Forensic LRT Station Walks in Calgary

By David Peyto, guest blogger

Many cities have books published by local authors that tell the city's history via walking tours.  These books have inspired me to take a look at my city, Calgary, in new and different ways.   

Andrew Duncan – author of Favourite London Walks – writes, “walking really is the only way to get to know a city. It’s cheap, easy, beneficial to both walker and the environment and above all, simple”.

Laura Foster – author of Portland Hill Walks and Portland City Walks writes, “I think of myself and people who like my books as forensic pedestrians: really looking at and trying to figure out what it was that shaped the landscape and our neighbourhoods, why it happened and when.”

Prairie Pathfinders – publishers of Winnipeg Walks write, “learning about and appreciating a place, is best done on foot. If you really want to see Winnipeg – its wonderful urban forest, its stately old residential areas, its impressive architecture, its beautiful park trails – you have to get out and walk around it – witness it firsthand."

As a result I have written and just published the first two of four books titled "Calgary LRT Walks." The first two deal with things to see and experience in and around the Northwest Stations and South Stations, with the second two focusing on the Northeast Stations, Downtown and West Stations.

The routes in the books wander through older communities past many historic buildings and urban artifacts, as well as pathways beside Calgary’s rivers and creeks (although some of these paths and pedestrian bridges will need to be rebuilt after suffering damage during the flood). Many of Calgary’s wonderful parks are included in the walks and there are suggestions for places to take in great views from various points along the  escarpments of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. 

These books offer you the opportunity get to know more about Calgary. As a “forensic pedestrian" there is so much you can discover in Calgary and walking really is the best way to appreciate all the city has to offer.

David Peyto

Evereyday Tourist Note: Below are some of the fun things that you will find as your flaneur you way to places in Calgary most of us don't even know exist.  These images are just the tip of the urban iceberg that Peyto has uncovered for everyone to enjoy. 

You can get your copy of the LRT walks books by contacting Peyto directly at:

# 59, 3302 – 50th St NW,

Calgary, T3A 2C6



The Calgary LRT Walks books are available at Owls Nest, Shelf Life, Pages and the Glenbow Museum Shop.  Peyto's The Warden and trivia books (more information on Peyto's books and bio is at the end of this blog)  are available at:  Second Storey Books (Canmore) and Viewpoint, Whyte Museum and Mooseprints (Banff).




Although Calgary is known for its Western heritage, lions have played and continue to play a role as public art in Calgary. This lion’s head is on the former Holy Angels School on Cliff Street.


There are several buffalo sculptures in Calgary. Sunning Buffalo by Eric Peterson is along the path overlooking Twelve Mile Coulee in Tuscany.

The Ranchmen’s Club on 13th Avenue SW has several sculptures of monkeys hanging by their tails.

Old railway ties remain from when a rail line extended west along the north side of Inglewood to the site that is now Fort Calgary Historic Park.

This Macleod Trail stamp in Ramsay dates from the time when Macleod Trail followed the road that became Spiller Road.

The street signs in Cliff Bungalow show the former street names. From 18th Avenue south to 25th Avenue the names of Canada’s Governor Generals after Confederation were used. However the name of the second Governor General John Young, 1st Marquess of Lisgar was not used. Why?


Wandering along the trails in Shagnessey Heights Park on the south side of Toronto Crescent you pass this very basic bench.


This small wooden cross marks a gravesite in St. Mary’s Cemetery.


Pieces of a fence along the north side of 9th Avenue in Sunnyside date back to the late 1940s-early 1950s when mudslides on the escarpment slope forced the residents to move.


Old sidewalks in Baker Park are all that remains from when Baker Sanatorium was located on this site.

Calgary LRT Walks – The Northwest Stations

Paperback, 198 pages, 6 x 9 in.

14 historic photos, 68 b/w photos, 8 colour photos

ISBN 978-0-9919150-0-2 $18.00

The thirty-six walks in the book range in length from 2.1 km to 10.8 km. Walks for the Tuscany Station (scheduled to open in 2014) are included in the book.


