About Hawkwood


Hawkwood Today

Hawkwood has two elementary schools and one nearby high school (see  schools), vibrant local businesses, great park and family recreation spaces (see community map), and an active volunteer community.

The Hawkwood Community Association pioneered and completed a campaign to gain resident approval for a tax levy through the Neighbourhood Grant program. The tax levy was used to beautify Hawkwood through enhanced landscaping and maintenance of entrance features, boulevards and park spaces in the community.  Hawkwood created an acronym for the levy, LEAF (Landscape Enhancement and Appreciation Fund), and used the phrase, Help Hawkwood Turn over a New LEAF, as their campaign slogan. Community residents overwhelming supported the LEAF campaign and the project has resulted in a beautified Hawkwood, a boost to property values, reduced vandalism and graffiti, and community pride and involvement.

Basic Statistics

  • Population
    • 2011 Population 9,898
    • 2014 Population 9,773
    • 2024 Population (projected) 9,566
  • Median Household Income (before tax)
      2006 $96,806
      2010 $121,257
  • Housing
    • 3,375 Single detached housing (90% of total)(2006)
    • 340 Semi-Detached, Row, Apartment (10%)(2006)

Sources

  1. City of Calgary.

Hawkwood History

Located where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, Fort Brisebois became the site of the North-West Mounted Police and was renamed Fort Calgary in 1876.  Whether the name Calgary came from the Old Norse words Kalt Gard meaning “cold garden”, or Gaelic Cala Ghearraidh meaning “beach of the meadow” or “pasture”, or simply after “Calgary” on the Isle of Mull in Scottland which was Colonel James Macleod’s favorite place, is not certain.  Because Calgary’s location was next to the Canadian Pacific Railway’s entrance to the Kicking Horse Pass, the railway chose Calgary as a construction supply base and Calgarys importance grew from there.  Hawkwood was established in 1981 and was named after the original landowners John and Joseph Hawkwood.
John and Joseph Hawkwood were not the first to have settled here, and neither were the Tsuu Tina.  The first residents likely arrived in Calgary shortly after Glacial Lake Calgary drained 8250 years ago and actually set up camp in present day Hawkwood.  The settlers were Paleo-Indian bison hunters and likely chose our area because of the elevated view from our escarpment of the southwest Bow river basin in search of food, direct exposure to the warm Chinook winds in winter, shelter in rare aspen forests on the escarpment, and good winter grazing conditions.  Evidence exists the area remained attractive as time passed and that people live here several times around 5300 years ago, between 2650 and 2050 years ago, and again between 200AD and 1720 AD.

Geology and Climate

If you dig a hole in a typical Hawkwood location, you will dig up a thin layer of organic soil and quickly encounter clay, rocks and boulders.  If you are careful enough, you will actually find a layer of volcanic ash from the eruption and collapse of the 12000ft Mount Mazama 7700 years ago during the creation of Crater Lake, Oregon.  During the last ice age, Calgary was covered on its west side by the Cordilleran Glaciers flowing from out of the mountains, and on its east side by the Laurentide Ice Sheet.  The glaciers from the west delivered and deposited rocks in our region, some of them massive like the Okotoks’ Big Rock.  As the glaciers melted, Glacial Lake Calgary was formed and eventually drained away.  The glacial till and sediment left behind are the rocks and clay you encounter digging down.   If you dig even further (at this point, you would be digging really deep),  you would encounter pre-ice age bedrock, shale and of course sandstone, a building material Calgary is famous for having used in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  After the massive downtown fire of November 7, 1886, Paskapoo Sandstone became the building material of choice. Calgary was dubbed “Sandstone City”.  Under the sandstone, you will encounter mudstone, limestone, and even fossil reefs…not to mention maybe oil and natural gas.  Don’t expect to easily strike it rich in your backyard so, this is at depths many kilometers deep.  Underneath it all is the continental crust and finally molten lava greater than 20kms below.
The Mountains to our west not only provide a magnificent backdrop to our community and close-by recreational opportunities unlike nowhere else on our planet, it also provides our weather and water, or sometimes lack of water.  At our latitude, prevailing winds come from the west.  As the winds laden with Pacific moisture are forced up over several ranges of mountains, the moisture is cooled, condensed, and precipitates out of the air as snow and rain on the west side of these ranges.  We are left with dry air on our side.  But, as luck would have it, that same wind rapidly descending the eastern slopes is compressed under the weight of the atmosphere at lower elevations causing it to heat up.  A Chinook is born!

The mountains are not our only supply of water.  Local groundwater is a huge source of water.  Groundwater is naturally stored in gravel or bedrock aquifers, sort of like underground swamps sitting on top of layers of sediment.  Visible proof of their existence can be found in water leeching out of the ground where these aquifers meet the ground surface.  Such examples can be found on the north side of Crowchild Trail between 53 street and Sarcee Trail, on the north wall under the 14 street overpass on John Laurie Blvd, the northwest corner of Shaganappi and Northland Drive intersection, and on the north side of Nose Hill Drive across from 85 street.  Silver Springs gets it name from these aquifer springs.  Groundwater reaches our rivers and water supply underground through the different water table levels, and on the surface through the storm drains.