Calgary, Alberta, Canada ~ Peace Bridge and Heritage Park

August 5th and 6th ~ Calgary, Canada

Gasoline pumps at Heritage Park Historical Village

We took our time driving to Calgary after a long day of dinosaur hunting and a late night at Wal-Mart. The drive was beautiful and we soaked up the scenery. 

Heading down the highway toward Calgary

Lush farm land and puffy clouds

Calgary is much larger than I remembered from my visit back around 1981 when I attended the Calgary Stampede. We managed to find an RV park on the west side of town. Not much to choose from here.

After a restful night and lazy morning, we headed out to see a few sights in Calgary. Our RV park was very close to the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics, and we could see the massive ski jump and what I think was the bob sled course high on the hill.

Winter Olympic Village

I had marked the Peace Bridge as one thing I wanted to see, but somehow the directions on our GPS took us to the wrong place. I was a bit frustrated, but as we started to backtrack, Tim spotted a black squirrel. This is a lousy picture of it, but wanted to document it as I did not know that they were found anywhere outside of Palo Alto, California. I’ll have to do a bit of research when I have better Internet to see if I am remembering accurately.

Black squirrel

Driving through the downtown section, I was amazed and impressed by how modern and beautiful it was.

Calgary skyline as we approached downtown

Modern buildings reflecting the sunshine

Back on track, we found a place to park near the Peace Bridge, only to learn that the parking garage was completely empty (spooky), and that if we went out the door, we would have been locked out and our car locked in.

I was beginning to think that this day was not being very co-operative 😦

After exiting the structure, we found street parking, and since it was a three-day holiday in Canada, threw caution to the wind, and parked in a 15-minute-only spot. The way our day was starting out, perhaps not the wisest move.

Peace Bridge ~ According to Wikipedia, it has the “popular nickname “Finger Trap Bridge” due to its visual similarity to the finger trap puzzle”.

The Peace Bridge

Looking through the Peace Bridge

Tim and Joanne on the Peace Bridge with Downtown Calgary in the background

The Peace Bridge was great to see though, and after walking across it, taking a few photos, we further pressed our luck on the parking spot, and found a quiet place for a late lunch right downtown.

Butterfly on wilted flower

Same butterfly, different angle

Something else that caught my eye is their lending library. Right in a park, near what was probably some apartment buildings, as well as downtown office buildings, we saw this tiny wooden structure on a post.

Lending Library

Sample of books inside

Awesome idea!

Heritage Park

Rates and options for Heritage Park

By now it was mid afternoon, and we headed off toward Heritage Park. I had envisioned a large park, kind of like the Golden Gate Park, where we could drive through and perhaps get out and stroll through some pretty gardens.

Boy was I wrong.

Map of Heritage Park

I had failed to see the words, “Historical Village” tacked onto the name. It was more like a combination of Knott’s Berry Farm meets Old Town. By the time we got parked and got our tickets we only had 90 minutes to try to cover a LOT of ground. A couple local people, upon us asking them for some guidelines on how to make the most of our limited time, highly recommended that we take the boat cruise on the lake, so off we went in that direction.

Old paddlewheel boat we took for a short spin on the lake

Hmmm, it was OK, and perhaps for this land-locked town, a thrill, but for us who are used to water activities, it was a bit of a snore.

An old train takes you on a loop through the park for an overview

For us, the highlights were the old historical buildings that had been relocated here, furnished to the time period and were open for inspection. Sadly, by the time we got to many of them they were already closing.

One of the main street of the Historical Village

Inside the Attorneys Office

Bank window


Any guesses on what this paper bag is for??

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Our recommendations:

  1. Allow more time. You could easily spend at least a half day or more there to see the highlights.
  2. You can download a 1/2 coupon online before you go.
  3. Skip the boat ride unless you rarely get to see water or have extra time on your hands
  4. Get to Gasoline Alley. We ran out of time but it was supposed to be great.

We did enjoy what we did get to see and just kicked ourselves for not allowing enough time.