  1. Sunnyside Station – 6 walks
  2.  SAIT/ACAD/Jubilee – 3 walks
  3.  Lions Park – 3 walks
  4.  Banff Trail – 2 walks
  5. University – 2 walks
  6.  Brentwood – 3 walks
  7. Dalhousie – 8 walks
  8. Crowfoot – 5 walks
  9. Tuscany – 4 walks

Calgary LRT Walks – The South Stations

Paperback, 224 pages, 6 x 9 in.

16 historic photos, 65 b/w photos, 8 colour photos

ISBN 978-9919150-1-9  $19.00

The thirty-nine walks in the book range in length from 2.1 km to 12.3 km.


  1. Victoria Park/Stampede – 4 walks
  2. Erlton/Stampede – 3 walks
  3. 39th Avenue – 2 walks
  4. Chinook – 4 walks
  5. Heritage – 3 walks
  6. Southland – 1 walk
  7.  Anderson – 3 walks
  8. Canyon Meadows – 5 walks
  9. Fish Creek-Lacombe – 3 walks
  10.  Shawnessy – 1 walk
  11.  Somerset-Bridlewood – 9 walks

What information is in the LRT Walks books?

Each walk in the chapter includes:

Walk Overview:  description of the area the walk is located. Routes may be a loop, out-and-back, linear or a combination of these options.

Length: in km

Route Description & Accessibility: information on how accessible the route is for users of wheelchairs or baby strollers. The routes vary from flat or gently rolling, small hills or steep ascents or descents. On some routes an alternate route with better accessibility is included in the text.

Food and Drink: Information on parks, green spaces and viewpoints along the route. Information on coffee shops, grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants along the route is also included.

Washrooms: Location of washrooms in parks and public buildings.

Map References: Map page numbers for four different map books – Clearview, MapArt, Rand McNally & Sherlock.

Route Category:

     Walk – route starts and ends at the station. No bus ride is required.

     Bus/Walk – ride a bus to the start of the route and walk back to the station.

     Walk/Bus – walk from the station to the end of the route and ride a bus back to  

     the station.

      Bus/Walk/Bus – ride a bus to the start of the route and ride a bus back to the

      station from the end of the route.

Bus Directions: (when required)

Route Summary: Summarizes the directions for the route.

Who is David Peyto?

Peyto (pronounced Pea-toe) was born in Banff and raised in Calgary. His great uncle was Bill Peyto, for whom Peyto Lake on the Icefields Parkway is named.

Peyto taught elementary physical education at three Calgary schools – Connaught, Ogden and Col. J. Fred Scott. As a teacher he organized walking programs for the students. At Ogden School, one group of students visited Fish Creek Park for a three-day walk after school and walked from the east end of the park (Mallard Point) to the west end (Shannon Terrace). Another group did a five-day walk after school. They walked around the Glenmore Reservoir, followed the Elbow River to Fort Calgary and continued west along the Bow River to Bowness Park.

After retiring in 2000, he began a self-publishing business – Peyto Lake Books. To date he has published twelve books plus a history book for his church.

Banff Town Warden series – four books of his grandfather’s park warden journals from 1914 to 1941 (published in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2009). He was the warden whose patrol included Banff and the area close to town.

Bill Peyto Guide to Canadian Rockies Trivia – two books of trivia about the Canadian Rockies. (published in 2003). Multiple choice questions on a variety of topics – animals, birds, flowers, placenames, history, rivers etc.

Walk Calgary’s Escarpments and Bluffs – a 177 km route of 16 connected walks that follow the escarpments and bluffs of Calgary on the Bow & Elbow Rivers and Fish Creek & Nose Creek (published in 2005). This book will be revised and updated after the LRT Walks books are published.

Discover Calgary’s Parks and Green Spaces – three book series – North, Southeast and Southwest, published in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Calgary LRT Walks: The Northwest Stations (July 2013)

Calgary LRT Walks: The South Stations (July 2013)

Upcoming books planned:

Calgary LRT Walks: The Northeast Stations

Calgary LRT Walks: The Downtown & West Stations


Cover of Calgary LRT Walks: The South Stations

Cover of Calgary LRT Walks: The Northwest Stations