Ode to Skyways

I suppose it is the childish nerd in me, but I still get excited when I see a skyway. These connecting tubes between buildings, elevated off of the more mundane sidewalks, seem like a glimpse of the future come to life. And nowhere is the love of skyways more pronounced than in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In fact, there are so many skyways there it might wise to check for Calgary houses for rent if you plan to take them all in.

Credit: WikiCommons Qyd 

The skyway system in Calgary even has its own name – +15 – designated as such for the height of the skyway, 15 feet (about 4.5 meters) above street level in most places. But it doesn't stop there, with double and even triple level skyways (known as +30 and +45, respectively) treats to the skyway fan. The original architect of the skyways, Harold Hanen, was awarded a 1970 Vincent Massey Award for Merit in Urban Planning.

Photo courtesy of the Calgary Downtown Association


If you were to add up the total length of the skyways in Calgary, you would find almost 10 miles (16 kilometers) of fun passages to explore. The skyway system, which officially opened in 1970, consists of 59 enclosed units connecting dozens of buildings. It may sound strange to some, but I think it is a worthy addition to a bucket list to visit Calgary and experience all 9.9 miles for yourself. The good news is that they are concentrated downtown, making it a short hop and skip between any skyways that are not already connected. The +15 network covers almost 64 blocks.

Map of the +15 Network in Calgary, Albert, Canada 

I may be wrong, but I think Calgary is missing out on a opportunity here with the marketing of "I did all the Skyways" t-shirts. I would definitely buy one after trekking all of those miles in enclosed futuristic fun. 



Calgary is a city in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, approximately 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. The city is located in the Grassland region of Alberta.



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