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Calgary Downtown & Other Sights

Updated on September 20, 2014
Calgary viewed from Prince's Island
Calgary viewed from Prince's Island | Source

Calgary, Alberta Canada

Places of interest in Calgary are many and diverse. You will be spoilt for choice as to the number of attractions one can visit in this city which is the fifth largest in Canada. The following are 20 places of interest that you can visit when in Calgary:

Tiger in the Calgary Zoo
Tiger in the Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo is a nice place to visit during your stay in Calgary. The zoo has a variety of exotic animals which include penguins, African lions, giraffes, cougars, bears, hippos, pandas and whooping cranes. To get to the Calgary Zoo, you can use the light rail C-Train system by way of Route 202.

Calgary, Alberta--Canada

Heritage Park Historical Village

The Heritage Park is a historically themed village that allows one to get a feel of life as it was in the 1870s to the 1950s. Located on about 52 hectares near the Glenmore Reservoir, this park is a good place to unwind as you explore life as it was over a hundred years ago.

Calgary Heritage Park -Mainstreet
Calgary Heritage Park -Mainstreet | Source
The Calgary Tower
The Calgary Tower
Canada Olympic Park
Canada Olympic Park | Source

Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower is the fourth tallest structure in Calgary after The Bow, Suncor Energy Centre, 8th Avenue Place and Banker’s Hall. The structure, which stands at around 630 feet, was constructed in 1968 as an honor to Canada’s Centennial and as a way of boosting the growth of Canada’s urban areas.

Canada Olympic Park

Located in the western part of Calgary, the Canada Olympic Park was the main venue for the 15th Winter Olympics held in Canada. The park currently operates as a training facility and also offers a host of other activities for families and thrill seekers.

The activities offered at the Canada Olympic Park include snowboarding, zorbing and skiing among others. The new luge ride was opened in June 2013 and is proving to be a favourite fun activity

Glenbow Museum

The Glenbow Museum is one of the largest museums in Canada and mainly focusses on the arts. The museum hosts many exhibitions based on its large collections of art and cultural artefacts. Some permanent exhibitions tell the story of Alberta in an engaging and inspiring way. For example, the ‘Mavericks’ exhibition tells the story of the early pioneers who made Alberta what it is today

Nose Hill Park Calgary
Nose Hill Park Calgary

Nosehill Park

Located in the north-western part of the City of Calgary, Nosehill Park is among the largest municipal parks in North America. The natural environment of the park provides a much deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Nosehill Park covers over one thousand hectares and provides hiking trails in a native grassland full of diverse wildlife.

Telus Spark, Calgary
Telus Spark, Calgary | Source

Telus Spark

The Telus Spark is a science centre that was built to cater for science and technology interests. The Spark is the successor to the Calgary Centennial planetarium that was closed on June 2011. It was opened in October 2011 and offers a wide range of workshops that cater for school children and young adults.

Prince’s Island Park

The Prince’s Island Park is located on an island in the Bow River and is spread over twenty hectares of beauty, serenity and peace. The numerous green spaces and trails make a visit to the Prince’s Island Park an event to treasure for a long time.

Prince's Island Park
Prince's Island Park | Source
Fort Calgary
Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary

Built at the confluence of River Bow and River Elbow by the Mounted Police in 1875, Fort Calgary is considered the birth place of Calgary City. Fort Calgary is a national historic site that was built as a deterrent against whisky traders who were trying to operate from the area. The fort is very busy during the summer and it is best to make prior arrangements before visiting.

Scotiabank Saddledome

This is the best and largest indoor entertainment area in Calgary. It has a sitting capacity of almost 18,000 people and is the premier concert location in the city. Also known as the ‘Pengrowth Saddledome’, the Scotiabank Saddledome hosts a number of sporting events, live concerts and shows, all year round.

Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome
Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome | Source

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Among one of the largest urban parks, the Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary is one of the best places to visit in Canada. The park is a protected natural area that hosts picnic sites, pathways, trails, restaurants and environmental learning centres.

Fish Creek Provincial Park
Fish Creek Provincial Park | Source

The Military Museums

The Calgary Military Museums serves as an institution for learning, research, history and the arts on all aspects of the Canadian military experience. Specifically, the museum honors veterans of the South Korean and other wars that shaped the country. A number of exhibitions on Calgary’s military history are showcased in this museum.

Calgary Military Museums
Calgary Military Museums | Source

The CORE Shopping Centre

Located in Calgary’s downtown area, the CORE is a large shopping complex that occurs a number of blocks and consists of the Holt Renfrew Building and TD Square. This shopping hub has over 200 stores that sell a wide variety of goods. The CORE is a result of the urban renewal plans of the City of Calgary which has changed the look of the downtown area.

A food-court in Calgary
A food-court in Calgary | Source

Devonian Botanical Gardens

This is a large botanical garden located in the CORE shopping Centre that serves as an urban oasis for Calgary City. The garden contains a wide variety of tropical plants with many ponds and fountains along meandering pathways.

Devonian Gardens
Devonian Gardens | Source

Aerospace Museum of Calgary

Almost 30 aircraft and aeronautical equipment is displayed in the museum’s two large hangers. The museum tells the story of Canada’s aerospace journey including the history of civilian and military aircraft. Only a stone’s throw away from Calgary Airport, this museum is an essential part of your itinerary when visiting Calgary

A CF-100 in a aerospace museum
A CF-100 in a aerospace museum | Source

EPCOR Center for the Performing Arts

This centre has facilities for theatre, dance and other performances and events. It is comprised of different venues in downtown Calgary’s Olympic Plaza Cultural District. There are a number of theatres in the centre including The Motel, Big Secret and Max Bell Theatre.

Calgary EPCOR centre
Calgary EPCOR centre | Source

Glenmore Reservoir

Lying on the Elbow River, this artificial reservoir supplies Calgarians with water for their drinking needs and also serves as a recreation facility. The Glenmore Reservoir also serves as a dam to control the waters of the Elbow River. Other facilities that can be found in the reservoir are sailing clubs and venues for holding banquets and weddings.

Calgary Glenmore Reservoir
Calgary Glenmore Reservoir | Source

McMahon Stadium

Home to the Calgary Stampeders, the McMahon stadium is owned by the University of Calgary and was the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Other teams that play at the stadium include the Calgary Flames who have concessionary rights to operate the Suite services.

Panoramic view of Calgary's McMahon Stadium
Panoramic view of Calgary's McMahon Stadium | Source

Dinosaur Provincial Park

The Dinosaur Provincial Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and features a number of activities such as:

  • Dinosaur archaeological digs
  • Scenic photography
  • Trails and pathways
  • Camping
  • Hikes

A dinosaur replica at the Calgary Zoo
A dinosaur replica at the Calgary Zoo | Source

The Bow

The Bow is the tallest building in Calgary with a height of about 237 metres. It was opened in 2012 and is named after one of the main rivers in Calgary. A recent survey/ poll listed The Bow as among the best skyscrapers in the world.

The Bow in Calgary
The Bow in Calgary | Source

Calgary Favorite Places Poll

Which is your favorite place in Calgary

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    • jponiato profile image

      jponiato 3 years ago from Mid-Michigan

      I always wanted to enter the Wild Horse Race there, as my friends and I did that event locally. Alas, that was 30 years ago.

    • jeserem profile image
      Author

      jeserem 3 years ago from Kenya

      Thanks for your comment. Calgary sure does have nice places to visit.

    • rls8994 profile image

      rls8994 3 years ago from Mississippi

      This seems like a wonderful place to see. It has many interesting sites to visit. I would love to visit Canada on day. Great pictures and you gave a very detailed description for each place. Great hub! Voted up and interesting!