Calgary 150: Part 2

A celebration of the attractions and places that make this city great.

  1. Chinatown, Downtown
    Calgary’s vibrant Chinatown is bordered by the Bow River to the north, 4th Avenue to the south, 2nd Street to the west and Macleod Trail to the east. The first group of Chinese Calgarians arrived as early as 1883, after the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed.
  2. Chinook Centre, Meadowlark / Windsor Park
    Calgary’s largest mall complex, Chinook Centre offers access to approximately 250 stores, including upscale offerings like Burberry, Kate Spade and Nordstrom. The mall also features a large food court with a merry-go-round, a bowling alley, restaurants and a cinema that includes an IMAX theatre.
  3. Ask a Calgarian
    “Our family loves to hike along the Bow River through our community of Bowness, into the hills of Silver Springs and Varsity, down through Baker Park, and back again through Bowness Park — it’s the most stunning park of our great city.” – Alan Klassen, senior VP of housing with Brookfield Residential
  4. (Historic) City Hall, Downtown
    Calgary’s original sandstone city hall was constructed between 1907 and 1911. Its clock tower is one of Calgary’s most-recognized landmarks. The building is currently undergoing a multi-year restoration.
  5. Confederation Park, Cambrian Heights / Capitol Hill / Collingwood / Highland Park / Mount Pleasant
    A recreational park offering picnic tables, tennis courts and beautiful landscapes. It features numerous trees and a wide expanse of walkways.
  6. The Core Shopping Centre, Downtown
    Calgary’s downtown shopping mall is called the CORE. With a focus on luxury, The CORE is where Calgary’s sole Holt Renfrew store is located, as well as the newly-opened Simons.
  7. The Corral, Victoria Park
    The Corral is a multipurpose sports venue on the Stampede Grounds that was built in 1950. It has hosted everything from hockey games and rodeo events, to tennis matches and concerts.
  8. Corn Maze, Rural
    Cobb’s Adventure Park and Corn Maze is home to a number of fun family activities, including corn mazes, hay bales, rope and fence mazes, giant puzzles, life-sized board games, hay rides, a mountain slide, playgrounds, pedal carts, a crafts centre, and “Bouncy World,” with bouncy houses, obstacle courses and amusement rides.
  9. Crossroads Market, Ramsay
    This market dates to 1987 and features local produce and prepared food, as well as crafts and collectibles. With more than 150 vendors, Crossroads Market claims to be Calgary’s largest, year-round, indoor / outdoor market.
  10. Crowfoot Library, Arbour Lake
    The first building in Calgary to meet green building standards, the Crowfoot Library features maximum use of natural light. Library services include computers with internet access, a technology discovery centre and a fireplace reading area with mountain and downtown views.
  11. Curling, City Wide
    There are a number of places to pick up a rock or broom and play this Canadian pastime around the city, including the Calgary Curling Club, the Inglewood Golf and Curling Club, and the North Hill Curling Club.
  12. Deane House, Inglewood
    The recently-restored Deane House was built in 1906 for Royal Northwest Mounted Police superintendent Captain Deane. Home to a new restaurant, the Deane House is, allegedly, haunted.
  13. Deerfoot Meadows, Acadia
    This is one of Canada’s largest, urban, open-air shopping complexes. There are more than 50 retailers onsite, as well as several car dealerships. It’s also the location of southern Alberta’s only IKEA outlet.
  14. The Design District, Beltline
    This artsy stretch of businesses along 11th Avenue and 10th Avenue S.W. between 4th Street and 14th Street S.W. includes popular furniture and home décor shops, art galleries, architectural offices, and home builders.
  15. Devonian Gardens, Downtown
    Calgary’s only indoor public park, the Devonian Gardens feature more than 550 tropical palm trees, as well as ponds and water features. It’s an oasis of calm in the centre of Calgary’s bustling core.
  16. Ginger Beef, City Wide
    Invented in the 1970s right here in Calgary by chef George Wong at the Silver Inn restaurant, this now-iconic staple of westernized Chinese food is served throughout the city in various delicious iterations.
