1122 Kensington Road NW
Originally named the Arnell Block, then the Hillhurst Block, this building is currently referred to as The Starbucks Building after our long-time tenant. This historic building hosts a ‘vintage style’ main floor front entrance with wood windows. The second floor is office space for further tenants.
Completed in 1911 at an estimated cost of $3,500, this Edwardian commercial structure was originally named for its owner, Yorshire-born John Smith, who died the year it was built. Early businesses in the Smith Block, such as the Hillhurst Confectionary and Ice Cream Parlor (1921-32), the Model Meat Market (1926-28) and the Hillhurst Shoe Hospital (1930-52), reflected the quiet, working-class character of the neighbourhood they served.
Walt Healy, whose landmark motorcycle dealership on Tenth Street NW later made him a household name in Calgary, lived in one of the upstairs apartments in 1934-35. The building was renamed the Hillhurst GBlock after Alma Smith, John’s widow, sold it in 1925.
Public Realm “Starbuck’s Patio”
In 2013 the City of Calgary requested that we active the public sidewalk area adjacent to this building. This patio activation included permanent furniture and artwork on the traffic control box. Learn more about the “Starbucks Patio” on our post here.
Municipal Heritage Designation
The Smith Block
In 2016, during the rezoning of 1134-1160 Memorial Drive NW (now the Memorial Drive project by Anthem), the small brick house on the NW corner of the larger building was designated as a Municipal Heritage Resource. You can read about the historical significance and building characteristics on the City of Calgary Historic Calgary Resources page for this building.