The Old Y building is an excellent and early example of sandstone and brick structure built in the Georgian Revival architectural style. The building manifests this style most clearly in its symmetrical front facade and strong emphasis upon a prominent, central entrance featuring both sidelights and fanlight. Other elements of the style include the building’s multi-pane sash windows, porch, and eaves ornamented with dentils.

The character-defining elements of the old Y.W.C.A. Building include such features as:

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  • mass, form, scale, and style
  • hip roof featuring central pediment with dentils and chimneys with decorative detailing
  • entablature, cornices on the upper floor and second storey, and dentillated eaves
  • red brick facade and sandstone quoins, sills, pilasters, keystones, string courses and decorative inlays
  • rough-faced sandstone foundation
  • arched front entrance with decorative pillars and detailing
  • fenestration pattern and style, including symmetrical arrangement and multi-pane sashed windows
  • inset sandstone with “YWCA” and “1910” set in relief
  • ground floor porch supporting second storey balcony
  • metal fire-escape on west elevation
  • original interior elements, including the U-shape plan with central corridor on the second and third floors, and window trim
  • entrance foyer stair with balustrade and railing details
  • large meeting room in the southeast corner of the main floor with wall and ceiling wood details


External Members

Aboriginal Writer’s Circle
Alberta Chinese Canadian friendship Association
Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo
Beltline Fitness Centre
Bentiu Community Association
Calgary Anarchist Bookfair
Calgary Centre for Global Community
Calgary Multicultural Society
Calgary Sexual health Centre
Calmeca Dancers Society
Elephant Artist Relief (EAR)
Editor’s Association of Canada
Eritrean Cultural Civic Centre
Gay Friends of Calgary
Hararian Society
Justice for Palestinians Calgary
Kiiy Bor Women’s Association
Landshare Canada
Miscellaneous Youth Network Society
Next UP
The Nuer Study Centre
Peer Support Services for Abused Women
Permaculture Guild of Calgary
SMART recovery
Theatre Utopia
Tour De Nuit Society
Trans Equality Society of Alberta
Venezuelan Canadian Association
The Villella McMeans Foundation
Youth Recovery Coalition Society
Zine Tree Library

Tenant Members

Alberta Disabled Foundation 319
Alberta Youth in care and Custody Network 200
Apollo Friends in Sport D5
Amnesty International 306
Art City (Visual Arts Week Society) 301
Arusha centre Society 106
Aspen Family and Community Services 205
Barrier Away Project D6
Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary Outdoor Entrance
Brown Bagging For Calgary Kids 315
CATCO (Calgary Carshare) G9
Calgary Cinematheque Society 212
Calgary Community Network Association 302
Calgary Co-operative Memorial Society 204A
Calgary Ethiopian Community Association 201
Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers 103
Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) 212
Calgary Women’s Health Collective 304/316
Children’s International Summer Villages G4
Chinook Country Historical Society 311
Eritrean Canadian Community Association 312/318
Mix OLOGY Dance Mine D3
M:ST Performance Art Festival Society 307
Oromian Community Association of Alberta 200B
Calgary Outlink Centre 303
Parkland Institute Calgary 211
Pride Calgary G5
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) 209
Sierra Club Canada 210
Sustainable Alberta Association 207
Sustainable Calgary Society 207
Two Wheel View 207
Youth Ink Publications Society 308/309

Jesse Chapman

A Very Special Tenant:  Jessie Mary Chapman (1880 – 1981)

Miss Chapman called Old Y home for many years. She lived here for over 40 years and became the best known of the women to run the Travellers’ Aid Program. In 1969, she was named one of fourteen National YWCA Women of the Century.  COMMUNITYWISE is proud to honour her vision and memory through its continued activities.

Rental Spaces

COMMUNITYWISE has several common spaces available for rental by members.  All bookings must be made and confirmed through the staff in the admin office.  Available spaces include:

Main Common Room (per 4 hr block)

Morning or Afternoon  $25
Evening                       $35

Board Room (per 4 hr block)

Morning or Afternoon  $15
Evening                       $25

Dance Studio (per 4 hr block)

Morning or Afternoon  $10
Evening                       $15

Common Office (per 4hr block)

Morning or Afternoon  $10
Evening                       $15

Arusha Common Space (per 4hr block)

Morning or Afternoon  $15
Evening                       $25

Kitchen (per 4hr block)

Morning or Afternoon  $15
Evening                       $15

Other spaces: Darkroom, Sound Recording Studio (Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary), Film editing suites & equipment (Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers), Outdoor courtyard