How to Ruin a Wonderful Space

The Devonian Gardens in 2007. Photo by norrix The Devonian Gardens were a wonderland. Located on the top floor of the TD Centre mall in downtown Calgary, the gardens were a fully-enclosed greenhouse of tropical plants and — best of all for a kid — a million nooks and crannies to explore. It seemed like […]

Wednesday in Calgary

Reminders of farmlands and country living now mix with a new generation of pioneer folk and industry. Home to big skies and the rocky prairies… we’re settling the West, and this is what it looks like today. While rightfully modern, Calgary’s still framed up with dairy silos, storage yards, and straw coloured fields.

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Prairie Skies Come to the City

Well known for snowy summers and minuteman weather tantrums, Calgary was treated to some magnificent cloud cover after this Thursday’s storm.

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The Three Little Pigs

A modern play on the fairy tale with three homes from Calgary’s Sunnyside and Crescent Heights area.

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“To the Glory of God”

Chinese United Church, Second Avenue SW, Calgary

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Postwar Ugly or Postwar Chic?

Calgary has a lot of squat apartment buildings built in the 1950s and 60s. Unlike their counterparts in Vancouver, which tend towards a breezy, pastel-coloured Art Moderne kind of style, these are typically clad in frumpy brown brick. They look cheap and outdated, but I’ve noticed a handful of such buildings that have undergone renovations […]

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Calgary Scrambles

I’m in Calgary at the moment. This is a fast-growing, fast-changing city, and there are a couple of interesting changes that I noticed while I was here. One of them is the introduction of two new scramble crossings in the Eau Claire neighbourhood of the city’s downtown area. Often associated with Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Crossing, […]

No Poor People Here

Every summer, Prince’s Island — a beautiful island park in the Bow River, right next to downtown Calgary — plays host to a number of large festivals, including the always-interesting folk music festival, which took place last week with some big headliners and great enthusiasm. These festivals are an asset to the cultural life of […]

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A City’s Former Self

Pierre Burton, the journalist, author and historian, once remarked of Calgary, “The two blocks between the Palliser Hotel and The Bay is the only part of the city that resembles its former self.” While that’s not altogether true (there are parts of town, like Inglewood and Ramsay, that retain the feel of a small prairie […]

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Something for Everyone

Ahh the Bowness Shopping Centre. If it’s not a power centre – it’s a strip mall; that’s just Calgary. Home to baked goods, groceries, and family videos, one can always sit back enjoy a coffee, get their nails done and pick up the latest Catholic reads. The strangest mishmash stores… complete with signs from another […]

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Behind the Tower

I took the Calgary Tower for granted when I saw it every day. Now I realize what a remarkable monument to late-sixties kitsch it really was. Built in 1967 by Husky Oil to commemorate the centennial of Canada’s confederation, its has no purpose other than as a monument — a really big monument capped by […]

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Hydro Pole Art

Hydro pole street art on 4th Street SW in the Mission

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Riding the C-Train

Waiting for a train at Centre Street station Afternoon on a Dalhousie-bound train Door button on a 1981-vintage train

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Construction Site

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that downtown Calgary is in the midst of a construction boom. Construction explosion, more like it. Nearly two dozen new condominium and office towers are under construction in the city’s compact centre; some are destined for obscurity but others, like Norman Foster’s The Bow, which […]

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