Devonian Gardens

At the start of the week, K enjoyed a day off from school (teachers had a Professional Development day). Since he discovered last week that his lightweight pants are 3-4 cm (about 2 inches) too short, we headed to our favourite clothing store to shop for new, hard-wearing pants and a rain jacket.

From there, we walked to the heart of downtown Calgary to take a look around the recently renovated Devonian Gardens – an indoor, “tropical oasis” located on the fourth floor of the Core shopping centre. The (debatably) new and improved City park features a couple of koi ponds, a fantastic indoor children’s playground, a living wall, over 10,000 plants and lots of tables and chairs for visitors wanting to enjoy the green space while sipping their coffees or eating lunch.

After eating a fast-food lunch from the adjacent food court (and may I say I’m glad we only do that a couple of times a year), we took a leisurely stroll through the one hectare park, including a couple of short detours to explore the small passageways and balconies on the third floor. We especially liked the koi ponds and could see the appeal of the playground for families with young children – especially when the weather’s been -20 C for a couple of weeks straight and you’re desperate to get out of the house! We also spotted signs for lunch time workshops by the Calgary Horticultural Society and other lectures / discussions.

We particularly liked the carved wooden faces, the koi ponds and the living wall. But we missed seeing the snapping turtles that were in the pond before the big renovation. Here’s a look at some of the lush vegetation and water features…


Bottom line? If you really need a “green” fix in the heart of winter or you want to take a nature break during your lunch hour, this is a great spot for relaxing. It’s conveniently located along the LRT line, so you don’t have to worry about parking if you’re coming in from the suburbs. And some of those lunch time lectures looked pretty interesting, too!

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