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Calgary

Photo © filipve

Travel Guide North America Canada Alberta Calgary

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Introduction

Calgary skyline

Calgary skyline

© All Rights Reserved PTHOLM

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.

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Neighbourhoods

Downtown Calgary has five distinct neighbourhoods:

  • Eau Claire (including the Festival District) - The neighbourhood of Eau Claire is located immediately north of Downtown, fronts the Bow River and sits immediately north of 3rd Avenue South. A mix of riverside condominiums, shopping, restaurants, hotels, a large public plaza and urban parkland, including the Prince's Island Park, the site of many summer festivals, including the Calgary Folk Music Festival, Carifest, Shakespeare in the Park and various busking happenings. Within Eau Claire is Eau Claire Market and a variety of pubs and restaurants. It is also located on the city's large network of pedestrian pathways and trails.
  • The Downtown West End - the West End is a high density residential community, with the Millennium Park, TELUS World of Science and Mewata Armouries are located in the western area of the neighborhood, while paved multi-use (bicycle, walking, rollerblading, etc) paths line the northern rim along the Bow River.
  • The Downtown Commercial Core - downtown Calgary is bordered by 14th Street W. on the west, 3rd Avenue S. and Eau Claire on the north, the Elbow River on the east and the CPR mainline tracks on the south. This is a dense business area. Calgary Transit's C-Train light rail system runs down 7th Avenue S. through the middle of downtown, and the ride is free on this section.
  • Chinatown - The district is located along Centre Street in the northeast area of Downtown Calgary immediately north of the Downtown East Village.
  • The Downtown East Village - Downtown East Village is a residential neighbourhood within the eastern portions of downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is contained within the city's Rivers District.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Calgary Zoo - located slightly east of the city's downtown (adjacent to the Inglewood neighbourhood) and is easily accessible via Calgary's C-Train light rail system.
  • The TELUS World of Science - a science museum and planetarium complex located in the Downtown West End.
  • The Glenbow Museum - 93,000 square feet (8,600 m²) of exhibition space in more than 20 galleries, showcasing a selection of the Glenbow's collection of over a million objects.
  • The Calgary Tower - 190-metre free standing tower, constructed glass floor extension on the north side of the tower's observation deck opened. Consisting of four large panes of glass, it is about 20 feet long and 5 feet wide. When standing on the glass, one can look straight down on 9th Avenue South and Centre Street. The Calgary tower features a revolving restaurant that rotates so as to give customers a scenic view of downtown Calgary.

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Events and Festivals

Calgary Stampede

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.

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Weather

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.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-2.8 °C-0.1 °C4 °C11.3 °C16.4 °C20.2 °C22.9 °C22.5 °C17.6 °C12.1 °C2.8 °C-1.3 °C
Avg Min-15.1 °C-12 °C-7.8 °C-2.1 °C3.1 °C7.3 °C9.4 °C8.6 °C4 °C-1.4 °C-8.9 °C-13.4 °C
Rainfall11.6 mm8.8 mm17.4 mm23.9 mm60.3 mm79.8 mm67.9 mm58.8 mm45.7 mm13.9 mm12.3 mm12.2 mm
Rain Days96.99.3911.313.413119.36.37.67.4

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Getting There

By Plane

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.

By Train

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.

By Car

The Trans Canada Highway runs just north of Calgary giving it a good east-west connection to the rest of Canada by road.

By Bus

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.

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Getting Around

By Car

Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:

By Public Transport

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.

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Drink

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:

  • Bamboo - 1st street/12 Ave S.W.
  • Amsterdam Rhino - 11th Ave S.W.
  • HiFi Club - 11th Ave S.W.

Some good pubs/bars include:

  • The Ship and Anchor - 17th Ave S.W.
  • Melrose Bar - 17Ave S.W.
  • Drum & Monkey - Shared with Bamboo, 1st Street/12 Ave S.W.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
HI Calgary City Centre520-7th Avenue S.E. Calgary T2G 0J6Hostel91
My Calgary B&B85 Kincora Glen Rise Nw, Calgary, Alberta T3R 0B6GUESTHOUSE93
Wicked Hostels - Calgary1505 MacLeod Tr. SEHOSTEL88

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Work

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.

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Keep Connected

Internet

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.

Phone

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.

Post

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. [1]

Federal Express, TNT, UPS or DHL also provide interntional shipping from Canada and are usually very quick and reliable though might cost a little more compared to Canada Post.

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Quick Facts

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Population
988,193
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 51.053728
  • Longitude: -114.062474

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This is version 26. Last edited at 12:40 on Jul 18, 13 by Utrecht. 45 articles link to this page.

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