Richard White, July 2, 2014
Everyone everywhere has heard about rush hour, lunch hour and happy hour, but the term power hour I think is unique to Calgary. I first heard the term in the mid ’90s when the manager of the downtown Hudson Bay department store and I were chatting and he talked about his power hour. When I asked what was a “power hour” he informed me that for his store “noon hour is when downtown employees do their power shopping.”
Since then I have expanded the term to beyond just shopping, especially in the summer when downtown employees’ noon hour thoughts are not only about shopping or lunch, but about getting out for a power walk or a run.
Recently, I decide to get out on my bike and check out what happens in Downtown Calgary at noon hour when 150,000+ employees are let out to play for an hour.
Stephen Avenue Power Hour
Bow River Power Hour
In addition to Stephen Avenue Walk, Calgary's downtown "power hour" is also celebrated along the south and north sides of the Bow River on the north side of downtown. Here you will find joggers, power walkers, cyclists, strollers, bladers and skateboarder all mixing and mingling.
Downtown's Outdoor Power Spots
While Stephen Avenue and the Bow Promenade are the busy "power hour" spots, downtown Calgary has many outdoor places where office workers can catch some sun, relax and chat.
While many see downtown Calgary a concrete jungle, you can see from these pictures that it is full of interesting public spaces some intimate and some animated, many with lots of vegetation. All of these spaces are within one square kilometre of each other. Everyone who works in downtown Calgary has access to an attractive outdoor public space no more than a five minute walk away.