Preserving Calgary's History

The old Eau Claire & Bow River Lumber Co. office has been a historic part of the Eau Claire district for over a century and its tenant, Calgary’s 1886 Buffalo Café, has been preserving its past for over 40 years. They even have a Photo Museum located on the lower level displaying the early years of Calgary.  With the redevelopment of the plaza, the building is slated to be moved to another location in the new redesigned Eau Claire Plaza. The revitalization project has resulted in the ending of the lease for the 1886 Buffalo Café.

According to the owners, the big part of the experience at the café is the building itself. They are considering relocating but that it would be next to impossible of finding a heritage building with the same feel and ambience. There is no reason to spend thousands of dollars using taxpayer’s money to move a building when the area could’ve been easily redesigned to preserve the atmosphere of days gone by when entering the plaza.

The new redesign of the plaza will also remove the Barley Mill restaurant which is designed to bring out the history of the area with the water wheel out front paying tribute to the water-driven lumber mills that operated there. The Barley Mill also is somewhat historic as the second floor is constructed using old lumber from the original Alberta distillery. Don’t let our history fade as the Alberta Brewery building did.

Along with the 25 m high brick smokestack, built-in 1947 reflecting the neighbourhood's industrial past used by a sawmill until 1945, these 3 iconic elements could become a historic gateway to the Eau Claire Plaza. To save taxpayers money many of the elements, like the roadway and historic elements, should remain. These should be updated and repaired instead of rebuilding from scratch.

Let us save our heritage and leave it intact for all the world to see. Even though the Bow River Lumber Co. building is on the city’s inventory of evaluated historic resources it is not legally protected federally, provincially or municipally as a heritage building. The city has yet to determine what the building will be used for. In the meantime, the long-time tenant, the 1886 Buffalo Café, will no longer be unique.

Help the 1886 Buffalo Café, a small successful family business located in the Eau Claire Market, to keep its aura. Make A Difference and make the M.A.D. Move by signing the petition to save the 1886 Buffalo Café. Restore the historic Bow River Lumber Co. building where it sits as not to cause a major disruption to the operation of an iconic café and save taxpayers money.  

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The redevelopment of the plaza has resulted in the ending of the lease for the iconic 1886 Buffalo Café operating in the historic Eau Claire & Bow River Lumber Co. office
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