We had such a wonderful time in Calgary, arriving on Canada Day (July 1st) and staying just past the Fourth of July. We stayed at an airbnb in Inglewood, just east of Downtown, and it was perfectly situated for a few days of exploring the city.
Lucky for us, dinner on night one was right next door at Deane House. Featuring a very fun Canada Day dessert topped with maple sugar cotton candy.
And just a little further down the street, Fort Calgary was hosting a free music festival for Canada Day!
Quite a nice welcome to the city.
The next day, a visit to the Calgary Farmers Market. I loaded up on local fruits!
Cute manhole covers.
Lunch at The Eden.
All the cute shops of Inglewood!
Loved this yarn shop, Stash. Alex actually bought the Lake Louise embroidery kit for himself and has been working on it!
A Calgary Stampede shirt by SF brand Culk! The stampede is the hugest event of the year in Calgary, drawing over a million visitors each July. We actually just missed it by a day, haha. Next time.
Lots of record shops! This one, Recordland Limited, had what must have been millions of records, all very organized in library-like stacks. But I found it to be a bit overwhelming. Walked away with nothing from this particular shop.
A Jazz festival in our back yard!
The Esker Foundation. An modern art gallery.
Skies were turning stormy outside, but it made for a great view of downtown from inside the Esker.
Then it started pouring rain, so we decided to wander around the rest of the building…
We ended up in the Italian market, and walked home with a tiny prosciutto umbrella. Snack time with our farmers market haul!
Dinner at Pigeonhole
The next morning, breakfast at Sidewalk Citizen, located in the Simmons Building, a former mattress factory.
Then we visited the Calgary Central Library. I love all libraries, but this one might be the nicest one I’ve ever visited!
It was deisgned by Snøhetta, the architects behind our SFMOMA expansion. I can see the similarities!
The entire building is stunning, but I found the fact that they finished it all on time and under budget to be the most incredible part of all.
And of course the library is full of thoughtful exhibits, services, and ameneties. On the mezzanine, a display featuring indigenous languages of the area. And on the second floor by the cafe, a short story dispenser.
When you return a book through the automated slots, a conveyor belt carries it back up to the correct floor for reshelving!
Every corner is beautiful.
One of the main architectural feats was constructing the entire library over an existing light rail line! It still runs through the bottom of the building.
Next, a visit to Studio Bell, a museum and home of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Nickelback, the band everyone loves to hate.
Happy Hour at Proof.
Dinner at Ten Foot Henry.
Another architectural landmark of Calgary, the Peace Bridge.
Unfortunately, under construction on the inside. I think they’re trying to figure out a new railing system.
Time to walk around the Kensington neighborhood! I added a slick little pair of scissors to my collection from Nanao Kimono, a little Japanese shop. Plus, breakfast from Oolong Tea House.
Kitty cafe time! Regal Cat Cafe.
Hot Wax Records
Fair’s Fair Books
Cold Garden Brewery
That Old Retro Store. So many treasures hiding downstairs! I decided to go with the New World Symphony in honor of the good ole USA for Four of July.
Then a little surprise stop for Alex, since this unassuming family-owned pharmacy is also… a record shop!
Actually they sell all sorts of things, the merchandising is really all over the place, haha.
Two San Francisco items spotted! Such a fun and eclectic store.
Dinner at Jin Bar: Korean fried chicken, and condensed milk soft serve for desesrt.
And to top it all off, drinks at Major Tom’s, which is located on the 40th floor right in the middle of downtown!
Drinks and a sunset view. Pretty great.
Cheers, Calgary. Til next time, Canada!
Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at annawu.com.