History of the Calgary Tower
Originally named the Husky Tower, the Calgary Tower was constructed as a joint venture between Marathon Realty and Husky Oil. The Tower was built to honour Canada’s centennial and was also intended to promote the downtown core as a part of a Calgary urban renewal program.
Construction of the Tower commenced on February 19, 1967 and was completed in June 1968 at a total cost of $3.5 million dollars. The Tower officially opened to the public on June 30, 1968.
On November 1, 1971, the Husky Tower was officially renamed the Calgary Tower as a tribute to the citizens of Calgary.
In 1973, the Dutch Canadian Centennial Committee gifted the sound of carillon bells to the City of Calgary in celebration of Calgary’s centennial. This gift was also given as thanks to the City of Calgary for the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War.
In 1989, Tower renovations necessitated the removal of the carillon, but public interest resulted in its restoration. A digital Americana carillon chimes the hour and plays a selection of music to entertain Calgarians during their walk to and from work and during their noon hour break.
In 1985, the Tower completed a renovation of the upper areas at a cost of $2.4 million. This project added Tops Grill and a souvenir shop. The newly renovated Calgary Tower opened on May 29, 1987.
The 1988 Olympic Winter Games were held in Calgary. To honour this special event, the Calgary Tower installed a natural gas-fired cauldron that resembles the Olympic torch.
In 1993 high-powered telescopes and several multimedia touchscreen kiosks were installed on the Observation Deck. In January and February 1996, the Elevation area at the base of the Tower was completely renovated.
In November 2002, a total renovation of all levels of the Calgary Tower commenced and was completed in a one-month period. This involved doubling the size of the reception lobby.
In 2005, a glass floor was installed on the Observation Deck as a gift to Alberta on its Centennial. Spanning 36 feet wide by 4.5 feet, visitors can stand over 9th Avenue SW and Centre Street North.
In the spring of 2006, the lobby of the Calgary Tower was renovated to include a new gift shop location.
In 2007, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse was moved to the second floor of the Tower, resulting in the permanent closure of the plus 15 exit.
On January 1, 2008, the Panorama Dining Room was closed. A new partnership was formed with Concorde Group to open SKY 360 Restaurant after extensive renovations.