Kensington Neighbourhood Guide

Spend a Day in Kensington, Calgary’s Village in the City
Spend a Day in Kensington, Calgary’s Village in the City
A Local’s Perspective

Kensington Neighbourhood Guide

Spend a Day in Kensington, Calgary’s Village in the City

Kensington has been my home away from home since I first moved here from the East Coast in 1981.

The Kensington district is more than 100 years old and continues to be a great inner city shopping district for tourists and is a popular destination for locals for dates and hanging out.

Here are my tips for exploring the neighbourhood.

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Kensington Calgary

Kensington is a walkable neighbourhood that can be accessed on foot.

How to get to Kensington

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The patio at Hotel Arts Kensington.

The patio at Hotel Arts Kensington.

Where to get breakfast

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Shopping in Kensington 

Shopping in Kensington (Photo credit: @iambeccagould on Instagram).

Let’s Shop for clothes!

Now that you’re fortified, it’s time to shop.

My favourite recent choice from Kismet is a black moto jacket embellished with floral embroidery. At Splash, I had a painless experience being fitted with a pair of skinny jeans that make me feel my best self (and possibly a slightly younger looking self in the right light!).

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Coffee in Kensington Calgary

Take a coffee or tea break in Kensington.

Where to take a coffee or tea break

Kensington has so many to choose from when you need to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

For independent coffee shops, check out Roasterie or Higher Ground. For artisan tea, go to the Naked Leaf Tea Shop.

If you have a favorite brand coffee shop there is Second Cup and Tim Hortons all in the main area you’ll be exploring.

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Kensington has a great collection of lunch spots.

Kensington has a great collection of lunch spots.

Lunch spots in Kensington

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Container Bar in Kensington

Container Bar in Kensington (Photo credit: @notfinediningatall on Instagram).

Container Bar in Kensington

Cheers at Container Bar (Photo credit: @sassydharrison on Instagram).

Unwind, relax, and treat yourself

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Calgary Origami Horse

The Origami Horse at the corner of 10th Street NW and Memorial Drive.

Insider tip for exploring hidden Kensington

If your phone battery is running low, go meet Dale the origami horse on the corner of 10th Street NW and Memorial Drive. Dale has a variety of cords to plug in your phone and you peddle to charge up your phone. Once your phone is charged, check out the charming fairy lane mural between two buildings on the east side of 1118 Kensington Road. If you’re up for a little more walking, head over to the east side of 10th Street NW to Oak Tree Tavern to see a cool graffiti mural and then continue into the alley for lots more spectacular murals.

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The Hexagon Board Game Café

The Hexagon Board Game Café is a great place to spend the night with friends.

The Hexagon Board Game Café

Play your favourite board game at Hexagon Board Game Café in Kensington.

What to do at night in Kensington

Choose from one of the great restaurants mentioned above for supper and plan on dinner and a movie at the historic Plaza Theatre to round off your day. The Plaza Theatre is a big old theatre that plays an eclectic selection of movies. If the movie is not to your taste hop across the street to Hexagon Board Game Café and spend the evening playing your favourite board game.

If you want to indulge in an Alberta steak (we’re famous for our beef), then Modern Steak is your go to. If you are thinking something lighter, Tenshi Sushi is small and intimate. Ikeman Ramen Bar is also brilliant.

Kensington has so much to offer that, after spending a day wandering through the ‘hood, you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep dreaming of all the unique experiences you had during the day. Enjoy exploring!

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By
Annie MacInnis

Annie loves family, friends, dogs, reading, writing, desserts, walking and Kensington.