Here's what you can expect when using your hire car and driving in Calgary:
Main Roads and Highways:
Deerfoot Trail (Highway 2): This is Calgary's busiest freeway, running north-south through the city. It connects the downtown core to the northern and southern suburbs.
Stoney Trail (Highway 201): Also known as the Ring Road, Stoney Trail encircles the city and provides access to various neighborhoods and areas.
Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1): The Trans-Canada Highway runs through Calgary and connects the city to the Rocky Mountains, making it a crucial route for accessing national parks like Banff and Jasper.
Crowchild Trail: This road runs from north to south through the city and is a key route for reaching the University of Calgary, McMahon Stadium, and other areas.
Glenmore Trail: Glenmore Trail is an east-west route that connects several neighborhoods and offers scenic views of the Glenmore Reservoir.
Weather and Vehicle Considerations:
Weather Conditions: Calgary experiences all four seasons, with cold winters and warm summers. Snow and ice are common during the winter months, so having a vehicle equipped for winter driving, including snow tires, is advisable.
Four-Wheel Drive and SUVs: Many residents in Calgary opt for vehicles with four-wheel drive or SUVs, especially if they plan to explore the nearby Rocky Mountains. These vehicles provide better traction in snowy and mountainous conditions.
Snow Tires: Winter tires are highly recommended during the colder months. Some areas in Alberta may have mandatory winter tire laws in place during specific times of the year.
Tolls: There are no toll roads within the city of Calgary itself. However, if you plan to travel to other parts of Alberta, such as using the Trans-Canada Highway to reach the national parks, you may encounter tolls for certain segments of the highway.
Parking: Calgary offers both paid and free street parking in various areas. There are also numerous parking garages and lots throughout the city. Familiarize yourself with parking regulations and fees in different zones.
Traffic: While Calgary does experience traffic congestion, it is generally less severe than in larger Canadian cities like Toronto
However, it's a good idea to check traffic conditions and plan your routes accordingly, especially during peak commute hours.
Be prepared for varying weather conditions, especially during the winter, and consider a vehicle equipped for winter driving if you plan to explore the mountains. There are no tolls within the city, but you may encounter them on highways outside Calgary. Enjoy your visit to this vibrant Canadian city!