Misson’s roots (and name) come from a Roman Catholic French settlement during Calgary’s pioneer days. Today, you’ll find the community filled with funky shops, public art, over 35 top-notch restaurants and (in warmer months) some of the best patios in the city. For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s also a pedestrian-friendly stretch of the Elbow River.
1 BATH INDULGENCES
Lotions, bath bombs and body scrubs at Mission’s adorable frilly lilly all have one thing in common: they’re “dessert-inspired,” either in appearance (the frosted bathcakes look yummy enough to eat!) or aroma (like their butter cream and sugar lilly lotions). Across the street at Saje, the products are less decadent and more holistic: all are made from natural products and designed to provide chemical and drug-free alternatives to mainstream brands.
2 YOGA CHIC
lululemon, the Vancouver-based chain of luxury yoga wear, sells a full range of apparel from their location in Mission, as well as yoga mats, water bottles and all the accessories for an athlete (or yogi) on the go. The clothing is comfortable but chic, and anyone who frequents yoga classes will love their functional, du jour design.3 INTERNATIONAL CUISINE
Mission boasts a multicultural medley of restaurants, serving cuisine from every corner of the planet. All their creations are worth a try, especially the flaming Greek saganaki cheese at Ouzo Greek Taverna, butter chicken at Rajdoot, fresh sashimi at Hana Sushi and lamb kebabs at Aida’s.
4 MADE IN CANADA
The Croft specializes in pottery crafted in Western Canada; many pieces evoke the wild beauty of Alberta and British Columbia, such as Don Well’s mountain scenes and Diane Sullivan’s vases, teapots and plates decorated with emerald foliage. There are also more exotic items like Mary Swain’s set for a Japanese tea ceremony, as well as woodwork, blown glass art and jewellery.5 INSPIRED ARTWORK
If you’ve strolled down Stephen Avenue you are sure to recognize the artwork of William McElcheran, the artist behind the iconic statue of two chubby businessmen in the midst of a conversation. Pieces from the late artist’s estate are on display at Masters Gallery, a fixture on the Calgary art scene for more than 30 years. Loch Gallery, a short walk down 4th St, is also a must see, especially for the high realism still life paintings of Bogdan Molea.
7 CENTRAL PERK
Caffeine-starved patrons are in no shortage of options at Purple Perk, though they might want to take the opportunity to indulge in something grander: Purple Perk’s layered cakes, which can reach wedding cake-size heights. There are also more savoury snacks such as mac ‘n’ cheese, shepherd’s pie, quiche and salad.
12 PUB HUB
Pints of Guinness, platters of fish & chips and an inviting hearth make the The Joyce on 4th Irish Pub a relaxing place to lounge, especially for those longing for a congenial watering hole. The food puts most other pubs to shame (especially the steak and mushroom pie), though lighter fare such as salads and appetizer platters are also first rate.—Sally MacKinnon