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Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta

Cowboys, Mountains and the Arts

  • Author: Angie, Head Prairie Traveler
  • Date Posted: Jul 26, 2013
  • Category:
  • Address: Calgary, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta

The largest city in Alberta, Calgary has absolutely everything and anything you could want to see or do. Not afraid to be loud and proud, the city is as passionate about its history and tradition as it is about its economic growth and prominence in Canadian culture. It’s a great place to start your Alberta vacation.

History of Calgary, Alberta

American lawlessness was a huge problem in the late 1800s. Whisky traders were interfering with the local tribes and the area’s fur trade. So, the North-West Mounted Police set up Fort Brisebois to bring peace and justice to the area. Eventually, Colonel James Macleod would rename the settlement Fort Calgary after Calgary on Scotland’s Isle of Mull. The CPR would build a railway station there in 1883 when it arrived, and the area soon became an important agricultural and commercial hub.
Calgary Alberta - The Bow River

Calgary grew quickly from there. It became a town in 1884, and despite significant damage from the Calgary Fire of 1886, it became a city in 1894. Today, the oil boom that began in 1902 continues and the City of Calgary continues to flourish.

Interesting Facts About Calgary

  • Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi has quickly become one of the country’s most famous mayors and has been known to trend on social media.
  • Calgary’s Heritage Park was used in the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Redford.
  • Evidence suggests Calgary was inhabited by the pre-Clovis people more than 11,000 years ago.
  • The area’s first European explorer was the Hudson’s Bay Company’s cartographer David Thompson. The first European settler in Calgary? Ireland’s John Glenn and his wife Adelaide who built their log cabin in what is today’s Fish Creek Provincial Park. He owned a trading post and built the province’s first irrigation system.
  • The CPR strengthened its ties with Calgary when it moved its main headquarters there from Montreal in 1996.
  • Despite the city’s closeness to Chestermere and Airdie, the three remain separate cities. For now, anyway.


Arts & Culture

  • Aero Space Museum of Calgary
  • Calgary Philharmonic
  • Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
  • National Music Centre
  • Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
  • Museum of Contemporary Art


  • Calgary Exhibition and Stampede
  • Chinatown Street Festival
  • Shakespeare in the Park
  • Franco Festival Calgary
  • Chestermere Water Festival
  • Calgary Folk Music Festival

Historic Sites

  • Lougheed House
  • Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site
  • Frank Slide Interpretive Center
  • McDougall Memorial Church & Historical Museum
  • Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
  • Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre


  • Ice Fishing
  • Calgary Zoo
  • Heritage Park Historical Village
  • Spruce Meadows
  • Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
  • Rothney Astrophysical Observatory

Restaurants & Bars

  • La Brezze Ristorante
  • OEB Breakfast Co.
  • Cero Bistro Moderne
  • La Casa d’Italia Ristorante
  • The Himalayan
  • and many other restaurants & bars


  • Best Western Plus Port O’Call Hotel
  • Delta Calgary South
  • Residence Inn Calgary Airport
  • Hotel Le Germain Calgary
  • Shangarry Bed and Breakfast
  • English Bed, Breakfast & Day Spa
  • Tuxedo House B&B