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East Village serves up some of the best inner-city views YYC has to offer and some of the best and most unique vantage points can only be accessed from floating down the Bow.

St. Patricks Island (SPI) - East Village’s 33-acre backyard is home to the end Paddle Station, but once you arrive, the adventure is far from over. Restored in a way that gives Calgarians a place to get in touch with nature amongst the concrete of the city, you could call this island a wild oasis. Every place, space, plaza and bridge on SPI has been thoughtfully created to provide you with opportunities to enjoy some R&R, get in touch with your wild side, and explore the best of island life right in the heart of the city. From naturalized wetlands, wooded areas with meandering pathways, to an accessible picnic area and a monumental public art installation, there’s a little something for everyone. And a hop, skip and a jump over the bridge has you in Calgary’s most exciting city neighbourhood, East Village. East Village and SPI are bursting with places for you to discover. Here’s your checklist for your adventure down the Bow:

1. Treat Yourself

o Take advantage of our limited edition East Village Picnic Baskets! We have partnered with five East Village restaurants who have created unique picnic baskets all packed up in a limited edition Eat Village cooler bag – that is yours to keep. Don’t risk being hangry post float and order directly from one of the amazing restaurants and enjoy!

o East Village is home restaurants and dining options for every budget and craving. From freshly brewed coffee and pastries you’ll be dreaming about, to multi-course meals prepared by world-class chefs, East Village is truly a culinary destination located in the heart of Calgary.

o Choose your culinary adventure! Check out our list of dining options and stay awhile, grab and go or quench your thirst with a patio beer or two.

2. Snap a selfie under George C. King Bridge

o A popular place for photographers and content creators alike. Spice up the ‘gram with a unique perspective of the underbelly of the bridge. The shape of the bridge will remind you of a stone skipping across the Bow! Connecting East Village, St. Patrick’s Island and Bridgeland, this unique bridge is your visual cue to look for the Paddle Station Crew. As you pass under the bridge, look for the orange flags on your left and get ready to pull into The Cove and drop off your rental gear.

o Insider Tip: At night, the bridge illuminates with ripples of light that emulate the flowing river beneath it. As serene and beautiful as it is breathtaking.

3. Find a Picnic Spot

o St. Patrick’s Island:

From Picnic Grove and Trout Beach to Confluence Plaza, you’ll find different kinds of seating, shade or views to continue your adventure. Here’s a map of the island to find your ideal spot!

o Picnic Grove: The perfect meeting place, accessible to all. Meet up with friends or family post-float and gather around firepits and picnic tables.

§ Insider tip: Take the fuss out of cooking for the gang and order an East Village picnic basket directly from one of five local restaurants and feast your heart out.

o Confluence Plaza: Shade, seating and relaxing. There are public washrooms and it’s close to the parking lot so you can grab a dry pair of flip flops from your car. Confluence Plaza is a hot spot for events and front row seats for a variety of performances all summer long. Don’t forget to check out the East Village events calendar to see what’s on.

o Trout Beach: Dip your toes and play in the water from the safety of the seasonal breach. Be sure to look for the Osprey nest on the top of Bloom - the island’s 75-foot high sculpture is inspired by the meeting of nature with city scape.

o East Village:

From tree-lined plazas to pavilions and playgrounds, EV is famous for outdoor places and spaces. Here is a link to the paths and parks, waiting for you to explore.

o Fort Calgary: The original gathering place. Get comfy at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in a place called Moh’kinstis, a Blackfoot word that means elbow. East Villagers appreciate the unique and rare combination of history and the 40 acres of open space that Fort Calgary offers in an otherwise urban area.

o RiverWalk: Find accessible picnic tables located in between the historic Simmons Building and George C. King Bridge. Or grab a seat on one of the benches, outlooks over the water or the wide steps leading down to the river – all good spots for some chill time.

o 5th Street Square: East Village’s smallest park provides a little urban breathing room. Get cozy on the brightly coloured patio furniture and admire Dennis Oppenheim’s upside-down church art installation, Device to Root out Evil.

4. Admire the hustle & bustle of city life:

o Stretching from Centre Street Bridge to 9 Avenue S.E., RiverWalk is not only a way to get from point A to B, it’s a destination for anyone wanting to spend time outside. The award-winning Jack & Jean Leslie RiverWalk provides dedicated pedestrian and cycle lanes along the edges of the Bow and Elbow rivers. As you float alongside RiverWalk take in the sunshine while going with the flow, enjoy people-watching from your unique vantage point.

o Insider Tip: Look out for some of Calgary’s newest public art, Touch Traces, by local artist Cassie Suche. These new artworks wrap the giant abutments that are visible from the river as you pass under Reconciliation Bridge and make your arrival into East Village. The artwork is reminiscent of water ripples, but they are actually made from hundreds of fingerprints sourced from the East Village community.

Your adventure doesn’t stop when the float stops, in fact, it keeps getting better. East Village is an exciting neighbourhood and destination where Calgary’s most inspiring people, events and opportunities are concentrated in a few walkable, bikeable and well-connected streets.

Get inspired at the architectural marvels that anchor East Village’s arts and culture scene, the Central Library and Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre. Visit The Hive – a sustainability and biodiversity project that serves as a safe place for honeybees, a pollinator educator, and hub for community collaboration. Get lost in your own city, and use your phone as a compass in one of our curated walking [DE]TOURS, customized to individual interests and activities.

There’s no shortage of things to do, places to see or events to be at in East Village. Be sure to tag us @eastvillageyyc and share your adventures with us. We love seeing our city from your perspective.


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