25 May 2014

Calgary, I'm forced to admit, is a world class city

I have always been inclined to ignore talk about making my city—Calgary—world class. It sounds rather desperate, a sad sort of social-climbing by civic boosters. But now it appears that Calgary really is a world class city. How can it not be when two of the world's top newspapers declare it to be so.

The New York Times, no less, has ranked our prairie metropolis as one of the globe's top travel destinations, number 17 out of its 52 places to go in 2014. "Flush with oil money, Calgary has morphed from ho-hum city on the prairie into a cultural hub, with offerings far beyond the Stampede, the annual rodeo and festival," says the Times. And who am I to disagree with the prestigious Times?

Or with The Guardian, Britain's premier daily. Actually The Guardian chose Alberta, not Calgary, ninth on their list of their top 40 destinations for 2014, however they highlighted Calgary's increasingly diverse and exciting city life as a major attraction. The city "has gone from cowboy town to cosmopolitan cool," raved the paper.

My own favourite Calgary story of recent days is probably not what The Guardian would call "cosmopolitan cool" but I find to be cool, nonetheless.

A pair of Canada geese has settled in to raise a family in a concrete planter near the door of the municipal building in downtown Calgary. The city has set up yellow barricades to give mom and pop some privacy while the eggs are hatching. Once they've hatched, officials will move the goslings and their parents to a slightly wetter area than the concrete steps of city hall. Now that's world class!

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