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Downtown Calgary, Part 3 (Self Guided), Calgary

Another walk in downtown Calgary, this time mostly focused on the historic aspects of the city. The Stampede Corral will take you back in time to the glorious moments of the '88 Winter Olympics, the beautiful Stephen street will reveal its rich architecture of the past century, and the museums and the historic buildings on your way will unveil the stories Calgary has to tell. Take this walking tour and enjoy Calgary's downtown area.
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Downtown Calgary, Part 3 Map

Guide Name: Downtown Calgary, Part 3
Guide Location: Canada » Calgary (See other walking tours in Calgary)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: AnnaO
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Stampede Corral
  • Scotiabank Saddledome
  • Grain Academy Museum
  • Stephen Avenue
  • The Grand
  • Devonian Gardens
  • Central Memorial Park
  • First Baptist Church
  • Lougheed House
Stampede Corral

1) Stampede Corral

If you are interested in rodeo and ice hockey, you must visit Stampede Corral or Calgary Corral in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This arena was constructed in 1950 to replace the Victoria Arena. Since then it has been a home to the Calgary Stampeder’s Hockey Club.

This arena hosts the annual Calgary Stampede and has a seating capacity of 6,475. Currently, the arena also houses the United FC indoor soccer club and is managed by the Calgary Stampede non-profit organization. This soccer club takes part in the Canadian Major Indoor Soccer League.

The first ever hockey game played here was on 26th December 1950. During that game, part of the Western Canada Senior Hockey League, the Corral Stampeders defeated the Edmonton Flyers 5:0. Since then, this arena has hosted many prestigious tournaments, among which the 1988 Winter Olympics figure skating and ice hockey events and World Figure Skating Championship in 1972. Quite often, the Stampede Corral also hosts Canada’s Davis Cup tennis team.

During the Calgary Stampede, the arena comes alive with the wrestling super shows. On your visit here, do not miss going through the extensive Canadian private sports photo collection. This collection is on public display. Among other notable events held regularly at the Stampede Corral arena are the Superdogs held during Calgary Stampede and Exhibition, and the Rodeo Royal held in April.
Scotiabank Saddledome

2) Scotiabank Saddledome

One of the most popular indoor arenas in Canada is located in Calgary. Known as the Scotiabank Saddledome, this arena can seat around 19,000 people. Built in 1983 in downtown Calgary’s east end, today this arena is a home of National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames. It was here that the 1988 Winter Olympic figure skating and ice hockey events took place.

This arena is used by the National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks and the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen. Many conferences, concerts and sporting events and championships are held at this facility. All of them are organized by the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.

Between 1994 and 1995, the arena was renovated and its name was changed to Canadian Airlines Saddledome. When Pengrowth Management Ltd signed a ten year agreement in 2000, the venue's name was changed to Pengrowth Saddledome. Upon arrival of a new title sponsor - Scotiabank - in 2010, the facility adopted its current name, Scotiabank Saddledome.

The City of Calgary owns the Saddledome which is on lease to Saddledome Foundation. This non-profit foundation takes care of operations here. Lease agreement with Calgary Flames expires in 2014. Until then, they will be in-charge of running the stadium. If you're a sports fan, you should definitely include a visit to the impressive Scotiabank Saddledome in your Calgary tour itinerary.
Grain Academy Museum

3) Grain Academy Museum

On your trip to Calgary, take time off to visit the famous Grain Academy Museum. This museum is within a walking distance from downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Located on Stampede Park’s Plus 15 level in BMO Center.

Many bus tours bring groups of visitors to Grain Museum which offers a deep insight into the process of grain cultivation: how it is harvested, handled, stored and transported.

You will learn about the types of grains grown in Canada as well as other interesting facts, such as the quantity of grains produced in Canada and other countries around the world that buy Canadian grains. You will also see a number of products that are manufactured from grains.

On your visit to the Grain Academy Museum, you will be shown a video on settlement of prairie, demonstration of a grain elevator and details on how grains are transported to Vancouver terminals from prairie.

The museum also has on display different farm implement models, pioneer farm tools, wheat straw weaving and types of barbed wire. Grain Academy has been in place since 1981 and is funded exclusively by proceeds from visitors, sponsorship and donations.

Editor's note: The Grain Academy Museum will relocate on October 15, 2019 to Pioneer Acres,at Irricana, Alberta. Will reopen in May 2020.
Stephen Avenue

4) Stephen Avenue (must see)

Downtown Calgary is where all the action is and this is the hub of Calgary shopping and sightseeing. On your trip to this city, you must not miss a visit to the major pedestrian mall Stephen Avenue.

This street features some of the best cafes, bars and pubs and finest restaurants. If you love shopping this is where you must be. Stephen Avenue is a shopper’s delight with its high end retail stores and exclusive boutiques.

Some of the major shopping centers here include The Bay Department Store, Scotia Center, Fashion Central, Bankers Hall and The Core Shopping Center. Other attractions located on this street include hotels such as Calgary Marriott and Hyatt Regency Calgary and the famous Telus Convention Center.

Stephen Avenue is also where you can find many ancient, historic buildings. In 1992, the Canadian government declared this street as a Canadian historic site. Stephen Avenue got its name from the first Canadian Pacific Railway president and the first Baron Mount Stephen, George Stephen.

As you walk around the street, you will be impressed by the majestic, sandstone buildings that were built specifically to withstand fire following the 1886 fire that damaged most of the city. Remember to enjoy a visit to this popular street on your trip to Calgary.
The Grand

5) The Grand

The GRAND as it is corporately styled is an ancient theatre building used today as a hub for contemporary performing arts. This building is Calgary’s culturehouse and is a part of Lougheed Block.

Also known as The Sherman Grand Opera House, The Grand, owned by Lougheed and Taylor, was constructed in 1912 by architect L.R. Wardrop. Originally, this building served many purposes and housed a variety of offices, retail stores and living quarters on the ground level and the Sherman Grand Theatre.

This theatre attracted many celebrity stars such as Sarah Bernhardt, Marx Brothers, Ethel Barrymore, Fred Astaire, Paul Robeson, Arthur Rubinstein and George Burns predominantly due to its reputation of being one of the best theatres in the Pacific Northwest.

This complex saw a lot of political and social activities. Many important political debates, rallies and speeches were held here by both Conservative and Liberal Parties. The original theatre has a main floor and a gallery that combined to seat 1,350 people.

In the days when it first came into existence, this theatre was well known for its modern setting and convenient features such as electric lighting and hot and cold water in all fifteen changing rooms. The automatic sprinkler here was indeed a luxury. Be sure to visit this interesting structure on your trip to Calgary.
Devonian Gardens

6) Devonian Gardens (must see)

On the top floor of The Core Shopping Center, you will find a beautiful indoor garden called Devonian Gardens. This garden is maintained by the City of Calgary Parks and is one of the major tourist attractions in the city. After a major, big budget renovation, Devonian Gardens will be all set to be opened to the public in the summer of 2012.

This interesting and unique park is spread over 2.5 acres and is completely covered by glass. It was designed by J.H. Cook Architects and Engineers and constructed at a cost of $9 million in 1977.

After the park was constructed originally and opened to the public, it contained over 20,000 plants. The garden also had attractive koi ponds, bridges, waterfalls and sculptures by local artists.

The renovated park will feature a skylight extending to a length of three blocks and a taller and wider circulation space in the mall. Due to delay in construction, many tropical plants were unable to find a place in Devonian Gardens this year. This is because, these delicate plants have to be transported to the fourth storey garden through cranes and will be vulnerable to damage due to extreme cold climate. If you visit Calgary after the Summer of 2012, enjoy a visit to this impressive and interesting tourist attraction.
Central Memorial Park

7) Central Memorial Park

Also referred to as Memorial Park or Central Park, the Central Memorial Park is in Beltline district, Calgary. At this park, you will find the Memorial Park Library, a cenotaph and R.L. Boyle’s equestrian statue.

This park is spread over 18,900 square meters over an entire city block. It was designed in the year 1889 in Victorian style landscape. Central Memorial park was reopened in May 2010 after it underwent a big budget renovation between 2008 and 2009.

Today it is a hub of exciting activities as many locals and tourists come here to spend enjoyable time. Do not miss out the Boer War monument on your visit to this park. This monument is unique in the sense that you will not find the name of R.L. Boyle, whose statue is here, inscribed on the monument.

This is because, the statue stands as a memorial for all those who fought and sacrificed their lives in the Second Boer War and not exclusively commemorating R.L. Boyle. You will find an inscription of only the dates 1899-1902 on the pedestal.

After the war, another statue of a common First World War soldier was erected outside the Memorial Park by the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire. You can find this statue still standing outside the library section of the park.
First Baptist Church

8) First Baptist Church

Opening its doors for the community back in 1888, First Baptist Church is part of Calgary's historic heritage. The sandstone building, constructed in the neo-Gothic style, can seat 900 people. The prominent feature of the inner design is the original amber-toned stained glass. Another remarkable thing is the church's three-manual, 42-stop pipe organ that dates back to 1912.
Lougheed House

9) Lougheed House

Lougheed House is located in Beltline district, Calgary. This National Historic Site originally known as Beaulieu was constructed in 1891. Over the years, Lougheed House has served as a family residence, women’s military barracks, young women training center and a blood donor clinic. Until it was restored in 2000, this house was left unused but continued to be well cared for.

It was built for his wife Isabella and his two sons Norman and Clarence by Senator James Alexander Lougheed. After the couple moved in to this house, they had four more sons Marjorie, Douglas, Dorothy and Edgar. To accommodate additional family members, the house was expanded in 1907.

The house is maintained by the Lougheed House Conservation Society. This society is a dedicated to restoring and preserving this historically significant house.

This historic tourist attraction in Calgary is frequented by thousands of tourist every day. On your visit to the Lougheed House, enjoy the historic tour of the building and have a great time shopping at the Treasure Gift Shop.

After shopping to your heart’s content, have an enjoyable lunch at The Restaurant here. A visit to the interesting Lougheed House is a must on your trip to Calgary.

Walking Tours in Calgary, Alberta

Create Your Own Walk in Calgary

Create Your Own Walk in Calgary

Creating your own self-guided walk in Calgary is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Sculptures in Calgary Walking Tour

Sculptures in Calgary Walking Tour

This tour is all about Calgary's outdoor sculptures: some of them weird, some of them outstanding, some of them merely amusing. You won't find imposing grey monuments with tones of history behind them. It's all about those small unrevealed sites in tourist handbooks, those colourful places captured in photos. Take this tour and discover Calgary's creative spirit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Calgary Introduction Walk

Calgary Introduction Walk

Calgary is a cosmopolitan city in Canada's Alberta province, renowned for its high-rising skyline, symbol of wealth earned by the local oil industry, and the famous Calgary Stampede, massive annual rodeo festival. Among the city's main landmarks are Olympic Plaza, Calgary Tower, Stephen Avenue and more. To find your way around these and other key local attractions, follow this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Downtown Calgary, Part 1

Downtown Calgary, Part 1

As the biggest city in Alberta, Calgary has quite a few things to offer. One should definitely start getting acquainted with the city in its downtown area. Not only will you find the most prominent landmarks, but you will also get an idea of what Calgary is like. Take this walk to discover the eastern part of downtown with its rich cultural and historic heritage.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Downtown Calgary, Part 2

Downtown Calgary, Part 2

Let's continue our walk in downtown Calgary. Awaiting you here are such major attractions as Chinatown with its unique Cultural Center and the alluring Prince's Island Park. If you are interested in shopping, look for the Dragon Mall and Eau Clair Market. Enjoy this walking tour as it takes you to the Western part of downtown.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
University Heights Walking Tour in Calgary

University Heights Walking Tour in Calgary

Officially founded in 1963, University Heights is a rather small residential district in Canada. However, the neighbourhood has its share of interesting attractions, from important landmarks that hosted the Winter Olympics of '88 to the renowned University of Calgary. Take this walking tour and enjoy the best of University Heights and its surroundings.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Inglewood Walking Tour in Calgary

Inglewood Walking Tour in Calgary

This walking tour will be mostly about Inglewood, a friendly and picturesque neighbourhood on the bank of Elbow River. Explore the natural pearls of Calgary by visiting the Bird Sanctuary or the Bow Habitat Station, and learn about the history of the city at Fort Calgary. Take this tour and enjoy a stroll in central Calgary.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 Km or 3.4 Miles