117 14th Street SW, Calgary, AB
With a metropolitan population of 1.2 million, Calgary is the fifth largest city in Canada and the largest in the province of Alberta. Although Europeans began settling the area in 1787, it was a huge reserve of oil discovered in 1947 that launched Calgary as a major city. Its population grew by 68% in the eighteen years between 1971 and 1989, with its lowrise downtown quickly converting into a city dense with skyscrapers. In 1988 it became the first city in the country to host the Winter Olympics. Calgary’s cold winters are broken by warm, dry, Chinook winds that give Calgarians a break from the cold several times each winter. Summers typically are warm with cool evenings and the city is among the sunniest in Canada.
Calgary continues to be one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, driven by an economy closely tied to the petroleum industry. Agriculture and ranching are still key components of the local economy, with the world famous Calgary Stampede, held each July, attracting well over a million tourists each year. The nearby mountain towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Canmore are bringing in increasing numbers of tourists who also visit Calgary for its many festivals and attractions. The city has the second highest concentration of head offices in Canada, after Toronto. Situated on the Trans Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, Calgary is an important hub for the nation’s freight.
Downtown Calgary features a mix of restaurants, bars, cultural venues, shopping and public squares and contains the Devonian Gardens, one of the world’s largest urban indoor gardens. Located immediately south of the downtown core is the Beltline District, now one of the densest areas of Calgary with the popular 17th Avenue strip a major attraction for its lively nightlife and eclectic mix of shopping venues. Downtown is easily accessed by Calgary’s C-Train light rail system.
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