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You Are Here: Eau Claire

Eau Claire is one of the inner city’s few residential enclaves, idyllically situated on the banks of the Bow River. In addition to million-dollar condos, it also boasts fine dining, the eclectic Eau Claire Market and one of Calgary’s crown jewels: Prince’s Island Park, a refuge from the cranes, concrete and chaos of downtown.

Prince’s Island Park’s towering trees and secluded location—in the middle of the Bow River—are a mere pedestrian-bridge away from the hustle of downtown. The park is a popular spot for picnics, casual sports and jogging, as well as geese and mallard ducks who take up residence in the lagoon on the southern arm. One of the few man-made structures on the island is the River Café, an upscale restaurant serving Canadian cuisine.

1886 Buffalo Café’s wood-framed structure dates from 1886, when it was the headquarters of a lumber company. On Buffalo’s menu are generous portions of bacon, hash browns, omelettes and coffee, as well as yogurt and eggs Benedict.

RnR Wellness is a day spa that can also bring select treatments to offices and hotel rooms. They offer all the standards, as well as therapeutic treatments such as Reiki, reflexology and Shiatsu massage. Their hydrotherapy tub—equipped with colour therapy—is a relaxing add-on to any massage, especially their signature “Journey to the Orient.”

Like its name suggests, Good Earth is an eco-conscious café serving organic coffee, smoothies and baking made in-house each morning. Their meal options include paninis, soup and hot specials such as their signature mac and cheese. All of Good Earth’s Calgary locations are powered by wind energy, and their highly ethical, slightly bohemian approach permeates each café with a laid-back, forward-thinking vibe.

Sitting on the green banks of the Bow River, Q Haute Cuisine and Oceana have postcard-perfect views, as well as elegant contemporary cuisine. Q serves continental dishes such as seared venison, wild boar tenderloin and lamb, while Oceana is a combo seafood restaurant and steak house serving ahi tuna, white Dover sole and Alberta beef.

Eau Claire Market is a hub for imported fashion and handicrafts. At Amos & Andees Imports, find global accessories and fashion; Tibetan wares at Tibetan Trom; and Egyptian-themed novelties at Son of the Pharaoh. To extend the global experience, visit Sahara, a Lebanese restaurant serving some of the best hummus in the city.

Whiskey aficionados have more than 200 varieties of single malt to choose from at Buchanan’s, a pub and San Francisco-style chophouse. Closer to Eau Claire Market, the Barley Mill Eatery & Pub is a high-energy venue with stone fireplaces and a 100-year-old bar imported from Scotland. Or, if you yearn for a taste of Ireland, Fionn MacCool’s, in the Sheraton Suites, is a prime spot to get a pint of Guinness and hear live music on Saturday nights.—Sally MacKinnon

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