Originally called the Husky Tower, the Calgary Tower is a free standing observation tower in Downtown Calgary in Alberta, Canada. The 190.8-meter (626 ft) tower opened to the public in June 1968 as the tallest structure in Calgary and tallest one in Canada outside Toronto. It was in 1971 when the Tower was eventually renamed the Calgary Tower. In order to distinguish it from the tower at the Calgary International Airport, it is still called the Husky Tower by airport officials.
The Tower's structure was designed by W. G. Milne and A. Dale & Associates to withstand earthquakes and winds of up to 161 km/h (100 mph). Its construction began in February 1967 and was completed in a mere 15 months. On its opening days from June 28 to June 30, 1968, the Tower had two elevators taking visitors to the observation level in just over 60 seconds at a cost of $1 for adults and half the price for children under 13.
The Tower's Height
Upon completion, the tower was the tallest structure of its type in North America. Concerned that competing developers would surpass the Husky Tower's height record, developers deceived the public, claiming the tower's height to be 187 m (614 ft). However, they were forced to reveals its true height when officials in San Antonia, Texas attempted to claim the record with the completion of the 190 m (620 ft) Tower of the Americas.
In June 2005, a glass floor extension was constructed on the Tower's north side, enabling a birds-eye-view of the city streets below. Moreover, the Tower features a revolving restaurant, Sky 360, which rotates, providing a spectacular 360° view of Calgary and the Rocky Mountains.
On the Tower's second level, you will find Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, which is known for its hospitality and upscale dining. Stairs to the Observation Deck are opened to the public annually for a 802-steps charity stair-climbing race. The Tower offers the best view in the city and is a must-see for both national and international visitors.
How to get there
In order to get to the Calgary Tower, you should first visit the city of Calgary itself via Queen Elizabeth II Highway. Coming from the north, head south on Centre Street and turn left onto 9th Ave. Take the first right onto 1st Street and turn right onto 10th Ave until you reach the parking lot of the Tower Centre on the right-hand side. Coming from the south, head north on the MacLeod Trail and turn left onto 10th Ave, then keep following the street until you reach the parking lot. Coming from the east, drive west on Memorial Drive and change to 4th Ave. Turn left onto 1st Street and then keep following the route description as mentioned above. Coming from the west, take the Bow Trail and stay there until you reach Centre Street, take a turn right onto 1st Street and keep following the route description above as well.
By Public Transport
Of course you may also want to reach Calgary by train or Greyhound bus. Once you arrived to Calgary, use the public transport in order to get to the Tower. The nearest bus stops are served by the lines 5518, 3884, and 7380. The closest train station is located at 1st Street or Centre Street.
Since Calgary is home to an international airport, you may want to travel there directly. The airport is located in the northeastern part of Calgary, from where you reach the city centre in about 20 minutes.