Sunday, March 19, 2017

These are a Few of my Favourite Calgary Things

A River Runs Through It.  Bow River, Calgary. 
Have you ever been to a dueling pianos show?  If not, I highly recommend it.  I went last night with 7 other ladies out without their kids and most of us moms needed a night out...badly. It was a great night and subsequently blogging is hard today.

Calgary Tower 191m tall
I have mentioned before that I was born and raised in Calgary and lived there for over 3 decades until 3 years ago.  I have seen lots of changes over the years, I used to live near the edge of the city and played and rode my bike in dirt fields and now there are houses as far as the eye can see. The old saying, "you can get anywhere in 20 minutes" used to be true and I could get just about anywhere I needed to go in 20 minutes.  Now I could maybe do that at 3am. With no traffic. While speeding. There are communities I've never heard of and it seems like the drivers have become even worse every time I come home. Still it's home and I love it. Nothing beats the view of the downtown skyline with the Rocky Mountains in the background.

I have been going through some of my photos and love remembering what I was doing when I took each photo. I also see lots of photos I've taken, and the building or sign is now gone, which is sad.  Some places though have been restored or renovated which is nice to see! Always good to preserve history, I wish it happened more.

'Wonderland' by Jaume Plensa,  AKA Big Giant Head. Sculpture outside the Bow Tower,
now the 2nd tallest building in Calgary now that the Brookfield Place is being built. 

Glass Floor of the Calgary Tower Observation Deck. 
Frosst Books Building in Inglewood, now demolished. 
I am a big fan of Oddments.  Building now demolished.
St. Louis Hotel, now restored and open! Ralph Klein Drank Here!
The glass building in the background is City Hall.

Refurbished Eamon's sign at the Tuscany Train Station
No post of mine, about Calgary, would be complete with out mention of Eamons Bungalow Camp. This used to be along Crowchild Trail in NW Calgary and was a "One Stop" Tourist Centre, drive in diner, gas station, and motel. I can just picture all the cool 50's style cars stopping here on their way west!

It opened in 1949 and closed for good in the mid 60's when the Trans Canada highway was completed and this route became less traveled. It was eventually moved to make for development and the Tuscany C-Train Transit expansion. The actual service station building sat in a city storage yard for years as it's fate was decided. It was eventually sold for $10 after costing the city to keep it in storage. Not everyone saw the value in this piece of history but I am sure tax payer dollars have been spent on more foolish things. It was purchased in 2016 by a non-profit group called the River City Classics, who are restoring the garage. Great to hear!! The city did refurbish the sign and installed it as art at the train station.  Love it!

Fun fact about the Eamon's site, in 1986 it was used in a music video by Canadian signer Corey Hart called I Am By Your Side.

Here are some more of my fave signs from around town:

The Stampde Grounds, Home of the
Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, 

Vintage neon bowling sign. Love.

My favourite vintage neon in town.
No longer a restaurant but the sign was saved.
Jim's Shoe Repair. Sign gone now.

This barely touches on my favourite places and photos of Calgary, but after several years exploring Calgary I have accumulated a lot of photos.  More another day!


  1. I used to live in Calgary years ago. Some of this is familiar. You are right, Calgary has grown and there are many times I do not recognize certain areas. Hillhurst/Sunnyside used to be a favourite part of Calgary. With the constant redevelopment I think it has lost its charm, much like many other areas of the city. Great post.

    1. Thanks BW. True...I really like Ramsay, very interesting area. Inglewood has sure changed a lot.

  2. Great that you have pictures of past memories. So many of the signs and buildings in my hometown are gone. I'm not so sure that "progress" is always a good thing. I regret not taking the time to photograph the house my grandfather built and where he raised his family or the one room school my Dad attended. Both are gone now.

  3. Thanks Vicki, I wish I had the foresight to take more photos when I was younger. I agree with you about 'progress'!

  4. Love neon. Not much of it around any more. Spent teenage years just around the corner from Jim's Shoe Repair. I know the place was in business until not all that long ago, a few years maybe. Keep up the excellent work.

    1. Thanks Chris! I love neon too! I think I found it all around here....have to head to the much great neon!!! I would have loved to see the animation on Jim's sign. I wonder if someone saved it or if it was scrapped? Hopefully saved.

  5. I found your vintage signs interesting. I love that big head sculpture!

    1. Thanks Michelle! I love vintage signs. That big head is cool, you can go inside it but the guards get mad if you try to climb it lol!