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Calgary, (often abbreviated as CGY or CAL) a city in Alberta, Canada, a product of oil culture, and lies where the prairies end and the foothills begin. As such, it is the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains and an important centre of trade and tourism for the western prairies. It is your most likely point of access for Banff and Jasper, and a worthwhile destination in its own right. With a population of about 1.1 million, Calgary is also the hub of the country's fifth largest metropolitan area and the largest between Vancouver and Toronto.
Calgary skyline from Centre Rd. NW.
Central - includes Victoria Park, Eau Claire, Mont Royal, Downtown East Village, Bankview, Downtown West End and Downtown.
North Central - Sunnyside, Rosedale, Mt. Pleasant, Renfrew, Hillhurst, etc.
Calgary is divided into four quadrants, NE, NW, SE, SW. The dividing line between east and west is Centre Street in the north and roughly Macleod Trail in the south. The dividing line between north and south is generally the Bow River in the west, and Centre Avenue (north of Memorial Drive) in the east. Addresses proceed outwards from the center of the city; for example, 219 16th Avenue NE is located on 16th Avenue N, between 1st and 2nd Street E.
Deerfoot Trail (Highway 2) running north-south is the only true freeway in Calgary, although certain other roads have sections that alternate between being a true freeway and an at-grade expressway, with plans to become full freeways. Other major roads in the city are often given the street suffix Trail, such as Glenmore Trail, Crowchild Trail and Bow Trail; many of these roads are expressways for most or all of its length and planned to become freeways. Roads with the suffixes Boulevard or Drive are generally the next most major classification. Roads with the suffix Avenue run east-west, and roads with the suffix Street run north-south. Note that the names of small suburban roads usually incorporate the community name; this means that Taralake Garden, Taralea Place, Taralea Mews, Taralea Court, Taralean Grove, Taralea Avenue, Taralea Road, Taralea Blvd, Taralea Heath, and Taralea Green are all separate roads, all in the same community - Taradale. It can be very confusing for tourists and locals alike to navigate an area where the only differences in street names are the abbreviations. If travelling in the suburban communities, have a map or directions and pay attention to exact name.
Calgary has a fairly dense downtown, ringed by inner city neighborhoods laid out on a grid pattern for roughly 30-40 blocks. These inner city districts often have unique characteristics and are worth wandering through, for the visitor with some time to spend in the city. The outer suburbs are a typical sprawl of uniform housing and, except for major shopping, parks and other facilities scattered around, have little interest for the typical visitor.
Inner City Neighbourhoods
The Beltline and 17th Avenue: 17th Avenue S is Calgary's premiere place to see and be seen. It boasts a large and eclectic variety of restaurants, unique shops, boutiques, and bars. This street is where Calgary parties, most notably becoming the "Red Mile" during the 2004 Stanley Cup (hockey) playoffs, where up to 100,000 cheering fans gathered to celebrate victories by the hometown Flames. While the entirety of the Beltline spans from the Stampede Grounds and Victoria Park on the east to Mount Royal on the west, the dense nightlife on 17th Avenue starts at about 2nd Street W and goes to 15th Street W.
Mission: In many ways, Mission acts as an extension of 17th Avenue. Like the Beltline, it is packed full of interesting restaurants and shops. It does not share 17th Avenue's "late night" reputation, however and it generally lacks the bars and nightclubs. It runs along 4th Street SW from 17th Avenue to 26th Avenue.
Forest Lawn International Avenue. Forest Lawn is known for its diverse culture, with the city's best Vietnamese, Lebanese, and Central American eateries. The nightlife of this area is a place to exercise caution. There are many pawn shops that line the streets, if you're looking for a deal.
Kensington. Kensington is located along the Bow River on the north side of downtown. It is another one of Calgary's notable shopping neighbourhoods, with a somewhat more bohemian feel than 17th Avenue (one particular store specializes Birkenstocks and Futons). It offers a good variety of restaurants, with more of an emphasis on coffee shops than on bars. Kensington runs along Kensington Road NW from 14th St W to 10th St W, and also north along 10th St W to 4 Ave N.
Inglewood: Inglewood is Calgary's oldest neighbourhood and the site of the city's original downtown. It is also one of Calgary's most culturally influenced and eclectic areas. Inglewood contains everything from stores targeted at bikers, to unique boutiques, antique stores, galleries, and restaurants. It is not as developed as some of the city's downtown districts, but it is quickly becoming one of the city's most popular "urban chic" neighbourhoods. It lies immediately east of downtown (east of 1st Street E) and is concentrated along 9th Avenue S. Just to the north is the Bow River and the world-famous Calgary Zoo.
Other interesting inner city neighbourhoods and districts include Bridgeland (1 Ave NE from 7 St to 9 St), a neighbourhood with a strong Italian influence and the site of one of the most ambitious urban brownfield redevelopment efforts in the entire world; Mount Royal (south of 17th Avenue, from about 20th Avenue to 30th Avenue), originally built for Canadian Pacific Railway executives and still housing many of Calgary's elite; Marda Loop (east of Crowchild Trail along 33rd Avenue S), which contains a large number of quaint shops, restaurants, and services; and Crescent Heights / Rosedale (Centre St to 9 St W, Crescent Rd to 13 Ave N), combining historic houses with an amazing view of the Downtown from Crescent Rd.
Calgary was founded by the Northwest Mounted Police in 1876 and was originally called Fort Briseboise and later changed to Fort Calgary. It was founded in response to a surge of whiskey traders who traded for furs from the natives. In 1883, the first rail station was built and Calgary started to grow in every direction and became a agricultural and business hub. In 1894, it was renamed the City of Calgary. By 1902, oil was discovered, though it didn't mean much until 1947. After, during the fifties, oil became big in Calgary and major companies started heading to Calgary and opening offices. The boom extended into the next twenty years bringing the city to 720,000 people in the metro area by 1985. The relatively low-key low-rise downtown became filled with a sea of skyscrapers, starting with the Calgary Tower and some sixties towers. By the 80s, Calgary's luck turned, and a drop in oil prices sent the Calgary metro economy downward. High unemployment raged, vacancies became a reality,and growth was slow or even negative in some years. In 1988, Calgary held the Winter Olympics and brought world attention to Calgary. By the 1990s, it was on the rebound and began growing again. It started to diversify its economy because it didn't want to suffer what it already had. Today, Calgary is a cosmopolitan city that is growing steadily and really diversifying its economy and finally realizing that a downtown full of nothing but offices is boring and dull.
