The 9 Avenue SE main street runs through Inglewood, one of Calgary’s earliest inner-city communities, from the Elbow River to 17 Street SE. The street includes working class residential streetscapes, and important commercial and institutional buildings.
In 1880, Inglewood was Calgary’s original town centre, and 9 Avenue SE its first main street. Industrial development comprised most of the main street, when Alfred E. Cross established his Calgary Brewing & Malting Co. in 1892. Cross was a major employer and active member of the community, which took on the name Brewery Flats in honor of his contributions. With the introduction of the streetcar line in 1909, the community rapidly grew and adopted the new name of Inglewood.
The streetcar route made 9 Avenue SE an important transportation route through Calgary. By the 1960s, The City of Calgary identified the area for industrial development and 9 Avenue SE became a major city road. Shortly after, the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay initiated a joint revitalization project to invest in the historical value of the community.
Today, 9 Avenue SE retains characteristics of an early commercial street with continuous storefronts and a large collection of intact, Edwardian Commercial style buildings, typically one to four storey, flat-roofed buildings with red-brick facades and large plate glass display windows. Houses lining 8 Avenue and 10 Avenue SE recall the area’s working class roots and are characterized by Edwardian style architecture with front porches, gabled roofs and landscaped setbacks fronting grassy boulevards and mature street trees.
In recent years, a lot of work has been done to preserve the heritage of 9 Avenue SE in collaboration with the Inglewood Business Revitalization Zone, the Inglewood Community Association, The City of Calgary, Heritage Canada, and the Alberta government. The area currently has the highest concentration of historic sites in Calgary today.