A new book explores the French roots of Calgary's Mission area, which was originally known as Rouleauville

A new book is being published that celebrates the first French-speaking community in Alberta - Rouleauville.

That might not sound familiar to Calgarians, but in fact the community was located in the heart of the city, in what is now known as Mission.

It was known as Rouleauville from 1899 to 1907 in honour of Calgary's French-Canadian pioneers, brothers Charles and Edouard Rouleau, who played leading roles in settling the region.

Currently, there's a memorial wall in Rouleauville Square next to St. Mary's Church and the historic home of Edouard Rouleau. The area has been preserved as part of the city's French hisotry, but also as a significant site of many municipal firsts.

In 1899, when Rouleauville was incorporated, the village had a population of 500, while Calgary had 4,000 inhabitants overall. Calgary eventually annexed Rouleauville in 1907, when it had a population of around 15,000 mostly anglophile people. They changed the neighourhood's name to Mission

The story of Calgary's French-Canadian history can be found in Rouleauville: The Cradle of Calgary.

With files from Camilla di Giuseppe