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Uploaded on Sep 23, 2010
Calgary is the largest city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. The city is located in the Grassland region of Alberta.
In 2006, the City of Calgary had a population of 988,193 making it the third-largest municipality in the country and largest in Alberta. The entire metropolitan area had a 2006 population of 1,079,310, making it the fifth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada. In 2009, Calgary's metropolitan population was estimated at 1,230,248, raising its rank to fourth-largest CMA in Canada.
Located 294 km (183 mi) due south of Edmonton, statisticians define the narrow populated area between these cities as the "Calgary--Edmonton Corridor." Calgary is the largest Canadian metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver.
Calgary is a destination for winter sports and ecotourism with a number of major mountain resorts near the city and metropolitan area. Economic activity in Calgary is mostly centered on the petroleum industry. Agriculture, tourism and high-tech industries also contribute to the city's economic growth. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games. The downtown region of the city consists of five neighbourhoods: Eau Claire (including the Festival District), the Downtown West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, Chinatown, and the Downtown East Village (also part of the Rivers District). The commercial core is itself divided into a number of districts including the Stephen Avenue Retail Core, the Entertainment District, the Arts District and the Government District. Distinct from downtown and south of 9th Avenue is Calgary's densest neighbourhood, the Beltline. The area includes a number of communities such as Connaught, Victoria Crossing and a portion of the Rivers District. The Beltline is the focus of major planning and rejuvenation initiatives on the part of the municipal government to increase the density and liveliness of Calgary's centre.
Adjacent to, or directly radiating from the downtown are the first of the inner-city communities. These include Crescent Heights, Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill, Hillhurst/Sunnyside (including Kensington BRZ), Bridgeland, Renfrew, Mount Royal, Mission, Ramsay and Inglewood and Albert Park/Radisson Heights directly to the east. The inner city is, in turn, surrounded by relatively dense and established neighbourhoods such as Rosedale and Mount Pleasant to the north; Bowness, Parkdale and Glendale to the west; Park Hill, South Calgary (including Marda Loop), Bankview, Altadore, and Killarney to the south; and Forest Lawn/International Avenue to the east. Lying beyond these, and usually separated from one another by highways, are suburban communities including Somerset, Country Hills, Sundance, and McKenzie Towne. In all, there are over 180 distinct neighbourhoods within the city limits.
Several of Calgary's neighbourhoods were initially separate towns that were annexed by the city as it grew. These include Bowness, Ogden, Montgomery, Forest Lawn, Midnapore, Rosedale and, most recently in 2007, Shepard. Downtown features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, cultural venues, public squares (including Olympic Plaza) and shopping. Notable shopping areas include such as The Core Shopping Centre (formerly Calgary Eaton Centre/TD Square), Stephen Avenue and Eau Claire Market. Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the Telus World of Science, the Telus Convention Centre, the Chinatown district, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) and the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. At 2.5 acres (1.01 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of TD Square (above the shopping). The downtown region is also home to Prince's Island Park, an urban park located just north of the Eau Claire district. Directly to the south of downtown is Midtown and the Beltline. This area is quickly becoming one of the city's densest and most active mixed use areas. At the district's core is the popular "17 Avenue", which is known for its many bars and nightclubs, restaurants, and shopping venues. During the Calgary Flames' playoff run in 2004, 17 Avenue was frequented by over 50,000 fans and supporters per game night. The concentration of red jersey-wearing fans led to the street's playoff moniker, the "Red Mile." Downtown is easily accessed using the city's C-Train light rail (LRT) transit system.
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