The city had constructed 13 miles of improved roads and, in keeping with modern standards, had replaced the boardwalks in the business district with concrete walks. Calgary's reputation as 'The Sandstone City' was well established as many of the new office buildings were fine sandstone structures. Commercially, the city had made remarkable progress and acquired two large sawmills, a flour mill, a brewing plant, and a gas plant. Plans were underway for the manufacture of concrete blocks and cement bricks. As a harbinger of future changes in the local coal market, there was already talk about bringing in natural gas from Bow Island.
The citizens enjoyed the services of a well-regulated police force and fire department, electric light, waterworks, sewers, telephones, two theatres, and two daily and three weekly newspapers. Of these, it is most likely that George Peet preferred reading the humorous and satirical columns in Bob Edward's 'Eye Opener' and Barney Toole preferred the traditionally-styled Herald which was published by his golfing friend J.J.Young, M.L.A., brother of the enthusiastic D.J.Young who owned a stationery store from which he oversaw his innumerable investments in the developing city.
CPR Land Sales ... and Mortgages
There was no doubt that Toole, Peet & Co. already had the right ingredients for success the day the partners went to work together but, in a move that was to show how skilful Barney Toole was in assembling the essential elements of business, he added a very lucrative sideline that quickly expanded - mortgages. Through connections established while with the CPR, Barney Toole became the loan manager for Southern Alberta for the investment departments of the Canada Life and the Imperial Life insurance companies.
Now, Toole Peet not only had the exclusive agency for the CPR lands but could also supply clients with mortgages for these and other properties. The business prospered naturally. The city continued to grow, annexing the Mission district in 1907, and attracting newcomers through well-received events such as the Dominion Exhibition in 1908 that gained national recognition.