Calgary: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Last updated: December 26, 2021

Canada’s fourth largest city, has long been the incarnation of Cowboy and Western heritage. After the middle of the last century, the wealth derived from oil and gas extraction in Alberta radically changed the city, attracting new residents from the rest of Canada and abroad. Known as a conservative, the city is often in opposition to the more liberal Canadian East.

01. Fort Calgary

It all began there in 1875 when the Mounted Police sent a first squad to keep order in the area. A palisade and log cabins were first built. The present fort is a recent rebuilding of the barracks built in 1888, inside several reconstructions show the life of the early days.

02. Calgary Stampede

Every July, a series of rodeos bring large crowds of people together to celebrate cowboy heritage around cowboys, horses and country music. This is the time when Calgary and Alberta’s identity is most in evidence. There are more than a million spectators. The Saddledome, shaped like a giant saddle, hosts the main events.

03. The historic City Hall

Built in the early 20th century, the historic City Hall illustrates Calgary’s ambition to become a major city. The construction of the railroad in 1884 contributed to this ambition, allowing the development of the meat processing industry, which was supplied by the surrounding farms. A complete restoration of the building is currently underway.

04 Calgary Municipal Building

The new seat of the municipal administration was completed in 1985 close to the historic City Hall, which can be seen by reflection in the glass panes. About 2000 people work there. The architecture is in harmony with the business buildings that have changed the face of the city centre in recent years, mainly financed by the energy sector.

05. The Olympic Plaza

The large public space in front of the municipal complex was the venue for the medal ceremony at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games. In winter the pool is transformed into an ice rink. In one corner is a replica of the Ottawa statue representing the five Albertan women who obtained the status of Persons for women in Canada in 1929.

06. Stephen Avenue Walk

It is the main street of the city centre with many shops. It is reserved for pedestrians for a large portion. Starting from Olympic Square, there are first of all stone buildings dating from the reconstruction after the great fire of 1886. Then comes the modern part with high glass buildings containing commercial malls.

07. Devonian Gardens

A surprising one-hectare botanical garden is located above the Core Commercial Mall on Stephen Avenue. There are more than 500 trees, with fountains and fish. Completely under cover, the constant temperature allows you to escape the cold or heat wave. Access is free of charge and depends on business hours.

08. Calgary Tower

The 190-metre tower dates from 1968, when it clearly dominated the city, today many buildings compete with it. A windowed floor open to the public serves as an observatory, and a revolving restaurant has been installed there. At the top, a giant torch was lit in 1988 for the Olympic Games, it is activated again to mark the great celebrations.

09. Bow Tower

At the time of its completion in 2012, the tower was Calgary’s tallest with 236 metres and 56 floors. The original project was intended to reach 300 metres but faced local planning regulations, the shadow of the building should not overshadow City Hall or the Bow River. The 54th floor is accessible to the public to enjoy the view.

10. Skyline

Calgary’s first building with an elevator dates back to 1910. Since then, financial revenues from oil have funded many real estate projects, regularly breaking height records. Today more than 100 buildings exceed 100 metres. This makes Calgary the most built-up urban centre in Canada after Toronto.

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