Calgary happens to be one of the sunniest places in Canada, but this does not mean that you won't experience extremes in weather. Summers tend to be sunny and often warm, usually accompanied by short, but heavy thunder storms. Winter doesn't tend to be as harsh in Calgary as in other parts of Canada, but -20c (-4f) is a common temperature in January and February, and sometimes in the coldest part of the year for 1 or 2 weeks the temperature can get to -30 or lower. Although the temperatures seem low, the lack of humidity reduces the winter chill. In fact, the winter in Calgary depends on the prevailing winds more than anything - sometimes a winter will be somewhat similar to Vancouver with constant winds blowing from the west, and other times one will have a full month of below -20. Spring and Autumn is a mixed bag. You can expect snow even as early as September and as late as May (in fact, there have been late May snowstorms several times in the last few years). In fact, on rare occasions, there has been snow even in the summer months (notably August 1992 and July 1999). Because of the sudden change in temperatures, the year seemingly only has two seasons: Winter and Summer. Calgary is blessed to receive relief from winter, in the shape of warm westerly winds called Chinooks. This can raise the temperature by as much as 15 degrees Celsius or more in the space of a few hours.
Calgary International Airport, . Calgary International has four concourses (A,B,C,D) in one terminal. It is well laid out and easy to find your way around.
WestJet, . Canada's main discount airline makes its hub here.
Air Canada, . The national carrier uses Calgary International as a secondary hub.
British Airways, . Five flights a week to London.
In addition there are numerous American and International carriers that serve Calgary's airport. Unfortunately, getting in by air from the USA isn't easy if you live just south of Calgary on the American side. In such case, the only routes in are via Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Minneapolis. There are more flights from further away (e.g. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles), but none closer. If you live in Montana, for example, there's no choice but to drive or make a VERY long detour by air.
The easiest way to leave the airport is by cab or car rental. Cab rides to the city centre are about $27 - $30 Canadian. A Sedan Service (limo) is available for $40 CAN. There is a hotel shuttle service that is also available. The cheapest method is by public transport: Bus Route #57 is the only bus that stops regularly at the airport terminal (Arrivals Level, Bus Bay # 20, every 1/2 hour) and will take you to the Whitehorn C-Train (LRT) station. From the Whitehorn station you can go to Downtown (the 202 line to 7th Ave.) The bus/LRT cost $2.50 CAN (exact change); ask for a transfer valid for 90 minutes from the bus driver on entry. Call public transit (403)262-1000; they will assist you if you want to go elsewhere.
This is essentially the prairies; crossing the vast expanses in the comfort of your own vehicle is the main method of transportation. Calgary is just over an hour's drive East of Banff (on the Transcanada highway, #1), and about 3 hours South of Edmonton on highway #2. From the USA side, use the I-15 Fwy. Calgary is about 200 miles (320 km) north of the border. It is likely that you will want to rent a car to explore Calgary and its surroundings.
Greyhound, . The main terminal is located an unpleasant 1 km walk west of the edge of Downtown. However, there is excellent access from the station to the downtown C-Train stations via Calgary Transit.
Red Arrow, . Provides service to several Alberta cities, including Edmonton, with a somewhat more accessible bus stop on 9th Ave at 1st St SE.
Due to service cuts back in 1990, There is currently no Via Rail  service to Calgary. However, there is service to Vancouver, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff on the Rocky Mountaineer  sightseeing train.
By transit (train/bus)
Calgary's public transit system was first established in 1909 as the Calgary Municipal Railway. Since then, it has developed into an efficient, fast, and extensive transit system. In particular, it was significantly built up in preparation for the 1988 Winter Olympics. They have a light rail transit system called the C-Train (LRT) that runs faithfully and frequently. In the downtown core, you can ride the C-Train for 14 city blocks for free, along the length of 7th Avenue. There are three spurs of LRT track meeting in the downtown along 7th Avenue; line 201 starts in the far south (at Somerset-Bridlewood station), travels to the downtown, then exits the downtown to the northwest, travelling to Dalhousie Station. Line 202 starts in the northeast at McKnight/Westwinds Station, and travels into the downtown, ending at 10th Avenue Station within the downtown. Trains are marked with the end station they are travelling to; a 'Somerset' train leaves Dalhousie Station, travels south into the downtown, then south to Somerset station (where it turns around to become a 'Dalhousie' train). Unfortunately, the LRT does not serve the Calgary International Airport.
Although buses come along somewhat less often, and tend to serve commuters more than tourists, it is still possible to get around to the main places without too much difficulty. Bus routes are numbered, and generally designed to connect with the downtown or with an LRT station. Trains run every 10 minutes (5 minutes or less in rush hour and 15 minutes on general holidays), serving from around 4 AM to 1 AM. Major bus routes may run as early as 5 AM and late as 1 AM, but many more only operate until 8 or 9 PM, or, worse, during rush hours only. Bus frequencies can be as low as one per hour, although 30 minutes is more common.
Transit tickets are $2.50 for adults, and permit 90 minutes of travel connecting to any transit line. Day passes ($6.75 CDN) and books of 10 transit tickets ($21.00 CDN) are also available at most convenience stores. A monthly pass can also be purchased for unlimited usage within the ticket's designated month ($75.00 CDN). The C-Train is on the honour system, although inspectors do occasionally check riders for valid tickets, with expensive fines ($150 or more) being charged. Travel on the C-Train in the downtown free fare zone is free of charge.
Information about the Transit System is available on the Calgary Transit Web Page , or by phoning their information line (403)262-1000 from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM, local time.
In recent years there has been a rise of unlawful activity on Calgary transit, be especially careful in and around LRT platforms and in general try and stay in groups on the LRT train, as you may witness aggressive behavior.
