How Did Calgary Get its Name, What Does Calgary Mean in Gaelic, and When Was the Canadian City Founded?

In 1875, during trouble with the First Nations, the local North-West Mounted Police sent E troop under Inspector E.A. Brisebois to erect a barracks on the Bow River.

When Brisebois wanted to name the new structure after himself, his commander, Lieutenant-Colonel James Macleod, overruled him and named the settlement Fort Calgary, after the ancestral estate of his cousins, the MacKenzies, in Scotland.

The Gaelic translation of Calgary is “clear running water,” which certainly describes the Bow River.

The translation of the Blackfoot name for the area known as Calgary, briefly Fort Brisebois, was “elbow many houses.”

The translated Cree name for the area was “elbow house.”

Both Native references are to the Elbow River.

The eastern coast of Canada is closer to London, England, than it is to the country’s own West Coast.

In England the farthest one can get from the sea is sixty-five miles, while in Greece it is eighty-five miles.

The summit of Mount Irani in Costa Rica is the only place on Earth where one can see both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

At sixty-four million square miles the Pacific Ocean is twice as large as the Atlantic Ocean and covers a greater area than all the land mass on Earth combined.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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