Inglewood and Fort Calgary

One of the best parts of not knowing many people in a new city is that it leaves you lots of time for exploring. This past weekend marked my one-week anniversary with my new city and with a chinook boosting the temperatures to around +10, I couldn’t wait to get outdoors and wander.

My main goal in heading out was to find Inglewood, a really cool, slightly gritty neighbourhood just past Calgary’s East Village. It’s kind of like Queen Street West before it got pretentious. You can actually walk an entire block without hitting a hipster, although I can’t say the same about old bearded guys in motorcycle jackets.

Inglewood is only about a 35-minute walk from my apartment and Fort Calgary just so happens to be on the way. I debated for a minute passing it by but given that I am a ginormous history nerd at heart, there was no way I wasn’t going in. It was actually pretty cool- did you know that Calgary pretty much came into being as a way to fight the bootleg whiskey trade? This cute little old lady gave me the run-down of 150 years of history in about 20 seconds, which was fantastic. She also pointed me in the wrong direction, causing me to wander accidentally into the children’s learning centre during an “educational program.”

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They had a whole exhibit dedicated to the CBC and one to the Calgary Herald, which was super exciting to news junkie like me.

After finding my way out of the exhibits, it was only a short walk down the road to Inglewood. There are so many cool shops here, I’ll definitely be heading back soon. One place, The Apothecary, carries all kinds of essential oils and the clerk will teach you how to make your own perfume. There’s a great little bakery too, called Wild Grainz, which makes amazing bear claws and has a ton of different types of breads. There are more antique shops and vintage clothing stores than you could count and a couple of pretty promising-looking bars with live music.

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The last photo of the creepy tall people isn’t actually from Inglewood, but it reminded me so much of the statues that are all over Dublin.

Maybe it’s just how oddly tall and skinny the figures in both scenes are, but it instantly triggered my memory, particularly for the Famine Memorial on the north side of the Liffey. Made me miss all the adventures from last summer and the amazing places I visited.

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