Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Western Canada Diaries - 3. Calgary

[ Continued from Part 2 - Planning ]

Calgary's official slogan is "Be Part of the Energy". They should just rename it to "Be Part of the (Oil) Energy". You get a reminder of how important Big Oil is in this province. Everything seems to be sponsored by them, even universities.

The size of Calgary really caught me by surprise. Coming from Toronto, we Torontonians are used to the importance of Toronto in Canada, and sort of visualize Toronto as the largest city in Canada. While that is true by population, when you take land area into consideration Calgary is much larger than Toronto.

You could start in one corner of Calgary, drive for 40 minutes and still be in Calgary. They have divided the city into four quadrants and most people live in the suburbs. Travelling from the NE corner to the NW corner can take half an hour, driving 90 km per hour on the wide, open highways.

When you compare with Toronto, Calgary is definitely cleaner. There’s no rubbish on the streets and even in the suburbs the houses are kept immaculate.  However the weather in Calgary is awful. It’s July - the middle of summer - when we went and the temperature is 13 degrees at night (and sometimes it fell to as low as two or three degrees!). I was shivering in the night, and reading about hot weather alerts of 37 degrees back home in Toronto! In the day it was a comfortable 20 degrees ... if it wasn't raining cats and dogs.

There's not a lot of unique things to see in Calgary (you get a stadium, a tower, a zoo etc. everywhere), but there are a few. Most people spend a couple of days in the city before they hit the Rockies, which is what we did.

Next post: Calgary Olympic Plaza.


Roshni said...

Very interesting! I have not visited Canada but would dearly love to!

nadia said...

Two or three degrees during summer nights is crazy! Winter must be long and dreadful.

mezba said...

Roshni, please visit, but in the summer!

Nadia, yes, winter in Calgary is notorious.