Category Archives: Calgary

Summer 2010 in Calgary

Although it hasn’t been the best summer in Calgary, here are a few of my favourite photos taken this summer around the city.

A spider appears to be posing in this flower.

Calgary has a great skyline, thanks to many attractive buildings that each have a different design. These two towers, part of the same complex, use a lot of glass!

A small lake can be found at the top of Nose Hill.

Prince’s Island is a beautiful public space with many plants and scenery to provide inspiration.

This is another shot of the river through Prince’s Island park.

Another fast food franchisee closes, due to bad economy?

One thing I noticed about my area of Calgary when I first moved in was how many retail establishments were located nearby. One pizza chain, alone, has 21 locations in Calgary! Alhough I don’t do pizza much myself, the breadth and choice of food places was baffling.

In this time, I’ve also seen many changes with stores closing out, and in some cases, still remaining unoccupied. The latest casuality is the KFC I used to go to near Brentwood Station. Previously, a Dairy Queen in a nearby mall closed. This is a bit stupid since near me, there is McDonald’s, A&W and Subway locations both inside the mall as well as just outside the mall.

This KFC building may have another use later on, but the older iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken signage used here is just trash now.

Exactly why am I taking pictures of this? Because I bought a new camera of course. Yaay.

Fall in Calgary

After a week of sub-zero temperatures, Mother Nature granted Calgary a likely temporary reprieve from the start of winter with warmth in the 10 to 15 degree range.

IMG_1968

Fall is definitely here in this park near my house with most of the leaves on the ground already.

IMG_1981

I also biked through the entire University of Calgary campus taking pictures for the first time since being here. I didn’t get too many good shots at this time of day, but there’s something I like about the windows of the ICT building.

IMG_1997

Lots of artificial colour radiates through the sports fields just south of the university campus.

IMG_1868

Looking towards the sky near City Hall.

Ride the Road Tour

A few weeks ago, I participated in the Ride the Road Tour. Basically this was a bike tour of downtown Calgary organized to raise awareness for the need of bike trails, bike lanes, and other infrastructure for bicycles in the City of Calgary.

DSC_4610

In this photo taken by Kristin Marquardt, you can see all the bikers including me as the tour begins. This event was not a race, but rather a relaxed15km bike tour of the city.

IMG_1654

It was a bit difficult to take these photos, which I did while operating my moving bike with my other hand. In this shot, we’re crossing the Elbow River (I think) as we head further south.

IMG_1677

We’re returning to the downtown core in this shot. The streets were blocked off for the bikers, although not for a long time, only long enough on a temporary basis for all the bikers to make it through. Police on motorcycles basically escorted us through.

Overall, it was a fun event. Hopefully events like this will lead to better bike pathways through the city. It’s not too bad right now if you plan, but it only takes a few rogue car drivers to make it dangerous.

Sunday Evening in Calgary

After a string of horribly cold and rainy days here in Calgary, I finally had the chance to take my bike out again in sunny weather.

IMG_2157

Yet another shot from Prince’s Island Park.

IMG_2165

This street light falls just short of being higher than the tall buildings of downtown Calgary (at least it would appear with my camera angle).

IMG_2177

Olympic Plaza was the venue for the medal ceremonies of the Calgary Olympics. I was tempted to bike through the shallow water, but that would probably end badly with me getting soaked.

IMG_2204

Around City Hall are several expensive statues and structures. However, all I seem to focus on the plant life!

IMG_2211

This lion is quite a hard worker. It seems to be holding up the flag poles with only its nose and guarding the doors to the building 24/7! The old City Hall building is in the background, attached to the much larger expanded part.

IMG_2223

The “Trees” sculture on Stephen Avenue actually serve the functional purpose of reducing wind gusts between the buildings.

IMG_2227

Even the strongest U-Locks are apparently useless on Stephen Avenue downtown. There was nearly a dozen locks perfectly intact on these bike racks.

EDIT: Apparently these locks are actually left by regular commuters to reserve a spot, as Joe tells me in the comments.

IMG_2232

A dramatic sky and construction shot, one of many in downtown.

IMG_2238

While driving by a construction site on my way home, I noticed this sign. Security on-site? So who’s on duty? Let me give you a closer look.

IMG_2241

The tough and mean Canada Geese guard this future something with all their power! Good choice though. These birds are capable of bringing down planes!

It was a nice night tonight. Not much traffic, which makes for a safer ride on city streets.

New bike in Calgary

After being home in Saint John recently, I realized how much I missed being able to bike around. So I began looking for a bike. Although I was open to spending what I needed to for a good bike, I didn’t need to break the bank to meet my city road and trail needs.

Following recommendations and some research, I went to Bow Cycle in Bowness, a local bike store in Calgary. I had tried Canadian Tire, but their selection, service and quality is all bad. I was initially considering The Bike Shop downtown as well, but I have little use for a store that wastes my time by having me fill out a bike needs survey only to have it ignored.

The model I ended up is the Bownesian, which is basically a Kona Dew with a special paint job for Bow Cycle only.

IMG_2091

Appropriately so, Calgary’s beautiful Bow River is in the background of this hybrid bicycle. It cost about $449. I have already installed many accessories including two water bottle holders, night lights, seat bag and more.

IMG_2068

I wasted no time in outfitting my new toy with accessories, including this computer! It tells me lots of things such as current speed, distance, etc. To the left, you see the bell which came with the bike, as well as a night light.

IMG_2069

Today was my first chance to take this thing for a real spin. I started in Silverthorne Park which runs right next to the Bow River. Many of my photos in Calgary so far have been taken here.

IMG_2087

I wasn’t really sure where I was going so I went through the park and followed the river which leads into many other parks. Finally, I see tall buildings, and know I’m downtown.

IMG_2118

Prince’s Island Park has plenty of wonderful vistas.

IMG_2103

Just to the left of Prince’s Island Park are many skyscrapers under construction.

IMG_2125

I found my way back home, mainly thanks to my BlackBerry GPS since the only way I’ve known to get downtown thus far is by train. It will take a bit of time to learn the best and safest roads to take by bike. The one shown here, at 6-7 lanes, is an example of a less than ideal biking road.

Having said that, while taking side streets, I’ve discovered that based on the flat terrain and my biking speed, it should take about the same amount of time to bike as it would to take the train, 30 minutes or so. About half of this time with the train, 15 minutes, is spent simply walking to Brentwood Station.

Just a bit messy in Calgary today!

Before leaving to go home from school today, I looked out the window, saw clear skies and thought all was OK. Apparently I was looking in the wrong direction because in the other direction (and above us), there was nothing but heavy rain!

IMG_1524

A major puddle forms on this busy road. Sounds like an ideal location for Calgary’s next sewer drain!