A Colourful Glimpse into a Calgary Winter's Eve
Have you ever visited Calgary in the heart of winter? Are you new here?
No doubt Calgary – and Canada – can be intimidating in our most chilly months. How the heck do you survive and thrive when a polar vortex descends?! What to wear? What to do? How to adapt? How the heck can it be so gloriously sunny but then you step outside and freeze your $%#s off?!
Even the heartiest of Canadians can curse the cold and shy away from venturing outside when the temperature plummets.
However, amongst winter's typical shades of crystal-coloured frost, deep blue icy cold and white (usually ...) snow, you’ll almost always find Calgary's trademark energy, big smiles, hearty welcomes, warmth and brilliant colour (yes, colour!) to rival – at least a little bit – the expected colours of warmer spots like Mexico or the Caribbean.
If you’ve never been to Calgary in winter or are new here, enjoy this glimpse into what a Calgary winter’s eve can really be like and consider the unique, unexpected experiences winter brings to this wonderful, western Canadian metropolis.
A Colourful Glimpse into Winter in Calgary
It’s a bitterly cold, frosty and frozen January evening. I sit at a sturdy wood table, with a brown bench waiting for a friend to join me at Original Joe’s Pub in the trendy, inner city neighbourhood of Marda Loop. The table is by the door and a chill wafts by every time it opens and closes. Outside the cold visibly emanates off the street. The four-way stop is bustling. Christmas lights remain bringing cheer and colour to the deep freeze.
The pub is moody with brown decor, prints on the walls, golden pot lights illuminating the tables and red exit signs piercing the dark. Loud chatter reverberates through the space. Everyone is involved in their discussions. In spite of the frigid night, there is a pulsing, cozy energy. The background music is catchy and keeps things moving. Sports play on the TVs. I smell pub food and the butter chicken I order is scrumptious and piping hot.
I witness the evening move from slow to busy to slow. People, including delivery drivers, come and go. As they do, I’m drawn to the colour and assortment of toques (beanies or warm winter hats): blue with numbers, red with logos, tight, loose, round, pointy, lipstick pink, red plaid, black striped with ear covers and tie strings, wool and pink speckled, black with a thin white stripe, brown with a pom pom and thick stripes, scarves, caps, hoods and hoodies.
As the evening winds down, I don my own toque – grey and white patterned with a pom pom – and journey home brimming with energy and feeling a little warmer for all of the evenings sizzling Mexico-like colour.
In addition to toques – what other gear might you need for a winter excursion to Calgary, Canada? Let me know below.