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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.

Key areas

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.

Markets

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.

Shopping centres

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’.

Opening hours

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.

Souvenirs

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).

Tax information

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.

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Hotel Le Germain

This Montreal hotel has 101 designer rooms. Everything is eye pleasing from the minimalist furniture to the low-lit hallways. If you own an iPad and appreciate nice shoes, this trendy hotel should tick your boxes. Rooms are loft style and have superior cotton sheets, goose down duvets and – ladies will appreciate this - Aveda bathroom products.

Econo Lodge Inn & Suites University

This place does what it says on the tin: it's cheap. Free Wi-Fi breakfast and parking make it an even more attractive proposition to the budget traveller. All rooms come with a fridge and microwave while some have a kitchenette. Plus there's an indoor pool and fitness centre. The hotel is near the university and light rail.

Kensington Riverside Inn

In trendy Kensington (a short walk from the business district), overlooking the Bow River and downtown Calgary, this 19-room hotel is a real gem. The spacious rooms are individually decorated, with plush bedding and free Wi-Fi. Some have fireplaces or garden patios. The Chef's Table restaurant features grain-fed, fresh, organic food.

Hotel Arts

Setting foot in Hotel Arts on a hot day is like arriving at a Miami beach party, with the cool and the beautiful draping themselves, cocktails in hand, by the outdoor pool. Calgary's chic, sexy and independently owned designer hotel is within walking distance of all downtown venues. Rooms are stylish, and the hip Raw Bar serves 'Vietmodern' cuisine.

Fairmont Palliser

The grande dame of Calgary's hotels, the Fairmont Palliser has been welcoming guests since 1914. Rooms are elegant and luxurious, and there's a posh health club and spa with an indoor pool. You can enjoy cocktails and craft brews in the sophisticated Oak Lounge or treat yourself to a fancy afternoon tea.

Centro Motel

Northwest of downtown, near the Bow River, Centro Motel is a little bit of affordable chic. Rooms are smart and spacious, with pillow-top beds and high-end linens and cosy duvets. Wi-Fi, parking and a continental breakfast are all included in the price.