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North America > Canada > Prairies > Alberta > Calgary Region > Calgary > Calgary/City Centre

Calgary/City Centre

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Calgary City Centre refers to the most urban and dense area of Calgary. The area is best known as the location of the Downtown Commercial Core.

Understand[edit]

The eastern skyline of Calgary, taken from the south (2016)

The following neighbourhoods are a part of Calgary City Centre:

  • Downtown (bordered by 14 Street SW on the west, the Bow River on the north, the Elbow River on the east and the CPR mainline tracks on the south). Contains the second largest concentration of head offices in Canada. The region is divided into several neighbourhoods. Downtown Calgary on Wikipedia
    • Downtown Commercial Core. Calgary's dense business area comprises the bulk of the downtown area. The commercial core is also divided into a number of districts including the Entertainment District (includes Stephen Avenue), Cultural District (includes Olympic Plaza), and the Government District.
    • Chinatown (bordered by 2 St SW on the west, the Bow River on the north, Macleod Trail on the east and 4 Ave S on the south). Canada's third largest Chinatown. It is the heart of Calgary's Asian diaspora, although much of northeast Calgary has a Pacific Rim influence. The area of about a half-dozen blocks is along Centre Street S, from 4 Ave S (on the south) to the Bow River (on the north). Calgary's Chinatown packs in a dense network of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and other Asian restaurants, shops, housing and cultural facilities. Chinatown, Calgary on Wikipedia
    • Downtown East Village (East Village) (bordered by 3 St SE on the west, the Bow River on the north, the Elbow River on the east and the CPR mainline tracks on the south). The East Village has seen a great amount of redevelopment since the late 2000s, including several restaurants in the historic Simmons Mattress Factory building, and several new condo towers, with several more under construction. The neighbourhood is host to the National Music Centre of Canada and New Central Library. Downtown East Village, Calgary on Wikipedia
    • Downtown West End (West End) (bordered by 14 St SW on the west, the Bow River on the north, the 9 St SW on the east and the CPR mainline tracks on the south). The West End is a high-rise, high-density residential neighbourhood to the west of the Downtown Commercial Core. Downtown West End, Calgary on Wikipedia
    • Eau Claire (bordered by 9 St SW on the west, the Bow River on the north, 2 St SW on the east and 3 Ave SW on the south). A mix of riverside condominiums, shopping, restaurants, hotels, a large public plaza and urban parkland make Eau Claire one of Calgary's most popular areas. Contained within Eau Claire is the city's Festival District. Eau Claire, Calgary on Wikipedia
  • The Beltline and 17th Avenue. 17th Avenue SW is Calgary's première place to see and be seen. It boasts a large and eclectic variety of restaurants, unique shops, boutiques, and bars. This street is where Calgary parties, most notably becoming the "Red Mile" during the 2004 Stanley Cup ice hockey playoffs, where up to 100,000 cheering fans gathered to celebrate victories by the hometown NHL Calgary Flames. While the Beltline spans from the Stampede Grounds and Victoria Park on the east to Mount Royal on the west, the dense nightlife on 17th Avenue starts at about 2nd Street SW and goes to 15th Street SW. Beltline, Calgary on Wikipedia
  • Mission and 4th Street (Rouleauville). The Mission district was established as a French and Catholic settlement (later called Rouleauville) at the same time that Calgary was founded. Historic displays at Rouleauville Square and the Elbow River Promenade tell the story of the area. In many ways, Mission acts as an extension of 17th Avenue. Like the Beltline, it is packed full of interesting restaurants and shops. It does not share 17th Avenue's late night reputation, however, and it generally lacks the bars and nightclubs. Mission extends from 4th Street SW to 1st Street SE and from 17th Avenue SW in the north to 26th Avenue and the Elbow River in the south. Mission, Calgary on Wikipedia
  • Mount Royal. Mount Royal is a neighbourhood south of the downtown with charming old homes on winding streets. The area houses some of Calgary's elite. It is a nice area to do a quiet stroll through, admiring old residences. Driving around the community can be challenging due to the preponderance of traffic calming measures and street closures to prevent cut-through traffic. Mount Royal, Calgary on Wikipedia

Get in[edit]

Map of Calgary/City Centre

By CTrain[edit]

CTrain LRT lines both run on 7 Avenue S in downtown downtown: the Red Line (Route 201) runs from Tuscany station in the Northwest to Somerset/Bridlewood station in the south (serving both the Southeast and Southwest), passing attractions the Stampede grounds. The Blue Line (Route 202) runs from Saddletowne station in the Northeast, to 69th Street station in the Southwest. LRT platforms are labelled with reference to station termini rather than by compass direction, and the trains are well signed. 7 Avenue S is a free-fare zone.

There is no direct access to the Calgary International Airport; however, travelers can take the Blue Line to McKnight-Westwinds station and transfer to bus #100.

By bus[edit]

Calgary Transit operates numerous bus routes into the City Centre. Routes of interest include:

Express (limited stops)
  • #300 (BRT): connects to the Calgary International Airport via Centre Street.
  • #301 (BRT): serves north/central Calgary (both Northeast and Northwest) via Centre Street; terminating at the North Pointe Park & Ride.
  • #302 (BRT): connects the Southeast Calgary, including the South Health Campus.
  • #305 (BRT): connects to Kensington and WinSport (Canada Olympic Park) in Northwest Calgary.
  • MAX Purple (#307): connects to Inglewood, Forest Lawn, and East Hills in Southeast Calgary.
  • ICE (Intercity Express Service: #901 & #902): operated by Airdrie Transit, connects to the city of Airdrie.
Regular Service

There are numerous bus routes, see Calgary Transit for additional information. Routes of interest include:

  • #1: Kensington and Bowness in Northwest Calgary to Inglewood and Forest Lawn in Southeast Calgary.
  • #2: runs down 17 Avenue SW (west of 8 Street SW) and Centre Street.
  • #3: runs down Elbow Drive, 4 Street SW, and Centre Street.
  • #6: runs down 17 Avenue SW (east of 17A Street SW) and 1 Street SW.
  • #90: runs down 11 Avenue SW (westbound) & 12 Avenue SW (eastbound) west of 1 Street SW.

