Onward!, the official motto of Calgary, is more apt than ever in the wake of the major flooding the city experienced in June 2013. A year later, the casual visitor would have been hard-pressed to find any traces of the flood. As of August 2014, the only changes visitors would have been likely to notice were the closure of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (accessible only by daily guided tours throughout 2014, but the Nature Centre is fully open), interruption of canoeing/kayaking on the Harvie Passage section of the Bow River, and roughly 36 km of bike paths that were closed as a result of flood damage and detours.
Calgary is Alberta's largest city and Canada's fourth-largest, and is located near where the prairies end and the foothills begin. That makes it the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains and an important center of trade and tourism for the western prairies. It is your best point of access for Banff and Jasper, and a worthwhile destination in its own right. Calgary is the heart of the largest metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver, with over 1,210,000 people as of 2011 (1.1 million within city limits), making it Canada's fourth largest metropolitan area.
Calgary was founded by the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) in 1875 and was originally called Fort Brisebois. (The name was changed to Fort Calgary in 1876, named after Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull.) The NWMP was sent west to ensure that Canada would not have an American-style "Wild West". Grave concerns about this were raised after the Cypress Hills Massacre of natives by drunken wolf hunters in 1873. Calgary was one of several forts established in Western Canada by the NWMP to ensure a police presence before the arrival of settlers. Read more