The official party for the naming of John Hextall Park included, from left to right:  John Hextall’s great granddaughter; Mrs. Leonard Watt; Bill Carpenter; Mayor Naheed Nenshi; long-time Bowness resident Bob Swainger; Mr. Leonard Watt (grandson of John Hextall); and Bowness Historical Society Board members Carole Carpenter, Anne Campbell, Dr. Judith Barge, Glen Bell and Inga Pollhaus.

John Hextall Park Sign

The Bowness Historical Society has worked diligently with the City of Calgary to accord official recognition of the previously un-named parkland at the corner of Bowness Road and Bow Crescent as “John Hextall Park,” named after the founder of Bowness, who died almost 100 years ago.

On Saturday, July 20, 2013, the City convened an official park naming event with an unveiling of the John Hextall Park sign.  The event was celebrated with a congratulatory message by Mayor Naheed Nenshi and the official unveiling of the sign by Mr. Leonard Watt, the grandson of John Hextall.  The ceremonial party included Mayor Naheed Nenshi, MLA Alana DeLong, Alderman Dale Hodges, Leonard Watt, Bowness Historical Society President Carole Carpenter, and Society Directors.  Many Bowness residents and supporters attended the event.

Dignitaries at the official naming of John Hextall Park, from left to right:  Mrs. Len Watt, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Mr. Leonard Watt, MLA Alana DeLong, and Alderman Dale Hodges.

Gift ideas

Year-round gift ideas! Give one or both of our limited edition books on Bowness' history and/or an historic Bowness calendar for 2015!

Located on the western edge of Calgary, Bowness is a lovely, unique and vibrant community with a rich history. Surrounded by mature trees, the Bow River and Bowness Park, it was annexed to the City of Calgary in 1964, but still has a small town atmosphere.

The Bowness Historical Society

Midway Grocery Delivery Truck. Photo courtesy Val Fazio nee O'Toole.In the Fall of 2000, a small group of community people met informally to discuss producing a history of Bowness. Most of these people have lived in the area for many years and wanted to ensure the annals of Bowness be recorded.

A Board of Directors for the Bowness Historical Society was formed in April 2001 and was registered as a non-profit society under the Societies Act of Alberta in July, 2001. Our goal was to produce a book on the history of the community of Bowness.

Our mandate is "To promote and preserve the history of Bowness."

Please explore our site to find out more about our community and the different projects our Society is working on.

Your family photographs are important to the history of Bowness and our growing archive of Photographs. We have developed a respectful protocol for electronically scanning photographs so that you keep the original. The Bowness Historical Society will share your stories through our website, book projects, poster sessions, and our regular newsletter, the Bowness Beacon.

In particular we are searching for photographs of:

  • The Bow Theatre
  • early schools
  • businesses
  • Bowness Flying Field
  • the street car
  • Post Office
  • and above all, your family members and friends who contributed to community life in Bowness.
Historic Bowness 2015 Calendar

Historic Bowness 2015 Calendar $15.00

Featuring Wood's Christian Home at Bowness

Learn more about our calendar.


Become a Member

  • Annual membership will support the activities of the Society
  • Receive our quarterly newsletter, the Bowness Beacon, and other notices.
Click here for more information.