Between 1901 and 1911, Calgary's population increased from 4,400 to 44,000. A mass transit system was needed to move these people from their homes in the suburbs to the city centre, and attempts at using chain-driven buses had already failed. The city eventually chose electric streetcars because they required minimal maintenance, were inexpensive to operate and were reasonably safe.
Electric streetcars operated in Calgary between 1909 and 1950, and in its heyday, the system had nearly 80 cars running between downtown and various suburbs including Tuxedo Park, Mount Pleasant, Elbow Park and Killarney, with one line going to Bowness. Car 14, the last streetcar to operate in Calgary, was recreated by Heritage Park in 1973 to move visitors from 14th Street S.W. to the Park gates. In 1991, Heritage Park built another car out of new and salvaged parts. The streetcar's operation took a hiatus from 2007 until 2010 while the Park underwent its $65-million expansion. The streetcar tracks had to be removed and then re-installed on a new route, doubling the streetcar journey from the parking lots to the front gate. The streetcar system re-opened on May 19, 2010.