Calgary , Alberta's largest city, is situated where the prairies end and the foothills begin. As such, it is the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains and an important centre of trade and tourism for the western prairies. It is your most likely point of access for Banff and Jasper, and a worthwhile destination in its own right. Calgary is the heart of the largest metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver, with over 1,239,220 people as of 2016, making it Canada's fourth largest metropolitan area.
Calgary is divided into four quadrants: Northeast (NE), Northwest (NW), Southeast (SE) and Southwest (SW). The dividing line between east and west is Centre Street in the north, and roughly Macleod Trail in the south. The dividing line between north and south is generally the Bow River in the west, and Centre Avenue and Memorial Drive (from 36 Street) in the east. Addresses proceed outwards from the center of the city; for example, 219 16th Avenue NE is on 16th Avenue N, between 1st and 2nd Street E. Deerfoot Trail (Highway 2) running north-south is one of two freeways in Calgary, the other being Stoney Trail (Highway 201) which is an under-development ring road around Calgary. As of spring 2019, Stoney Trail runs north from Highway 1 West, then follows clockwise around the north, east and south sides of the city to its southern intersection with Highway 2A (Macleod Trail). A southwestern section running from Glenmore Trail to Macleod Trail is currently under construction and will open to traffic in 2021, with the remaining western section (Glenmore to Highway 1) to complete the ring to be opened in 2022. Certain other roads have sections that alternate between being a true freeway and an at-grade expressway, with plans to become full freeways. Other major roads in the city are often given the street suffix Trail, such as Glenmore Trail, Crowchild Trail and Bow Trail; many of these roads are expressways for most or all of their length. Roads with the suffixes Boulevard or Drive are generally the next most major classification. Roads with the suffix Avenue run east-west, and roads with the suffix Street run north-south. Note that the names of small suburban roads usually incorporate the community name; this means that Taralake Garden, Taralea Place, Taralea Mews, Taralea Court, Taralean Grove, Taralea Avenue, Taralea Road, Taralea Blvd, Taralea Heath, and Taralea Green are all separate roads, all in the same community - Taradale. It can be very confusing for tourists and locals alike to navigate an area where the only differences in street names are the abbreviations. If travelling in the suburban communities, have a map or directions and pay attention to exact name.