Historic Cliff Bungalow-Mission is one of the two oldest communities in Calgary. It harbours a wealth of heritage treasures for residents and visitors alike. It encompasses the site of the land grant obtained by the Oblate Fathers in 1884 with the vision of establishing a French-speaking community west of St. Boniface. The area became the village of Rouleauville, named for the Rouleau family which included Charles Borromée Rouleau, a judge of the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories, and his brother, Dr. Edouard Hector Rouleau, the first doctor at the Holy Cross Hospital. Although the influx of English-speaking settlers via the CPR ended the dream of a majority French-speaking community, many reminders of that era remain, including St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sacred Heart Convent, the Holy Cross Centre, St. Mary’s Parish Hall (now the home of the Alberta Ballet) and Église Ste. Famille. Although the area has long been part of Calgary, it retains its village character with older homes, mature trees, and a variety of shops and restaurants along Fourth Street (our “main street”).
The Community Association is committed to retaining the community’s heritage and its urban village character. This commitment is reflected in the Association’s mission statement which reads: “CBMCA exists to provide leadership, support and resources to protect and enhance the unique and diverse natural, architectural, historic and social environment of the community.”
Largely through its Heritage Committee, the association is keeping this history alive through a range of efforts, including restoring historic names to our street signs, erecting heritage plaques on historic sites, working with the City to add historic sites to the forty-one already on its Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources, commissioning a book of the community’s history, participating in heritage round tables, working to retain and restore heritage sites, raising awareness in the community of our heritage, conducting historic tours of the community, and working with other heritage-minded groups in the city. As well as these projects, the heritage committee also provides direction to the development committee regarding development which respects the historic character of the neighbourhood.