By car[edit]

Deerfoot Trail (Highway 2), is the main north-south freeway, passes east of the City Centre, and can be accessed primarily via Memorial Drive (which connects to 4 Avenue S and 5 Avenue S in the downtown core), or alternatively via 17 Avenue SE and 9 Avenue SE. Crowchild Trail passes on the western edge of the City Centre, and can accessed primarily via Bow Trail (becomes 6 Avenue S and 9 Avenue S in the downtown core), with both Memorial Drive and 17 Avenue SW providing alternate routes. Macleod Trail is the main access route from the south, while 14 Street W, Centre Street, and Edmonton Trail (becomes 4 Avenue S and 5 Avenue S in the downtown core) provide northern access. Centre Street between the downtown core and 20 Avenue N has lane reversal during peak periods, so be mindful of overhead electronic signs.

Calgary's downtown core is bounded by the Bow River to the north, the railway tracks to the south (between 9 Ave S and 10 Ave S), 11 St W, and 4 St E. Almost all of the roads in the downtown core are one-way, so look carefully at your map for the direction of traffic on each road when planning your trip. When driving in downtown, watch for one-way signs. 7 Avenue S in the downtown core is for Calgary Transit buses and C-Trains (trams) only; cars driving on 7th Ave may be ticketed and will definitely draw stares and glares from waiting transit commuters.

For many years, parking in downtown Calgary has been the second most expensive in North America, after New York City's. Parking fees of over $25/day are not unusual. Street parking in downtown (and many other parts of the city) is through the city's ParkPlus system. You will find a ParkPlus pay station in every block. Before you leave your parking spot, note the 4-digit ParkPlus zone number on a sign near your car. Also note your rental car's licence plate number. Go to the ParkPlus pay station, where you will need to type in that information, and pay for your parking either with a credit card or with coins ($2, $1, $0.25). If you set up a ParkPlus account before your visit, you can pay using your cell phone. The MyParking app can help you find available parking more quickly.

On foot[edit]

Downtown Calgary is a compact area which is easily accessible on foot. The pathway system, Eau Claire Market area and Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Avenue) are the primary walking destinations of downtown workers in the warmer months. In the wintertime, everyone navigates their way around the downtown core via the Plus 15 system, so called because the enclosed walkways joining buildings are approximately 15 feet (5 m) above ground.

By bicycle[edit]

Calgary has cycle tracks in the downtown core. (A cycle track is a bike lane that is protected from other traffic by physical barriers, such as concrete medians.)

  • The 7th St SW cycle track goes from the Bow River to 8th Ave SW.
  • There are cycle tracks along 5th St W, 8th Ave S-Stephen Avenue Walk-9th Ave S, and 12th Ave S.

Check the City of Calgary's cycle track map for details.

There are pathways along both the Bow and Elbow rivers. Cycling is not allowed on 7 Avenue S between 1 Street SE and 8 Street SW as it is reserved for Calgary Transit vehicles and emergency vehicles; offenders risk a $350 ticket.

Cyclists must obey the same rules of the road as other vehicles. All cyclists must have a working bell on their bike, and cyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Only cyclists under 14 may ride on sidewalks.

See[edit]

Landmarks[edit]

Saddledome and Calgary skyline
Stephen (8th) Avenue
  • 1 Calgary Tower, 101 9th Ave SW (corner of 9 Ave SW & Centre St), +1 403-266-7171. Jun-Aug 9AM-10PM, Sept-May 9AM-9PM. The Calgary Tower may not be quite as impressive as the CN Tower in Toronto, but it still commands a great view over the city and the surroundings. On a clear day you can see the Rockies to the west. It features a revolving gourmet restaurant, a bar, and an observation deck. The tower is best approached from 9th Avenue, as the 10th Avenue side is dominated by railway tracks, parking lots, & parkades. $18/adult, $16/senior, $9/child. Calgary Tower (Q1026689) on Wikidata Calgary Tower on Wikipedia
  • 2 Saddledome (Scotiabank Saddledome), 555 Saddledome Rise SE (inside Stampede Park, near Olympic Way & 12 Ave SE; use Victoria Park/Stampede CTrain station). On the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, Calgary's largest hockey arena plays host to the Calgary Flames (ice hockey), the Calgary Hitmen (junior ice hockey), the Calgary Roughnecks (box lacrosse), and many concerts. Scotiabank Saddledome (Q1140083) on Wikidata Scotiabank Saddledome on Wikipedia
  • 3 Stampede Park, 1410 Olympic Way SE (from the C-Train Rte 201, get off at either Victoria Park/Stampede Station (N end of Stampede grounds) or Erlton/Stampede Station (S end of Stampede grounds)). The site of Calgary's world-famous exhibition and rodeo, the Stampede Park is east of the Beltline in Victoria Park. Not only are the grounds the site of the excitement of every July's Calgary Stampede, they also house a conference and exhibition centre (the BMO Centre) and a casino. Calgary Stampede (Q1026682) on Wikidata Calgary Stampede on Wikipedia

Museums & educational attractions[edit]

