Preserving Calgary’s Historic Buildings at Fort Calgary!

Fort Calgary is a non-profit charity that preserves, protects and promotes the significance of the historical sites for citizens and visitors to the city of Calgary. Operated by the Fort Calgary Preservation Society, Fort Calgary is a place of eduction, exchange, social gathering and more. Two significant structures that form a part of Fort Calgary are the Hunt House and Métis Cabin. 

Originally built in Morleyville, the Hunt House was the Hudson’s Bay Company’s original fur trading outpost. It was moved to its resting site at Fort Calgary in 1875. The structure has been fully restored and is now deemed one of Fort Calgary’s most important permanent artifacts. Today, it is the oldest building in Calgary in its original location. 

The Métis Cabin is likely a surviving structure of the original HBC post moved to Calgary from Morleyville in 1875. Both of these buildings are excellent examples of Métis architecture in the ways the logs are hewn and notched. These were wintering cabins made for long-term use, and, as was common with Métis structures of this type, the buildings would have been whitewashed every spring.

“Thanks to The Urban Painter, we’ve been able to complete an important task in the ongoing care and preservation of the Métis Cabin and the Hunt House. Without their support, doing this project this year would not have been possible, given the constraints COVID has placed on the organization. We encourage you to visit these historic buildings, found in the gardens behind the Deane House, to have a look and learn more.”

—Naomi Grattan
President & CEO, Fort Calgary

The Project – The Hunt House and Métis Cabin

Revitalizing the Hunt House and Métis Cabin was the perfect final project for the Paint4Good initiative. The opportunity to paint and help preserve the oldest buildings in Calgary was quickly embraced by the entire Paint4Good team.

Working closely with heritage conservation experts from Chalmers Heritage Conservation, The Urban Painter crafted a plan to refresh the Hunt House and Métis Cabin in a manner that honoured their historical significance. Unlike the average exterior paint used to paint modern homes, lime wash has a very specific mixture that must be used in order to accurately preserve the history and structure of the Hunt House and Métis Cabin. 

The approach included re-chinking the log joints to ensure a seal from external elements, and creating a traditional lime wash in the style originally used in the 1800’s. In order to give the buildings a longer maintenance cycle, the lime wash was mixed with quality Benjamin Moore paint, creating a bright and long-lasting result!

“After many years of weathering, the Hunt House and Métis Cabin were in dire need of a revitalization. Honouring the historical preservation of these buildings while helping to brighten the Calgary community was very meaningful to myself and the entire Urban Painter family. It was a privilege to not only learn about the history of these amazing buildings, but to actively participate in their preservation was a true honour”.

— Jon Bryant

Chief of Colour, The Urban Painter



 Our Thanks

A special thank you to Fort Calgary for placing your trust in us to paint the Hunt House and Métis Cabin in a manner that honours their historical significance. We were truly blessed to be part of such a special project and help brighten up a site so important to our community.

Thank you to all of our partners that helped make this Paint4Good project a success!

  • Dave Chalmers — Chalmers Heritage Conservation 
  • Benjamin Moore — Paint 
  • 3M — Tape