Many people can be confused or lost when they first drive around in Calgary. Not because the streets are confusing, but rather because Calgary is laid out into four quadrants (North-East, South-East, South-West and North-West) and the type of road (Street or Avenue) matters in terms of direction (streets go north-south, avenues go east-west). Once you understand the layout of the city, you will find it very easy to navigate.
Calgary is divided into its quadrants at Centre Ave and Centre St. Being north of Centre Ave means you are in the northern quadrants and being east of Centre St means you are in the eastern quadrants. All street and avenue numbers radiate out from centre so being on 17th ave SW is fairly close to centre while being on 52nd St NE is not.
Most of Calgary's roads are numbered, the only time when they are not numbered is when the road is very important (usually called a Trail) or if they are the side streets in some community. The layout of Calgary's roads is rectangular with very few roads that aren't straight.
In general the cities roads are poorly planned and maintained, with heavy use of traffic lights that are not synchronized, resulting in a lot of gridlock. So be prepared to leave early when you venture out.
Downtown Calgary is a compact area which is easily accessible on foot. The pathway system, Eau Claire Market area and Stephen Avenue Mall (8th Avenue) are the primary walking destinations of downtown workers in the warmer months. In the wintertime, everyone navigates their way around the downtown core via the Plus 15 system , so called because the enclosed walkways joining buildings are approximately 15 feet above ground.
With approximately 635 km of pathways and 260 km of on-street bikeways within its boundaries, The City of Calgary boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America. Pathway maps are available online  or at Calgary Co-op  stores. Downtown, there are many pathways along the rivers and park areas. Though Calgary can be thought of as a safe city, use common sense when biking at dusk and at night. This is particularly true on the east side of downtown along the river (close to the neighborhood of East Side Village), which is a rougher end of town.
Calgary has a good network of off-street bike paths, although motorists are sometimes less-than-courteous. Weather is unpredictable, and snowy cycling conditions may occur anytime from September to May. Bike racks are fairly common, especially in shopping areas. Be sure to use the bike racks provided, or another solid object to lock you bike to; as simply locking your back wheel will not provide sufficient security. Calgary Transit has bike racks at C-Train stations and allows bikes on the C-Trains during off-peak hours (at no additional fee). Some bike routes also have buses equipped to accommodate bicycles with racks on the front (see link (1) below). Cyclists must remember that they must obey the same rules of the road as other vehicles (see link (2) below). All cyclist under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet, and all cyclists must have an working bell on there bike.
Each major body of water in the city (bow river, elbow river, Glenmore reservoir, etc) will have both city parks and thus city bike trails passing through. These bike paths are heavily used during the morning rush hour to work, but can provide hours of scenic peddling. A personal favorite: start in downtown and head along the "bow river pathway" as it heads south to Fishcreek provincial park. Here, leave the banks of the bow river and cycle though Fishcreek Park park along the main cycle path path until you reach the Glenmore reservoir (a good place for lunch). At the reservoir, as the bike path crosses the Dam, leave the "bow river pathway" for the "Elbow river pathway" This highly scenic path will take you back to downtown. Cycle time : 4 -6 hours (with lunch).
Another major pathway extends north up Nose Creek valley just east of the zoo, including two overpasses to cross Deerfoot Trail (busy freeway). While there is a pathway that leads to the airport, connecting to it requires crossing an industrial area, which is not recommended for novice cyclists. Cyclists are not permitted on Stephen Avenue Mall or Deerfoot Trail.
Prince's Island Park: Calgary's largest inner city park is located immediately north of Eau Claire in the Bow River. In the summer, it plays host toShakespeare in the Park  and is also the site of two of the city's largest annual festivals: the Calgary Folk Music Festival  and Carifest  (Calgary's annual festival celebrating the city's large West Indian population).
Barclay Parade: Barclay Mall is a pedestrian mall that runs from Eau Claire on the north to Stephen Avenue in the south. It is home to a number of high end shops and encompasses the Penny Lane Entertainment District.
Devonian Gardens: The Devonian Gardens is a large indoor urban park located on the 4th floor of TD Square (above the shopping).
The Calgary Tower: The Calgary Tower  may not be quite as impressive as the CN Tower in Toronto, but it still commands a great view over the city and the surroundings. On a clear day you can see the Rockies to the west. It features a revolving gourmet restaurant, a bar, and an observation deck. The tower backs onto railway tracks and some run down blocks on the 10th Avenue side and is best approached from 8th Avenue for a more enjoyable experience.
Stephen Avenue Walk: As one of Calgary's most famous streets, Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue S between Barclay Mall and 2nd Street E) was declared a National Historic District by the Canadian Government. It is a major venue for boutique shopping, bars, pubs and restaurants. The mall is free of traffic throughout most of the day.
Prince Isle Park
Chinatown: Canada's third largest Chinatown is located in the northeast portion of downtown Calgary. It is the heart of Calgary's Asian diaspora, although much of north and east Calgary has a Pacific Rim influence. The area of about a half-dozen blocks is located along Centre Street S, from 4 Ave S (on the south) to the Bow River (on the north). Calgary's Chinatown packs in a dense network of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and other Asian restaurants, shops, housing and cultural facilities. The area along Centre Street on the north side of the river almost functions as a loosely organized "second Chinatown" with Chinese-oriented businesses stretching for 20 or more blocks.
Olympic Plaza: This public square was built as the site of medal presentations during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. During the summer, waders can enjoy the water-filled plaza, while winter visitors can go skating.
Glenbow Museum, 130 — 9 Avenue SE, Tel: 403-268-4100, . Western Canada's largest museum, with over 93,000 square feet of exhibition space spreading over three floors. More than 20 galleries are filled with artifacts from Glenbow's collection of over a million objects, emphasizing local history. Regularly changing visiting exhibits focus on art or more distant cultures.
Telus World of Science Calgary (formerly, The Calgary Science Centre): Located in the West End, Calgary's Science Centre  has been a favorite of children and science-lovers alike since it opened 38 years ago. It contains a planetarium and telescope, a large domed theatre, and two exhibit halls.
