Calgary’s Olympic Treasure
Olympic Plaza is perhaps the most public and beloved legacy from when our city hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics. It features a huge central plaza space that hosts concerts, community celebrations while also being a favourite tot splash pool in the summer and an enormous ice rink in the winter. The creation of Olympic Plaza was as a result of a Notice of Motion submitted by then Alderman, Al Duerr, who suggested it would be an excellent way for citizens to show their support for the coming Olympics by enabling them to purchase a custom brick that would become a permanent part of the plaza.
Bricks could be ordered by individuals, who would submit a custom message of a single row of up to 21 characters. Each brick was priced at just $19.88 (about $37.00 in 2016 dollars) and was accompanied with a federal income tax deduction. Even though companies were not officially allowed to have bricks, and many received polite rejection letters, that didn’t stop some companies like The Royal Bank having a brick in both official languages or Burnco buying 196 bricks.
Back when the plaza first opened in 1987, citizens crowded the brick perimeter with heads locked in a downward gaze as they searched for their own brick. Today you can take a quick trip to this website to verify if grampa’s brick bragging is really true, and then download our SmartPhone app that will guide you to where your brick is located through the technology of GPS, something not available in 1987!
Search for your brick…
The entire inventory of 36,045 bricks have been painstakingly transformed from the single surviving paper record into this digital repository, an effort that took hundreds of volunteer hours. Click on the link below to search the database for your favourite bricks.