Play at Olympic Plaza
Built as a venue for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, Olympic Plaza now plays a central role in many downtown community activities. Calgary was one of the first hosting cities to create an accessible public location like Olympic Plaza where Olympic medal recipients could be honoured within reach of the general public. Previously medal ceremonies had been held at remote Olympic venues. Olympic Plaza brought the excitement into the realm of the everyday man.
Today the location is a common meeting point for locals working downtown, for tourists enjoying the city sights and for protesters picketing political and religious matters. In the winter, the fountains and pond are transformed into an inviting and well-maintained public skating rink, the only one of its kind in the city that is refrigerated and remains frozen throughout the winter despite some of the balmy Chinook-warmed days. Olympic Plaza is maintained by the City of Calgary as one of its urban parks and is easily accessible via the LRT City Hall Station in the Downtown free fare zone.
Surrounded by outdoor sculptures and artwork and bounded by historic City Hall, the Calgary Municipal Building, Arts Common and the ever-popular Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Avenue South), Olympic Plaza is an ideal meeting, picnic or resting place for tourists, locals and art enthusiasts. If you’re visiting here during the Calgary Stampede you won’t be short of entertainment as crowds of eager cowboys and cowgirls kick up their heels and “yee-haw” into the Stampede groove!
You can navigate to Olympic Plaza here.
Olympic Plaza is accessible by public transit (bus and C-train), private vehicle, taxi, bicycle or on foot.
- For public transit access, you can plan your visit using the City of Calgary transit website;
- If you are arriving in your own vehicle, limited street parking is available in the downtown area and parking can be pricey. Consult local signage or calgaryparking.com for more options.
- If you are arriving by bicycle, consult the City of Calgary’s bicycle pathway maps here. Bike racks are available at numerous locations around Olympic Plaza. For security reasons, remember to bring your own bicycle lock.
From this convenient location, visitors to Calgary can enjoy some of our other popular and unique exploration recommendations such as:
- Wall art and graffiti discovery detour;
- Public outdoor sculpture and favourite ice cream locations;
- Five fabulous cycle circuit routes associated with some cool coffee stops departing from the nearby East Village;
- If you’re strapped for time, consider our “Must-See Calgary” two-hour and half-day exploration options.
Other recommended nearby and downtown destinations and attractions
- Centre Street Bridge
- Prince’s Island Park
- St Patrick’s Island Park
- Some of our favourite downtown coffee shops
- City Hall
- The new, globally-iconic architectural marvel that is the Central Library
- Stephen Avenue
- 17th Avenue
- Studio Bell: Home of the National Music Centre
- Glenbow Museum
- The CORE Shopping Centre
- Fort Calgary