J.W.C. Block


1205 14 AV SW


The simple elegance of Edwardian commercial style arrived in Calgary at the turn of the 20th century.  The JWC Block is a great example of this style’s main features boasting the classic load bearing brick construction, an upper pressed metal cornice, and date block.  The building also has two recessed storefronts, and pressed metal ceilings that complete the look.  Through the ages the building has been a popular meeting place for local residents and maintains the dominant character of the block.

The building sits next to the Brigden Block on the south-west corner of 11 Street and 14 Avenue SW.  Together with the three east-facing buildings on the south half of the block it helps complete a rare, intact pre-World War I commercial streetscape a full block in length. 

John Wesley Chittick (1866-1945) moved to Calgary from Walkerton, Ontario in 1907.  He built the two-storey brick J.W.C. Block (alternatively known as the Chittick Block) in 1912. Chittick used the same builder as he would later use with the Harvey Block (Nelson Purvis), and the building is estimated to have cost $12,000.00.

jwc block heritage calgary

jwc block heritage calgary



Eventually Chittick sold the J.W.C. Block to Albert Pickard, but kept the the Graves-Chittick Block for the rest of his life. Pickard owned the J.W.C. Block until around 1931. During Chittick's and Pickard's ownership, the large, northern storefront (1407) housed James White and J. R. Walker's dry goods and grocery store (circa 1910-1931), where White briefly operated a sub-post office in 1912. Pharmacist Joseph E. Mahood, who had opened an eponymous drugstore in the building around 1919, owned the J.W.C. Block from 1931-1950. He lived upstairs and operated Mahood's Drugs at 1407 during those years. In 1950, Mahood sold the building and drugstore to pharmacists Charles R. Laycraft and his wife Betty Laycraft, who in turn sold both to pharmacist Alan Arnold Campbell in 1959. Campbell Drugs remained until the late 1970's, and the storefront became City Cycle in the 1980's. The current tenant is Kalidoscope Colour & Glass Gallery.

(from Calgary Heritage Authority, September 2012)

in tack heritage street