The Bay Downtown Arches
The Calgary Downtown location of The Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company) was completed in 1913, the first of the “Original Six” flag ship stores in Canada. The beautiful colonnade with polished granite was opened in 1930. It has been a favourite location of newly wed couples to shoot wedding photos for decades.
Learn More About the History of HBC
Devonian Gardens at The Core Downtown
Opened in 1977, you can find the Devonian Gardens on the 4th floor of The Core Shopping Centre (aka TD Square) by the Food Court. It is a free indoor botanical garden and park complete with a living wall and koi pond. I remember going to the Devonian Gardens when I was little visiting from Hong Kong. It’s quite a pleasant surprise to see in the concrete jungle of urban downtowns. This wonderful garden is also a favourite spot for weddings photos and actual weddings.
More about the Devonian Gardens at the City of Calgary
The Lougheed House
Lougheed House (aka Beaulieu) is the former home of Senator James Alexander Lougheed built in 1891 and doesn’t have much if anything to do with former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed. This sandstone mansion was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1992. Located in the Beltline Area, it’s a bit tucked away and a stark contrast to its modern neighbours. I know about it, because the wife and I booked it for our wedding photos. We came back for brunch on our 5 year wedding anniversary. The Lougheed House will always be a special place to us.
Learn more about the Lougheed House
Calgary Central Library
Completed in 2018, the Calgary Central Library is a beautiful piece of architecture costing close to $250 million dollars. Located in the revitalized Downtown East Village behind the Calgary Municipal Building, it is a welcomed place to just be around. Conference rooms and children’s play area are available free of charge and a library card is free as well! I especially appreciate the section of books relating to Calgary and its history.
Learn more about the Calgary Public Library
Built in honour of Canada’s Centennial, the Husky Tower was later renamed the Calgary Tower. It’s a recognizable structure in the Calgary skyline. You can take an elevator ride up to the top and get a 360° panoramic view of Calgary. There’s also a revolving restaurant on the observation deck. Located about a block away from the historic Fairmont Palliser Hotel and walkable Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue SW), there are plenty of things to explore when visiting the Calgary Tower.
Learn more about the Calgary Tower
The Calgary Peace Bridge is an interesting looking pedestrian bridge connecting the Kensington and Eau Claire neighbourhoods by Prince’s Island Park. It looks like a red Chinese finger trap and is a favourite spot for local photographers due to its unique architecture. Take a stroll through Prince’s Island Park and grab a bite to eat or sit down for a coffee in trendy Kensington.
CFL Stampeders Game
The Calgary Stampeders are a professional football team in the CFL Canadian Football League. Their home stadium is the McMahon Stadium by the University of Calgary. The CFL season runs from June to November. Their outdoor games are always a good time and a true Canadian experience especially in the snow in -20°C weather. During the Summer, tail gate parties start at around Noon on game day. Parking can be tricky in the area, might be best to park further and walk or take Calgary Transit either bus or C-Train. The official colours are red and white, so wear some red to the game and cheer for the Stamps. Interesting tidbit: Dwayne Johnson as in The Rock briefly played for the Calgary Stampeders.
Learn more about the Calgary Stampeders
NHL Flames Game
Calgary Flames hockey games are probably the hottest ticket in town whenever they’re playing. Just look at the TV broadcasts and see the C of Red every home game. You can usually tell when there’s a game downtown. There will be tons of traffic and people walking around everywhere. Regular NHL season runs from early October to April with playoffs lasting until June.
This photo was taken way back in 2004 after the Flames’ Stanley Cup playoff run. I remember it very well, it was my last year at the University of Calgary and the whole city was just buzzing with excitement. Look on the right, #23 himself Martin Gelinas who should’ve won it for us in Game 6 against Tampa.
Learn more about the Calgary Flames
PGA Tour Champions Shaw Charity Classic Golf Tournament
The Shaw Charity Classic is a golf tournament in Calgary held since 2013 played at the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club around late August / early September. It is a regular event on the PGA Tour Champions formerly known as the Champions Tour and Senior PGA Tour. It is a charity event for several non-profit organizations mainly relating to children and cancer. Go and see what this level of professional golfers can do.
Learn more about the Shaw Charity Classic