The African Savannah Building at the Calgary Zoo
The Calgary Zoo, (LRT 202 - Zoo station) . The world-class Calgary Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals from all over the world, as well as to the Botanical Garden and a Prehistoric Park for dinosaur lovers. It is the second largest zoo in Canada.
Fort Calgary Historic Park: Before becoming a city in 1894, the Calgary area was home to Fort Calgary. The Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) fort was built in 1875. Today, Fort Calgary, located in Inglewood at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers is the city's oldest historic monument.
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary & Nature Centre, 2425 9 Ave S.E.: A 32-hectare wildlife reserve that offers more than two kilometres of walking trails throughout the riverine forest. More than 250 species of birds and 300 species of plants, plus several kinds of mammals, have been observed in the area.
The Stampede Grounds:  The site of Calgary's world-famous exhibition and rodeo, the Calgary Stampede grounds are located on the east end of the Beltline in Victoria Park. Not only are the grounds the site of the excitement of every July's Calgary Stampede, they also house a conference and exhibition centre (the Round-Up Centre) and a casino. The grounds can be accessed with Calgary's C-Train via both "Victoria Park Stampede" Station and "Erlton Stampede" Station.
Pengrowth Saddledome, : Located on the Stampede Grounds, Calgary's largest hockey arena plays host to the Calgary Flames (hockey), the Calgary Hitmen (junior hockey), the Calgary Roughnecks (lacrosse), and many concerts.
Many attractions are LRT accessible, and the stops have been noted. A rental car is recommended for the less accessible attractions, although buses are usually still possible.
Canada Olympic Park. Take a tour of the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics, which includes going to the top of the ski jump for a fantastic view. 4 runs are available for your skiing pleasure during the winter months, and there is also an on-site museum, as well as the Canadian Olympic Hall Of Fame. The halfpipe and rail park are frequented by some very talented skiiers and snowboarders, making for interesting viewing. The COP hosts Canada's only bobsled track (until Whistler's track is finished) and they offer rides on certain dates  during winter. Catch the LRT to Brentwood station, then bus 408 to the park.
Heritage Park. One of the largest living historical villages in North America, on 66 acres of land near the Glenmore Reservoir. Attractions include a working Steam Engine, 155 historical exhibits, a candy store and bakery, old fashioned amusement park and ride on the S. S. Moyie, a paddlewheel boat.
Spruce Meadows. Located just south of the city proper on Highway 22X, Spruce Meadows is a world-renowned show jumping and equestrian facility.
Cresent Road, (From 16 Ave NW, turn south on 8 St NW until 13 AvenueNW where you turn east until 7 A St NW where you turn south, then go until Cresent Road NW where you turn west onto said st, then take your first left (or south) turn and then drive down that a tiny bit until you think it is okay, then stop and admire. Do not go past 13 Ave.).
Nose Hill, (Go to the nose hill park).
The On Tom Campbell Hill.
Petro Can Centre.
Calaway Park. Western Canada's largest amusement park is located just west of Calgary's city limits in the Greater Calgary Area on highway 1.
Calgary Stampede. Yearly, July. For ten days the whole city goes western! Billed as "the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", the festival has events all around the city, but the highlights are the rodeo and chuckwagon races which boast the world's richest prizes.
Calgary Flames Hockey Club. Yearly, October to June. Calgary's NHL team are much improved over recent years, and tickets may be hard to come by. Expect a great atmosphere and game if you're lucky enough to get tickets. Price range from $20-$200
Calgary Stampeders Football Club. Yearly, June to November. Calgary's CFL football team is another city sports attraction. The CFL plays 3 down football, with only 20 seconds between plays, so watching a CFL game is quite different to watching an NFL game!
Calgary Hitmen. Yearly, September to May. Calgary's Junior Hockey team play in the Western Hockey League and at the Saddledome when the Flames are not in town. Junior Hockey serves as a feeder league for the NHL. Usually as fun as the Flames, but cheaper!! Prices range from $15-40.
Calgary Roughnecks. Yearly, January to May. Calgary's National Lacrosse League team was Champions in 2004. The sport is fast, rough and tough. Features loud music throughout and a great experience. Prices range from $15-30.
Calgary Vipers. Yearly, May to September. Independent minor league professional baseball in the Golden League. Formerly of the Northern League.
Calgary has developed a fairly vibrant theatre scene including both professional and amateur theatre. The two daily newspapers provide some theatre coverage, but the best coverage and listings are found in free weekly Fast Forward magazine .
EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, 205 8th Avenue S.E. (adjacent to Olympic Plaza), +1 403 294-7455, . The epicentre of Calgary's theatre scene, the EPCOR Centre hosts the three best-known professional theatre groups; the conservative Theatre Calgary, the more adventurous Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) , and the downright avant-garde One Yellow Rabbit Perfomance Theatre (OYR) . The facility has two additional theatres, so other companies often produce shows here. Of special note are two festivals held by the resident companies; OYR's High Performance Rodeo runs for January and provides a wildly eclectic mix of performing arts (and performance art) while ATP's PlayRites runs from February into early March and focuses on new works. $10-60.
Vertigo Theatre, 161, 115 - 9 Avenue SE (at the base of the Calgary Tower), ☎ +1 403 221-3708, . is dedicated to producing mystery plays, ranging from musicals to straight-up whodunnits. A second studio theatre frequently hosts other companies.
Theatre Junction, 608 1st St SW, ☎ +1 403 205 2922, . Offers a slate of highly contemporary theatre and performing arts, and the venue also hosts music.$20-30.
Pumphouse Theatre, 2140 Pumphouse Avenue SW, ☎ +1 403 263-0079, . Two theatres contained inside a historic brick waterworks building play host to a large part of Calgary's semi-pro and community theatre scene, with new productions here every week.$10-25.
Loose Moose Theatre, 1235 - 26th Ave. S.E. (in the Crossroads Farmer's Market), ☎ +1 403 265-5682, . One of the originators of, and international leaders in, short-form improvisation and Theatresports (think Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Loose Moose does improv weekly, as well as the occasional original children's show or comedy.$8-12.
