Bal-Cristo Building


325 - 10th Avenue SW

This large five-storey warehouse, one of the largest in the district, was built in two stages. The eastern portion (consists of a five bay structure) was built in 1910 as the warehouse of G.H. Galt & Co., wholesale grocers and tea importers.  This Calgary branch offce  of the Winnipeg company shared it's facility with Campbell, Wilson & Horne Ltd., a local wholesale grocer. The seven-bay structure to the west, which compliment the existing building perfectly was built in 1913. It was occupied jointly by the Canadian Consolidated Rubber Co. and Pacific Cartage & Storage, which was the official cartage company of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The combined complex was able to house many firms at the time, with some remaining tenants for decades (such as Merchants Hardware Specialties from 1919-73).

The twelve-bay structure is an imposing building, it's rectangular facade marked by windows and string courses recessed behind regular pilaster strips, and the whole crowned by a corbelled cornice. The attractive ground level entrance reflects the display function of the wholesalers. A great example of warehouse architecture it retains the best example of a rear loading dock in the district. The two-storey, four-bay annex to the left is an addition from the 1950's. Numerous buisinesses have occupied space in this building over the years.

By the 1960s, the eastern portion of the building became the Bal-Cristo building. It was bought by the current owners in 1970 and became known as the Wigelo Buildings, an amalgam of the owner's surnames. Many Calgarians knew the building as the home of its anchor tenant throught the 1970s and 1980s, Nu-Trend Furniture.  It still houses office and commercial tenants, as well as artist's studios. A two story annex built in the 1950s has housed the Cannery Row seafood restaurant since 1982.




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from a Master of Architecture thesis by Erin Swift.