1915 to 1922 – The second occupant is Matthew J. Scott, a CPR master mechanic.

1924 to 1926 – Scottish immigrant Thomas Lees, CPR District Manager, lives in the house with his wife and four children.

1928 – The last known CPR occupant is Arnold Dunphy, employed by the CPR as a clerk.

In the movies: The house, and its neighbour to the east, appeared in the movie “Blue Smoke,” which was filmed in Calgary in 2006.

The Jann Arden connection: Shortly before signing her first record contract, Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden rented the basement suite of this house. Her landlady, whose name was June, lived on the main floor and was the inspiration for the hit song “Living Under June.”