Lunchbox Theatre, 229, 205-5th Ave SW (Bow Valley Square, 2nd floor), ☎ +1 403 265-4292. This unique theatre company produces exclusively one-act plays, during the weekday noon lunch hour. Typically lighter fare suitable for a downtown corporate crowd.$16.
Stage West Dinner Theatre, 727 42 Ave SE, ☎ +1 403 243-6642, . Offers unchallenging, tried-and-true shows, along with a generic buffet dinner.$60-100.
Jubilations Dinner Theatre, 1002 37 ST SW (in Westbrook Mall), ☎ +1 403 249-7799, . Similar to Stage West, with more of a focus on parodies of popular television shows.$55-65.
Busking is common in the summertime, along Stephen Avenue downtown at lunch time, near Eau Claire on weekends, and along 17th Avenue at night. Busking permits  are available for Stephen Avenue; busking in Eau Claire Market proper is restricted to auditioned performers, ruling this option out. 17th Avenue has potential, if you can deal with drunken hecklers.
One common pick-up spot for day labour is Centre Street south, between 12th and 13th Avenues. Arrive early for black market jobs, especially in the summer (construction) season. There's an abundance of other employment opportunities  as well.
Calgary is a city with a strong volunteer spirit, which was embraced during the 1988 Winter Olympics and continues to be a foundation of the community. Volunteering is a great way to meet people in any city you visit. If you are unable to find a volunteer opportunity on your own, try Volunteer Calgary  or Single Volunteers of Calgary .
The city centre is not exactly a outdoor shopper's paradise. There are several shops scattered around the centre but the majority are centred on 8th Ave between 5th Street SW and Centre Street. Calgary does have several large malls for shopping, most of which are easily reached via transit.
Eaton Centre - is a mall in the downtown core home to exclusive retailers from high price to low money.
TD Square -
Stephen Avenue,  - is a pedestrian only area of 8 St. SW and is home to fine dining and tiny shops.
Beltline is a trendy district south of downtown where you can find all kinds of neat off-the-edge stuff not found anywhere else.
17 Avenue District is full of funky cafes, trendy furniture shops, and eclectic dining. Definately the number one choice for urban shopping in Calgary. Don't forget to bring a camera and take pictures in this bustling district. Best time is Saturday or Sunday before 5:00pm.
Kensington is a small area north of downtown that houses funky, small shops
10th Street NW/Kensington Rd. holds small café's, cute little stores, and glamourous restaurants. Definitely a lesser know but very neat thing to check out.
Chinook Centre is located on Macleod Trail at 58th Avenue south close to the Chinook C-Train station.
Market Mall is located in the northwest near The University of Calgary.
Southcentre Mall is located at Macleod Trail and Anderson Road, and is a five minute walk from the Anderson C-Train LRT station.
Deerfoot Meadows is reached by taking Deerfoot Trail southbound to the Southland Drive exit or northbound to the Heritage Drive exit. Big box stores you'll find include Ikea, Best Buy, Michael's, Real Canadian Superstore and Future Shop.
Deerfoot Outlet Mall is located at Deerfoot Trail and 64 Ave NE. Anchor tennants include Sears, Wal-Mart, Winners, Sport Chek and Kacz Kids.
Eau Claire Market, : A unique market-style mall chock full of interesting shops, restaurants, and cinemas. The market is in a state of renewal and lacks many of the attrations it once had.
Downtown Calgary from Prince's Island Park
Calgary Farmers' Market Open year round. Just off Crowchild Trail. H6, 4421 Quesnay Wood Drive SW Calgary, Alberta T3E 7K4 Tel:(403)244-4548 firstname.lastname@example.org
Crossroads Flea Market  1235 26th Avenue SE Calgary AB T2G 1R7, Phone: 291-5208 'Indoor Farmer`s Market' - Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm 'Outdoor Farmer`s Market' - Summer Months Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8am-5pm. Less than 5 minutes from downtown with ample free parking, Crossroads Markets is located at Blackfoot Trail and Ogden Road in an eclectic 100,000 square foot historical building. Crossroads Market is home to a flea market, antique market, indoor farmer`s market, international food fair, and a seasonal outdoor farmer`s market.
The Hillhurst-Sunnyside Farmers' Market runs Wednesday evenings at the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Centre, 1320-5 Avenue NW. The Market runs from June to October, 3:30-8:00 p.m. (Fall hours after Labour Day, 3:30-7:30 p.m.)
Millarville Farmers' Market Millarville Race Track (20 minutes South of Calgary), Millarville. For Info call (403) 931-2404 'Summer Market' Saturdays, June to October, 8:30 am to 12 noon. 'Christmas at Millarville' November. Millarville is the largest market in Southern Alberta! Experience a potpourri of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, home-baked pies, cut and potted flowers, crafts and original jewelry and artwork. Take some time to enjoy free entertainment, grab a mid-morning breakfast or browse the craft stands and chat with the artists.
Cochrane Farmers Market in Cochrane Ranche Historic Site Parking Lot Highway 1A & Highway 22 Phone Number: (403) 851-0562 Saturdays 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Weekly Jun 4-Sep 24
Calgary Bearspaw Farmers' Market at the Bearspaw Lions Clubhouse 25240 Nagway Rd Phone Number: (403) 239-0201 Sundays 11:00 am - 3:00 pm Weekly Jun 5-Sep 30 Special Markets: Christmas - dates TBA.
Strathmore Farmers' Market at Kinsmen Park near downtown Phone Number: (403) 901-0477 'Spring Market - held indoors' Saturday Apr 30 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm 'Outdoor Market' Fridays Jun 17-Sep 16 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm 'Christmas Market - held indoors' Saturday Nov 26 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Calgary offers a wide variety of dining options. While Calgary doesn't have a single signature dish, residents are very proud of Alberta Beef, and Calgarians are discerning clients of steakhouses. Speaking of beef, the popular Chinese-Canadian dish of ginger beef was invented in Calgary in the 1970s. Calgary is also home to a very culturally diverse population, with a very wide selection of international restaurants, especially from East and Southeast Asia, and the Mediterranean from Italy through Lebanon. Calgary is, however, generally lacking in decent Mexican food, and the inland location means that a good meal of seafood is sometimes hard to find.
