We just got back from a two week road trip through Western Canada. We started in Calgary.
Canada’s Wild West?
Calgary is Alberta’s largest city and stands at the intersection of two rivers, the Bow and the Elbow.
The city grew with the development of the cattle industry in the late 1800s and later became the center of Canada’s oil industry. It is Canada’s Wild West kind of town, celebrated by the annual Stampede.
We actually only had 2 days in the city just before the Stampede was due to start at the beginning of July. These images show some of the highlights in this relatively small city.
There are some incredible buildings here and many places to explore all within walking distance of downtown. The city transit system is a great way to get across and around the city too.
Modern Architecture Meets Old
The most famous attraction is probably the Tower, which would have dominated cityscapes of the city in the past. Today, it is dwarfed by the modern sky-scrapping architecture to the point you are hard pressed to find a spot where the tower can still be seen! A ride up to the viewing platform though still provides incredible views of the city and beyond.
As you walk the downtown streets close to the tower you are struck with the contrast of the historic facades of buildings that hark back to the city’s beginnings, against the backdrop of the equally impressive modern building.
As you move around the city, you come across many street sculptures, like the drinking birds outside the new Public Library.
A visit to the city should also include a call at Studio Bell, the National Music Centre. The building itself is an amazing piece of architecture, but once in side you’ll find an incredible music museum on 4 or 5 floors, as well production studios and performing venues.
A short walk from downtown down to the river brings in to view the Peace Bridge, a pedestrian bridge, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, built in 2012.
We thoroughly enjoyed our short stay in Calgary and wish we had had a little longer there.