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People biking down the pathway along the Bow River in Calgary

Calgary's 138-kilometre pathway connects 55 communities and 400,000 Calgarians.

When you think of the best recreation in Canada, you usually think of outdoorsy things, right? Skiing, skating, and snowshoeing. Hiking (or strolling), biking, and canoeing. You think of dramatic slopes, backcountry trails, sparkling lakes, and expansive parks. And every one of these (plus quite a few more) are in or around Calgary. Yes, we are lucky.

Get outside

Calgary is home to the most extensive outdoor pathway and bikeway network not only in Canada, but North America. We have 850 kilometres of regional pathways and 95 kilometres of trails, including 290 kilometres of on-street bikeways and cycle tracks.

We’re also about an hour away from the Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park, and there are more than four downhill resorts within a two-hour drive. If you prefer cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, there are also several groomed and ungroomed spots in and around Calgary.

In the summer, things don’t slow down because there are plenty of options for recreation. We have 48 golf courses, plus plenty of spots to kayak, canoe, or go fishing around the city.  You can even go surfing on Bow River.

There are 22 parks in downtown Calgary alone, and we have two of the world’s largest urban parks: Nose Hill and Fish Creek. Dog owners also love the 150 off-leash areas. We’re sure the dogs love that too.

And Shaw Millennium Park, in the inner city, isn’t just the largest skateboard and inline skate park in Canada––it’s the biggest in North America.

The great indoors

There’s plenty to do inside too. In fact, in addition to 14 municipal indoor recreation centres, and community centres like Talisman and Genesis, Calgary also has the world’s largest YMCA. The 284,000-square-foot facility in Rocky Ridge has an open-concept library, aquatics centre, three university-sized gyms, an NHL-sized rink (a must in Canada), and a 250-seat performance theatre. (Oh, and the YMCA opening in 2019 in Seton will be even bigger.)

If less active pursuits are more your speed, you have lots to choose from, including the Telus Science Centre, National Music Centre, Calgary Zoo and the stunning, recently opened New Central Library.

Find out more about moving to Calgary here.

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