The answer to what that paper bag was doing over the door? In fact they were found over many of the doors in the park. The reason is that they have a problem with hornets building nests here. The paper bag is similar enough in appearance to mimic a hornets nest and the invaders think that someone else has already claimed that territory, so will leave it alone. Problem solved!

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that although all did not go smoothly, we were still able to make some good memories. The Peace Bridge stands out, as well as the beauty of downtown Calgary. We did not get to see near as much of the Heritage Park as we would have liked to, but had a good time regardless.

NEXT STOP: Banff National Park

We invite you to tag along…

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in Canada, Photography, RV Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Calgary, Alberta, Canada ~ Peace Bridge and Heritage Park

  1. Calgary is one of those beautiful places I don’t like. That seems like a contradiction. I have many friends there and we visit often. I just don’t like the place. Of course I don’t like any cities so maybe that’s all it is. A much nicer than most city but still a city.


    • Big cities are certainly not for everyone. Being from a small town in Southern Oregon, I NEVER thought I would end up living in a big city area like Los Angeles. But now that I call that “home”, I can appreciate all of the opportunities and diversity it has to offer.


  2. The Chaos Realm says:

    That’s a neat idea about the paper bag, too!


  3. joylennick says:

    Reblogged this on Joy Lennick and commented:
    Love the cool design of the Peace Bridge…Everything looked pristine. A shame your time in the Heritage place was too short, but at least you had a thumb-print. Good snapping…


  4. We are recently discovering the Calgary area and southern Alberta in general as my daughter and her family made a move to High River last year. I enjoyed your description of how planning to see a new area works out. It is often the case for us of the well laid plans do often go astray. They don’t often come off as envisioned but, as you say, good memories can be made all the same. Great photos. I am looking forward to travelling along with you via this blog.


  5. Ernie Holland says:

    Wow! Are you guys thorough or what.
    Sorry I don’t get to read all my email
    but now I know what I am missing.
    Between purchasing a 1031 exchange
    and getting ready to go to Greece in
    Sept we have kept super busy. Can’t
    Imagine how I held a job at the same
    time. 😳Any suggestions on spending
    almost a week on Mykonos? Do you have
    place on your web site for all your previous
    trips? Probably a dumb question.
    Great job of documenting your trips!!


    • Hi Ernie! It is easiest to find your way around our site on a lap top or iPad. Open our main page using the link
      From that main page, on the far right hand side you will find a listing of all the different countries we have visited and written about. Just click on the link you are interested in, and a list of all posts we have written about that country should then pop up for you. We only spent a day on Mykonos however so don’t have much to offer. We loved the island and spent the day wandering around through narrow streets. Nearby Santorini was our favorite of the Greek Islands that we visited.


    • P.S. Our trip that included Greece was before we started writing our blog 😦


  6. I was relieved to see you didn’t get a parking ticket! The bee is on an echinacea flower, and there are black squirrels everywhere in western Canada. I’m not sure about back east, but they are probably there too. They are very common in Vancouver – in all the parks and leafy suburbs.


    • Alison, thank you for identifying the flower and for the additional information on black squirrels. We too were pretty happy that we did not get a parking ticket. Since it was a holiday, and the downtown was deserted, we were hopeful that it would be OK. Thankfully it worked out well.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. annelogan17 says:

    Glad you enjoyed my humble little city 🙂 and agreed that the paddle boat at heritage park isn’t that exciting lol


  8. Jean says:

    Thanks for the posts! Here’s more on Little Free Library:


  9. tippysmom2 says:

    I have only been to Niagara Falls in Canada. For some reason, I guess because it is cold there, I expected the terrain to be very mountainous, so was surprised by how flat it is. (Yes, this is showing how little I know about geography.) Sorry that you didn’t get to see as much of the village as you would have liked, but I enjoyed seeing pictures of the parts that you did see. I love the ornate wood stove in the picture of the parlor. The little library is really a neat idea. Also glad to see that you did NOT get a parking ticket.


