Calgary lies among picturesque foothills and ranches at the edge of the Canadian Rockies. The landscape around Calgary was shaped by ice sheets and glaciers, the last of which receded 10,000 years ago. The North West Mounted Police are usually credited with establishing Calgary by building a fort in 1875. Early Calgary was a makeshift affair of tents and shanties, most of which were destroyed by a fire in 1886. Today, wealth from oil and gas discoveries has created a new Calgary with new and shiny skyscrapers.
THE CALGARY STAMPEDE: Canadians don’t just promote their frontier image, they revel in it. The 10 days of the Stampede at the first half of every July, begin with a colorful parade…revelry goes far into the night with fireworks, dancing, and gambling. The competition pits cowboys against each other for $500,000 in prize money…the most spectacular sight being the Chuck wagon Races.
CALGARY TOWER: This 626 foot structure at the center of the city is one of Calgary’s most distinctive landmarks. There are great views from the observation deck. Daily 7:30 – midnight.
GLENBOW MUSEUM: …an amazing collection of Indian and Inuit art…historical western Canadian artifacts from pioneer days…a military section…stamps, coins…sculpture, paintings, prints, Tue-Sun 10-6. Closed Monday.
CENTENNIAL PLANETARIUM AND SCIENCE CENTER: This observatory has model rockets, vintage aircraft, and weather station displays. Tue-Sun. 1:30-8
PRINCESS ISLAND PARK: On the south side of the Bow River, the park is a good place close to town to relax in pleasant gardens.
FORT CALGARY: The outline of the original fort is traced by stumps in the ground. At the fort, see multi-screen audiovisual presentations which will take you back to frontier days.
CANADA OLYMPIC PARK: Located 15 minutes from the city center is the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
HERITAGE PARK: Daily ’til 6. Bus #53. A 50 acre reconstructed site on the edge of Glenmore Reservoir portraying the Canadian West before 1914. ‘Fake the old steam engine to visit the various parts of the site.
ALBERTA HISTORICAL RESOURCES FOUNDATION: 102 8th Ave SE…has information about historical buildings and maps with self-guided walking tours.