There are so many reasons to love SW Calgary. From it’s amazing selection of restaurants to its abundance of parks and pathways, the SW quadrant is the perfect place to bring your visiting friends and relatives or discover your new favourite local spot.
5 Reasons to Love SW Calgary
5 Reasons to Love SW Calgary
Murals, Breweries & Bikes in the Beltline
The Beltline is one of Calgary’s most densely populated communities and home to hundreds of colourful businesses that span the neighbourhoods of West Connaught and East Victoria Park. The area is a hub for art, culture and entertainment and nowhere is this more visible than through the Beltline Urban Mural Projects (BUMP). Since 2017, artists have transformed dozens of public walls into thought-provoking and whimsical murals that celebrate the diversity, talent and vibrant character of the community.
Take a neighbourhood tour of these murals by jumping on one of the many bike lanes that zip you throughout the area.
The 12th Ave cycle track brings you to popular murals such as:
A few blocks south, bike lanes running along 14th & 15th Ave take you to:
If you get thirsty while exploring the Beltline, you have several award-winning options to choose from. In West Connaught, check out local breweries like Inner City Brewing, Last Best Brewing & Distilling and Trolley5 Brewpub. While over in East Victoria Park discover some of Canada’s most creative mixologists at Proof and SHELTER.
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Find the Best Sweets & Treats in Marda Loop
Marda Loop has quickly become one of Calgary’s most charming and stylish neighbourhoods. Lined with bakeries, cafes and ice-cream shops, it’s the perfect place to go out to get your fix of sweets and treats.
Visit Pie Cloud, located in the Mercantile Farmers Market, for freshly baked savoury and sweet pies. One street down, Calgary’s premium Korean bakery, WOW Bakery, serves up world-renowned pastries, cakes and breads.
Marda Loop has also become synonymous with ice cream. My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe scoops 72 flavours of ice cream and has been a place for locals to gather on hot summer days since 1981. Play the piano in the shop for 10 minutes and get a free ice cream. Your other delicious option is Village Ice Cream on Garrison Corner, where they make all their flavours right on location. Two scoops of salted caramel on a fresh waffle cone is worth the trip to Marda Loop alone.
When you’re craving something bakeries and ice cream shops can’t offer, treat yourself to some rest, relaxation and Rosso at Distilled Beauty Bar. This all-in-one bar/social house/spa serves tapas, coffee, wine and cocktails and also offers gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. Come in with some friends for drinks and snacks or make a day of it by indulging in one of the many beauty treatments.
Enjoy Nature at the Glenmore Reservoir & Park
You might not expect to find Canada’s largest sailing school, a rowing club and canoe rental shop in the heart of Calgary, but that’s exactly what’s happening on warm days at the Glenmore Reservoir. A retreat from its urban surroundings, the reservoir backs onto the Weaselhead Natural Environment Area, a 237 hectare park full of wildlife, hiking and biking trails. The Glenmore Sailing School and Calgary Canoe Club provide rentals and lessons to get you on the water and enjoying one of the most unique treasures in Calgary.
If water sports aren’t for you, the parks surrounding Glenmore Reservoir are equally as stunning. Backdropped by a view of the Rocky Mountains, North & South Glenmore Park are great places to enjoy a family picnic or barbecue while looking down at the water. Green spaces and tennis courts make it easy to spend an entire day at the park. Stay late to catch one of the best sunset views in the city.
Explore the SW Bow River Walk
The Bow River graces all four quadrants of Calgary and is great for anyone looking for incredible views along a stunning system of jogging and biking paths just minutes from restaurants and coffee shops. The section that spans the south side of the river, from Edworthy Park to the Centre Street Bridge, grants access to some of Calgary’s most famous parks and passes several photo worthy bridges.
Filled with walking trails and picnic spots, Edworthy Park is a great place to enjoy the river. Take the Douglas Fir Trail to the lookout point for a grand view down the Bow River and into North Calgary.
Location: 5050 Spruce Dr. S.W.
This park is a hidden gem but a local favourite with beach volleyball courts and open green spaces that are great for sunbathing and picnics. A large section of the park features an off-leash dog area.
Location: 2240 Pumphouse Ave. S.W.
Shaw Millennium Park
Shaw Millennium Park is a multi-purpose space that features a massive skate park and hosts festivals throughout the year like Circle Carnival and Roundup Musicfest. The park also includes basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, a family park and a striking view of Calgary’s downtown west side.
Location: 1220 9 Ave. S.W.
Prince’s Island Park
One of Calgary’s most famous parks, Prince’s Island Park is an island oasis tucked in the heart of downtown. Home to Calgary Folk and Music Festival and River Café, Prince’s Island Park is a staple to the Bow River walk.
Location: 4 St. and 1 Ave. S.W.
Eat Diverse Ethnic Cuisine
Some of Calgary’s best ethnic restaurants have set up shop in the SW creating a quadrant that cooks up diverse food for every taste. Options range from authentic Japanese and Ethiopian to fresh takes on classic Italian.
Abyssinia: Authentic Ethiopian & Eritrean
Take part in the unique and ancient cuisine of Ethiopia and Eritrea through the shared dining experience of breaking into injera with different vegetable and meat stews. The traditional coffee roasting is a unique aromatic experience that transports you to a different place.
Location: 910 12 Ave SW
OMO Teppan: Japanese Steak House
Calgary's teppanyaki place for Wagyu beef, sushi and the perfect spot for a night out in celebration. Your personal chef performs a spectacle of fire, food and flare that makes for a truly memorable dining experience.
Location: 522 Macleod Trail S
Shokunin: Contemporary Japanese
Consistently voted as one of Canada’s top restaurants, Shokunin is a can’t miss experience for any foodie. Local ingredients are combined with traditional Japanese techniques and flavour profiles to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
Location: 2016 4 St SW, Calgary