A History of Businesses in Calgary

At one time, signs Calgary was a small town, situated in the North West Territories. But in the year 1889, it started to use electricity and turned into a flourishing city.
By 1894, it was quite well-known all over the world and attracted a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs from all around.

But the history of businesses in Calgary is as old as the town itself. Though it was a small town when it was first set up, local businesses had a sense that it would soon expand and develop into a city. In the year 1890, after electricity came to the town, a handful of local businesses took the lead and formed a board of trade which was comprised of a physician, a gun maker, a horse trader, a jeweler and a local boot and shoe man.

On May 2, 1891, this board of trade was approved by the registrar of Canada and so the Calgary Board of Trade came into existence. Since that time, different types of businesses were set up and the economy of the town began to grow by leaps and bounds.

The formation of the board of trade in Calgary paved the path for businesses like merchants, brokers, traders, manufacturers etc. Each of these were eligible to apply for the membership of the board.


This critical step along the way involves a complete detailed survey of each site to ensure the proposed signage will be of proper and appropriate scale to the site.

After a new rail link with Edmonton was established in 1893, Calgary began on its path to becoming a railway hub. As the rail connection became stronger, the economy of the city also developed more.

Later in 1914, efforts to establish an advanced air terminal started. A new railway station was founded to help the city grow and diversify its economy. As the city opened its doors for new markets, the Calgary Board of Trade was given a new name – the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Ease of transportation led to ease of doing business in the city.

Industrial Development

The oil and gas industry has helped Calgary’s economy grow a great deal. In the whole of Canada, Calgary has the preeminence of being the leader in the oil and gas industry.
Though the dominance of the city’s oil and gas industry has reduced over the last couple of years, it is even today the individual largest contributor to the city’s GDP. BP Canada, Encana, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Suncor Energy, Husky Energy and Shell Canada are some of the largest oil and gas companies operating in the city of Calgary.

Major Employers

Over the years, both private sector employers and public sector employers have vastly contributed to the growth of Calgary’s economy. Major employers belong to sectors like energy, healthcare, education, communication, tourism, food, real estate and manufacturing.

Since Calgary has also been recognized as the cultural capital of Canada, it has fueled the growth of ethnic restaurants and stores. Calgary downtown is dotted with multiple skyscrapers, one of the most popular of which is the Calgary Tower.

After Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, it’s popularity in the field of sports and recreation grew manifolds and it advanced into a famous destination for adventure sports. Calgary has progressed to a point where it is also termed as a corporate power center. A substantial percentage of Calgary’s workforce is engaged in white collar jobs.