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Statistics say that Prince's Island is one of the most used urban parks in North Canada. Come here on a sunny day and you will not doubt it. Originally, the island was used to catch felled trees floating down the Bow River from logging projects upstream. Now this bit of serenity in downtown serves as a favorite venue for joggers, football tossers, family picnics, flocks of Canadian Geese, buskers, Shakespearean actors and nearly every major festival that Calgary hosts. This is also a great place for a quiet paddle down the river.
When a cold north wind is howling and the mid-winter temperature is too frigid, this downtown greenhouse is a welcome oasis of greenery and warmth. It showcases many local and tropical plants, fountains, waterfalls, reflecting pools stocked with carp, wooden bridges and a small playground where harried parents can let loose their children.
Although some of downtown Calgary's office towers are actually taller, the Calgary Tower remains the city's most distinctive landmark. Officially opened in 1968, it remains a popular visitor attraction, providing a panoramic view of the mountains to the west and the surrounding foothills and prairie. On the observation deck, there are binoculars, multimedia information kiosks, and the thrilling Glass Floor Experience. The dining room rotates, allowing visitors the chance to relax with a meal while viewing the entire city from their window-side tables at the Panorama Dining Room.
Winding its way from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the Alberta foothills, Bow River is an expansive waterway. Along its route, the river passes through Calgary and the river banks are a popular outdoor recreation spot for the city dwellers. Many walking paths and scenic vistas can be found along the river. Outdoor sports enthusiasts can find kayak rentals, fly fishing options, cycling tracks and much more. Deer, great horned owls, and beavers have been spotted along Bow River.