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Charles Thomas Gilbert

Charles Thomas Gilbert, 1867-1952, was born in Coreley, Warwickshire, England and moved to Toronto in 1881 to continue his apprenticeship as a baker. He came to Alberta in 1898 and operated bakeries in Calgary, Banff, Claresholm and Okotoks.

He was also involved in real estate for many years, as a speculator and investor. In partnership with George J. Riches, Gilbert bought 80 acres of land in 1902, in the south west quarter of Calgary. In the following years of Calgary's real estate boom, Gilbert made a fortune by buying up numerous holdings and selling them for disproportionate profit. C.T. Gilbert owned 10 blocks which he called the subdivision of Gilbert; the subdivision later became incorporated into the Radisson Heights neighborhood.

His more successful subdivision was a rural quarter east of Calgary, which he bought in 1909 or 1910, calling it Forest Lawn. Forest Lawn became heavily populated and by 1934, it was incorporated as a village, and then at town in 1953, before annexing to Calgary in 1961.

C. T. Gilbert retired a wealth man in 1937, at the age of 70. Despite his retirement, he continued to operate his Calgary bakery into his early 80s. He died on March 30 of 1952, leaving behind his wife, Jessie Callentt, ca. 1884-1970, and eleven children, Rosalee (Snider), Ruth (Dixon), Leslie (Barrell), Donn (Vajda), Mrs. Grant, Mrs. Saunders, Fred, James, Gordon, Alfred and Henry.

This biography is adapted from the Charles Thomas Gilbert fonds of the Glenbow Archives. Copyright © Glenbow Archives, Calgary

References

Hunter, Frederick. Tales of South Calgary. Retrieved December 3, 2008.

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