Ghost Town And A Fun Evening

It felt a bit like a ghost town. We spent a couple of hours walking through downtown Calgary earlier this week. I had read a recent article in The Globe and Mail about Calgary’s hollowed-out city center where some 13.5 million square feet of office space sits empty thanks to the pandemic and a downturn in the oil and gas industry.

And that’s what we found. Not only empty office buildings, but empty stores and restaurants and streets and public transportation even though it was around noon on what should have been a busy business day. Sadly the plight of the homeless and those struggling with addictions were also evident everywhere we turned in downtown Calgary.

The skyline is stunning and many of the buildings we saw are real architectural wonders. The city already is planning how they might fill them, by changing them to cultural centers, or entertainment venues, or apartments or office space for industries that pivot away from oil and gas. Hopefully, in a few years, the Calgary city center will be a thriving place again.

Our waitress Niki with my husband Dave

Our evening in Calgary by contrast was full of life and fun. We got together with my cousin Tim and his wife Jackie for supper at The Toolshed, a brewery, and barbeque establishment. Our waitress Niki who also works as a flight attendant was just delightful and filled us in on The Toolshed history as well as the origin of the names of the various beers they had on tap. During our conversation, we discovered she was a huge fan of our son’s music group Royal Canoe and she was excited about meeting the parents of one of the band members.

It had been many years since we’d had a chance for a good visit with Tim and Jackie. It was great to catch up and we spent a delightful evening with them.

Calgary is no different than any city in having some problems they need to address. But like every city we have visited in Canada it also has plenty of warm and friendly people.

Other posts……….

The Calgary Library

Haunted By Ghosts

Cousins

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