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.
It’s like real life Mario Kart.
2. Market Collective.
A market packed with cool local goods, with bands and a bar? Yes, please.
3. Calgary Pride
It may not be as big as Toronto or Vancouver’s but it’s packed with heart…and rainbows.
4. Calgary Folk Music Festival
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
If those darn kids don’t make you cry, you’re not doing Stampede right.
6. St. Patrick’s Island
A perfect island oasis in the middle of the city.
7. Pop Up Swing Classes in Poppy Plaza
The way Glenn Miller would have wanted it.
8. National’s Rooftop Patio
Home of Canada’s largest rooftop patio!
9. Peace Bridge
As if this wasn’t going to make the list.
10. The Calgary Tower
Even if it looks smaller and smaller every year, it’s iconic and rightly so.
11. Fall colours
Even if they come in August.
Calgary’s first neighbourhood is still its best.
It would terrifying if it wasn’t public art.
14. Summer storms
Good for photos, bad for insurance.
Originally settled in the late 1800s, Sunnyside bounced back from the 2013 flood more beautiful than ever.
Jaume Plensa’s sculpture is Calgary’s crown jewel.
17. Mandy Stobo
Her art is in homes across the world, including mine.
18. The beavers
It doesn’t get much cuter than urban beavers.
19. The Ship and Anchor patio
Rain or shine, winter or summer, the patio is always open for business.
20. Stephen Avenue
A paradise for pedestrians and cyclists (during the day.)
21. Sky 360
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
One of Calgary’s newest skyscrapers is an Instagrammers dream come true.
23. Skating in Olympic Plaza
Not very many places in the world where you can skate where Olympians once received their medals.
24. Field of Crosses
More than 3,200 crosses places on Memorial Drive to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Stampede meets science…and giant bunnies. What’s not to love.
26. The view from McHugh Bluff
Anytime of year, this spot offers the best views of downtown Calgary.
27. Street festivals
It seems like there is one every weekend in the summertime, with Sunfest and LilacFest being the most popular.
28. Calgary sunsets
Simply put: Every night is incredible.
29. Fireworks at the Calgary Stampede
Ten straight nights of amazing shows in the sky.
30. River surfing
The only good thing left over from the flood.
31. Public pianos
Scattered around the city, you never know when you’ll be treated to a beautiful concert.
32. The Bow River
Whether you surf, float, fish or paddleboard, this stunning river never disappoints.
33. The Calgary Expo
One of Canada’s largest expos of it’s kind is a wonder for the eyes and the imagination.
34. Bike pathways
Calgary has the most extensive bike pathway in all of North America!
35. Central Memorial Park
Created in 1889, this park has been a meeting point for Calgarians for over one hundred years.
36. This guy
The city became a better place the day we put him in charge of it.
37. The Water Centre
This building is so green, it’ll pay for itself in 15 years.
38. Fishing downtown
Not very many cities you can do that.
39. Heritage Park
Calgary’s history isn’t too long, but Heritage Park celebrates it perfectly.
40. That car that parks by Sunnyside Station
Whoever owns it has a flare for the dramatic.
41. Ralph Klein Park
Calgary’s Best Kept Secret. I know you’ve never been. You’re missing out.
42. Because this is a normal sight
43. Skating at Prince’s Island Park
44. When they light the Calgary Tower
Whether it’s a special occasion or celebrating an Olympic gold medal, there aren’t really better sights!
45. The cold
Calgarians embrace the cold, it makes us who we are.
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
The only thing consistent about the Calgary Flames is how much fun Harvey is.
48. The Mountains
While not technically in Calgary, they sometimes seem like they are just in our backyard.
49. The skylight at The Core
It’s the largest point-supported structural glass skylight in the world.
50. The bike lanes
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
One of the North America’s largest revitalization projects came with some stunning art.
52. The National Music Centre
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
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
I’m no foodie, but trust me.
55. The Patio at Last Best Brewing
It’s still a bit of a secret, but once you find it, you’ll never leave.
You’ll never leave empty handed.
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
This 21-foot-tall sculpture was created for the British pavilion at expo 67, then gifted to Calgary.
Another piece of awesome public art, but the only one that features a bird’s nest.
60. The Penguin Walk at The Calgary Zoo
Sadly, Morgan Freeman does not narrate it.
61. Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame
— Mike Morrison (@mikesbloggity) December 31, 2015
Yes, even I had fun there. It’s basically a real life video game.
62. Devonian Gardens
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
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
Who even knows what’s happening. Doesn’t matter. Still fun to watch.
65. The Roughnecks
Easily the most fun (and affordable) sports entertainment in Calgary.
66. This lady:
If that lady at Bumpy's Cafe doesn't cheer you up in the morning, you're a monster.
— Mike Morrison (@mikesbloggity) October 13, 2016
67. The Chinese Cultural Centre
Built in 1992, it’s modeled after the Hall of Prayers of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.
68. The Cecil Hotel sign
The East Village saved it and now you can find it in the St. Louis Hotel.
69. The Simmons Building
Once home to mattresses, it’s now home to some of the best food, coffee and views in the city.
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
It’s like a lazy river, but with beer and duck poop.
72. The Doctor Who-themed utility box in Kensington
73. How nice our YMCAs are
Seriously, they are so nice.
74. Christmas in Calgary
When all the buildings coordinate their colours it would melt even Scrooge’s cold heart.
75. Crave Cupcakes
Breakfast. Lunch. Supper. Repeat.
76. Fiasco Gelato
One of Calgary’s biggest success stories is also one of the city’s tastiest treats.
77. The Cowtown Webseries
78. Fish Creek Park
The second largest urban park in Canada after Pippy Park in St. John’s!
All the meat. All the poutine.
One time I went there and they were serving fiddleheads, which alone makes them deserving of this list.
81. Poppy Plaza
While it wasn’t initially my favourite, it’s grown on me.
82. These bike counters
So many cyclists are using the tracks, the sign capped out early.
83. Neil Zeller’s photos of Calgary
84. Chinook Arc
Put your phone up to it, play some music and see it light up!
85. Village Ice Cream
No matter the weather, it’s always time for Village Ice Cream.
86. Quarry Park
A hidden gem just off the Deerfoot.
87. The Bow Tower
The nicest building Calgary has had in years. Now if only it would let the public enjoy its sky gardens.
The place to go if you want to save money at the Calgary Stampede.
89. This house
90. This shop dog
91. Camp Brand Goods
I dare you to find me comfier clothes.
92. The big ol’ sky
This public art was first installed in 1980. It was installed today, it would be called “Blame NDP.”
Walk in. Order Everything.
95. Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
I’ve ever never seen any birds there, but it’s still really pretty.
96. The wall at Fresh Laundry
Touch it. You know you wanna.
97. The rides at the Calgary Stampede
One waffle is never enough.
Twelve is barely scratching the surface.
99. The 150 off leash dog parks
Fido never had it so good.
100. The Root Beer float at The Beltliner.