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8 cold-weather cities worth braving in winter

By: Josh Lew on Oct. 29, 2013, 5:30 p.m.
Calgary +15 Skywalk

Photo: Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Because of its location between the foothills of the Rockies and the vast Canadian prairies, Calgary's winter weather can be unpredictable. Below zero temperatures (as in below 0 degrees Fahrenheit) are always possible during the winter months, and the highs usually rise only into the 20s. Luckily, Calgary’s +15 Skywalk public pedestrian walkway system stretches through the center of the city, with a network of climate-controlled pedestrian walkways that measures more than 11 miles. (One of the colorful walkways is shown here.) “Plus 15” refers to the height of most of the indoor pedestrian overpasses: 15 feet above street level.

With retail stores, restaurants and other attractions along the network, it really does feel like you are walking at street level when you wander the +15. A large Chinatown, successful NHL franchise, and great winter sports infrastructure (Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics) mean that there is a lot to see and do even at the height of winter, if you are willing to step outside. Like Minneapolis, Calgary also has a lively performing arts scene.