Visiting Calgary Tower: Stampede City From Above
Every city has its iconic landmark. In Calgary, it is undoubtedly the Calgary Tower. Over centuries, humankind has been fascinated by heights, and all famous architects in the history racked their brains to figure out how to construct more impressive and higher buildings.
When visiting Calgary, it is impossible to overlook the towering structure in the city's Downtown, and even though it is not Calgary's highest building anymore as surrounding skyscrapers grew higher since 1968 when the tower was completed, Calgary Tower still draws attention.
When we lived and worked in Calgary, we had been walking around multiple times and also couldn't miss going up to get some views from the Tower which has graced the Calgary skyline forever.
The construction of tower began in 1967, and at that time it was one of the first towers of its kind in the world, as the boom of building super-high towers in city's modern downtowns all around the word started a bit later. At first, the tower was named Husky Tower (to honor original owners Husky Oil Limited), only three years later after completion, it was renamed as a tribute to Calgary citizens.
VISIT OF CALGARY TOWER
It is not hard to find the Tower as you can see it almost from everywhere, but if you use public transport, get off at Centre Street or 1st Street SW. When you reach the Tower (and in the harsh weather you don't even need to walk outside as the Calgary Tower is attached to the Plus 15 walkway system), enter the vestibule, go to the counter on your right and buy a ticket. You can also visit rotating! Sky 360 Restaurant in the Tower and in that case you don't need to pay the entrance fee.
Then walk into the elevator which will take you up to the observation deck. Once you're up, you can spend the unlimited time to enjoy the view, the exhibition explaining the evolution of the population in Calgary, and of course, you must try standing on the glass floor which initially causes a feeling of dizziness, but once you get used to it, you can enjoy bird’s eye view of 9th Avenue SW and Centre Street below.
When you're finished with observing the surroundings, the elevator will take you down. We don't get, why every excursion must end in a gift shop (well, we understand why but is it that hard to have an exit for those who don't want to buy another t-shirt or another cup?), but it is how it is, and you just have to find your way out.
For those, who want to conquer the Tower on their own, it is possible to participate in Calgary Tower 802 Challenge (usually every Tuesday in March) and climb up all 802 steps to get to the top. You can do something for your health, plus the admission is lower for all climbers.
VIEWS FROM CALGARY TOWER
While the Calgary Tower isn't one of the world's highest towers (191 meters high), the structure can still boast about one thing. It has the highest observation deck in the world thanks to being 1228 meters above sea level. Do you ask how is that possible? Well, let's mention that Calgary's elevation is 1045 meters.
You can get an excellent 360-degree panoramic view as Calgary stands on a flat plain and nothing blockade landscape views. You can observe the bustling city, prairie, foothills and even the famous Rockies.
The tower is not interesting only from above, but also from the outside. Its surface is covered with LED panels, and every day when it gets dark, it changes colors.
CALGARY TOWER INFO
Where: 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 1J9
Hours of Operation: 9 AM to 9 PM September to May & 9 AM to 10 PM June to August
Price: C$18 + GST per adult person