  • 4 Calgary Central Library (New Calgary Central Library), 800 3 St SE (3 St SE between 7 Ave SE and 9 Ave SE; SE of the City Hall LRT station). M-Th 9AM-8PM; F 9AM-6PM; Sa 9AM-5PM; Su noon-5PM. Flagship branch of the Calgary Public Library, opened on November 1, 2018. 240,000-square-foot (22,000 m2) interior centres around a four-storey central atrium topped by a skylight. The lower floors contain the library's meeting spaces and activity centres, while the upper floors feature book stacks with space for 450,000 titles and a reading room. Also features a 340-seat theatre, conference rooms, and small café. Named one of the 12 Most Anticipated Buildings of 2018 by Architectural Digest. free. Calgary Central Library (Q24262318) on Wikidata Calgary Central Library on Wikipedia
  • 5 Bow Valley College, 345 6 Avenue SE (served by City Hall CTrain station), +1 403-410-1400, toll-free: +1-866-428-2669. Offers year-round career programs that lead to certificates, diplomas, and post-diploma certificates, as well as adult upgrading and English language learning. Also offers career services and specialized services that help newcomers to Canada. Bow Valley College (Q4950663) on Wikidata Bow Valley College on Wikipedia
  • 6 Chinese Cultural Centre, 197 1 Street SW, +1 403-262-5071, . Cultural Centre: 9AM-9PM daily; Museum: 11AM-5PM daily. Located in Chinatown, the centre piece of the complex is modeled after the Hall of Prayers of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The Chinese Artifacts Museum is located on the lower level of the centre. Exhibits include the story of Chinese immigration in Canada, and the history of the Chinese community in Calgary. There are also replicas of different kinds of Chinese artifacts, including Terracotta warriors, mahogany furniture set, ceramics, sculptures, clothing, bronze pieces and art. Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre (Q2190639) on Wikidata Chinese Cultural Centre, Calgary on Wikipedia
  • 7 Fort Calgary, 750 9th Ave SE, +1 403-290-1875. 9AM-5PM. Fort Calgary, a Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP, now RCMP) fort was built in 1875 at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers (near modern Inglewood). It became the nucleus around which Calgary grew. The original fort was destroyed decades ago. Today's Fort Calgary is a museum and historic site focusing on the history of the city and of the RCMP. $12/adult, $11/concession, $7/youth, $5/child. Fort Calgary (Q5470884) on Wikidata Fort Calgary on Wikipedia
  • 8 Glenbow Museum, 130 9th Ave SE, +1 403-268-4100. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Western Canada's largest museum, with over 93,000 ft² (8,600 m2) of exhibition space on three floors. More than 20 galleries are filled with artifacts from Glenbow's collection of over a million objects, emphasizing local history. Permanent exhibitions include Indigenous Cultures, Western Canadian History, Asian Art, West African Art, and Military History. The Glenbow has changed focus to be more of an art gallery, and this is reflected in the temporary exhibitions. Free on the first Thursday of the month 5PM-9PM. $16/adult, $11/concession, $10/child, $40/family, +5% GST. Glenbow Museum (Q1530896) on Wikidata Glenbow Museum on Wikipedia
  • 9 Lougheed House (Beaulieu National Historic Site), 707 13 Avenue SE, +1 403-244-6333, . House: W-F 11AM-4PM; Sa Su 10AM-4PM Garden: 7AM-sundown daily. Historical mansion and National Historic Site; it was built in 1891 by Senator James Alexander Lougheed (grandfather Peter Lougheed, 10th Premier of Alberta). Lougheed House has been a family residence, a training centre for young women, a women's military barracks, and a blood donor clinic before it was restored in 2000. The public can visit both the house and its gardens. $8.50/adult, $6.50/seniors & students, $5/child (ages 6-12), free/child (under 6). Lougheed House (Q1671723) on Wikidata Lougheed House on Wikipedia

Skyline[edit]

Many Calgarians are understandably proud of the city's collection of skyscrapers. What's more impressive are the clear views you can get of downtown from certain spots around the city, sometimes with the mountains in the background.

Calgary skyline, taken from the north (2018)

Some of these listings are in different districts. Their listings are in here because the views are of central and pertain to the article. At the end of the listings that are not in this district there are links to that district.

  • 10 Crescent Road viewpoint (from 16 Ave NW, turn south on 8 St NW until 13 Avenue NW where you turn east until 7 A St NW where you turn south, then go until Crescent Road NW where you turn west onto said street, then take your first left (or south) turn and then drive down that a tiny bit until you think it is okay, then stop and admire -- do not go past 13 Ave). This ridgetop gives a great view of Prince's Island Park and downtown Calgary. Follow the pathway to a staircase going down the hillside for more varied perspectives.
  • 11 Enmax Park, Elbow River Pathway (view from Salisbury St SE south of 9th Ave SE). Salisbury Street is in a residential area on the east side of Enmax Park. There are houses on one side of the street and, on the other, a great view of the Saddledome, Stampede Grandstand, Calgary skyline and the Calgary Tower.
  • 12 Nose Hill viewpoint. The views of downtown Calgary from Nose Hill Park can only be accessed on foot or by bicycle. Park your car at one of the parking lots near the top of the hill (opposite Edgemont Blvd NW or Berkely Gate NW) and then head towards the southern edge of the hill.
  • 13 Scotsman's Hill viewpoint (6 St SE between Salisbury Rd SE and Spiller Rd SE). The top of this very high riverbank overlooks the Stampede Grandstand. It is a good place to watch the fireworks which are scheduled every evening during Stampede week after the chuckwagon races and the stage show (11PM). The parking in the neighbourhood is 'permit only' so you must park elsewhere, walk up the hill and watch the fireworks for free.
  • 14 Tom Campbell's Hill Park viewpoint, 25 Saint George's Drive (take Calgary Zoo exit from Memorial Drive, then head toward the top of the prominent hill just north of the Bow River and the zoo). Views of the confluence of the Bow River and Nose Creek, with the towers of downtown Calgary off to the southwest.
  • 15 River Park viewpoint, 4500 14A St SW. 5AM-11PM. In Calgary's southwest on ridge above Sandy Beach, large designated off-leash area.

