If Calgary were a snowglobe, it would make a pretty gorgeous one. Mountains, rivers, architecture, and culture.
And if Instagram made snowglobes, here are the 18 locations they’d feature.
1. The Peace Bridge
Though its numbers are probably down from when it was unveiled last year, Calgarians still have a love for the artsy red bridge across the Bow River. Casual bike rides, intense marathon training, romantic sunset strolls, busking; there’s no limit to what activities are interrupted in order to snap a selfie here.
2. September Festivals: Beakerhead and Nuit Blanche Calgary
On back-to-back weekends in September, we risked sensory overload as the inner-city transformed into an arts and science playground with these two festivals. From Ferris wheel restaurants and flaming robots, to a subtle spotlight that lured #nenshi in for a soliloquy, the photo ops were endless.
3. Johnston Canyon
While a mountainous backdrop is pretty much a given at some point in the year, they’re a pretty vast area to narrow down. Athletic and adventure levels all being equal, we’re pretty sure most Calgarians have been to Johnston Canyon and snapped a group shot with the waterfalls in the background. Keep exploring; it just gets better.
4. Anywhere that Serves Ramen
If the #yyceats hashtag is any indication of a trend, it looks like we’re in the middle of a love affair with photogenic soup of the Asian variety. Korean hotpot and Vietnamese pho have their moments, too, but ramen (particularly from Shiki Menya) is the hottest of them all.
5. 17th Avenue (During the September Snowstorm)
Ice-covered branches lining the sidewalk and police tape everywhere protecting passers-by, there were a few days there where we thought the downtown hub would never be the same. We survived, though, despite the controversial #shakeatree campaign…
6. The Saddledome During Flames’ Games
Scanning Insta on a Saturday around 7:30 between the Fall and Spring? Get ready to see a whole lot of red jerseys and H-beers.
7. Village Ice Cream
If only smartphones were scratch & taste…
8. The Calgary Zoo
We’re not sure if it’s because of Zoo Lights, or maybe a result of kid photos taking over social media, but somehow a search for #calgaryzoo hashtag produces almost 30,000 results. Or maybe that’s where everyone’s getting those tiger shots on Tinder…
9. Lake Louise
Considering we can ski approximately 6.5 months out of the year, that equals a whole lot of goggled selfies. And for those few months when the grass is green, the classic shot facing out from the Chateau Lake Louise to the Victoria Glacier is a tourist must.
10. The Bow Building/The Giant Head
The home of EnCana and Cenovus opened in 2012, but its construction was the subject of amateur (and professional) photography for years before that. The giant head out front actually has a name, Wonderland, and is the work of Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa.
11. The Calgary Tower
We’re pretty sure its sole purpose was to be Instagrammed, especially during the Olympics when they light the flame.
12. Stampede Tents (Wildhorse/Cowboys)
There are probably more shots taken in line for these places, but it all looks the same, let’s be honest: plaid, boots, cowboy hats. #calgarystampede = 64,000 photos.
13. The Bobsled Track at Canada Olympic Park
And we have Cool Runnings to thank for it.
14. Talisman Centre (or any condo gym)
We’re not sure how word hasn’t reached the masses yet that no one wants to see you lifting, but gym shots with the #yyc hashtag don’t seem to be going anywhere. Shots taken in Lindsay Park that surrounds the Talisman, however? Bring those on.
15. East Village/River Walk/ Simmons Building
These shots just keep getting better and better, and we’re looking forward to the historic Simmons building actually opening up in 2015 so we can take even more.
16. The Skyline from McHugh Bluffs
An impeccable sunset view over the entire downtown core + bragging rights for what can be a stellar workout (“doing the stairs”) = a winning Instagram post.
17. The Skyline from the Hill in Ramsay
A prime spot for engagement photos and sportscaster intros, the view of the city with the Saddledome in the foreground is quintessential Calgary.
18. The Skyline from Nose Hill Park
Another workout-brag meets nature post with downtown in the distance is another fan favourite, especially when you want to watch fireworks in the summer.
Cover image: istock.com/jewhyte