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100 Reasons I Love Calgary!

100 Reasons I Love Calgary!


Nov 04, 2016

This weekend, Calgarians have the chance to show all the reasons the love the city they call home! The #LoveYYC hashtag is being used to celebrate what makes our city unique and share all the fantastic things that contribute to making our city terrific.

I’ve been living here for 11 years now and I really, truly love it. It’s evolved into a completely different city from the one that I met on October 1st, 2005. It’s warm, it’s welcoming, it’s strong, creative, fun and rewarding.

On Saturday, dozens of businesses will be participating in the #LoveYYC Day celebration and offering one-time deals on anything you can imagine. You can check out the whole list here.

There’s so many reasons to #LoveYYC, I couldn’t just think of one or two, so I thought of a hundred.

Here’s mine, what are yours?

1. Skyline Luge at Winsport Park.

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It’s like real life Mario Kart.

2. Market Collective.

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A market packed with cool local goods, with bands and a bar? Yes, please.

3. Calgary Pride

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It may not be as big as Toronto or Vancouver’s but it’s packed with heart…and rainbows.

4. Calgary Folk Music Festival

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For four days a year, the Calgary Folk Musical Festival turns Prince’s Island Park into a small town, filled with music, food and the city’s best people.

5. The Calgary Stampede Grandstand show

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If those darn kids don’t make you cry, you’re not doing Stampede right.

6. St. Patrick’s Island

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A perfect island oasis in the middle of the city.

7. Pop Up Swing Classes in Poppy Plaza

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The way Glenn Miller would have wanted it.

8. National’s Rooftop Patio

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Home of Canada’s largest rooftop patio!

9. Peace Bridge

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As if this wasn’t going to make the list.

10. The Calgary Tower

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Even if it looks smaller and smaller every year, it’s iconic and rightly so.

11. Fall colours

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Even if they come in August.

12. Inglewood

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Calgary’s first neighbourhood is still its best.

13. Ascension

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It would terrifying if it wasn’t public art.

14. Summer storms

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Good for photos, bad for insurance.

15. Sunnyside

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Originally settled in the late 1800s, Sunnyside bounced back from the 2013 flood more beautiful than ever.

16. Wonderland

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Jaume Plensa’s sculpture is Calgary’s crown jewel.

17. Mandy Stobo

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Her art is in homes across the world, including mine.

18. The beavers

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It doesn’t get much cuter than urban beavers.

19. The Ship and Anchor patio

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Rain or shine, winter or summer, the patio is always open for business.

20. Stephen Avenue

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A paradise for pedestrians and cyclists (during the day.)

21. Sky 360

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The Calgary Tower’s restaurant offers the best 360 degree views in the city…all with never leaving your seat.

22. The lobby of 8th Ave. Place

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One of Calgary’s newest skyscrapers is an Instagrammers dream come true.

23. Skating in Olympic Plaza

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Not very many places in the world where you can skate where Olympians once received their medals.

24. Field of Crosses

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More than 3,200 crosses places on Memorial Drive to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

25. Beakerhead

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Stampede meets science…and giant bunnies. What’s not to love.

26. The view from McHugh Bluff

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Anytime of year, this spot offers the best views of downtown Calgary.

27. Street festivals

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It seems like there is one every weekend in the summertime, with Sunfest and LilacFest being the most popular.

28. Calgary sunsets

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Simply put: Every night is incredible.

29. Fireworks at the Calgary Stampede

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Ten straight nights of amazing shows in the sky.

30. River surfing

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The only good thing left over from the flood.

31. Public pianos

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Scattered around the city, you never know when you’ll be treated to a beautiful concert.

32. The Bow River

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Whether you surf, float, fish or paddleboard, this stunning river never disappoints.

33. The Calgary Expo

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One of Canada’s largest expos of it’s kind is a wonder for the eyes and the imagination.

34. Bike pathways

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Calgary has the most extensive bike pathway in all of North America!

35. Central Memorial Park

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Created in 1889, this park has been a meeting point for Calgarians for over one hundred years.

36. This guy

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The city became a better place the day we put him in charge of it.

37. The Water Centre

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This building is so green, it’ll pay for itself in 15 years.

38. Fishing downtown

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Not very many cities you can do that.

39. Heritage Park

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Calgary’s history isn’t too long, but Heritage Park celebrates it perfectly.

40. That car that parks by Sunnyside Station

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Whoever owns it has a flare for the dramatic.

41. Ralph Klein Park

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Calgary’s Best Kept Secret. I know you’ve never been. You’re missing out.

42. Because this is a normal sight

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43. Skating at Prince’s Island Park

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44. When they light the Calgary Tower

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Whether it’s a special occasion or celebrating an Olympic gold medal, there aren’t really better sights!

45. The cold

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Calgarians embrace the cold, it makes us who we are.

46. Chinooks

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Of course the only reason we endure the cold is because we know there’s a chinook just around the corner.

47. Harvey The Hound

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The only thing consistent about the Calgary Flames is how much fun Harvey is.

48. The Mountains

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While not technically in Calgary, they sometimes seem like they are just in our backyard.

49. The skylight at The Core

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It’s the largest point-supported structural glass skylight in the world.