Restaurants in the downtown area are very busy between noon and 1 PM on weekdays due to the lunch crowd of office workers; if you can, try to stagger your lunch to start around 11:15 or 1:30. You'll face much shorter lineups. Buffets are often only prepared once for lunchtime, and visiting a buffet after 12:15 or so will typically be a depressing dining experience.
Calgary is also the city of founding for major Canadian restaurant chain, Moxies.
Note that Calgary's most abundant ethnic specialty is Vietnamese. Most neighbourhoods have at least one Vietnamese noodle shop or Vietnamese sub (banh mi) joint. Some of the other inexpensive options are as follows:
Chicken On The Way, 1443 Kensington Road NW, +1 403 283-5545. One of the longest-running fast food institutions in Calgary (opened 1958), Chicken On The Way delivers wonderful deep-fried chicken, french fries and corn fritters, at a fair price. This is an old-school joint; no frills, nothing fancy, and none of that new-fangled low-fat junk. The dining space is two picnic tables next to busy 14th St. But it's still hands-down the best fried chicken in the city. A meal runs in the $4 - 6 range.
Falafel King, 803 1 St SW, +1 403 269-5464. The friendly service and top-quality Middle Eastern food means that there's a lineup out the door evey lunch hour. Falafel, chicken and beef shawarma, and the best hummus in the city on the menu, with a free piece of baklava with every order, and fresh-squeezed juice on tap. Hail to the King, baby. $6-7.
Louie's Sub & Pizza, 1941 Uxbridge Dr. N.W, +1 403 289-8070. Best Subs in the city. Also you will find an Excellent Gourmet Pizza Selection, Chicken Souvlaki, Salads and Tina's Famous Homemade Baklava. Delivery is available. www.louiesub.com. A meal runs in the $4 - 8 range.
Peter's Drive-in, 219 16 Ave NE, +1 403 277-2747. Peter's Drive-In is a classic drive-through burger joint. Great fries, burgers and milkshakes at slightly high prices, but higher quality (and large portions -- watch out for the "large" = shoebox of fries). Well known throughout Alberta. Rather than waiting in the drive-through line, park in the adjacent lot and walk up to the front windows; you'll get faster service, and you can eat on one of the picnic tables. Burger, shake and onion rings will cost about $8. Please note that Peter's Drive-in only accepts cash as a form of payment. They serve the finest milkshake in the city; thick and made with real fruit (over 20 flavours!).
Pho Pasteur Saigon, 207 1st St SE, +1 403 233-0477. Pho Pasteur Saigon is a favourite Vietnamese noodle joint. Filling and tasty and all for around $6. If they're busy, try Little Vietnamese Village, at the south entrance to the mall (half a block south), or Pho Hoai, located inside the mall.
Spolumbo's, 1308 9 Ave SE, +1 403 264-6452. Owned by former Calgary Stampeders players, Spolumbo's offers delicious Italian style deli foods; sandwiches, soups and salads. An in-house sausage plant makes some of Calgary's finest sausage. Try the Spolumbo's Special, a panini sandwich featuring mortadella, capicolla and genoa salami. Fresh and delicious, but a little pricey; $7-8 for a typical sandwich.
Super Donair Kabab Restaurant, 1018 9 Ave SE, +1 403 262-2930. This is a restaurant even Calgarians don't really know about; located in a grimy hole-in-the-wall next to a bottle depot in an out-of-the-way part of Inglewood, billed as "a touch of excellence for classy people" (the excellence part is true) and decorated with a kitschy style all its own. Kim, the charismatic owner/cook, makes some of the finest Donairs in the city, with wonderful beef and magnificent sauce; a donair and drink can be had for just $5.
Wicked Wedge, 618 17th Ave SW, +1 403 228-1024. The Wedge offers pizza-by-the-slice, but a cut above all other such joints. Innovative pizzas, lots of toppings and hand made crusts have made the Wicked Wedge a local landmark. Located on 17th Avenue, they draw a heavy after-bar crowd, and are busiest at 2AM on a Friday night! One of the best places to go for late-night food. $3.50 a slice.
Willow Park CHianti's.
32nd Avenue Chianti.
17 Ave Chiantis.
Banzai Sushi & Teriyaki House, 470-9737 MacLeod Tr. SW, ☎ +1-403 253-8120 (fax: +1-403 253-8120). Competently-executed, low-priced Japanese food in an efficient cafeteria-like setting. A good choice for a fast, cheap, satisfying lunch. Branches in Southland and Downtown.$7-9.
Banzai Sushi & Teriyaki House, 526A - 4th Ave. SW, ☎ +1-403 262-9060 (fax: +1-403 262-9060). Competently-executed, low-priced Japanese food in an efficient cafeteria-like setting. A good choice for a fast, cheap, satisfying lunch. Branches in Southland and Downtown.$7-9.
Belmont Diner, 2008 33 ave SW, +1 403242-6782. A traditinal style diner serving breakfast until 3 pm and lunch after about noon. On weekends be sure to get there early as the line can be half a block long because of its popularity and smaller size inside. Breakfast can be a run you up to 10$ on average but well worth it (generous portions and all made as you order).
Nick's Steakhouse, 2430 Crowchild Trail NW , +1 403 282-9278. If you are looking for great Alberta steaks or some tasty pizzas, this is one of Calgary's best. Prices are generally between $15 to $20 for an entree. This is a short walk from the Banff Trail Train Station, across from McMahon Stadium in the North West. Close to Motel Village, where many of the hotel chains can be found.
Marathon Ethiopian Restaurant, 130 10 St NW, +1 403 283-6796. Marathon is Calgary's oldest and finest Ethiopian restaurant. They offer a lunch buffet on weekdays, but otherwise, often have slow service. The food makes up for it; it's very tasty and filling. Vegetarian options available; roughly $12-15 per person.
Orchid Room 513 - 8 Ave SW Bankers Hall Business Phone: (403) 263-4457 A fusion of Vietnamese, Thai and French cuisine with dishes like seafood phó soup, caramelized salmon, coconut prawn soup and salad rolls stuffed with mango and shrimp.
