Contributed by: Josh Margo | Last Date of Travel: June 2007
Kosher Info: After living there for a few years you learn about the kosher situation very fast. In the city of Calgary there are a few options for kosher food. They even have their own kosher symbol the CK (its not on many product buts its a good hashgacha). Check out the new CJCC website which has more details about the city and Shabbat hospitality. Worst case scenario you can always get kosher bagels and cream cheese or hummus from the grocery store!
- Barel’s Bakery is a nut free dairy free bakery with some good stuff. A great place to get challah and they have some pre-packaged meat too!
- Carriage House Inn is the closest hotel to the orthodox synagogue House of Jacob. It also has a great kosher bakery. If you get there Thursday morning or Friday morning they have some unbelievable pies and cookies, But they go fast!
- Haifa Deli is an all in one kosher shop. If has a great deli counter with a wide variety of South African specialty foods. They have frozen prepared meals, and much more.
- Karen’s Cafe is a cozy little restaurant in the JCC. Its mostly dairy but from time to time they have a great meat dish for Thursday nights. The prices are great and the services is one of the best I’ve seen for a kosher establishment.
Tourist Info: No matter if its winter or summer there is always lots to do. If you like hiking and outdoors activities there is no better place in the world. Just imagine a hike where you can walk for about an hour and you get to a little opening in the forest and the only thing you can hear is…the sound of yourself breathing!!!
If you are planning on staying for a week or more. I would start in Calgary for Shabbat and leave early Sunday morning. Banff is a nice place but I wouldn’t spend more than a day there. If anything I would check it out on the way back. For cost and experience I would start in Jasper (about a 6 hour drive from Calgary) and work your way down and do day trips. Japser is a very small city but the accommodations are the cheapest (depending on the season) and the hiking and tourist attraction are great. The majority of the sights are only at most an hour drive form Jasper. Believe it or not but Hanukkah time is Jasper is really nice its usually not that cold or busy as most people are out gone to be with family for the holidays.
Jewish Info: The community in Calgary is very warm and welcoming. The House of Jacob (orthodox) is a great synagogue which offers home hospitality for Shabbat. Just call up the synagogue and they will set you up. The cost is free, of course they expect a small donation for the synagogue. The synagogue is also next to the Glenmore reservoir which is a great walk on Shabbat considering it goes really late in the summer. They have a new Kollel which offers some great classes for men and women Shabbat afternoon. There is a nice Chabad, which has a great vibe but a bit of a far walk from the hotels. They both have a kiddush Shabbat morning. There is also a Reform temple Bnei Tikvah, which has a great service Friday night. The largest synagogue is the conservative one called Beth Zedek. They have a world class cantor!