A first visit to the Calgary Tower

A first visit to the Calgary Tower
A first visit to the Calgary Tower
(Re)Discovering an icon

A first visit to the Calgary Tower

A new look at one of Calgary’s most iconic buildings

Starting our visit, we rode 191 meters skyward to the observation deck. Arriving surprisingly quickly, we were even more quickly faced with the ominous glass floor.

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Glass floor at the Calgary Tower

It takes a brave person to look down the glass floor at the Calgary Tower!

View from the Calgary Tower

A cloudy day at the Calgary Tower

The Glass Floor

The clouds did little to dampen the queasy, fear-inducing view that made me instinctively second-guess Do I really want to stand on that glass?

Tiny cars far below crawled along 9th Avenue. There were even clouds between my feet and the ground below. That’s no problem when you’re on a mountain, feet firmly planted on the ground. But when there’s glass involved… different story!

As time passed we became more relaxed with the glass, comfortable even. And that’s when it struck me

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Multimedia tour at the Calgary Tower

Enjoying the multimedia tour at the Calgary Tower

A Misconception?

I think it’s a misconception that, just because the Calgary Tower is no longer the city’s tallest building, (taking the back seat to behemoths like Brookfield Place, The Bow, and others) that it is somehow less significant than when it stood a giant, the tallest of its kind in North America.

Accolades and setting records will always have value, but even greater than these–in my opinion–is the city that has grown up around the Calgary Tower over the past 50+ years. Since the Tower truly is at the heart of Calgary (9th Avenue and Centre Street) the view of Calgary’s architectural development is astonishing.

Even through the clouds and blustery snow, Calgary’s growth was evidenced, especially in comparison to the original images showcased in the theatre.

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Enjoying the theatre at the top of the Calgary Tower

Enjoying the theatre at the top of the Calgary Tower

Theatre room

One of perks I didn’t expect from my visit to the Tower was the two short films in the eyes-wide theatre.

Both films were short, informative, and showcased the beauty and pride of Alberta.

By the time we’d finished with the glass floor and the films, we were ready to eat! And this, by far, was the highlight of the experience.

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Sky360 Calgary

Some of the delicious appetizers at Sky360

Sky360 Calgary

Some of the delicious appetizers at Sky360

Dining at the top of the Tower

Steak tartare, chop salad, andouille sausage, pork belly paté, Saskatoon berry and mustard kernel aoli, pickled root veggies, toasted lavach points, avonlea cheddar, surface ripened goat cheese, grizzly gouda, honeycomb... and all that before the entrées!

We ate slow, savouring not only the food but the slow rotation of the restaurant, pointing out various landmarks throughout conversation. We were looking south down MacLeod Trail when it came time for the main course.

Huge helpings of lamb, steak and chicken were enjoyed during another full rotation of the restaurant.

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Sky360 Calgary

Enjoying a meal with family and friends at Sky360 – the restaurant at the top of the Calgary Tower

Sky360 Calgary

The view from Sky360 can’t be beat!

A Great Atmosphere

Our experience at Sky360 was very comfortable. The kids menus were accessible, the service professional but friendly and welcoming, too.

And because the Tower is such a landmark, it makes a great place for special moments… like the one we witnessed: a proposal in the booth right behind us!

I can’t remember the last time I spent 3 hours in a restaurant, but the generous portions, incredible view, and feeling that we were part of something special made the time fly.

For someone who had never been up the Tower before, this experience one was definitely a do-again and recommended for any visitor to the city!

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Photography by Jeremy Klager, Article by Eric Reynolds

Neither Jeremy nor Eric had been up the Calgary Tower before documenting this experience