Parks[edit]

Olympic Plaza
Prince's Island Park
  • 16 Central Memorial Park (Memorial Park), 1221 2 Street SW. Central Memorial Park (also known as Memorial Park) is Calgary’s oldest park. Completed in 1912 and redeveloped in 2009, the grounds were modeled after a formal Victorian garden featuring geometric pathways, elaborate garden beds, and rows of imported and native trees. The park features monuments for soldiers who fought in the Boer War and World War I. Central Memorial Park (Q5061417) on Wikidata Central Memorial Park on Wikipedia
  • 17 Devonian Gardens, 317 7 Ave SW (4th floor of TD Square), +1 780-987-3054. The Devonian Gardens is a large indoor urban park in TD Square, above the shopping area. After closing for several years for extensive renovations, Calgary's Devonian Gardens reopened for visitors in 2012. Free. Devonian Gardens (Q5267815) on Wikidata Devonian Gardens (Calgary) on Wikipedia
  • 18 Olympic Plaza, 800 block of Macleod Trail SE (corner of 8 Ave SE and Macleod Trail). This public square was built as the site of medal presentations during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. It continues to host free public events and festivals. During the summer, waders can enjoy the water-filled plaza, while winter visitors can go skating. Also the site of Calgary's "Women are Persons!" sculpture, celebrating a landmark achievement in the status of women in Canada. Calgary's quaint old City Hall is across the street from the north-east corner of Olympic Park. Olympic Plaza (Q3390019) on Wikidata Olympic Plaza (Calgary) on Wikipedia
  • 19 Prince's Island Park, immediately north of Eau Claire in the Bow River (from downtown, there are bridges to the park near the end of 2 St SW, 3 St SW and 6 St SW). Calgary's largest inner city park is an island with a number of pleasant trails for walking and relaxing. In the summer, it plays host to Shakespeare by the Bow and it is also the site of one of the city's largest annual festivals: the Calgary Folk Music Festival. Prince's Island Park (Q1323946) on Wikidata Prince's Island Park (Calgary) on Wikipedia
  • 20 Shaw Millennium Park (Millennium Park), 1220 9 Avenue SW (near Downtown-West Kirby CTrain station). Canada's largest free outdoor skatepark, with 75,000 sq ft of skateable surfaces. The facility is also used to host events such as the Calgary International Reggae Festival. Millennium Park (Q6858904) on Wikidata Millennium Park (Calgary) on Wikipedia

Sports complexes[edit]

  • 21 Repsol Sport Centre (Talisman Centre), 2225 Macleod Trail S, +1 403-233-8393. M-F 5AM-11PM, Sa 6AM-10PM, Su 7AM-10PM. Near the Stampede Grounds and just south of downtown, Repsol Sport Centre is a multi-sport centre used by both recreational and Olympic-level athletes. Facilities include two 8-lane 50 m long Olympic-size swimming pools, a dive tank with spring boards and platforms for 3 m, 5 m, 7 m, and 10 m dives, shallow teaching pool, 5 full-size gyms, 2 running tracks, fitness centre for cardio & weight training, basketball and volleyball courts, classes. $14 adult/$8.75 youth. Repsol Sport Centre (Q7679567) on Wikidata Repsol Sport Centre on Wikipedia

Walk & shop[edit]

  • 22 Barclay Parade (3 St SW between Eau Claire Ave SW and 8/Stephen Ave SW). Barclay Parade (3 St SW) is a pedestrian-friendly section of downtown street that runs from Eau Claire Market in the north to Stephen Avenue (8 Ave S) in the south. It is home to a number of high end shops.
  • 23 Chinatown (Area around Centre St S and 2 Ave S). Canada's third largest Chinatown is in the northeast portion of downtown Calgary. It is the heart of Calgary's Asian diaspora, although much of northeast Calgary has a Pacific Rim influence. The area of about a half-dozen blocks is along Centre Street S, from 4 Ave S (on the south) to the Bow River (on the north). Calgary's Chinatown packs in a dense network of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese and other Asian restaurants, shops, housing and cultural facilities. The area along Centre Street on the north side of the river almost functions as a loosely organized "second Chinatown" with Chinese-oriented businesses stretching for 20 or more blocks. Chinatown (Q5100137) on Wikidata Chinatown, Calgary on Wikipedia
  • 24 Stephen Avenue (8 Avenue S) (8 Ave S between Macleod Tr SE and 3 St SW). One of Calgary's most famous streets, Stephen Avenue was declared a National Historic District by the Canadian government. The street is lined with many attractive older buildings. It is a major venue for boutique shopping, bars, pubs and restaurants. The mall is closed to vehicle traffic from 6AM-6PM daily. Stephen Avenue (Q1165325) on Wikidata Stephen Avenue on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

Central Memorial Park and the Beltline viewed from the Calgary Tower

Gamble[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

  • 3 Arts Commons, 205 8 Avenue SE (adjacent to Olympic Plaza), +1 403-294-7455, . Ats Commons hosts the three best-known professional theatre groups; the conservative Theatre Calgary, the more adventurous Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP), and the downright avant-garde One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre (OYR). The facility has two additional theatres, so other companies often produce shows here. Of special note is OYR's High Performance Rodeo festival, which runs for January and provides a wildly eclectic mix of performing arts (and performance art). Arts Commons is the venue for many other concerts and events throughout the year. $10–99. Arts Commons (Q5323846) on Wikidata Arts Commons on Wikipedia
    • 4 Jack Singer Concert Hall, 225 8 Avenue SE. Jack Singer Concert Hall, part of Arts Commons, is a 1,800-seat concert hall and home to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra which presents everything from buttoned-down traditional classical music to pops to symphonies for children.
  • 5 Vertigo Theatre, 161, 115-9 Ave SE (at the base of the Calgary Tower), +1 403-221-3708. is dedicated to producing mystery plays, ranging from musicals to straight-up whodunnits. A second studio theatre frequently hosts other companies.
  • 6 The Grand (formerly Theatre Junction GRAND), 608 1 Street SW, +1 403-205-2922. Offers a slate of highly contemporary theatre and performing arts, and the venue also hosts music and other events. $20-30. Theatre Junction GRAND (Q7737462) on Wikidata Theatre Junction GRAND on Wikipedia
  • 7 Pumphouse Theatre, 2140 Pumphouse Ave SW, +1 403-263-0079. Two theatres in a historic brick waterworks building play host to a large part of Calgary's semi-pro and community theatre scene, with new productions here every week. $20-40.
  • 8 Lunchbox Theatre, 160, 115 9 Ave SW (in the Calgary Tower), +1 403-265-4292. Shows M-Sa at 12:10PM and F at 6:10PM. This unique theatre company produces exclusively one-act plays, during the weekday noon lunch hour. Typically lighter fare suitable for a downtown corporate crowd. $22.
  • 9 Yuk Yuks (Mark Breslin's Yuk Yuks), 218 18 Ave SE (Elbow River Casino), +1 403-258-2028, . Stand-up comedy. $12-39.
  • 10 Calgary Opera, 1315 – 7 St SW (Arrata Opera Centre), +1 403-262-7286, . Calgary's oldest opera company presents several operas each year at their Arrata Opera Centre and the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. $37-163.
  • 11 National Music Centre (Studio Bell), 850 4 Street SE, +1 403-543-5115, toll-free: +1 800-213-9750, . W–Su 10AM–5PM, Tours 11AM, 12:30PM, and 2PM, open all of July and Christmas Day and Boxing Day. A collection of antique and notable musical instruments is available to the public by guided tour. The collection includes the Elton John songwriting piano and the famous TONTO synthesizer, as well as many antique pianos and organs, and the artifacts of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Housed in Studio Bell, a $191-million building designed by the Portland architect Brad Cloepfil. $0-18. National Music Centre (Q18167808) on Wikidata National Music Centre on Wikipedia

