Heritage Park Historical Village
|Type||Living History Museum|
|Public transit access||Heritage C-Train station|
Heritage Park Historical Village is a historical park located in Calgary, Alberta. The Park has two operating seasons. The Historical Village is open from May long weekend to Thanksgiving long weekend. Gasoline Alley Museum is open year-round. The Park is located on 127 acres (51 ha) of parkland on the banks of the Glenmore Reservoir, along the city's southwestern edge. As Canada's largest living history museum, it is one of the city's most visited tourist attractions. Exhibits span Western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s. You will see Western Canada's iconic past not only preserved, but also presented alive and in great working condition. Many of the buildings are historical and were transported to the park to be placed on display. Others are re-creations of actual buildings. Most of the structures are furnished and decorated with genuine artifacts. Staff dress in historic costume, and antique automobiles and horse-drawn vehicles service the site. Calgary Transit provides regular shuttle service from Heritage C-Train station. The park opened on July 1, 1964.
The park is divided into four distinct areas reflecting different time periods in Western Canadian history: the Hudson's Bay Company Fur Trading Fort, c. 1864; the Pre-Railway Settlement Village, c. 1880; the Railway Prairie Town, c. 1910; and the newly opened (2009) Heritage Town Square, depicting the 1920s to 1950s.
Heritage Park Historical Village has over 100 exhibits including:
- 2 operational ex US Army 0-6-0 steam locomotives with ex 0-6-0 CP 6144 as a backup (a note 6144 was dieselized because of the boiler being in poor condition when it was donated to the park) that run on a small railway that goes around the circumference of the park which has original 1900`s stations where passengers can board restored passenger cars and take a ride around the park.
- A roundhouse that houses various railway equipment, an operational turntable, and a car shop that houses very rare and unique passenger cars.
- A streetcar from Calgary's former streetcar system that shuttles passengers to and from the parking lot. This was taken out of service in 2006 in preparation for the park's expansion, and returned to service in May 2010, taking passengers from the parking lot to the newly built CPR replica station and front gate.
- A re-creation of a paddle steamer, S.S. Moyie, that traverses the Glenmore Reservoir
- An antique midway that features working historical amusement park rides
- An aboriginal encampment representing the First Peoples in southern Alberta in the 19th century
- A working smithy, bakery, hotel, and several shops and restaurants
- Horse-drawn wagons
- A Hudson's Bay Company trading fort
- The 1913 Little Synagogue on the Prairie
- The Town Square, located in front of the park gates, contains Haskayne Mercantile Block, Selkirk Grille and Big Rock Interpretive Brewery flanked by the Bissett Wetlands. It was opened in 2009 and admission is free in this area of the park.
In March 2009, Heritage Park opened a major new expansion, the Heritage Town Square. The addition features several new buildings depicting a larger 1930s and 1940s western Canadian town. Heritage Town Square will be open year-round, unlike the rest of the park, which is seasonal.
Some of the new attractions include:
- The Famous 5 Center of Canadian Women - A New exhibit set to open June 2014, which tells the story of influential women in Canadian history.
- a new Gasoline Alley Museum showcasing the park's extensive antique car and memorabilia collection (previously housed in the Burns Barn in the main park)
- an orientation/visitor's centre (within a replica railway station)
- a 1930s town square (which includes shops, an antique photo parlour, and food services)
- a re-creation of a CPR railway station restaurant
- Travel Alberta. "Travel Alberta". Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- Foran, Max (1982). Calgary, Canada's frontier metropolis : an illustrated history. Windsor Publications. p. 264. ISBN 0-89781-055-4.
- CalgaryPlus. "Heritage Park Historical Village". Retrieved 2010-07-20.