“Then & Now” columns appeared weekly in the Calgary Herald between 2002 and 2005. The following article appeared July 1, 2003.
The Rouleau House
114 18th Ave. S.W.
(formerly St. Joseph's Street)
• One year after his 1887 arrival in Calgary, Dr. Edouard Rouleau and his wife Catherine built this house on St. Joseph Street (now 18th Avenue S.W.) in the Mission District.
The Laval University-trained, French-Canadian doctor quickly established a medical practice and became involved in the community, where his lawyer brother Charles was already a well-known judge.
According to some sources, the Village of Rouleauville, incorporated in 1899 and located in the Catholic and French Mission area around St. Mary's Cathedral, was named for the brothers. During his Calgary years, Edouard was the first president of the St. Jean Baptiste Society, head of the Holy Cross Hospital, assistant surgeon to the North West Mounted Police detachment, Belgian consul for the Northwest Territories, chairman of the Calgary Separate School Board and chancellor of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association.
Sometime between 1900 and 1908, the McHugh family, of local ranching fame, bought the house from Rouleau and moved it slightly east to its present location.
The house changed ownership many times over the years, but for most of its history after the Rouleau occupation, it has been a rental property.
• The Rouleau house has been rented since the current owners purchased it in 1976. The City of Calgary recently received an application for the demolition of the former Rouleau residence -- the oldest building in the Mission district and one of the few remaining Calgary buildings constructed prior to 1890.