50. The bike lanes

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No surprise the bike lanes are on this list. In the year since they were installed, they’ve already logged more than one million trips!

51. The public art in the East Village

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One of the North America’s largest revitalization projects came with some stunning art.

52. The National Music Centre

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It just opened and I’ve barely got a sense of how much there is to explore. This place is amazing!

53. The Pool at Hotel Arts

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A welcome respite from Calgary’s hottest days isn’t just reserved for the hotel’s guests. Buy a drink and you can hop right in.

54. The Thai Noodle Soup at Rosso

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I’m no foodie, but trust me.

55. The Patio at Last Best Brewing

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It’s still a bit of a secret, but once you find it, you’ll never leave.

56. Plant

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You’ll never leave empty handed.

57. Alforno

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People said the bike lanes would kill business. Alforno opened up right on one and I haven’t been able to get a seat since.

58. Family of Man

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This 21-foot-tall sculpture was created for the British pavilion at expo 67, then gifted to Calgary.

59. Bloom

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Another piece of awesome public art, but the only one that features a bird’s nest.

60. The Penguin Walk at The Calgary Zoo

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Sadly, Morgan Freeman does not narrate it.

61. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Yes, even I had fun there. It’s basically a real life video game.

62. Devonian Gardens

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While not as good as it was pre-renovations, the gardens are still a great place to warm up during our winters. (I still miss the turtles.)

63. Peter’s Drive In

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There’s better burger places (Boogies, Regrub, Flippin’ Burgers, Clive Burger) but Peter’s has stood the test of time. It’s an institution.

64. Watching cricket in Riley Park

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Who even knows what’s happening. Doesn’t matter. Still fun to watch.

65. The Roughnecks

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Easily the most fun (and affordable) sports entertainment in Calgary.

66. This lady:

67. The Chinese Cultural Centre

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Built in 1992, it’s modeled after the Hall of Prayers of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

68. The Cecil Hotel sign

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The East Village saved it and now you can find it in the St. Louis Hotel.

69. The Simmons Building

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Once home to mattresses, it’s now home to some of the best food, coffee and views in the city.

70. Breweries

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There are now dozens of choices for those of us who like to drink local, with Big Rock, Village, Tool Shed, Wildrose being among some of my favourites.

71. Floating down the Elbow River

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It’s like a lazy river, but with beer and duck poop.

72. The Doctor Who-themed utility box in Kensington

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73. How nice our YMCAs are

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Seriously, they are so nice.

74. Christmas in Calgary

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When all the buildings coordinate their colours it would melt even Scrooge’s cold heart.

75. Crave Cupcakes

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Breakfast. Lunch. Supper. Repeat.

76. Fiasco Gelato

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One of Calgary’s biggest success stories is also one of the city’s tastiest treats.

77. The Cowtown Webseries

So funny.

78. Fish Creek Park

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The second largest urban park in Canada after Pippy Park in St. John’s!

79. Charcut

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All the meat. All the poutine.

80. Whitehall

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One time I went there and they were serving fiddleheads, which alone makes them deserving of this list.

81. Poppy Plaza

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While it wasn’t initially my favourite, it’s grown on me.

82. These bike counters

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So many cyclists are using the tracks, the sign capped out early.

83. Neil Zeller’s photos of Calgary

A photo posted by Neil Zeller (@neil_zee) on

84. Chinook Arc

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Put your phone up to it, play some music and see it light up!

85. Village Ice Cream

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No matter the weather, it’s always time for Village Ice Cream.

86. Quarry Park

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A hidden gem just off the Deerfoot.

87. The Bow Tower

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The nicest building Calgary has had in years. Now if only it would let the public enjoy its sky gardens.

88. Weadickville

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The place to go if you want to save money at the Calgary Stampede.

89. This house

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90. This shop dog

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91. Camp Brand Goods

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I dare you to find me comfier clothes.

92. The big ol’ sky

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93. Conversation

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This public art was first installed in 1980. It was installed today, it would be called “Blame NDP.”

94. Cannibale

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Walk in. Order Everything.

95. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

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I’ve ever never seen any birds there, but it’s still really pretty.

96. The wall at Fresh Laundry

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Touch it. You know you wanna.

97. The rides at the Calgary Stampede

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Eat after.

98. Buttermilk

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One waffle is never enough.
Twelve is barely scratching the surface.

99. The 150 off leash dog parks

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Fido never had it so good.

100. The Root Beer float at The Beltliner.

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Comments

  1. The park system and live music in Calgary!

  2. Patricia Dawkins

    1. Alberta College of Art and Design (one of 4 art colleges in Canada)
    2. Nosehill Park
    3. Weaslehead Flats
    4. Sidewalk Citizen Bakery
    5. Chinatown

  3. Jake Blumes

    Pretty much nailed it Mike! Except I know you’re not a sports guy, so I would just add the Flames and Stampeders!

  4. Barb Lindsay

    great choices but you forgot:

    Nose Hill Park: Third largest urban park in Canada AND of the largest urban parks in North America. It is a municipal park as well unlike Fish Creek which is a Provincial Park. It is a jewel and you can see those Big skies you have listed like nowhere else.

    Calgary Public Libraries: access to all and the new one being built downtown is going to be amazing!

    I love my hometown of Calgary!