Montana's Cookhouse With 5 locations throughout Calgary, including one inside the Calgary International Airport, Montana's is well known throughout the city as a great place to grab steak, chicken, and their famous ribs. Also note that every Wednesday night at every location is "All You Can Eat Ribs Night", starting at around $25.00 Canadian for one person. Meals in general are around $15-$20 Canadian per person. 
The Coup, 924b 17th Avenue SW (Door off a railed-in sidewalk area.), ☎ +1-403-541-1041 (email@example.com), . Mon closed; Tue - Fri: 11:30am - 3pm, 5pm - 'close'; Sat, Sun: 9am - 3pm, 5pm - 'close'. This all-vegetarian restaurant serves a variety of interesting flavours from largely organic and local ingredients. You may have to wait for a few minutes to get a seat in the cozy 32-seat dining room, since they take no reservations and seat at most six per table, but ask for a drink from the full bar (liquor and coffee) as you wait. Try the yam fries, for instance as a side to the El Taco grilled tortilla wrap with shredded beets, or the War and Peas soba noodle salad. Plenty of vegan options. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.dinner entrée $9-13 plus drinks and tax.
La Chaumiere, 139 17th Ave SW, +1 403 228-5690. A Calgary institution. Serves classic French Haute Cuisine. Excellent wine cellar.
The Belvedere, 107 8th Ave. SW, +1 403 265-9595. The only restaurant to win the coveted Birks Silver Spoon Award for 2 consecutive years. Flawless service and atmosphere. Well-stocked bar and lounge with a nice selection of Cuban cigars.
Saltlik Steakhouse, 101 8th Ave SW, "+1 403" 537-1160. This is a high-end steakhouse in the core of downtown Calgary, and is extremely popular with the oilmen working in the core, and for good reason. The food and service is generally excellent with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Steak is, as expected, quite good. $15 to $35 for an entree.
Brava Bistro, 723 17 Avenue SW, "+1 403" 228-1854. Brava is a well-known and popular spot for those looking for an excellent and varied menu. Varied menu with excellent wine matching and interesting selections. $20-30 per entree.
River Cafe, 200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary AB T2P, (403) 261-7670
Calgary is the original home of the Caesar, and has many bars located throughout the city, although the core is where the trendiest clubs are located. There is also the ever popular 17th Avenue SW, home to the Red Mile.
Cat'n'Fiddle, 540 16th Avenue NW, +1 403 289 0414, Great place to head for a pint of almost any brew you can think of, sometimes with a touch of Irish
Ship and Anchor Pub, 534 17th Ave SW, +1 403 245-3333, An excellent place for live music, a lively young crowd, and cheap eats.
Melrose Cafe and Bar, 730 17th Ave SW, +1 403 228 3566, A place to sit in the sun on the patio and people watch. Named as the heart of Calgary's "Red Mile" during the 2004 NHL playoffs.
The Back Alley,  4630 Macleod Trail South, +1 403 287-2500 Upbeat nightclub featuring rock and hip-hop music, must do for a partier. It has been nicknamed "the crackalley" or, simply, "the crack" by locals for its somewhat harder-edge crowd and atmosphere. Exercise caution, and when possible, go with a group.
Snatch, #24 7400 Mcleod Trail, +1 403 255-4646, The old Outlaws - high energy club with hiphop, top 40's, house and R&B music..
Cowboys, 1088 Olympic Way SE, ☎ +1 403 265-0699, . Typical nightclub. "The most fun you can have with your boots on!" Opened April 30, 2008 at the location of the former Coyotes.
HiFi Club,  for those who aren't cowboys/cowgirls and want some different, alternative music.
Whiskey Nightclub,  - 341, 10th Ave SW - Larger Nightclub, Thursdays - Saturday. Generally older crowds. 25 and up on Saturdays
The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club,  109 7th Ave SW - Upstairs is a BBQ restaurant featuring various meats smoked over apple and cherry wood along with an expansive selection of bourbon, tequila and whisky. Fridays feature live rock-a-billy from 5-9pm while the downstairs bar features live music every Friday and Saturday evening.
The Rose & Crown Pub, 1503 4 Street Southwest, 403-244-7757
The Twisted Element (Twisted), 1006 - 11th Avenue SW, ☎ 403-802-0230, . Wed 8pm - close, Thurs-Sat 9 pm til close, Sun 7pm - close, Mon-Tues Closed. Essentially Calgary's only gay bar (though there is a leather bar with a heavy gay presence), Twisted has an incredible variety in clientele. From the plethora of gay men and boys to number of straight girls. Wednesdays and Thursdays feature amateur strip contests along a number of themes and good drink specials.
Calgary features other bars and clubs such as Tequila Nightclub, Tantra, Ceili's Irish Pub, Ranchman's and much more.
Hostelling International-Calgary City Centre, 520 7th Avenue SE, +1 403 269-8239, FAX: +1 403 266-6227, . The hostel is located just outside the downtown core on the edge of the "East Village" district. The area doesn't have the best of reputations, but has improved significantly over the past few years. Walking distance from bars, restaurants, shopping centres and transit. Dorms and Private available. Standard prices for hostels in big cities ($25-30 in a dormitory). Very important to book a bed, as there are only two hostels in town and they both fill up fast.
University of Calgary Guest Accommodation, 2500 University Drive NW, ☎ +1-403-220-3210 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1-403-282-8443), . On the U of C campus in northwestern Calgary (address is for the administrative office, not the residences). Offers 17 hotel rooms year round, and hundreds of apartments and student dorm rooms from early May to late August. Access to on-campus services like laundry, parking, cafeterias. See if you can book by sending a credit card number through email or phone, and skip the somewhat awkward form which they want you to print out, fill in, and fax back.$89/queen room, $109/queen+twin room, plus tax.
Mount Royal College, 200 Mount Royal Circle S.W., ☎ +1 (403) 440-6275 (email@example.com, fax: +1 (403) 440-6281), . checkin: 3 pm; checkout: 11 am. Fully furnished one-, two- and four-bedroom apartment and townhouse units on the Mount Royal campus in southwestern Calgary (address is for the administrative office, not the residences). Each room has local phone service, voice mail, and Internet access via Ethernet cable.One-bedroom studio $93.50, Four-bedroom townhouse $51.70/room, inc tax.
