Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is situated approximately 80km to the east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies, at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River. The major source of income in this land is energy, financial services, film and television, transportation, technology, aerospace, manufacturing, retail and tourism sectors. It is Canada’s fourth largest metropolitan area with a population of over 1,220, 000 (as of 2009). It is also the house of head offices of major corporate houses in the country. It also became the first city in the country to host the Olympic Winter games in the year 1988.
It is a modern and clean city, with a booming oil and energy economy. It has led to an influx of well educated and affluent workforce into the city. Calagarians are looking for new type of lifestyles, leading to opening of new restaurants, theatres, boutiques, hotels, and high-end recreational outlets. It is a very exciting place for all those who love shopping and sports.
How to Get There?
Calgary is well connected to all the neighbouring cities and you can get there either by road or air. The Calagary International Airport is well served by Canadian as well as international carriers, such as WestJet, Air Canada, British Airways, etc. Several volunteers, dressed in red and white Western wear are always ready to serve the tourists and direct them. Though it is well connected to most other Canadian cities, it is better to drive from places across the border.
Calgary is well accessible via road too. It is just an hour’s drive East of Banff and about 3 hours South of Edmonton. There are several buses services also. However, due to service cuts in 1990, it still remains inaccessible via rail. However, there are rails to nearby places like Vancouver, jasper, Lake Louise and Banff.
Weather and When to Visit
The best time around the year to visit Calgary, is from late May to the end of September. In winters, the weather can be greatly unpredictable. There is a plethora of exciting things to do for winter enthusiasts. However, if you are not really a winter fan or have budget constraints, you should reconsider the idea of visiting this area in winter. Also, you may find heavy snowfall during winter months, covering the mountain peaks.
The Calgary stampede is the western themed, grand festival hosted in Calgary. It is celebrated for around ten days in the early July. It is very popular and draws crowd from several parts of the world, justifying its name ‘Stampede’. The bookings and reservations are done well in advance and last minute arrangements may not be a good idea. It adds big wads of dollars to the local economy each year. It is one of the most looked up to event in whole of Canada. It has games, concerts, rides and the class rodeos. The nightlife is awesome with tents set up on the fairgrounds for the Cowboys.
The Calgary Public Library:
The Calgary public library is the biggest public library network of the city, which is second largest in Canada. It loans books, CDs, DVDs, e-books, Blu-rays and all other form of electric and non-electric media. The number of members borrowing from its seventeen branches, makes it the sixth largest municipal library system in the entire North America.
The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium:
The Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium is the centre of celebrating art and culture. It is one of the two twin art facilities in the province, with the other being located in Edmonton. It was opened in the year 1957 and has a capacity of 2538 spectators. It has hosted several Broadway musical, theatrical, stage and local performances over the years. It is run by the provincial government and underwent a major renovation in 2005. It is the home of Alberta ballet Company, the Calgary opera, the Kiwanis Musical Festival amongst others.
Calgary has a number of exciting shopping centres such as The Core Shopping Centre, Stephen Avenue and Eau Claire Market. The market is full of branded stores as well as eclectic collections. There are numerous locally grown products and craft articles prepared by local artisans which can be easily found. The Core shopping Centre also houses the Devonian Gardens, the largest indoor gardens, situated on its fourth floor. Another exciting place for shopaholics is the 17 Avenue, located in the heart of the city, which holds a plethora of restaurants, bars and nightclubs too. All those who love shopping, would definitely love this place!
There are numerous other attractions too. It is a must-go place for all the art lovers. There are several museums and art galleries like the Chinatown district, the Calgary tower, the art gallery of Calgary, Military Museum and the Glenbow Museum. A major tourist attraction is the Heritage Park Historical Village, located on the west of Calgary. It is a live depiction of life in pre-1914 Alberta, with replicas of buildings, historic monuments and even the vehicles such as steam train and electric sheetcar. Other attractions include Prince’s Island Park, the Calgary zoo, the Telus spark, the Telus Convention Centre, amongst others.