Calgary can be a tough town to adapt to–mainly because of the climate. But there ARE many things here I’ve learned to LOVE. Here’s just a few.
1. The Ruins; Lindsay’s Folly— Calgary has 2 sets of cool ruins. The crumbled bricks of a man’s incomplete and ruined mansion-cum-money pit alongside the Elbow (Lindsay’s Folly), and The Rundle Ruins (the old sandstone Glenmore Hospital) near 12th Ave and 6th St. Only doorways and arches are left, but they’re gorgeous. Click HERE to read an article I wrote for Avenue Magazine on the ruins and their future.
2. Crave Cupcakes. If you’ve never had one DON’T START! Luscious icing with spot-on flavours (crushed strawberry!) and the moistest cake this side of the 100th meridian.
3. Rene Thibault: an Alberta artist with an amazing eye for colour and detail. Sometimes his work looks like it’s been photographed, rather than painted. Thibault paints a lot of mountain landscapes, so our canvas often doubles as a window.
4. Charcut Roast House; for meat-loves only! Top Chef Canada contestant Connie DeSousa and partner John Jackson run the show here. Amazing what they can do with food. Some past faves include the Chicken-skin Caesar Salad, White Beans with Nettle Pistou, and the house made poutine.
5. The Cookbook Co. Great food and ingredients, amazing kitchen tools ( I love my Cuisinart cylindrical ice cream scoop!) and a wine shop to round out the meal preparations shopping. ‘Nuff said.
6. J Webb Wines; great selection of unique wines, spot-on recommendations from interested, smart staff, and a tasting bar that’s always open.
8. The Calgary Stampede Rodeo; a die hard city girl, I’ve never considered myself to be the least bit “country”. But when the Stampede rolls around, I get my cowgirl on! The rodeo is chock full of amazing athletes, action, and a beautiful outdoor setting, taking full advantage of Calgary’s limited summer sunshine.
10. Manuel Latruwe Take n Bake Frozen pastries ; this downtown cafe is phenomenal. Glossy cakes fill the display cases, and the espresso is some of the best in town (take a bag home!), but my fave is grabbing a pack of take home chocolate croissants. Take them out of the freezer, let them rise overnight, and bake first thing Saturday morning. Weekends never had it so good!
11. The Peace Bridge; Let’s be honest. EVERYONE hated the idea when it was rolled out. probably because of its lack of public consultation, multi-million dollar price, and construction mistakes that delayed opening. But now that we have it, it’s a gorgeous, modern landmark. Beautiful both during the day and night. Future city icon.
12. The Bow Building & Wonderland; tallest building in the city now, it took years to put up and included a massive 2-day concrete pour. Home to one of the city’s myriad oil companies, the building is beautiful and soaring. The Wonderland sculpture out front is constantly surrounded by people. A giant metal-mesh girl’s head it looks different in every different kind of weather. And that can happen all in one day in Calgary!