Buy[edit]

The Core Shopping Centre and Barclay Parade
  • 1 Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade (corner of 2 St and 2 Ave SW), +1 403-264-6450. M-W Sa 10AM-6PM, Th-F 10AM-8PM, Su 11AM-5PM. A unique market-style mall with interesting shops, restaurants and cinemas.
  • 2 Stephen Avenue Walk, 8 Ave S between 1 St SE and 4 St SW. Stephen Avenue Walk is a pedestrianized section of 8 Ave SW in the heart of Calgary's downtown core. It is home mostly to restaurants and some bars, but you will still find some major retail shops fronting it. Stephen Avenue is also home to most of the downtown mall called the Core. Stephen Avenue is also a Canadian National Historic District. A downloadable self-guided walking tour is available.
  • 3 The Core Shopping Centre (The Core - TD Square), 333 7 Ave SW (between 2 St SW and 2 St SW and between 7 Ave SW and 8 Ave SW. Accessed from the 3rd Street SW (eastbound) and 4th Street SW (westbound) LRT stations). The Core consists of TD Square, the Holt Renfrew building, and the former Calgary Eaton Centre, is the dominant enclosed shopping complex in the downtown core. It spans three city blocks and contains approximately 160 retailers on four levels. The Core Shopping Centre (Q1233775) on Wikidata The Core Shopping Centre (Calgary) on Wikipedia
  • 4 17th Ave (Uptown 17). Calgary's best-known urban business street is home to chains like Best Buy and Pet Planet, and independent businesses like Gravity Pope. If you're dropping from all the shopping, the heart of the strip is little Tomkins Park at 17th Ave near 8th St, filled with nice shade and cozy benches.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 The Big Cheese Poutinerie, 738 17 Ave SW, +1 403-457-2873. M–W 11AM–9PM; Th 11AM – 11PM; F Sa 11AM – 3:30AM; Su 11AM – 9PM. Basic indoor seating, lots of options on those poutine fries. Mains $7–10.
  • 2 Clive Burger, 736 17 Avenue SW, +1-403-229-9224. Su-Th 11AM-10PM; F Sa 11AM-2AM. All-natural burgers with vegetarian and gluten-free options. Offers craft beer and house-made custard shakes.
  • 3 Falafel King, 225 8 Ave SW, +1 403-269-5464. M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa 11AM-5PM. Middle Eastern food, falafel, chicken and beef shawarma, and the best hummus in the city. Fresh-squeezed juice on tap. $8–15.
  • 4 Meat & Bread, 821 1 Street SW, +1 403-764-6225. M-F 11AM-4PM. Simple menu but good food. There are four sandwiches, mostly focusing on roasted or braised meat (the Porchetta is the signature sandwich), and two sides that change daily. The bread is pretty dense but the portion of meat is generous so it's a filling meal. Sandwiches $10-11.
  • 5 Pho Pasteur Saigon, 207 1 St SE (Chinatown), +1 403-233-0477. M-F 10:30AM-7:30PM. Pho Pasteur Saigon is a favourite Vietnamese noodle joint. Filling and tasty and all for around $8. If they're busy, try Pho Hoai, inside the mall. $11-25.
  • 6 Tubby Dog, 1022 17 Ave SW, +1 403-244-0694. Tu-Th 11:30AM-10PM; F Sa 11:30AM-midnight; Su 11:30AM-8PM. Tubby Dog is a hot dog restaurant right on 17th Avenue, close to many of the bars. They offer huge hotdogs with toppings like nacho cheese, bacon bits, peanut butter and jelly, breakfast cereal, fried eggs, sausage, and potato chips. Some nights they have a DJ spinning in the corner, and other nights they have video game tournaments. Expect to wait in line if planning on going on a Friday or Saturday after partying on 17th. Second location at 731 10 Ave SW. $7-10 per dog.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 7 Charbar, 618 Confluence Way SE (Simmons Building), +1 403-452-3115. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM; F 11:30AM-midnight; Sa 10AM-midnight; Su 10AM-10PM. Sophisticated outpost featuring seafood, wood-fired steaks & craft cocktails, plus a rooftop patio.
  • 8 The Coup, 924B 17 Ave SW (door off a railed-in sidewalk area), +1 403-541-1041, . Lunch: M-F 11AM-3PM; brunch: Sa Su 9AM-3PM; dinner: M-Th 5-10PM, F Sa 5-11PM, Su 5-9PM. This all-vegetarian restaurant serves a variety of interesting flavours from largely organic and local ingredients. You may have to wait to get a seat in the cozy 32-seat dining room, since they take no reservations and seat at most six per table, but ask for a drink from their bar (called "Meet") as you wait. Try the yam fries as a side to the El Taco grilled tortilla wrap with shredded beets, or the War and Peas soba noodle salad. Plenty of vegan options. Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. dinner entrée $11-15 plus drinks and tax.
  • 9 James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant, 114 8 Ave SW (between 1 St SW & Centre St S), +1 403-262-0708. 11AM to 2AM or midnight Sundays. The pub is in a historic building and its interior has a nice vintage decor. Mixed review on food: Jalapeño & bacon burger was nice; Atlantic Salmon was overcooked.
  • 10 Grumans Delicatessen, 230 11 Avenue SE, +1 403-261-9003. 9AM-4PM daily. Jewish-inspired (mostly) traditional deli featuring knishes, latkes, and Montreal smoked meat. $12-18.
  • 11 N9NA (formerly Naina’s Kitchen), 121 17 Avenue SE (Beltline), +1 403-263-6355. M-W 11AM-9PM; Th-Su 11AM-11PM. Canadian comfort food featuring stuffed burgers and poutine. $11-19.
  • 12 Moti Mahal, 1805 14 St SW, +1 403-228-9990. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-1:30PM; dinner: Su-Tu 5:30-9PM; W Th 5:30-9:30PM, F Sa 5:30-10:30PM. Excellent Kashmiri Indian restaurant. Second location in Midnapore Mall. Main dishes $10-17.
  • 13 Orchid Room Fusion Cuisine, 513 8 Ave SW (Bankers Hall – 2nd floor), +1 403-263-4457. M-W 10AM-6PM, Th F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su closed. A fusion of Vietnamese, Thai, and French cuisine with dishes like seafood phó soup, caramelized salmon, coconut prawn soup, and salad rolls stuffed with mango and shrimp. $18-24 per main dish.
  • 14 OEB Breakfast Co., 2207 4 Street SW (Mission), +1 587 356-6323. 7AM-2:45PM daily. Second location at #110 222 5 Ave SW
  • 15 The Beltliner, 243 12 Avenue SW (Beltline), +1 587 955-1555. Su M 7AM-3PM; Tu-Sa 7AM-10PM. Modern and casual interpretation of the classic diner
  • 16 Ten Foot Henry, 1209 1 Street SW (Beltline), +1 403-475-5537. 11AM-11PM daily. Vegetable-anchored menu.
  • 17 Una Pizza + Wine, 618 17 Ave SW, . Daily 11:30AM-1AM. Very popular creative pizzas. No reservations, so go early, order take out, or line up. $17-20 per pizza.
  • 18 Calcutta Cricket Club, 340 17 Ave SW, +1-403-719-1555. Updated, small-plate versions of familiar Indian dishes & cocktails in a stylish, lively atmosphere.
  • 19 Monki Breakfastclub & Bistro, 1301 10 Ave SW (https://g.page/monki-beltline), +1-587-352-7131, . Mo-Th:8:30AM-3:00PM Fr:8:30AM-6:00PM Sa/Su:F:8:00AM-6:00PM. Rustic-chic daytime restaurant serving burgers & hearty breakfasts.

