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Things to Know Before Visiting Calgary, Alberta

Updated on March 31, 2012

If you plan on visiting Calgary for the Stampede or just as a pit stop to Banff there are a few things you should consider first before making those plans.


Avoid restaurants. Calgary is experiencing a working shortage and restaurants in the city are suffering the most. Restaurant owners have been granted permission from the city to hire teenagers as young as 13 years old. So don't be surprised if you are waited on by a kid or that your food is cooked by a child with little experience.

You are usually safe at upscale or hotel type restaurants. Places to absolutely avoid eating at are Taco Bell, Burger King, anything at the mall and Denny's. Also keep in mind that the Norwalk virus is still quite prevalent in Calgary so stay away from any buffets or outdoor grills. Grocery store lunchable foods are great and reasonably priced and restaurants that are outside of tourist areas are great too.

Light Rail Transit
Light Rail Transit


Getting around the city without a car is a hard thing to do. The LRT (light rail transit) stops running at midnight and doesn't start again until 5 am, and on the weekend only shows up every hour. That wouldn't be so bad except taxis take over an hour, on average, to get to you (shortage of taxi drivers). For transportation you are better off renting a car, but avoid driving in the city during peak hours since all of its main roads are under major construction.

Calgary, Alberta: July 7, 2006


The only other thing I would recommend is to be prepared for any weather. It has snowed in June and the beginning of July there is always a sudden hailstorm. The weather could change dramatically without notice, even when the weather was perfect before you left the hotel, so pack everything.

What I love most about Calgary despite all of the problems, are the Calgarians. You will never meet a nicer group of people.

Aside From That Calgary is Great!

I know that these setbacks might make Calgary look bad, no way. I have never lived in a city that I loved more. Read my other Hub, Falling in Love With Calgary for all of the great stuff you can do here.

Comments or Questions

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    • Jyle Dupuis profile image

      Jyle Dupuis 4 years ago from Henrico, Virginia

      "Alberta Employment Standards Code permits the employment of 12 to 14 year olds with the written consent of one parent or guardian. The employment of children under 12 is prohibited. Child employees must complete a safety checklist and regulations protect hours of work allowed. For older children between the ages of 15-17 years of age, general restrictions exist on the times of day that may be worked and supervision by an adult is required. Children 12 to 14 years of age may be employed outside of school hours (two hours on a school day and eight hours on a non-school day).

      Children may not be employed between the hours of 9:00 pm to 6:00 am. Employment is restricted to four occupations – delivery of small wares for a retail store, clerk or messenger in an office, clerk in a retail store and to the delivery of newspapers, flyers and handbills. Employers are to meet basic safety requirements. Enforcement of employment standards in Alberta is complaint driven. Upon a complaint, an investigation is made by an Employment Standards Officer (ESO). The onus is on the child worker (or through parent and/or guardian) to raise a complaint about working conditions."

    • profile image

      bertalberta 4 years ago

      Really? The city went over and above federal labour laws to grant restaurants the ability to hire child labour? I find that hard to believe. Perhaps cite your source?

    • profile image

      Bob 5 years ago

      I am very well offended by this website. There are many other good things that Calgary has to offer. The weather is not very welcoming but once you look past that its an amazing city. I would recomed it to everyone!

    • profile image

      calgary dweller 6 years ago

      The information on eating in calgary is grossly incorrect. We did go through a boom last year 2009 however there was never a time that they would hire 13 year old servers or cooks. Firstly that is illegal and secondly the restaurant owners would never lose business due to lack of quality.

      Telling travellers to go the Taco Bell and Burger King is atrocious we are not Americans and there are NUMEROUS of delicious inexpensive restaurants that will definitely tantalize those taste buds. You don't even need to look far. Kensignton, Inglewood, Stevens Ave and 17th Ave (aka: the red mile) will have everything you need.

    • profile image

      Mike 7 years ago

      The biggest thing I dislike about Calgary is the fact that it is politically correct. City council recently spent 3 days discussing the term"Alderman" and if it may be considered offensive to woman. All schools in Calgary have been told they are no longer allowed to celebrate Christmas in fear it may upset the ethnic population.

      I have been on contract here for two years and hate the gutless whips who live in Calgary. Come January I am off and hope I will never have to revisit this city of wimps again.

    • profile image

      reigan 7 years ago

      This was a pretty good site, accept if i graded it on a scale from 1 to 10 i would grade it a 7

    • Jyle Dupuis profile image

      Jyle Dupuis 8 years ago from Henrico, Virginia

      That would have been nice when I was a teenager. Now I'd much rather just drive myself around.

      Also since writing this Hub the LRT now runs on 100% wind generated power. In fact most if not all of the City of Calgary facilities and services run at least in part from wind generators. Pretty cool.

    • profile image

      H. G.  8 years ago

      This is out of date. Light Rail Transit now runs every 5 minutes during rush hour, every 10 minutes in off peak times, and every 15 all other times. It also currently runs until at least 1am.

    • profile image

      bab 8 years ago

      don't worry about this norwalk virus? i lived here all my life and never heard about it, and as for the restaurants, they are all pretty great, we are over staffed in most places now, so have a seat and expect to get excellent customer service. Calgary is great!

    • profile image

      hondahonda 9 years ago

      Calgary sucks in road signs. The major roadways have signs too small to see while driving. Signs on major intersections should be placed right beside the traffic lights above the middle of the road. NOT on a light post at the side of the road. For a city so rich financially, you can afford it to treat your visiting guests better driving in Calgary.

    • Frank Shump profile image

      Frank Shump 10 years ago from Media

      I'll add it to my list of places to visit!

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for the warning, hope the situation improves.

    • profile image

      lolo13 10 years ago

      There are definitely some not so good things about Calgary and there are also some great things about it. Like the scenery.

    • Jyle Dupuis profile image

      Jyle Dupuis 10 years ago from Henrico, Virginia

      It was definitely a strange experience driving in the slush while trying to stop the car from hydroplaning during mid-May.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 10 years ago from Toronto

      Calgary got a couple of inches of heavy snow just a couple of days ago and now it's back to sunny and mild. If you don't like the weather, just wait a while!