Scottish Place Names
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Of the names of the 263 communities and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in Calgary, 73 (27.8%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names or Scottish words. Of course, some of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but as many as 46 of them (17.5%) are unique to Scotland or are readily identifiable with places in Scotland that are based on the same names. Calgary itself is a Scottish place name, the city being named for Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull.

Judging purely by the names of its subdivisions and neighbourhoods, Calgary can justifiably claim to be one of the most 'Scottish' of all the Canadian cities. Calgary's place names certainly illustrate the far-reaching effects of the Scottish diaspora, whether through direct immigration from Scotland or through migration from other parts of Canada by people with Scots ancestry.

Picture of Olympic Plaza, Calgary, via Wikipedia.

Communities and neighbourhoods with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely, or most probably, of Scottish origin are:

Some of the following subdivisions and neighbourhoods are also likely to have a direct or indirect Scottish connection, but these names can be found in other parts of the British Isles as well:

A final category of neighbourhood names comprises places that can be found in Scotland but which, in Calgary's case, definitely or most probably have no connection with Scotland.

The strong Scottish influence on the development of this young city (Calgary was established as recently as 1875) is further attested by the names of several major roads and highways in Calgary. These are Anderson Road, John Laurie Boulevard, MacDonald Avenue, MacLeod Trail, McKnight Boulevard and Marquis of Lorne Trail. There is also a Scotland Street in the select Scarboro neighbourhood of the city. The surrounding countryside is also rich in Scottish place names, some examples being the towns and villages of Airdrie and Carstairs to the north, Cochrane, Canmore and Banff to the west, Kirkcaldy and Lomond to the south-east and Strathmore to the east.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, August 2004
Revised April 2008.

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

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