Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar is a local hub in Inglewood-Ramsay (photo: Inglewood YYC)

Community Watch: Calgary’s Inglewood-Ramsay ‘Hood

By Julie Van Rosendaal

Dating from 1875, Inglewood and Ramsay form one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods. Today, the adjoining communities have grown to become a vibrant arts and shopping sector.

After leaving the corporate world six years ago, Andy Fennell opened Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar, a space for gathering, celebration and collaboration. During his tenure at the 10th Street eatery, he helped launch community initiatives like the Inglewood Night Market and Music Mile.

“It’s a really tight-knit neighbourhood,” he says from the corner seat of his coffeehouse, overlooking bustling 9th Avenue and 10th Street. Creative types, some of whom work upstairs in the offices and gallery of the Atlantic Avenue Art Block, create a buzz throughout Gravity’s airy space.

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Although the building is new, many of the 400 or so surrounding commercial and residential structures are well over a century old. “There’s so much character here,” he adds. “Walk down 9th Avenue and you’ll see the personality and history in these buildings, like the old fire station across the street—you just don’t get that everywhere.”

Gravity has become a community hub, with local musicians performing every weekend. “When we first opened, we were a pretty new concept: a coffee shop that’s open late, with food, beer, wine and live music,” Fennell says. “But now there are more breweries, coffee shops, restaurants—more reasons to come visit the neighbourhood. It’s pretty exciting and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” 909 10th St. SE

Music Mile: The mile-long stretch of 9th Avenue, from the National Music Centre to Blues Can, is dotted with music venues, coffee shops and the iconic Ironwood Stage & Grill. Take in live shows any night of the week.

The Inglewood Night Market: The nocturnal festival takes over 10th Avenue and 10th Street SE every second Friday from June to mid-September. Local artists, live bands and food trucks converge on the neighbourhood for outdoor revelry. Visitors can sip a pint at both ends of the market—on the patio of 10th Street’s Gravity café and Cold Garden microbrewery on the opposite end, beside the underpass into Ramsay.

inglewood-ramsay calgary esker foundation contemporary art gallery
The Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery

Shop: Recordland has been a Calgary institution since 1979. The High Fidelity-esque shop, with its floor-to-ceiling shelves packed with vinyl, is so analog that it doesn’t have a website or social media handles. 1208 9th Ave. SE

Drink: Opened this spring, Ramsay’s Dandy Brewing Company pushes beyond bar nibbles and pub food to offer a true culinary experience, accom-panied by local brews on tap. 2003 11th St. SE

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Eat: Built in 1906 by the last serving North West Mounted Police superintendent, Deane House boasts a rich history, a sunny patio and contem-porary Canadian cuisine. 806 9th Ave. SE

See: The 929-square-metre Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery hosts three curated exhibitions annually and provides year-round project space for local artists. 1011 9th Ave. SE

Getting there: Leave the car at home and take Red Arrow. AMA members get discounted rates between Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. Need a vehicle once in town? AMA Members save up to 20% on car rentals booked through AMA Travel.

Where to stay: Best Western Plus Suites Downtown, Hotel Arts, Le Germain Hotel Calgary and Delta Hotels by Marriott Calgary Downtown are walking distance to Inglewood. Book through AMA to get our Best Price Guarantee.

What to do: Visit The Confluence Historic Site & Parkland (formerly Fort Calgary), located near Inglewood and save 10% on admission plus regular-price gift shop merchandise.

Eat and drink: Grab a bite at Milestones on Stephen Avenue. Members receive a free appetizer valued at up to $15 (with min. purchase of $30).