PLAY IT BY YEAR

History travel is trending and Calgary’s urban heritage experiences sprawl acres and rank among the best in Canada.

HOW THE WEST WAS ONCE: HERITAGE PARK

Known for its pioneering spirit; unknown for it 127-acre tribute to pioneers at Canada’s largest living history museum at Heritage Park.

The old fashioned crank slows as hand churned ice cream sets for the scoop. Clip-clopping hooves on cobbles sound as costumed townsfolk pass by in a horse-drawn stage coach. Sparks fly in the dark from the blacksmith’s hammer, lighting up children’s faces. Stepping back in time means discovery, nostalgia and wonder at Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living history museum.

FAR FROM TODAY AND FAR FROM DULL

This world-class attraction curates the best of the past through:

  • Vibrant collections of automobile memorabilia in Gasoline Alley – most items contributed by a single collector
  • Working C.T. Gilbert’s Alberta Bakery, which operated in Calgary during the first decade of the 20th century – visitors indulge in the baked goods
  • Vintage midway, atop the ferris wheel gives a pretty park view
  • S.S Moyie half size replica that explores the Glenmore reservoir
  • Canadian Pacific Railway steam train that tours the circumference of the park

ALL ABOUT HERITAGE PARK HISTORICAL VILLAGE

More than 127 acres and 180 hands-on historical exhibits shed light on a simpler time. With buildings, street fronts, and working antique settings so authentic, Heritage Park is a popular backdrop for film and television movies.

Heritage Park launched a salute to the 1930s, 40s, and 50s with Gasoline Alley, a brilliant 75,000 square foot interactive museum with petrol pumps, vintage cars, retro signage and more, celebrating the introduction of the automobile. Local businessman, Ron Carey,generously donated the items for the public to enjoy.

Among the fascinating displays are the earliest sod shacks and a replica of an 1860s Hudson’s Bay Company Fur Trading Fort, with an authentic fur trader’s cabin. Bannock baking over an open fire at the First Nations Encampment provides a unique culinary memory. Wooden grain elevators and towering turn-of-the-century oil derricks offset the throw-back town centre with its Wainwright Hotel, pool hall, churches, drug stores and barber shoppes.

Take a ride on the new River Forth car – a restored 1929 CP rail car on which visitors can enjoy a historically themed lunch or dinner, as the car is pulled behind Heritage Park’s steam engine and circles the Park.

Discover dark musty recesses ducking into an authentic mud and log cabin. Explore a grand Edwardian-style manor where the lady of the house entertained in the parlour and the servants made do with the implements of the day to do the washing and the cooking. Open the door to understanding the lives of professionals and craftspeople of the day, from shopkeepers to teachers, farmers, and pharmacists.

For more historical insights into Calgary and the area, be sure to visit:

– Fort Calgary, the symbolic heart of the city and a major attraction set to expand in line with the rapidly developing neighbourhood of East Village

– Lougheed House, a national and provincial historic site and museum built in 1891, that has been restored to its Victorian and Edwardian splendour.

– The Blackfoot exhibit at the Glenbow Museum, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016.

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