Telephone & Utility

Historical Buildings

A point of interest on the Discover Downtown Calgary GPS-guided audio walking tour.

Press play & listen to the tour audio!

Audio Transcript

On your right hand side, you'll see the unique 'Telephone Building'.

The Alberta Government Telephone Building was erected during the course of a construction spurt in the late 1920s. It was considered very modern at the time as it included innovations like the first automatic elevators in the province and improved fireproofing.

Now if you have a sharp attention to detail, you may notice the U in the word Building is actually a V.

This is an example of an allograph, which is a variation of a letter in another context. Before the letter U was added to the Latin alphabet, they used the letter V for both sounds. By the 1600's, the letter U was added and began to be widely used.

As I mentioned, this building.. and, well, all of Calgary, was built much later than the 1600s, so the reasons for this U being a V are unknown. Perhaps the architect had a passion for history... or latin... or just the letter V.. who knows!?

To the left of the Telephone Building we have the Utilities building, which you'll see also has some interesting architecture.

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Calgary, AB    Discover Calgary

This POI is featured on the Downtown Calgary Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.

All audio walking tours are self-guided and include fully narrated commentary.

Trivia Challenge

Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia challenge you can test your skills on.

The trivia questions are separate from the commentary and completely optional.

The app keeps score for you so you can challenge your friends and family.

How it Works

hands free + audio 

automatically plays

audio tours play based

on GPS location

fun trivia questions

add to the fun

easy navigation with

live GPS maps

professional tour guides

family friendly

no data used on tour 

no signal required

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