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.

Milestones

1967

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.

1971

On November 1, 1971, the Husky Tower was officially renamed the Calgary Tower as a tribute to the citizens of Calgary.

1973

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.

1985

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.

1988

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.

1993

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.

2002

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.

2005

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.

2006

In the spring of 2006, the lobby of the Calgary Tower was renovated to include a new gift shop location.

2007

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.

2008

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.