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Discover the Past at Heritage Park in Calgary

Posted on June 11, 2024 by Nerissa McNaughton

Celebrating 60 years, Heritage Park offers a unique glimpse into the history and cultural heritage of Western Canada. This living history museum, renowned for its authenticity and extensive collection, invites visitors to step back in time and experience life as it was during several pivotal periods in Western Canada’s development.

The historical village is arranged to reflect the evolution of Western Canada including its remote fur-trading post in the 1860s to the bustling urban centres of today. Visitors can wander through the village and witness the architectural and societal changes that have shaped our identity over the years.

One of the highlights of Heritage Park is its representation of an 1860s fur-trading post. This period marks the beginning of trade networks and settlements in the region. Guests can explore the intricacies of the fur trade, understand its impact on the development of Western Canada, and gain insights into the lives of traders and Indigenous peoples of that time.

Adding to the immersive experiences, Heritage Park offers rides on a genuine steam engine and a paddle-wheel boat. The steam engine ride transports visitors across the scenic landscape of the park, echoing the sounds and sights of early industrialization. Meanwhile, the paddle-wheel tour provides a leisurely voyage, offering beautiful views and a serene appreciation of the area’s natural landscape. These rides are not only enjoyable but also serve as educational tools that illustrate the advancement of transportation and its role in the expansion of the Canadian West.

Within the vast grounds of Heritage Park lies a museum that houses exhibits and 55,000 artifacts, making it one of the most significant collections dedicated to Western Canada’s history. Each exhibit carefully curates the rich tapestry of Western Canada’s past, from the Indigenous cultures and European settlers to the pioneers who forged new paths in the untamed wilderness. The museum provides an unparalleled opportunity for learning and discovery, appealing to history buffs, students, and families alike.

Heritage Park Historical Village is a great experience that connects visitors with the heart and soul of Western Canada's past. Whether you're riding the historic steam engine, exploring the fur-trading post, or marvelling at the artifacts in the museum, Heritage Park offers a comprehensive and engaging look at our important history. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Calgary, this is a must-see destination for your summer’s activity list.

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Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Great West Media & Southern Alberta Newspapers Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. The Hot Summer Guide is a special feature about summer activities, bucket list adventures, staycation options, road trips, attractions, events, and road trip-worthy food & beverage destinations across Alberta. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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