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Calgary, Alberta, sits in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, to the west rise the majestic mountains, the to east flat prairie plains extend all the way to Ontario. Originally a western frontier town, Calgary is still proud of this heritage, displaying it with pride during the Calgary Stampede. One of the fastest growing cities in Canada thanks to an oil boom, Calgary is a very modern city. Calgary has hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1988, and is an excellent place for winter sports.
Downtown Calgary has five distinct neighbourhoods:
The Calgary Stampede, held in July every summer in Calgary, showcases the rich cowboy heritage of this modern western town. Be prepared to don a white cowboy hat, some cowboy boots and get ready to do a two-step! The Stampede's stated goal is to preserve western heritage and values, and there are a number of argicultural events like rodeos and chuck wagon races. However, Calgary is a very modern city, and the party extends to more than just people who love horses. Many bands play during the week and a half long festival, and the whole town spends a week partying.
Calgary has a semi-arid, highland continental climate with long, dry, but highly variable, winters and short, moderately warm summers. Although Calgary's winters can be uncomfortably cold, warm, dry Chinook winds routinely blow into the city from the Pacific Ocean during the winter months, giving Calgarians a break from the cold. These winds have been known to raise the winter temperature by up to 15 °C in just a few hours, and may last several days. More than one half of all winter days see the daily maximum rise above 0 °C.
|Avg Max||-2.8 °C||-0.1 °C||4 °C||11.3 °C||16.4 °C||20.2 °C||22.9 °C||22.5 °C||17.6 °C||12.1 °C||2.8 °C||-1.3 °C|
|Avg Min||-15.1 °C||-12 °C||-7.8 °C||-2.1 °C||3.1 °C||7.3 °C||9.4 °C||8.6 °C||4 °C||-1.4 °C||-8.9 °C||-13.4 °C|
|Rainfall||11.6 mm||8.8 mm||17.4 mm||23.9 mm||60.3 mm||79.8 mm||67.9 mm||58.8 mm||45.7 mm||13.9 mm||12.3 mm||12.2 mm|
Calgary International Airport, (airport code: YYC) is located 17 kilometres from the downtown core of Calgary. Air Canada connects Calgary to more destinations across Canada, the USA and the rest of the world direct from here. WestJet flies from Calgary to destinations across Canada, as well as select places in North America. In addition, many US airlines fly to Calgary.
To/from the airport
Calgary Transit provides public bus transportation to and from the Calgary International Airport via Route #57 with service to and from the Whitehorn LRT Station and via #430 to North Pointe terminal, where passengers can board the BRT route #301 to downtown. Also, Airporter bus links the airport to several downtown hotels. If driving, it is approximately a 25 minutes drive northeast of downtown.
The national, government owned Via Rail does not run to Calgary. The only passenger train which uses Calgary train station is the privately owned Rocky Mountaineer Railtours train. The route heads west from Calgary stopping in Banff then continuing through the Rockies to Kamloops and Vancouver.
The Trans Canada Highway runs just north of Calgary giving it a good east-west connection to the rest of Canada by road.
Greyhound operates on the Trans-Canada highway route which heads east to Regina (764 kilometres/11 hours), and west to Banff (120kilometres/2 hours) and Vancouver (1,057 kilometres/15 hours). A highway also connects Calgary to the north, to the capital of Alberta, Edmonton (299 kilometres/3.5 hours). Greyhound and Red Arrow operate buses on this route.
Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:
Transit in Calgary is provided by Calgary Transit, which operates buses and light rail lines within the city. Cash fare for tickets is $2.25 for adults and $1.50 for youth (all persons between the ages of 6 and 14 years old or who are full time students attending school up to grade 12). The website provides a trip planner, or route maps can be found at this page. Calgary Transit operates a fleet of 115 Seimens-Duwag built LRVs (light rail vehicles) that operate on 42.1 kilometres of track and 36 stations. The route map can be found at the C-Train LRT website.
Calgary has a good bar/club scene, whether you are looking to dance or sit and talk with a few friends. Your best bet is to roam 17th Ave, just on the south side of downtown. This street dubbed "The Red Mile" is especially active following hockey games, moreso if the home team wins! 1st street S.W., located just south west of the Calgary Tower is also a good place to try as it's also only a short walk away from 17th Avenue. You can also try 11th Avenue S.W. for some dance clubs, heading west from the 1st street intersection. If you are looking for something a little more trendy, you can try Stephens Ave (8th Ave) right in the middle of downtown, it is a nice walk and has many outdoor patio's. There are also many quality neighbourhood pubs scattered throughout the city.
Some good dance clubs include:
Some good pubs/bars include:
|HI Calgary City Centre||520-7th Avenue S.E. Calgary T2G 0J6||Hostel||88|
|My Calgary B&B||85 Kincora Glen Rise Nw, Calgary, Alberta T3R 0B6||GUESTHOUSE||91|
|Wicked Hostels - Calgary||1505 MacLeod Tr. SE||HOSTEL||88|
Calgary is a booming city, thanks to a growing oil industry throughout Alberta. There is a shortage in just about every sector in the city. The oil industry alone is bracing for a worker shortage of up to 40,000 people over the next 10 years. There are many proffesional, business, and entry level job oppurtunities in and around the city. If you are a traveller looking for work, there shouldn't be a need to worry about finding employment in such areas as retail and restaurant industries. If your eligible to work in Canada you should be able to start working in just a few days. Your best bet is to just visit places you'd like to work and let them know your interested, and chances are they will hire you.
Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.
The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.
Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.
To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.
The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. 
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