The names of Calgary's streets follows a number of simple conventions:
[ Quadrants | Building Numbers | neighbourhood Names ]
The city is neatly divided into four quadrants: North East, North West, South East and South West. The quadrants are included at the end of addresses as NW, NE, SE, or SW. The downtown core is mostly in the SW quadrant. The dividing lines are along Centre Street between the east and west, and Centre Avenue between the north and south (this line continues along the Bow River and Memorial Drive NE).
"Streets" run North-South, and "avenues" run East-West. Most of Calgary's streets and avenues are numbered beginning at Centre and Centre. Those closest to the core have the lowest numbers. To approximate distance, it's about 10 streets to the mile or 15 avenues to the mile.
Building numbers generally indicate the street and avenue numbers.To figure the nearest cross-street (or avenue) take off the last two digits of a building number. For example, 2425 17 Ave SW, will be close to 24 Street on 17 Avenue South West. Higher numbers (those approaching 2440) are close to the intersection, and lower numbers (like 2401) are closer to the next lower cross-street (like 23rd Street).
In newer neighbourhoods, where all the streets are named not numbered, kiss these rules good-bye.
In some neighbourhoods all streets have a similar sounding name, forming a theme for the neighbourhood. For example, in the neighbourhood called "Whitehorn" all the streets begin with the word "White". When given an address in such a neighbourhood, the last part of the address (street, avenue, close, drive, or place) may be crucial for finding the address. In these neighbourhoods the building numbers often have no relation to nearby streets and avenues.