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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

October 6-7, 2008

Local Information

This page provides some local information regarding transportation, the meeting venue, dining, and tourist activities in the Calgary/Banff area.

Getting to the Hotel

After arriving at the Calgary International Airport, the easiest way to get to the Quality Inn is by taxi. Ask for the Quality Inn in the "motel village" next to the University of Calgary (U of C) campus. Taxis should take 20-30 minutes, costing about $32 CDN. Credit cards accepted.

If you are renting a car, here are simple driving directions. From the airport, take Barlow Trail southbound (about 7 traffic lights) to 16th Avenue North (also known as Trans-Canada Highway 1). Turn right (west) onto 16th Avenue, and follow it for quite a while. Street numbers will count down as you traverse the NE quadrant of the city, and then count up again after you cross Centre Street and enter the NW quadrant of the city. Keep going. The exit you want is called Banff Trail. It will be the traffic lights shortly after 19th Street NW. (There is a pedestrian overpass just before the exit.) Take Banff Trail to the right. The hotel will be just ahead and on your left: Quality Inn, 2359 Banff Trail NW.

Getting to the Meeting Venue

The HotNets-VII workshop takes place at the University of Calgary, for which a campus map is available. This is about a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel. Bring a jacket or sweater, since the autumn weather in Calgary can be chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings. From the hotel, head towards the large football stadium (McMahon Stadium) nearby, and take the pedestrian overpass to cross Crowchild Trail. While on the overpass, you will see two visual landmarks to your right: a yellow construction crane for the new International House on campus, and a red construction crane for the new Digital Library. The Rozsa Centre is halfway between the red and yellow construction cranes.

Reaching the yellow construction crane is basically your goal. Here is a description of how to get there. Descend from the overpass, taking the downward ramp to the right, going through the parking lot, past the fence, and finding the paved path heading north (and slightly uphill) toward campus. The paved path will turn left along 24th Avenue NW. Continue to follow the beautiful yellow stripe on the path, going past a white marshmallow thing called the VolleyDome, until you arrive at the main campus entrance on University Drive. Enter the campus by walking under the rainbow-shaped Chinook Arch, preferably using the sidewalk on the left. Go past the parkade, and look for signs indicating Craigie Hall (CH) and Reeve Theatre (RT). Head for Reeve Theatre, going through the glass doors (labeled 2970) and right out the other side. The Rozsa Centre (RC on the campus map) is now beside you on the left. (It is also white, but is not a marshmallow.) Please watch out for lots of new building construction in this area.

In case of inclement weather, a taxi is recommended. Taxis should be available outside the hotel. Ask for the Rozsa Centre (pronounced "rosée" like the wine), which is close to the main U of C entrance (called the "Chinook Arch") on 24th Avenue NW. A clever taxi driver will get you right to the door of the Rozsa Centre. The taxi ride should take about 5 minutes, and cost about $7 CDN.

The technical sessions take place in the Husky Oil Great Hall in the Rozsa Centre on the U of C campus. Lunches and the Monday evening reception take place in The Blue Room (private dining room) at the Dining Centre on the U of C campus. Look for DC on the campus map. Again, watch out for new building construction between the Rozsa Centre and the Dining Centre.

Getting around Calgary

Calgary has a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, referred to locally as the C-Train. The primary line runs from Dalhousie Station in the northwest to Somerset/Bridlewood Station in the south. There is a C-Train station (Banff Trail Station) near the Quality Inn hotel. A southbound train gets you to downtown Calgary in about 10-15 minutes, for dining, shopping, and nightlife. A northbound train gets you to University Station on the rightmost edge of the U of C campus in less than 2 minutes, but still leaves about a 10-minute walk across campus to the Rozsa Centre.

Trains run every 5 minutes during peak hours, and every 15 minutes during off-peak hours. The fare is $2.50 CDN. Tickets can be purchased from machines at any station, and are valid for up to 90 minutes.

Where to Eat

The Quality Inn hotel is located in the "motel village", a collection of a dozen hotels, motels, and restaurants close to campus, the football stadium, and the athletic fields. A multitude of dining options are available all around you, whether you need a late night snack or a hearty sit-down dinner.

For the fast food junkies, you will find a McDonald's and a Dairy Queen within a 5-minute walk from the hotel. Tim Horton's (good coffee and donuts) and Wendy's are 10 minutes west along 16th Avenue, while Burger King is 10 minutes east, on the other side of 16th Avenue.

For chain restaurants, there are Boston Pizza, Denny's, Red Lobster, and a local favourite called Phil's (breakfast served all day, much like Denny's or Smitty's Pancake House). These are all within a 5-minute stroll from your hotel.

For real restaurants, the "motel village" has Saigon Y2K (big servings of Vietnamese dishes, noodles, and soups; cheap, but very good quality; don't let the dingy exterior fool you), Joey's Only Seafood (fish and chips, seafood specials, good fries), Green Chile (East Indian food, takeout), Big T Barbecue (huge slabs of beef brisket done Texas-style, with choice of sauces; belching permitted), and Nick's Steakhouse and Pizza (mediocre steaks, decent pizza and pasta, a half-block north of the Banff Trail C-Train station). Another place for a hearty meal is the Treetops Restaurant in the Best Western Village Park Inn (the hotel right behind the Quality Inn in the "motel village").

Two popular restaurants are The Keg (Alberta beef; savoury steaks done to perfection; a bit pricy but well worth it; reservations recommended (403) 282-0020; located at 1928 Uxbridge Drive in the Stadium Shopping Centre, which is 1.1 km west of the hotel; just go around the stadium and past the apartments, staying on the north side of 16th Avenue) and Chili's Texas Grill (awesome nachos and Tex-Mex fare in a fairly rowdy and lively setting; 1.1 km east of the hotel in the North Hill Shopping Centre on the south side of 16th Avenue).

What to Do

Calgary is a vibrant and active city with many opportunities for cultural, educational, sporting, and entertainment outings. The north-west quadrant of the city, in the university area, is admittedly rather quiet, but a short C-Train ride gets you downtown for shopping, dining, museums, bars, and nightclubs. Several college, university, and professional sports teams (e.g., football, baseball, soccer) use the athletic fields near the hotel, with games played primarily on weekends. The Calgary Zoo is also reachable by C-Train, with a simple transfer to the (east-bound) Whitehorn line needed in the downtown area.

Calgary is known as the "Gateway to the Rockies". From the U of C area, you will see the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains beckoning you. Banff National Park and the Town of Banff are about 90 minutes away by car or bus. A majestic setting for hiking, climbing, wildlife, picture-taking, dining, shopping, and even a refreshing soak in the world-famous hot springs. Well worth the trip, if you have the time to spare! The autumn leaves should be spectacular in October. Additional information available from the Banff/Lake Louise tourism office.