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.
Kensington is one of the popular areas of Calgary and is declared as a Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ). Here, you can explore the various shopping outlets or gorge on tasty fare at the lovely dining establishments. All in all, one can really have a good time at this bustling neighborhood.
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.
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.
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.
This is an upscale, modern store that offers sophisticated fashion and designer clothes, jewelry and accessories. Holt Renfrew is located right downtown and has 11 locations across Canada. It has long been a staple for the successful corporate businesswoman and offers the best in European and Canadian designs. There are over two dozen different designers offering everything from suits to pants and blouses to shoes. There is also a large section dedicated strictly to formal occasions, where you will find some really beautiful evening gowns.
It is an experience just to walk into Hot Wax Records, a tiny hole-in-the-wall shop, and stroll through the decades of vintage rock paraphernalia adorning every flat surface. The selection of used and unusual vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, and even 8-track cassettes is incredible. It is difficult to distinguish between veteran customers and staff, as both share a great enthusiasm for the music and know exactly where to find the rarest recordings.