  17. Eau Claire Plaza, Eau Claire
    This popular downtown hangout, across the bridge from Prince’s Island Park, contains the one-of-a-kind shops of Eau Claire Market, a wading pool and spray park, several restaurants and a playground.
  18. Edgemont Community Hall, Edgemont
    With a view of the Rocky Mountains, the hall is perfect for special events, including wedding receptions. The hall’s 200-person-capacity Panorama Room offers an outside patio, full kitchen and podium, while the Fireside Room comes complete with fireplace and outside patio.
  19. Elliston Park, Applewood Park / Forest Lawn / Penbrooke Meadows 
    Home to Calgary’s annual fireworks festival, GlobalFest, Elliston Park offers visitors 415 hectares of park land including an interactive sundial, a rose garden, a storm-water retention pond and an off-leash area.
  20. Engine 23, Downtown
    This famous fire engine was in service for 18 years before being decommissioned and donated to the Central Library. It now serves as an interactive installation for children looking to act out their firefighter dreams and fantasies.
  21. Fairmont Palliser Hotel, Downtown
    A historic landmark in downtown Calgary, the Fairmont Palliser opened to the public in 1914. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the hotel has lodged visiting dignitaries and royalty and remains one of Calgary’s most prestigious addresses.
  22. Esker Foundation, Inglewood
    This is a non-commercial, contemporary art gallery, whose exhibitions change seasonally. The art selected “reflects on current developments in local, regional, and international culture.” The Esker Foundation also offers a variety of public programs.
  23. Firefighters Museum of Calgary, Manchester / Highfield
    The museum “celebrates firefighters past, present and future,” and promotes the legacy of the Calgary Fire Department. It contains a number of unique photo and artefact collections.
  24. Fish Creek Provincial Park, Southeast & Southwest
    One of Calgary’s natural jewels, Fish Creek Park is the second-largest urban park in Canada. The park features dozens of kilometres of trails. Wildlife can often be seen in their natural habitat here.
  25. Fish Creek Library, Willow Park
    This Calgary Public Library branch is uniquely recognizable thanks to its pyramidal shape, which is split into two sections bridged by large skylights. It opened in 1985, and remains an architectural landmark.
  26. Foothills Stadium, University Heights
    Come here for the high-calibre action of the University of Calgary Dinos baseball team and the Calgary PBF Redbirds. The venue also hosts other special events, including concerts, so you’re bound to find something for all tastes.
  27. Ask a Calgarian
    “Our kids grew up in Calgary and were the reason we moved to the lake community of Sundance. Family gatherings at the lake in the summer for BBQs, swimming and tennis have been awesome for the Grues and in the winter we enjoy skating and tobaganing as well. It has been an oasis of relaxation and family celebration for us. Graduation pictures and wedding parties in the clubhouse make Lake Sundance forever part of our family story.” – Clark Grue, CEO for the TELUS Convention Centre
  28. Fort Calgary, East Village
    The birthplace of Calgary, Fort Calgary is a national historic site that marks the spot where the North West Mounted Police built a fort in 1875 at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. Exhibits on site bring Calgary’s history to life.
  29. Ask a Calgarian
    “Nose Hill Park is a favourite destination for me and my wife. It’s an oasis of calm in the city and provides such marvelous views of the city, the mountains, and even the airport. I’d also throw in The Blues Can and its great music for a typically friendly blues crowd of greying ponytails and expanding waistlines – mine included.” – John Gilchrist, Calgary-based food and travel writer
  30. Gasoline Alley Museum, Heritage Park
    Located on Heritage Park’s premises, Gasoline Alley Museum documents the history of the automobile via thousands of automobile memorabilia items, including many vintage vehicles.

This is Part 2 (31-60) of a five-part list of 150 things to see and do in Calgary.

Part 1 (1-30), Part 3 (61-90), Part 4 (91-120), Part 5 (121-150)

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