At the start of every movie, there is a sweeping shot of the city it takes place in. For Paris they show the Eiffel Tower, for London they show Big Ben, for New York they show the Empire State building, for Vancouver they show the waterfront. These shots focus on the most recognizable feature in a city to immediately ground a film. It is a subtle and effective tactic to get people to recognize a city right away.
While not many movies find their setting in Calgary, we too have buildings that help others to instantly recognize us. Places such as the original Fire Station, the Saddledome and Peace Bridge are plastered all over websites and pamphlets promoting our great City. While for some cities, such as London, their most recognized building stays the same, in Calgary ours is starting to change...
The Calgary tower was the City of Calgary's most recognizable modern landmark by far. Built in 1967, the tower was designed to be a beacon for the city, the highest building in all the land that people would instantly recognize as distinctly Calgarian. However, as architectural advances were made it became clear that regulating all buildings to stay smaller than the Calgary Tower was ridiculous.
Since a change in height rules, condos and office buildings have risen up, all contributing the skyline we know and love. Still, the Calgary Tower was distinct. That is, until the construction of the Bow began.
If you talk to homeowners on the North side of the city, many will relay memories of being able to see, distant but clear, the Stampede fireworks bursting beautifully behind the Calgary Tower. However, once the Bow was built, this was no longer possible.
The Bow Tower has eclipsed the Calgary tower both physically and historically. Now our websites and brochures are being updated to include photos with the Bow, because it has become such a dominating presence in the skyline. Renowned for its design and its height, the Bow is swiftly aging the Calgary Tower and becoming the city's most recognized landmark.
While some have welcomed it with open arms, excited for Calgary's future, others long for the charm of the past. Whichever camp you fall into, remember this:
The Calgary Tower is still the best view of the city. From its lookouts, you can see our sprawling Calgary, both new and old, unlike anything else. You can also see the Bow, strong and proud.
Sometimes landmarks change, but our love for this city never will.
Your Real Estate Professional,