Shopping in Calgary
As a shopping destination, Calgary offers visitors the opportunity to buy something that captures the flavour of the city and country along with sophisticated boutique products that you would expect to find in any major international city.
The main shopping district is in downtown Calgary, notably along Stephen Avenue Walk (8h Avenue SW), a pedestrian walkway lined with historic buildings housing shops, galleries and restaurants. For Western gear, there are Riley & McCormick stores at 220 Stephen Avenue Walk and at the airport. Micah Gallery, Unit 112, 100 7th Avenue (Art Central) has a good selection of native and Western art.
For more upmarket shopping, try Uptown 17th Avenue SW, known as The Red Mile, with fashion boutiques, antique stores and Mount Royal Village - one of the city's more high-end malls.
Away from the skyscrapers, Kensington, just north of Downtown, is a pleasant, walkable neighbourhood with an eclectic mix of shops and cafés.
The city centre's best known retail asset is the Eau Claire Market, 2nd Street at 2nd Avenue SW, with an interior that houses restaurants and a small, fresh-food market, around which are lined a variety of speciality shops and kiosks. In 2011, the Calgary Farmers’ Market moved to a new, purpose-built location at 510 77th Avenue SE. The market offers fresh produce year-round, and is open Thursday to Sunday.
Around Stephen Avenue Walk, The CORE is a super-complex of shopping malls linked by plus-15 walkways and offering over 160 stores. The range includes retail chains, department stores and speciality boutiques. Covering more than one-hectare, the mall’s indoor botanical park, the Devonian Gardens, reopened in phases from early 2017 after a period of extensive renovation.
For a more unique experience, track down the latest gems from local artists and innovative designers at Art Central, 7th Avenue and Fashion Central, 1st Street at 8th Avenue.
The Chinook Centre, south of Downtown, at the intersection of Macleod Trail and Glenmore Trail, is Calgary's largest shopping centre. It has over 250 shops, a cinema, food court and a full-scale dinosaur model created from farm machinery parts.
CrossIron Mills, 30 minutes northeast of Downtown at 261055 CrossIron Boulevard, is an outlet store designed to represent a tour of Alberta, with over 200 shops and restaurants in themed ‘neighbourhoods’.
Shopping hours in Downtown and in The CORE are generally Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 0900/0930-1800, Thursday to Friday 0930-2000 and Sunday 1200-1700. Suburban malls usually open Monday to Saturday 0930-2100 and Sunday 1100-1800, though hours vary.
If you’re searching for an Albertan souvenir, you can pick up all manner of cowboy boots and hats, leather goods, art, jewellery or consumable treats such as exquisite chocolate or craft beer (try the Wild Rose and Big Rock brewery ales).
One thing that makes Calgary a compelling destination for shoppers is the fact that the Province of Alberta charges no provincial sales tax, resulting in better shopping value than in other Canadian provinces. Nevertheless, a federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% is charged and is non-refundable.