Calgary is a city in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, about 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. In the 2011 census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 and a metropolitan population of 1,214,839, making it the largest city in Alberta, and the third-largest municipality and fifth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada.
The economy of Calgary includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors. The Calgary CMA is home to the second-highest number of corporate head offices in Canada among the country’s 800 largest corporations. Calgary anchors the south end of what Statistics Canada defines as the “Calgary–Edmonton Corridor”. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympic Games.
With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was significant, and the unemployment rate soared.
By the end of the decade, however, the economy was in recovery. Calgary quickly realized that it could not afford to put so much emphasis on oil and gas, and the city has since become much more diverse, both economically and culturally. The period during this recession marked Calgary’s transition from a mid-sized and relatively nondescript prairie city into a major cosmopolitan and diverse centre.
This transition culminated in the city hosting Canada’s first Winter Olympics in 1988. The success of these Games essentially put the city on the world stage.
The City of Calgary, 848 km2 (327 sq mi) in size, consists of an inner city surrounded by suburban communities of various density. The city is immediately surrounded by two municipal districts – the Municipal District of Foothills No. 31 to the south and Rocky View County to the north, west and east.
Proximate urban communities beyond the city within the Calgary Region include: the City of Airdrie to the north; the City of Chestermere, the Town of Strathmore and the Hamlet of Langdon to the east; the towns of Okotoks and High River to the south; and the Town of Cochrane to the northwest. Numerous rural subdivisions are located within the Elbow Valley, Springbank and Bearspaw areas to the west and northwest. The Tsuu T’ina Nation Indian Reserve No. 145 borders Calgary to the southwest.
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 Spark, the Telus Convention Centre, the Chinatown district, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC), Military Museum and the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. At 2.5 acres (1.0 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of The Core Shopping Centre (above the shopping).