Centre Street is a major north-south transportation route between the Bow River and McKnight Boulevard, which cuts through the residential communities of Crescent Heights, Tuxedo Park and Highland Park. Along the main street is primarily commercial buildings with quiet residential blocks behind it.
In 1906, Archibald J. McArthur, an early developer, purchased and subdivided the district he named Crescent Heights. Along with other investors, he financed the original Centre Street Bridge to draw development toward Crescent Heights. In 1908, The City of Calgary extended its boundaries to include Crescent Heights and the nearby subdivision of Tuxedo Park.
Because of its prohibitively steep grade, Centre Street was bypassed for a streetcar line. A new Centre Street bridge design was selected instead to solve this challenge by cutting through the Centre Street hill to create a moderate grade and direct route to Crescent Heights.
In 1919, a streetcar line was installed across the newly designed bridge, giving local commuters direct access to the downtown core. The late 1920s saw brisk development in Crescent Heights, mostly with single-family bungalows typical of the time. As the population continued to grow, The City widened the bridge to include four lanes of traffic and a double line of streetcar tracks.
Before 1950, Centre Street was primarily a residential area, this changed in 1954, when 16 Avenue N was incorporated as part of the Trans-Canada Highway and Centre Street became an important connector route. The street also developed a more automobile-focused, commercial character with modest, vernacular, low-rise commercial buildings, still evident today.