About the Beltline

Some of my more curious readers ask “Where is this Beltline that your views are coming from?” Or even “What is the Beltline?” Well, it’s where I live, my turf so to speak.

It’s that part of Calgary’s downtown south of the CPR tracks. The name originated from the Calgary Municipal Railway’s Route No.5.  In the early 20th century, No. 5 trolley circled the area—like a belt.

It is the city’s most urban mixed-use district. Older homes on quiet tree-lined streets confront walk-up apartments, warehouses converted to lofts, and high-rise towers. Major thoroughfares bustle with offices and shops of great variety along with a gourmand’s delight of coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. Included are most of Calgary’s heritage buildings. Notable sites include “Beaulieu,” Sir James Lougheed’s mansion beautifully restored as a national historic resource; Central Memorial Park, Calgary’s first and in my view finest; the Saddledome, home of the Flames; and the Stampede grounds. 

The area attracts people from across the city to shop, entertain themselves and people-watch. As Avenue Magazine puts it: “Even at rest the Beltline seems to hum.” Both the people and the attractions range from sketchy to elegant.

The three images I show in the blog header are:

• Central Memorial Park with its Carnegie library in the background
• The Louise Block in the Warehouse District, a city historic resource
• A streetscape down 11th Street SW from one of my favourite coffee shops

For a virtual tour of the Beltline see my Flickr site at https://www.flickr.com/photos/57766598@N05/. The Beltline photos are divided into east (Victoria Park) and west (Connaught). For the adventurous, included on the site are virtual tours of 22 other Calgary inner-city communities. Enjoy.