Mission Bridge

Mission Road, Crossing Over to Rouleauville

Photo source: Glenbow Archives (NA-431-4; 1890) Mission Road, from the South to the North; Voice: Kenneth LaPointe


A Bridge at the Mercy of the Elements

Photo source: Glenbow Archives (NA-2365-26, 1923) The Mission Bridge threatened by the flood of 1923; Voice: Marilyn Williams


Uninterrupted Traffic and Urbanization

On foot or on horseback, in a cart, on a bicycle or in a car, Mission Bridge has always been a strategic focus in the development of southern Calgary and southern Alberta.
  
Since the early part of the twentieth century, the bridge has facilitated the creation of and access to new districts such as Rideau Park in 1911 and Roxboro in 1923. Buildings from this era are still visible today. 

Photo: Glenbow Archives (NA-5093-56); Looking south from Mission bridge, Calgary, Alberta.

Calgary from North to South, and East to West

Calgary has undergone rapid, structured urbanization. As in many North American cities, the plan is Hippodamian. The city is organized into rectilinear streets crossing at right angles.

The Hippodamian plan, created by Hippodamos, a Greek urban planner from the 5th century B.C., was developed primarily by Alexander the Great. It had considerable success in the Greek world before it was taken over by the Romans who used it systematically in the foundation of their colonies.

This is also called a "checkerboard plan" because of its shape and main axes. Most of the avenues run east-westand the streets run north-south. The Romans, military strategists, used this plan to set up their legionnaire camps and stationed their main cohorts along the axis of the rising and setting sun.
In Calgary, the north-south axis is defined by the Bow River, while the east-west axis is defined by Center Street. Just locate the four cardinal points to find your way in the city. Hint: the Rockies are to the west!

Source: Gottmann, J. (1959). City plans on both sides of the Atlantic. Cahiers de géographie du Quebec, 3, (6), 237-242. Sarra Lorine, the urban form: the plan in chessboard. Photo: Google map.



Excerpt of
Rouleauville, the Calgary’s Historic Francophone District

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