    • The southern part of Alberta has quite a bit of lush farm land and soft rolling hills. That stove caught my eye as well. I would have loved curling up in a corner with a good book in the winter and having it keep me warm. The lending library was such a surprise, just perched on a pole in the parkway. Loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. joliesattic says:

    Wow! So many things and not enough time.
    Black squirrels. Neat. I didn’t know squirrels came in any other colors until I lived in Alabama. There were black ones, gold ones, copper ones, grey ones (most common) and silver ones. The gold and copper ones I saw were spotted around Jacksonville on the same day and they were magnificent. I never saw a white one, but I heard they can be found in the east and south east with some spotted in the central part of the US, both albino and others with dark eyes.


    • I have not seen gold and copper squirrels and would love to. We did see the white squirrels in Olney, Illinois a few years back when we visited Tim’s family who live not far from there. They were so pretty, but rather shocking to see them that color.

      Liked by 1 person

      • joliesattic says:

        That’s how I felt about the gold and copper. They were so luminous, they almost appeared fake. The same with the silver. I know it was just how the light was hitting them, but it was still pretty cool.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Michael Alesko says:

    We have lots of those little free libraries here in Portland. Cool idea. Unbelievably some cities ban them over zoning laws.


  12. Maxxtrails says:

    How was the RV Park? We see it all the time when driving to Edmonton to see out boys and have thought about spending a night and touring Calgary, but it didn’t look that great. I agree with you that Calgary has very few options for RV parks and it is a pretty city so I would like to spend some more time there. Enjoy Banff, will you make it in to BC?


    • The RV park in the west side of Calgary was just OK, but there were few options. We did enjoy our brief time in Calgary. It is a pretty city. Could have easily spent several more days. We will be passing through BC, on our way to visit friends and family in Washington State. Originally planned on a revisit of Vancouver and Victoria, but may pass on this trip due to all the fires and smoke.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maxxtrails says:

        Yes the air quality all over BC is pretty bad this year due to forest fires. I would always recommend stopping through out the Okanagan Valley but right now the smoke is sitting in the valley 😦


  13. Anabel Marsh says:

    The heritage park looks great, I love looking round places like that. We stayed one night in Calgary at the beginning of our trip so we only had a few hours to look around in an extremely jet-lagged state. We went up the tower, had an early dinner and collapsed into bed!


  14. LTodd says:

    Calgary looks like a fun place. Thanks for letting me tag along with you.


  15. Aunt Beulah says:

    The Peace Bridge stood out for me as well, though I preferred its nicknam.


  16. mvbattelle says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts. Are you going on west into British Columbia? They have wonderful provincial parks – some of our favorite places to camp when we rv’ed through Canada to Alaska. p.s there are black squirrels in Marysville Kansas too.


  17. This is my beloved home!!! I am so glad you came to visit 🙂

    There are actually little free libraries all over the city. Some our embedded in neighbourhoods !!!

    Hope you had safe travels after you left 🙂


  18. Terry says:

    Heritage Park looks right up my alley, I could spend all day there looking at all the buildings. So how did the parking situation go in the 15 minute spot?


  19. Thanks for the information. I have never thought I’d visit Canada, ever, but you may have convinced me….Wonderful photos, you really brought it to life


    • Canada is a wonderful country to visit. We have been treated warmly, made to feel welcome and the scenery is spectacular. The US dollar also goes further in Canada at the moment (unless you get a manicure/pedicure in a tourist city) 🙂 We can definitely recommend Canada as a tourist destination.


  20. Widdershins says:

    Sunday 20th August … haven’t had any updates for a while … you two OK?


    • Thank you for checking in on us! We were totally without Internet for several days, as well as spending some time with family, so got behind on our blogging. Just posted about the start of our time in Banff National Park and hoping to get more writing done today. Appreciate your concern – we are doing GREAT!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Calgary, Alberta, Canada ~ Peace Bridge and Heritage Park — A Note From Abroad – Suman Ds Blog

  22. curvyroads says:

    Wow, the Peace bridge is an amazing structure! Our little historic town has several of the “Little libraries” scattered around, even in the yard of a private home. 😍


  23. A very nice set of Calgary pictures! Keep up the good work.


  24. Pingback: Calgary Attractions | Tokeloshe

  25. Pingback: Heritage Park 2011 | Tokeloshe

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