Today, Currie stands as a beacon of new urbanism, linking past, present and future in one brilliant setting. Known well by generations of Canadians, Currie’s rich heritage dates back to the 1930s where it began as a Canadian Armed Forces Base. Originally created as an employment project during the Great Depression, it represents a significant milestone for the military’s establishment in Alberta. Since then, Currie has continued its legacy of optimism, momentum and positive growth.
The Government of Canada designates $1.6 million (over 2 years) to build a military base in Calgary as part of the Public Works Construction Act to alleviate the effects of the Great Depression. The Currie Barracks, named for the renowned General Sir Arthur William Currie, becomes home to the largest establishment of the Canadian military in Alberta to date.
The Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, and the Royal Canadian Air Force conducts training in Currie throughout the Second World War. During the war, an airstrip is constructed which paves the way for two British Commonwealth Air Training Plan stations on the base.
Currie Barracks becomes home to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) and 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. In order to bolster Canada’s military presence in the west, Currie Barracks is dramatically transformed into a major military centre. The population of Calgary exceeds 100,000.
The Officers’ Mess Hall (J5) welcomed many important figures over its history including prime ministers and military leaders from across Canada. Most recognizable name is H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth and her husband H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh stayed in the Mess Hall after a day in Calgary.
The airstrips were officially closed and one airstrip was used as a vehicle dragstrip until the early 1980s. The remaining property was sold to the ATCO company, the City of Calgary and Mount Royal College.
The formation of the Canadian Armed Forces (bringing together the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force) results in the Currie Barracks becoming known as Canadian Forces Base Calgary (CFB Calgary) – although many people continue to refer to the base as Currie Barracks.
Forces stationed at CFB Calgary begin moving to the Canadian Forces Base Edmonton. CFB Calgary is officially decommissioned and Canada Lands Company purchases the land and buildings for future development.
After extensive community consultation, the CFB West Master Plan is approved for Garrison Woods, envisioning a vibrant urban community where future residents will live, learn, work and play. This marked the first development project for Canada Lands Company, followed by the development of Garrison Green.
The Currie Barracks Community Plan is approved and land use is confirmed for the third and final development of the original CFB Calgary.
Construction begins on the first single-family homes and the community of Currie Barracks officially launches to the public.
After a progressive new plan for the community is approved by the City of Calgary, Currie Barracks becomes simply, Currie.
History lives here
Currie is dedicated to preserving its rich heritage within the community, ensuring that the legacy of the past remains intact. The following are a few examples of the various initiatives and installations throughout the community: