Local traditions and culture in Calgary

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Calgary

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    John past on some important information

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 3, 2007

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    This nice chap approached us while we were looking at some statues. He told us he was the Prime Minister and gave us his papers.
    We had a good laugh together while he tried to sort out the world.
    Hope he gets reinstated because he promised us a free holiday.

    My Friend John
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    Skywalks between Skyscrapers

    by penumbra Updated Sep 11, 2005

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    Some Canadian cities tunnel underground to avoid winter weather. Calgary has taken to the air. Regardless of the weather outside, Calgarians can still get to their favorite lunch spot without even putting on a coat. These tunnels in the sky get their name, +15’s (pronounced “Plus Fifteens”) from the fact that they’re supposed to be at least fifteen feet above the road to allow trucks to pass underneath. City planners have encouraged new buildings to incorporate Plus 15’s in their design with the result that most of Calgary’s downtown buildings are now connected via the second floor. Because these walkways are so popular with pedestrians, entire communities of stores, food courts and services have grown up on this level. If you keep to the street level, you’ll miss half of downtown. Currently, there are 57 bridges and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) of public walkways. For the directionally challenged, there are blue signs over each walkway entrance giving the name of the street being crossed and a picture of the direction being traveled (North: Fish for the river, East: Wheat for the prairies, South: A Train for the Railway and West: Mountains for the Mountains). As well, there are blue maps of the system periodically available on pedestals within the buildings.

    4th Avenue S at Center Street 9th Avenue S at 3rd Street W 3rd Street W at 6th Avenue S 7th Avenue S at 3rd Street W 3rd Street W at 8th Avenue S
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    I Love My Alberta (Ginger) Beef

    by penumbra Updated Oct 10, 2011

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    Albertan’s are justifiably proud of the beef produced in the province. And while you’d be correct in assuming that there are plenty of great steak and hamburger restaurants, it might surprise you to learn that Chinese restaurants have also gotten into the act.

    Ginger beef, marinated beef deep-fried in batter and coated with a sweet and sour sauce. No it’s not authentic Chinese cooking but it is based on a northern Chinese (Schezwan) dish that is much drier and less sweet than the restaurant version. While it’s been a staple for local restaurants for decades, it surprised me to learn when some friends moved away that they couldn’t find any restaurants that served ginger beef. Even today, it is difficult, although not impossible, to find Alberta-style ginger beef outside the province.

    For a quick taste, order some at a food court. Great with lemon chicken and fried rice, it’s also commonly combined with steamed vegetables and rice.

    Even the restaurants are named after it
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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    Didn't expect to see this little fella!!

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 3, 2007

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    What a surprise to find these little creatures not far out of a city. The Gophers like to live alone maybe this is why we only saw the one. These little critters build complex underground tunnels using their front legs and strong front teeth pushing the dirt to the surface creating great mounds of freshly dug earth. The little ground breaker was captured near a restaurant but can you imagine if he got into your garden - creating such a mess of your lawn not to mention the damage to your shrubs, plants and trees.

    Digging up trouble
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    History of the Chinese People in Calgary

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 1, 2007

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    The Chinese Culture Museum is located at 197 1st. Street South West Calgary. The museum has been open since September 1992 and attracts around a quarter of a million visitor per year. A visit here explains the Chinese Culture dating back through six thousand years. The museum is open all year with free admission and is run by a non profit making organisation.

    Chinese Culture
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    Some architecture from the past

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 1, 2007

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    Not every building reaches for the sky in Calgary it was delightful to see some older buildings still vie for your attention. One such building is the Bank of Nova Scotia situated at 125 8th. Avenue south west in Calgary's downtown district. This beautiful building was constructed in 1929 - 1930 - not old by European standards but old here amidst the equally stunning glass and steel skyscrapers. The architect involved with the design was John McIntosh Lyle of Toronto. The construction team were H.G. Macdonald and Company. I like the look of this older building which seemed to have a new one atop - but no it is behind

    Bank of Nova Scotia
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    Shaking hands Calgary Style

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 3, 2007

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    We found this comical and nearly life sized statue on 8th. Avenue. Caricature in appearance and a bit out of body shape it depicts two elderly gentlemen shaking hands - I have search the web but still can't find any information on its history. It probably has none and is just a fun statue of two old bankers shaking hands on a closed deal. If I'm wrong feel free to tell me!!

    Pleased to meet you
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    Calgary's Crest

    by scottishvisitor Updated Feb 3, 2007

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    The Crest of Calgary was adopted in 1902 it shows the City's Motto "Onward" with the dates 1884 when Calgary became a town and 1894 when the town grew into a city. The Crest features the Canadian Maple leaf - the Leek of Wales - the Shamrock of Ireland - the Rose of England and the Thistle of Scotland a nice design of unification.

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    A Banner City

    by penumbra Written Sep 11, 2005

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    I’m not sure when it happened, but there are banners hanging from the streets and bridges in Calgary. It used to be before Stampede, they’d decorate the city by hanging red and white banners of horses from light polls around the city. After Stampede, they’d take the banners down. Now the city is using banners to spruce up some of older but newly revitalized streets. Why they’re decorating the bridges escapes me.

    Here’s a list of where you’ll see some banners:

    (1) 17th Ave S between 2nd and 14th St W. (a.k.a. The Red Mile after a play-off hockey game). There are a large number of bars, restaurants and art gallery’s for the 20-30 year-olds. There is even a website .

    (2) Scarth Street (a.k.a. 1st St W) between 12th and 14th Ave S. Bars, clubs and restaurants usually only busy at night with the 18-25 year-olds.

    (3) 4th St W between 14th and 26th Ave S. A mix of restaurants and coffee shops most likely to be visited by the 25-45 year-olds.

    (4) Kensington from 10th to 14th St and along 10th St from Memorial to 3rd Ave. Probably the trendy district that started all this banner waving. There are more coffee shops packed into this small area then common sense should allow. Also some restaurants and stores for the yuppies (are they still called that?).

    (5) Barclay Mall from the river to 8th Ave on 3rd St. A cobble stoned street that gets you from the downtown core to the river and back. Not much to do along the way.

    (6) Stephen Ave Mall at 1st to 3rd St on 8th Ave. A street in the downtown core given over to pedestriana during the daytime. With restaurants, stores and open air carts, this street really hits its stride during Stampede. Frequented by office workers at lunch time, it’s popular with the homeless in the evening and on weekends.

    (7) Inglewood along 9th Ave from 11th to 14th St E. One of Calgary’s oldest districts, it has a collection of interesting stores with, dare I say, antiques and other unusual items.

    17th Ave SW, 1st St SW 4th St SW, 4th Ave SW Inglewood, Kensington Stephen Ave Mall, Zoo Bridge Barclay Mall, Prince's Island
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    Western Culture

    by madamx Updated Mar 22, 2004

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    Ranching played a large part in Calgary's development, and so many Calgarians are proud of the city's western heritage. Calgary's nickname is "Cowtown", but it doens't live up to it unless you count the requisite country and western radio station, and two bars called "Cowboys" and "The Ranchman's".

    Ranching and western heritage may be responsible for the fact that you can wear jeans to almost any function anywhere, though as Calgary keeps growing and becoming a major world business centre, this practice seems to be declining.

    However, cowboy culture is no more apparent than at Stampede time, where everyone seems to don any one of, or all of the following: Jeans, cowboy hat, boots, neck kerchief, or bolo tie. Also, you'll notice some guy wandering down Stephen Avenue Mall screaming, "Yahooooooo!"

    I am not into western culture or country and western music, but when Stampede rolls around, hey why fight em? Join em! And, for 10 days, jeans are accepted attire for anywhere you go.

    www.theapb.com

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    Greetings and salutations....

    by cybercutie Written May 25, 2004

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    Lately, we have adopted a new custom in Calgary...apparently, you are not allowed to partake in conversations without mentioning the Calgary Flames at least once, wearing a flames jersey, or signing off all emails or convos with "Go Flames"..I think they are working on a bill to make it the law...it is quickly overshadowing the "eh" terminology...

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    Anything but grey

    by penumbra Updated Oct 1, 2011

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    Those grey traffic light boxes are getting a make-over. Local artists are being paid and provided with supplies to show off their work on utility boxes. The idea is to beautify the neighborhood and deter vandalism. So far it seems to be working. If you're heading along a major road way (e.g. 16th Avenue North), chances are you'll see some interesting art.

    Dueling Dragons
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    This is something I found at...

    by Sharrie Written Sep 15, 2002

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    This is something I found at the EAU CLAIRE MARKET but unfortunately was unable to bring home. The reason? I've ran out of space for all things wonderful from around the world! Guess what, I need a new house (yeah, house, not an apartment, if I were to collect all these interesting items from everywhere I visited!)!

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    OK, this may not be what...

    by lauriejeanne Written Sep 7, 2002

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    OK, this may not be what everyone deems as culture, but in the broader sense... Yeah, I'm splitting hairs here, but this is the only way to get this on my front page. The point is, The Calgary Stampeders won the Grey Cup this year!!!! It was a great game and uh, well, so was the party!!!!!

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  • Greet people with a smile....

    by Katagory5 Written Aug 24, 2002

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    Greet people with a smile. Were Canadian, so were all pretty nice. Just let people know if your lost, they'll usually help. Tipping is usually the G.S.T. value on the bill X2. (14% of the bill). Bring a debit or interact card, you dont really need to carry much cash anywhere. Were a Euro-Asian city.

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Calgary Local Customs

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