Splurge[edit]

  • 20 Blink, 111 8 Avenue SW (Stephen Avenue Walk), +1 403-263-5330, . Lunch: M-F 11AM-2PM; dinner: M-Sa 5-11PM. Canadian cuisine.
  • 21 Caesar's (Julius Caesar's Steakhouse and Lounge), 512 4 Ave SW, +1 403-264-1222. Lunch: M-F 11AM-2PM; dinner: M-Sa 4:30-10PM. A downtown Calgary institution since 1972, some say that Caesar's is a classic steakhouse, while others feel it's outdated & tacky. Second location in south Calgary.
  • 22 CharCUT, #101, 899 Centre St SW (Across from the Calgary Tower, in Hotel Le Germain), +1 403-984-2180. M Tu 11AM-11PM, W-F 11AM-1AM, Sa 5PM-1AM, Su 5-10PM. An great place for lunch or dinner if you're looking for meat; very few options for vegetarians. The slow roasted prime rib and chicken are their specialties, as well as the made-in-house cured meats. The wine list is varied and there is a selection of microbrews from across Canada. Mains $20-35.
  • 23 Hy's Steakhouse, 751 3 Street SW (inside The Core Shopping Centre), +1 403-663-3363. Lunch: M-F 11AM-4PM; Dinner: M-Sa 4-11PM, Su 4-9PM. Classy steakhouse that has served Calgary for over 60 years. Starters $6-16, Mains $28-52.
  • 24 La Chaumière, 139 17 Ave SW (Next to Rouleauville Square), +1 403-228-5690. M-F 11:45AM-2:30PM, 5:45PM-midnight, Sa 5:30PM-midnight, Su closed. French haute cuisine, local Alberta meats, game, and produce, excellent wine cellar. Banquet rooms for 14-100 people, patio in summer, business casual dress code. Reservations required. $26-40 per dinner main dish per person.
  • 25 Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, #294, 115 9 Ave SE (base of the Calgary Tower), +1 403-246-3636, . Lunch: M-F 11AM-2PM; dinner: M-Sa 4-10PM, Su 4-9PM. Carnivorous delight, with your choice of Alberta or US beef. $42-59 per main dish; main dish does not include side dishes (potatoes, vegs, etc.).
  • 26 Saltlik Steakhouse, 101 8 Ave SW (Stephen Avenue Walk), +1 403-537-1160. A high-end steakhouse in the core of downtown, extremely popular with the people working in the core for good reason. Food and service are generally excellent with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Steak is, as expected, quite good. More extravagant steak houses exist, but tend to be for the expense account crowd. $16-37 per main dish (dinner).
  • 27 Model Milk, 308 17 Ave SW, +1 403-265-7343, . Lactophobes need not fear a dairy-heavy menu. The restaurant's name is taken from the name of the dairy which occupied this building from 1932 until 1965. The restaurant's very popular fixed-menu Sunday supper ($35) is served until 10PM. $20-75.
  • 28 Q Haute Cuisine (formerly La Caille), 100 La Caille Pl SW, +1 403-262-5554. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-1:30PM; dinner: M-Sa 5:30-9PM. An epicurean journey of discovery that will make your tastebuds very happy.
  • 29 River Café, 25 Prince's Island Park (Prince's Island Park), +1 403-261-7670. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa Su 10AM-10PM; open until 11PM nightly during summer. One of Calgary's first locavore restaurants, River Cafe is in the middle of Prince's Island Park (see map). It's right on the lagoon where the Bow River passes though downtown, thus has no parking. Nearest parking lot is not far, but this can cause problems in bad weather or for diners with mobility issues. $32-52 per main dish (dinner).
  • 30 Sky 360, 101 9 Ave SW (top of the Calgary Tower), +1 403-532-7966, . Lunch: M-Sa 11AM-2PM; brunch: Su 10AM-2PM; dinner: Su-Th 5-9PM, F Sa 5-10PM. Revolving restaurant with a view. Ride up the Calgary Tower to restaurant is free with purchase of main dish. $25-43 per main dish (dinner).
  • 31 Teatro, 200 8 Ave SE (on Stephen Avenue Walk, next to Olympic Plaza), +1 403-290-1012. M-W 11:30AM-10PM, Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F 11:30AM-11PM, Sa 5-11PM, Su 5-10PM. Italian fine cuisine in a magnificent heritage building. Tasting menu available. $24-50 per person for main dish (dinner).

