July 25, 2014 2:12 pm
Updated: July 25, 2014 2:30 pm

Enmax employees stumble upon artifacts at downtown dig

Enmax employees found artifacts related to the building and maintenance of the Canadian Pacific rail line buried under dirt and gravel.

Global News

CALGARY – Enmax employees unearthed some fascinating artifacts while working on a downtown substation last week.

Workers discovered a selection of metal tools such as rail spikes and pickaxe heads, thought to date back to the late 19th or early 20th Century.

They were found under dirt and gravel near the Canadian Pacific rail line, and experts believe they were likely used for day-to-day activities at the rail yard, like laying or replacing rails and railway tile.

Those who found the artifacts contacted archeologists to let them know about their discovery.

“We were surprised to find historically relevant items, and while we didn’t fully understand their significance, we knew we needed to report the discovery,” said Doris Kaufmann Woodcock, ENMAX.

Workers also unearth a single brick, thought to be handmade, with the word ‘Calgary’ stamped into it.


“Significant historical items can often be found in old areas of major cities,” says Michelle Wickham, Bison Historical Services Ltd. “Unfortunately, when items are discovered, they are not always handled as they should be, leading to either damage or total loss altogether.

“We commend ENMAX for preserving Calgary’s historical record in this way.”

“Although it’s believed that the most significant items have been recouped, this phase of the project is still ongoing,” says Kaufmann. “So we will have a professional archeologist on site for the duration

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