03/19/2013 05:59 EDT | Updated 05/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Why Calgary is Ahead of the Rest of Canada

The CORE, TD Square

Calgary, Home to the World's Longest What?

You might have heard of the world's longest bridge, the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China, or of the Nile, the world's longest river, but have you heard of two local world records held here in Calgary? That's right, Calgary holds two pretty cool records for the worlds longest. One, is very specific to our climate and economic prowess, the other we owe to an urban shopping mecca and indoor garden oasis.

In Calgary, we are proud to be home to the world's longest +15 network, the largest indoor walkway network of its kind, as well as the world's longest skylight found in the downtown CORE Shopping Mall.

The World's Longest +15 Indoor Walkway System

You might ask, what's is so amazing about an indoor network of walkways connecting buildings in the downtown core? Well, let's just say that instead of gasps of awe, we would hear the sound of teeth chattering while we wait at pedestrian cross walks on a cold winter's day if it weren't for the +15 network. Calgary is home to more head offices per capita than any other Canadian city (yes, more than Toronto) and the +15 network is a convenience for the vast amount of Calgarians that work in our beautiful downtown core.

According to, it was the ingenuity of Harold Hanen that brought the world's longest indoor network of walkways to life. He worked for the City of Calgary from 1966 to 1969 and in 1970, the first +15 skywalk opened for public use.

LOOK: World's Longest Skylight And Indoor Walkway

Since its creation, the +15 network has expanded exponentially to include 63 bridges and counting. Today, there is over 18 kilometres of indoor walkways connecting the four corners of downtown Calgary.

It is a practical feature of Calgary that helps us navigate downtown during the cold prairie winter. Considering that a majority of the downtown core and is accessible by the +15, it really does make it convenient to get from point A to point B, and in a jiffy at that!

The World's Longest Skylight

The sheer size of this massive skylight in Calgary's downtown CORE Shopping Mall is more than enough to inspire awe. According to the downtown Calgary association, the skylight spans three city blocks and is about equivalent in size to a professional football field with 200 by 26 metre dimensions. The skylight floods the inner CORE, the Devonian Gardens and its two other centres with natural light that almost makes you feel like you are on a stroll outdoors.

Installation for the skylight was initiated in February 2009. German Engineers constructed the skylight using 95 arches each weighing over 5500 pounds that support 1740 pieces of glass. Now that's amazing!

I Heart Calgary

Calgary has been named the worlds 5th most livable city for a reason, while the world's longest skylight and the world's longest +15 network might not be as amazing as the worlds largest dam, they are grandiose in their own respects, and as a born and raised Calgarian and Calgaryism enthusiast, I will always be proud of these titles.

Next time you are in downtown Calgary, head down to the CORE Shopping Mall and if you'd like, use the +15 network to get there from almost any point in downtown. The World's Longest awaits you!

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