International[edit]

  • 32 Aňejo, #2 2116 4 Street SW (Mission), +1 587-353-2656, . Su-Th 11AM-11PM; F Sa 11AM-1AM. Mexican cuisine with 200+ tequilas.
  • 33 Japanese Village, 317 10 Avenue SW (Beltline), +1 403-262-2738. M-Th 11:45AM-2PM, 5-8:30PM; F 11:45AM-2PM, 5-9:30PM; Sa 3:45-9:30PM; Su 4:30-8:45PM. A teppan and steak house, they offer meals cooked with flair in front of your eyes. Tends to rush diners through.
  • 34 Rajdoot Restaurant, 2424 4 Street SW (Mission), +1 403-245-0181. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2PM; Dinner: M-Th, Su 5-10PM F Sa 5-11PM. One of the city's long-standing Indian restaurants, Rajdoot has operated from its 4th Street S.W. location for 25 years. $13+.
  • 35 Regency Palace, 328 Centre St SE (inside Dragon City Mall), + 1 403-777-2288. 10AM-10PM daily. Chinese cuisine.

Take-out only restaurants[edit]

Drink[edit]

  • 1 Ceili's Modern Irish Pub, 803 8 Ave SW, +1 403-265-1200. M-F 11AM-Late, Sa 6PM-Late, Su closed. Three other locations in Calgary: Royal Oak, Southland, & 4th Avenue downtown.
  • 2 Commonwealth, 731 10 Ave SW, +1 403-247-4663. We-Sa 9PM-2AM. One of the most popular nightclubs in the city for the younger (18-mid 20s) crowd. Plays a selection of hip-hop and dance music. Good drink prices on Saturdays, and a very energetic atmosphere.
    • 3 Broken City, 613 11 Ave SW, +1 403-262-9976. M-Th 4PM-2AM; F-Su 11AM-2AM. Commonwealth's darker, more lowkey cousin. Plays a variety of genres from rock to punk to hip-hop, but Saturday hip-hop nights tend to bring the biggest crowds. Energetic and varied clientele.
  • 4 Cowboys (Cowboys Dance Hall), 421 12 Avenue SE (located inside Cowboys Casino), +1 403-265-0699. W 10PM-2AM; Th-Sa 9PM-2AM. Nightclub.
  • 5 CRAFT Beer Market, 345 10 Avenue SW, +1 403-514-2337. M 11AM-midnight; Tu W 11-1AM; Th F 11-2AM; Sa 10-2AM; Su 10AM-midnight. 100 local and international beers, including a one-of-a-kind weekly cask brew, and an extensive list of wine, cocktails and spirits.
  • 6 HiFi Club, 219 10 Ave SW, +1 403-263-5222. Live music venue, dance club and art gallery for those who aren't cowboys/cowgirls and want some different, alternative music.
  • 7 Milk Tiger Lounge, 1410 4 St SW, +1 403-261-5009. Su 8PM-1AM; M 5PM-1AM; Tu-Sa 5PM-2AM.. Included in Conde Nast's 2015 list of the "Greatest Bars in the World", this snug lounge offers a variety of cocktails and drinks.
  • 8 Morgan's, 1324 17 Ave SW, +1 403-244-6670. A great live music pub with cheaper drinks than most places on 17th Ave. Tuesdays host the must-see Broken Toyz, an exceptionally talented glam-rock band who have become local legends. Get there before 9PM to avoid long line-ups. Often has a slightly older crowd than other establishments on 17th Ave, with more late 30s and 40s drinkers.
  • National (National Fine Food, Beer & Spirits). Restaurant & entertainment venue inspired by North American tastes, with games and events, extraordinary food, and select craft beers.
    • 9 National on 8th, 360 240 8 Avenue SW (+30 level, Scotia Centre), +1 403-237-5556. M 11AM-7PM; Tu 11AM-8PM; W 11AM-9PM; Th 11AM-10PM; F 11AM-midnight; Sa 5PM-midnight.
    • 10 National on 10th, 341 10 Avenue SW, +1 403-474-2739. M-W 11AM-11PM; Th 11AM-midnight; F Sa 11-2AM; Su 11AM-11PM.
    • 11 National on 17th, 550 17 Avenue SW, +1 403-474-2739. M-W 11AM-midnight; Th 11-1AM; F Sa 11-2AM; Su 11AM-midnight.
  • 12 The Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club, 109 7 Ave SW, +1 403-532-1911. Upstairs is a BBQ restaurant featuring various meats smoked over apple and cherry wood along with an expansive selection of bourbon, tequila and whisky. Fridays feature live rock-a-billy from 5-9PM while the downstairs bar features live music every Friday and Saturday evening.
  • 13 Rose & Crown Pub, 1503 4 St SW, +1 403-244-7757. M-W 11AM-midnight, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-11PM. Two level pub with a large wood fireplace during the winter. Live music, large beer selection. Once a funeral home, it is rumoured to be haunted.
  • 14 Ship and Anchor Pub, 534 17 Ave SW, +1 403-245-3333. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa-Su 10AM-2AM. An excellent place for live music, a lively young crowd, and cheap eats.
  • 15 The Twisted Element (Twisted), 1006 11 Ave SW, +1 403-802-0230. W 7PM–3AM, Th-Sa 9PM-3AM, Su 8PM–3AM, M-Tu closed. Calgary's only gay nightclub (although there is a leather bar with a heavy gay presence), Twisted has an incredible variety of clientèle. Mostly gay and bisexual men and a variety of lesbian, bisexual, and straight women. Wednesdays and Thursdays feature amateur strip contests (among a number of themes) and good drink specials.
  • 16 The Wednesday Room, #100 - 118 8 Ave SW (on Stephen Ave across from the Bank and Baron), +1 403-452-5080. Tu 11:30AM-12AM; W-F 11:30AM-1AM. A stylish and seductive 1960s-style cocktail lounge with a great selection of cocktails and interesting happy hour food items.
  • 17 Wurst, 2437 4 Street SW (Mission), +1 403-245-2345. M-W 11:30AM-11PM; Th 11:30-12AM Fr 11:30-2AM Sa 10-2AM Su 10AM-11PM. German gastropub.

