The sandstone buildings along downtown's Stephen Avenue Walk were constructed after a fire destroyed much of the neighborhood. Several of those historic buildings fell victim to developers wrecking balls, but the few that remain are worthy of an afternoon stroll during which you can revel in their architecture. Along the way, you can indulge in the diversions offered by many popular shops and restaurants.
From the outside, this enormous shopping center looks a bit like a giant spaceship. The Bay, Zellers and Sears are the major stops here, while The Gap, Eddie Bauer, Hallmark and The Sony Store are among some 150 other mall tenants. There are also dozens of services and a professional building at the heart of the mall. A massive new food court is the feature attraction of the reworked mall, which for years was in many ways two malls separated by an elevated parking garage.
Uniquities Architectural Antiques offers one-of-a-kind 19th-century antiques and collectibles. The owner obtains most of the collectibles from England on regular sojourns. The treasures here include beautifully carved fireplaces as well as an iron spiral staircase that dates back to 1899. Although a lot of the items can be a little pricey, each item is incredibly detailed and handcrafted. Because most of these items are irreplaceable, Uniquities was the only Calgary store voted as one of the top 10 by Canadian House and Home Magazine.
It is not surprising that this award-winning bookstore is part-owned by author Peter Oliva, who is an award-winning author. Pages was a Canadian Booksellers Association Bookseller of the Year. This small, two-level store boasts a wide collection of fiction on the first floor and non-fiction on the second. Regularly scheduled author readings add a nice dimension to the book-reading experience. Shoppers determined to help wage a small-shop war against the encroaching book superstores, pack the aisles. Once you find your latest treasured tome, wander out into the surrounding Kensington neighborhood and enjoy one of its coffee-driven retreats.
Situated close to the downtown area of Calgary, 4th Street is one of the most happening streets in the city. It is frequently used as an entertainment venue for cultural and other events, which see thousands of tourists and locals converging here. The atmosphere is electric and has to be experienced to be believed. The street has established itself as a popular destination owing to the shops, historic sites, and eateries that can be found along its stretch. The area also plays host to the annual Lilac Festival.
When it comes to shopping in downtown Calgary, you'll find it hard to find a better alternative to Core. The expansive center boasts of no less than 160 stores on its four levels and has pretty much all the shopping essentials from luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton to flagship stores of major departmental chains like Holt Renfrew and H&M. Fashion is well-represented with most major brands setting up shop here; a treat for the fashion-conscious. Another reason for the fashion brigade to rejoice is the expert personal styling services the center offers. Much effort has been put into the center's design with the focal point being the gigantic and eye-catching structural skylight creating a superb lighting effect in day times. An excellent range of restaurants ensures shoppers, a satisfying culinary experience. From fashion and beauty to jewelry and electronics, there's not much you'll miss here. With regular events and store promotions, Core offers one of the best shopping experienced downtown.
Chinese herbs are not the only delight you'll find in this fascinating grocery. At first glance you are reminded of a candy store from the 1950s. However, those huge glass jars are full of some curious dried treats rather than traditional candies. You will find Western oddities such as Royal Jelly and shark's fin, as well as more recognizable teas and prawn crackers. There are also dried mushrooms everywhere you look. Wah Pek Chinese Herbs Co. Ltd. is the place to indulge in oriental flavors. Call for more information.
Located at the northern edge of downtown, Eau Claire Market is home to numerous restaurants and theaters. You'll also discover a unique selection of retailers not usually seen in suburban malls, including specialty stores dedicated to children's and women's clothing, imported art and handcrafts, and extraordinary gifts. High-end dining is an option at several cafes in the market, while several others, including Joey Tomato's Kitchen, and the tiny 1886 Cafe, are in the immediate vicinity. Other features include movie theaters and entertainment arcades.
The Bow Valley Square in the city's downtown core is known for its mix of offices, personal services and shopping areas. The Bow Valley Square sees a lot of walking-friendly traffic and activity come lunchtime, when office workers pan out through the extensive Plus 15 walkways that connect the Bow Valley Square to other buildings in the core. With more than 50 retail offerings, health and financial services, and even a lunchtime hour theater—the Lunchbox Theatre— the Bow Valley Square is a lively hub of activity in any season of the year.
Located in the arts district of downtown Calgary, this shop takes great pride in selling distinct Canadian-made crystals from Nova Scotia. The glass-works are still made in the time-honored tradition where craftsmen create masterpieces from fire and clay, which are mouth blown and then cut by hand. This second shop, NovaScotian Crystal, in Calgary is modern and trendy without sacrificing the timeless elegance of handmade crystal. There is a wide selection of crystal products such as bowls, candle holders, vases and even practical crystal items that lend function and beauty to any home. Beautiful gifts meant to stand the test of time.
A brilliant and world-renowned design label, Harry Rosen Menswear features a luxurious collection of men's garments. The store has a stunning range of garments ranging from shirts, trousers, suits as well as shoes and other accessories. Allow the staff to help you select something that suits your taste and you can be assured that you would make a style statement.
John Fluevog is an upscale shoe store which offers a range of trendy footwear for both men and women. The designs are a bit off-beat and make use of bright colors. Having opened in the year 2011, the Calgary branch of the shoe store chain is a great place to shop for some unique footwear. Along with the shopping area, the shop also has an art gallery and a refreshment area where delightful and cooling drinks are served to customers.