SAIT Polytechnic, 136 Dr. Carpenter Circle (Clos), ☎ +1 403 284.8013 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +1 403 284.8435), . On the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) campus in southwestern Calgary (address is for the administrative office, not the residences).
Hampton Inn & Suites Calgary-University, 2231 Banff Trail NW, +1 403 289-9800, FAX: +1 403 289-9560, YYCHS_Hampton_Suites@hilton.com. How to get there: From Vancouver: Go East on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) stay on it when you get to Calgary then turn left (Northwest on Banff Trail) and it will be the 2nd or 3rd building on the left.
Hampton Inn & Suites Calgary-Airport, 2420 37th Ave, +1 403 250-4667, FAX: +1 403 255-5788, YYCAL_Hampton_Suites@hilton.com How to get there: Follow the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) then turn on to Barlow Trail and head North till you get to 37th Avenue then take a left and it will be about the last building on the right.
5 Calgary Downtown Suites, 618 - 5th Avenue SW (intersection of 5th Ave SW and 5th St SW), ☎ +1-403-451-5551, . The combination of fairly low rates with a full suite layout including furnished kitchen and living room located right downtown makes this a great deal. Pets welcome, for a fee. Restaurant, bar, spa, and parking in the building. Free wireless internet access. Self-serve laundry in basement available anytime, $4.50/load washed & dried. Toll-free phone +1-888-561-7666.$109/night for a king bed suite; parking $30/day (free on weekends).
Best Western Hospitality, 135 Southland Drive SE (Near Southland Mall). Very friendly services in a nice and convenient location near MacLeod Trail, and 10 minutes from the lively Downtown Core. Also very nice suites.
Calgary Marriott Hotel (across from the Calgary Tower) . 110 9th Avenue, SE, Phone: 1-403-266-7331, Toll-free: 1-800-896-6878. The Calgary Marriott Hotel features the city's largest guestrooms and offers an indoor pool, whirlpool, and outdoor patio areas in a downtown Calgary location. Our casual restaurants include a breakfast buffet, lively cocktail lounge, and Starbucks Coffee. Rates from $136 CAD/night.
Kensington Riverside Inn, 1126 Memorial Dr NW Calgary , AB T2N 3E3 T: 403 228 4442; F: 403.228.9608; . This is a boutique hotel in Kensington, just across the river from downtown. They have an amazing exterior display of "Whoville" from "The Grinch who Stole Christmas" during the holidays.
The Fairmont Palliser, 133 9th Avenue SW T2P 2M3 T.(403) 262-1234 F.(403) 260-1260 email:email@example.com, . The original landmark hotel in downtown Calgary, originally built in 1914 by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the era when luxury was an art. If you know any of the other former CP hotels (The Banff Springs Hotel, The Empress, The Chateau Frontenac, Hotel York, etc.), you know this is one of the grand old dames.
Calgary Hyatt, 700 Centre Street SE.
Sheraton Calgary, 255 Barclay Parade SW.
Garden Inn Calgary Airport, 2335 Pegasus Road, N.E.
Westin Calgary, 320 4th Avenue SW.
Although Calgary is generally a very safe place, walking at night should be avoided in the East Village and Victoria Park areas of downtown (generally speaking, this is the area adjacent to the Stampede Grounds and north to the Bow River). However, Calgary is safe by western Canadian standards (with crime rates that are eclipsed by those in cities such as Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver); and by US standards, Calgary is inestimably safe. Calgary's 2005 murder rate of 2 murders per 100,000 inhabitants was, for example, less than one-tenth the murder rate of Chicago and one-twentieth that of Baltimore. Crime should be the least of visitors' concerns, but always keep your wits about you when the bars close, regardless of the area of town.
Panhandlers and beggars are a common sight in Calgary's downtown core. The majority of them just need to be told 'No' but some can be persistant, yet still harmless. Common sense saves you from a lot of trouble, no matter where you go.
Take care when crossing LRT tracks, as the trains are large, silent, fast and deadly. There are no electrified rails.
Boaters on the Bow River should note the Weir (think "inescapable washing machine"), located downstream of the Calgary Zoo; heed the warning signs. People can and do perish here, strong swimmers among them.
Driving within Calgary can be extremely frustrating during the winter months. This is because despite its lack of heavy snow, temperatures still remain below freezing and thus allow ice to form on many roads. The most dangerous times are when the ice is a clear sheet which resembles the road, and is rightly called "Black Ice".
Weather in Calgary can be unpredictable. It is always best to dress in layers and come prepared for extremes, even within the same day.
The Calgary Health Link is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week nurse telephone advice and health information service where registered nurses will provide you with advice and information about health symptoms and concerns. Health Link nurses can also help you find appropriate services and health information. 943-LINK (5465)
Alberta Children's Hospital 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW Phone: (403) 955-7211
Foothills Medical Centre 1403 - 29 Street NW Phone: (403) 944-1110
Peter Lougheed Centre 3500 - 26 Avenue NE Phone: (403) 943-4555
Rockyview General Hospital 7007 - 14 Street SW Phone: (403) 943-3000
Urgent Care Centres
South Calgary Health Centre 31 Sunpark Plaza SE Phone: (403) 943-9300
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, 18 km north and west of Fort Macleod, is a 90 minute drive south of Calgary. Its excellent interpretive centre is open year round.
Dinosaur Provincial Park, near Brooks, 2 hours east of Calgary, is a 73 sq km park boasting one of the best dinosaur fossil beds in the world.
The world famous Royal Tyrrell Museum, located in Drumheller (90 minutes east of Calgary), also houses many palaeontological specimens.
In Turner Valley, a 45 minute drive south of Calgary, is the Turner Valley Gas Plant National and Provincial Historic Site. There is a pioneering gas plant and see how natural gas from Canada's largest gas field was processed prior to WWII. However, as of March 2008, the site is closed pending a decision on its future.
The Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston houses the largest collection of horse-drawn vehicles in North America, with over 250 carriages, wagons and sleighs.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!