Cafés[edit]

Starbucks and Tim Horton's are everywhere in Calgary. If you're looking for something different, try one of these.

  • 18 Analog Cafe, 740 17 Ave SW, +1 403-910-5959. Daily 6am-11pm. Local coffee chain serving Fratello coffee (sister company). Additional location at Bow Valley Square (205 5 Ave SW).
  • 19 Bumpy's Cafe, 1040 8 St SW, +1 403-265-0244, . M-F 6:30AM-5PM, Sa-Su 7:30AM-4PM. Great espresso in a retro-fifties setting. Two-time winner of the Krups Kup of Excellence.
  • 20 Caffe Artigiano, #103, 400 4 Ave SW (Shell Oil building). M-F 6AM-6PM, Sa-Su 7:30AM-5PM. Calgary outlet of Vancouver-based artisan coffee chain.
  • 21 DeVille Luxury Coffee and Pastries, 807 1 St SW (Fashion Central), +1 403-452-7777, . M-W 7AM-6PM, Th-F 7AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su closed.
  • 22 Lukes, #710 800 3 Street SE (Central Library), . M-F 8AM-8PM; Sa Su 9AM-6PM.
  • 23 Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters, 618 Confluence Way SE (Simmons Building), +1 587-353-2268. M-F 6:30AM-9PM, Sa 7:30AM-9PM, Su 7:30AM-6PM. Phil & Sebastian buy green coffee and operate their own roasterie. Three additional City Centre locations.
  • 24 Purple Perk Coffee Market, 2212 4 St SW (Mission / Rouleauville), +1 403-244-1300. Good place for coffee and cake or a meal.
  • 25 Rosso Coffee Roasters, 140 8 Ave SE (Telus Convention Centre), +1-403-264-7900. Local coffee company with direct sourced coffee, offers grab-and-go as well as a pour over bar. Four additional City Centre locations.
  • 26 Waves Coffee House, #205, 400 5 Ave SW (Roslyn), +1 403-930-1009. "Waves" refers both to the Vancouver origin of this coffee chain, and also to the fact that every location has free wi-fi. Three additional City Centre locations.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Hostelling International-Calgary City Centre (HI Calgary Hostel), 520 7 Ave SE, +1 403-269-8239, fax: +1 403-266-6227. On the edge of the East Village district, near bars, restaurants, shopping centres and transit. Free breakfast and wifi. Very clean and friendly, lots of space inside and outside. There are no age restrictions, so be prepared for the possibility of sharing a room with a retiree and an 18 year old! Dorm beds and private rooms available. $38-54/dormitory bed, $96-138 for private room with ensuite (prices depend on season).
  • 2 Wicked Hostels, 1505 MacLeod Tr SE, +1 403-265-8777, . 63 bed independently-owned boutique backpacker/international youth hostel. Free amenities include breakfast, wifi, long-distance calling, parking, golf clubs, and bicycles. Rooms are quite small and crowded; a party atmosphere is prevalent (even encouraged) on weekends. Across from the Calgary Stampede grounds and the Victoria Park/Stampede LRT (tram) station. It is also near the 17th Ave entertainment district. $32.50/8-bed dorm, $34.50/6-bed dorm, $36.50/4-bed dorm, $90 private double room plus tax.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

Fairmont Palliser Hotel

Connect[edit]

  • Calgary Public Library, +1 403-260-2600. Wifi available, free memberships available only to Calgary residents, guest passes available. Calgary Public Library# on Wikipedia
    • 1 Central Library (Calgary Public Library), 800 3 Street SE. M-Th 9AM-8PM, F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 12-5PM. Calgary Central Library (Q24262318) on Wikidata Calgary Central Library on Wikipedia
    • 2 Memorial Park Library (Calgary Public Library), 1221 2 Street SW (in Central Memorial Park). M-Th 10AM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12-5PM.

Stay safe[edit]

Urgent Care Centres[edit]

  • 1 Sheldon Chumir Centre (Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre), 1213 4 Street SW, +1 403-955-6200. 24 hours. Urgent care centres deal with issues which are not life-threatening but require attention within the same day or evening. For serious and life-threatening health concerns always go to your nearest emergency department, or call 911. Problems which urgent care centres typically deal with include broken bones, sprains, asthma, cuts, dehydration, infections, and pain. Sheldon M. Chumir Centre (Q7493529) on Wikidata Sheldon M. Chumir Centre on Wikipedia

Hospitals[edit]

See also: Calgary#Stay safe

There is no hospital in downtown Calgary. There nearest hospital is:

  • 2 Foothills Medical Centre (Foothills Hospital), 1403 29 Street NW, +1 403-944-1110. For patients aged 15 and older. Patients under 15 years of age should go to Alberta Children's Hospital, which is very close to Foothills Medical Centre. Foothills Medical Centre (Q8564404) on Wikidata Foothills Medical Centre on Wikipedia

Go next[edit]

Routes through City Centre
ENDSouthwest  W Blue Line (CTrain) E  NortheastEND
ENDNorthwest  W Red Line (CTrain) E  SoutheastSouthwest


This district travel guide to City Centre is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.