National Geographic : 1984 Mar
Bending the ear of Mayor Ralph Klein (left) is as easy as dialingthe phone. Duringhis Saturday morning radio show, Klein often listens to routine complaints about traffic hazards and junked autos. One resident, upset over stray cats, suggested that they be licensed. When told that an English law enacted by King Henry II prohibitingthe licensing of cats was still on the books, the caller had a simple solution: Since horses are licensed, merely pass a bylaw statingthat, in Calgary, cats are horses. While traffic rushes through the glitteringcanyons of the new downtown, Calgary encourages an unhurried appreciationof the old. The city created a pedestrianmall along a three-block stretch of Stephen Avenue, formerly Eighth Avenue, the originalshopping district.In front of the 1929 Hudson's Bay Company store (below left) benches invite people-watchingas a statue entitled "Conversation"depicts the perpetual Calgarypursuitof talking business. Forten days each summer, Calgarians put away their business suits in favor of jeans and ten-gallon hats during the Stampede, billed as the world's largest rodeo. After a free chuck-wagon breakfast of flapjacks and bacon, square dancerswhoop it up downtown.