712 32 Avenue Southwest, Calgary

Year of Construction: 1912

Welcome to Our Home

Constructed in 1912 during a frenzied housing boom, this wood frame home was typical of the many houses filling the plots of the growing Elbow Park neighbourhood at the time. Sadly due to grossly inadequate preservation orders on historic homes in the City of Calgary this type of home is rapidly becoming a rare site. Perfectly good houses of this era are being torn down thus ripping the heart and sole out of historic neighbourhoods like Elbow Park. In their place the City of Calgary is allowing the erection, in a lot of cases, modern faceless houses with little charm and character that will be out of fashion within a decade or two, only to be torn down again.

One plea from 712 32nd Avenue SW – “Please don’t tear me down in the future. I have lasting charm and have of course the foibles of an old house. Saying that I am 100 years old this year and if I can survive the 100 years that Calgary and weather has thrown at me then I can survive a 100 more! I am a sustainable home – I am still here! Mayor Nenshi get on the case and stop the destruction of my fellow centenarian friends!”

Who lived here in the early years?

The first occupants of the home were Mr James Buntin Sutherland and family. From searching the Calgary Library Archives Mr. Sutherland arrived in Calgary in 1911 from Scotland. He initially roomed in lodgings, which we presume was until he bought the plot of land and built the house you now see in front of you. Mr Sutherland was an accountant, but we are unsure what line of business or who he worked for.

The second occupant was a Mr David James Broomfield. We are unsure when he moved in, but he lived in this house until 1949. Mr Broomfield was another Scot who graduated in Law from the University of Edinburgh and practiced Law here in Calgary since 1911. He formed the law firm Broomfield & Sellar, which later became Broomfield and Co. In semi-retirement he worked for Fisher, McDonald, Fisher. Mr Broomfield was active in sporting and social circles in Calgary. He was a member of the Glencoe club, a charter member of the Renfrew club and was an active member of the Burns’ club of Calgary. In 1941 he won the city senior men’s golf tournament.

Did you know?

• Four Scottish families have lived in this house – apparently the Scots invented Canada!
• Early in 1907 an announcement was made in the Calgary Herald that a new suburb would be built on the city’s south west edge and be called Elbow Park.
• Prior to 1907 the area was a homestead from the early 1880s.
• The first houses started appearing in Elbow Park in 1909 and a housing boom followed from 1910 until the onset of the WW I in 1914
• The house two doors down at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 7th Street was the Community School.
• Contrary to recent reports we are not members of Ashleymadison.com, but we are proud to be part of, as the Calgary Herald put it, the seamy underbelly of Calgary!!