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Calgary History, Alberta

Calgary was inhabited by Pre-Clovis people for around 11,000 years before Europeans entered this largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada. First documented European to visit the city was cartographer David Thompson in 1787. It took almost 100 years for Europeans to start settling in the Calgary area and John Glenn was the first recorded European who settled in Calgary in 1873 with his wife Adelaide (nee Belcourt).

Calgary took its first baby steps towards economic growth after the arrival of Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883. Nowadays the headquarters of Canadian Pacific Railway are located in Calgary itself. Calgary achieved another milestone when it was named as a town in 1884 and another milestone when it became “The City of Calgary” in 1894.

Calgary experienced the exponential growth of skyscrapers on its chest after the increase in oil prices due to the Arab Oil Embargo in 1973. Huge reserves of oil were discovered in Alberta in 1947 and Calgary was quick to cash on the upcoming oil boom. The miniature downtown of the city became the next-big-thing with the booming economy of the city. Calgary’s attachment with oil could be seen from the fact that its economy collapsed after the drop in oil prices in 1980. Calgary couldn’t recover from the collapse for the next ten to fifteen years.

Government was quick to understand that their dependence on oil for Calgary’s economy might become one of the major reasons for their downfall in the time to come. Calgary hosted the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988 and this is where their dependence drifted from ‘only oil’ to other diverse factors. Calgary was now being recognized world wide after the Olympic Winter Games.

The largest city of Canada (with around 1.1 million people) is also the fastest growing city due to the recent jump in oil prices worldwide. Major part of the investment of the city goes into tourism as 3.1 million people are said to visit the city every year. Calgary Stampede is by far the largest and the most famous annual events which takes place in Canada. The 10 day event in mid July comprises of a midway, rodeo competition, concerts, stage shows, chuckwagon races, pancake breakfast, First Nations exhibition, and agricultural competitions. In a nutshell, these 10 days are the busiest and the most visited days in Calgary.

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Calgary City Ratings

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    City Rank20
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  • Family & Fun: rated for 100%
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  • Must visit this place: not rated
Calgary is one of the top 20 cities in the world to visit. This rank is based on our travelers' reviews. Please also take the time to rank Calgary or write a Calgary destination review or travel tip to share your opinion.Calgary is one of the "must visit" tourist destinations in the world. This rank is based on what other travelers shared about their experiences in Calgary.
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