Calgary is a city of neighborhoods; 180 of them within the city limits alone. Many of the suburban neighborhoods are built around a lake or park, while the neighborhoods downtown are often shopping areas or house companies in the same industry. Here are a few of the highlights.
Downtown and Stephen Avenue Walk
The Downtown Commercial Core is the most business oriented and has some of the tallest buildings in western Canada. Many of it’s buildings are connected by the +15 system, a network of enclosed walkways that are 15 or more feet off the ground. The Commercial Core is divided into the Government District, Arts District, Cultural District, and Olympic Plaza. It’s home to the Stephen Avenue Walk, the main retail area downtown that has some of the city’s biggest malls. Stephen Ave is also known as 8th Ave, and the walk begins around Centre St.
West End and East Village
On either side of the Commercial Core is the West End and the Downtown East Village. These are the residential areas downtown, although they still have relatively few people living in them compared to areas further from downtown.
North of downtown is Eau Claire, a relaxed neighborhood with a nice large park along the Bow River. Prince’s Island is another park in the area, making a great place to bring a family. It’s also home to many of the festivals Calgary hosts during the summer. The Beltline is a neighborhood located directly south of downtown and is the most populated district in the area.
Chinatown is to the east of Downtown near Sien Lok Park, where Centre St hits the Bow River. If you want to see the area in full force, come on a Sunday when the streets are swarming with people. Sit at one of the small restaurants or peruse the shops while you people watch.
Kensington is northwest of downtown near 10th St and the Bow River. There’s a nice bike path along the river here, plus the area is full of small little shops and restaurants. The whole area has a funky vibe.
Uptown 17 is Calgary’s party street. It’s 17th Ave SW next to Pengrowth Stadium, where the Calgary Flames play. It’s about a mile southeast of downtown. The whole area is lined with bars and nightclubs that are full any night of the week, but especially on game days.
Inglewood is just northeast of Pengrowth Stadium along the Bow River south of the zoo. Inglewood has a relaxed, old city vibe, with hundreds of buildings nearly a century old. It is a mix of coffee shops, antique stores, and neat little restaurants.
Marda Loop is the area surrounding 33rd Ave and 20th St SW. It’s full of trendy stores and coffee houses and is designed to be pedestrian friendly. Further development has brought in townhomes and apartments, so it has a funky urban feel.