It spans the Bow River in downtown Calgary like a fat red crayon, perched between the low banks as if dropped there by a Gulliver-sized toddler.
Not immediately recognizable as for its function, the new Peace Bridge is both a piece of public art and an architectural marvel, from the imagination of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
The bridge itself – a double helix of tomato-red metal – is the fourth Calatrava crossing in North America and was designed for minimal environmental impact. The visual impact is huge though, especially from the inside where pedestrians and cyclists share the covered ovoid space that skims the river’s riffles.
While the $24.5 million price tag caused local debate, now that the bridge is in place, it lures pedestrians into the core’s western reaches, along the city’s peaceful riverside pathways and into neighbourhoods like Sunnyside and Kensington.
Start from Prince’s Island, where lunch or brunch on the River Café’s perfect patio is a must-do for foodies. Then wander west for other tasty stops and some of the city’s most eclectic dining and shopping experiences.
Take a walk for dinner with TV Top Chef Xavier Lacaze at Muse, Neopolitan pizza at Pulcinella or Ethiopian Injera at Marathon. Stop for Korean tapas at Anju or a Korean-style frozen yogurt at Spoon Me. Find home treasures at Killian and fantastic toys at Livingstone and Cavell. Sip scotch at Buchanan’s Whisky Bar, have a pint at the Kensington Pub or get your tea fix at Naked Leaf.
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