A metropolis rediscovered: 111 Locations in Calgary That You Should Not Miss is a guidebook for locals

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Photo by Christina Ryan.  From the book, 111 Places in Calgary You Must Not Miss.  Courtesy Emons Publishing.Photo by Christina Ryan. From the book, 111 Places in Calgary You Must Not Miss. Courtesy Emons Publishing. jpg

This approach wasn’t just for secrecy. It also matters that it is Calgarians, not Calgary visitors, who are actually the target audience. 111 Calgary Places Not To Be Missed is only the third book to explore a Canadian city this way. The concept has proven popular in Europe, but is still quite new on North American shores. This is one of the reasons why Bain 111 is reluctant to classify places as a travel book. It may include a recommendation or two for dining or shopping, but is not intended to be a Lonely Planet-type guide.

“I’m trying to describe it as Atlas Obscura-like vignettes,” says Bain, who worked for the Toronto Star for 18 years but began her career as a summer intern with the Calgary Herald. “The publisher was very smart when it came out with the series. They were always geared towards locals, that’s the main market. It should actually read: “You think you know your city, so let’s take a look and see. Check out all of these great places. Here are the stories behind it. Here are ideas for what to do on Sunday. ‘”

The secret seed coat.  Photo by Christina Ryan.  From the book 111 Places in Calgary You Must Not Miss by Jennifer Bain.  Courtesy Emons Publishing.The secret seed coat. Photo by Christina Ryan. From the book 111 Places in Calgary You Must Not Miss by Jennifer Bain. Courtesy Emons Publishing. jpg

With the photography of the former postmedia shooter Christina Ryan, 111 Places offers a good balance to illuminate hidden gems such as the Paradise Lanes bowling alley and Mandy Stobo’s portrait wall at Righteous Gelato, the “Bookscsalator” in the central library World War I in the military museums, the sculpture “Secret Seed Pod” in Prairie Winds Park and the “Testicle Festival at Bottlescrew Bills”, where so-called Prairie Oysters are celebrated as a gourmet delicacy.

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