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PHOTOS: Calgary mostly empty during coronavirus self-isolation

As many Calgarians stay home during the coronavirus outbreak, some people are going out to buy essentials or work.

After doing all of my practicum work for LiveWire Calgary at home for the past four weeks, I decided to finally go out and take some photos.


My first stop on this journey was Whitehorn station. The station is a five minute walk from my house. There were a few people waiting outside on the platform for their train, but no one was inside the building.

An empty Whitehorn Station in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. LOU DE ASIS

After getting on board, I noticed that everyone was distancing themselves from each other. There weren’t many people around either. Calgary Transit has said there’s been a 90 per cent drop in ridership.

A nearly empty CTrain departs SAIT/AUArts/Jubilee station in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Trains would normally be packed with students who were heading home or to work following classes. LOU DE ASIS

Twenty minutes later, I got off at City Hall station and made my way to Olympic Plaza. Hardly anybody to be seen.

Olympic Plaza in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. LOU DE ASIS

Later, I made my way up Centre Street and went to James Short Park. All of the benches were empty and I ran into a playground that was closed and covered with caution tape.

The playground at James Short Park in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. The city had closed playgrounds to the public in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. LOU DE ASIS

During the walk to Eau Claire, there weren’t many pedestrians around. Although there were many people driving, most of the parking lots were empty.

Along the pathway, people were walking, jogging, and biking while practicing social distancing. People were still using the Peace Bridge to cross the Bow River. At one point, I was the only person standing on the bridge.

A transit peace officer walks along the platform at 7 Street SW station in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Peace officers have been boarding trains to check if passengers are distancing themselves before departing. LOU DE ASIS

My next stop was SAIT. After arriving, I noticed that the station was empty. The entrances to SAIT and AUArts were blocked off. Going through Campus Centre wasn’t an option anymore, so I had to take the long way around.

The stairs at SAIT/AUArts/Jubilee station in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Before classes were suspended, staff and students would use the stairs daily. LOU DE ASIS

All of the buildings on campus were closed. Thankfully, the weather wasn’t terrible.

SAIT’s Heritage Hall in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. LOU DE ASIS
A view of downtown from SAIT in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. LOU DE ASIS

After leaving SAIT, I got back on the train and went to Westbrook station.

Westbrook station wasn’t completely empty. I assumed most people inside went to the nearby Walmart to buy essentials. I didn’t stay for long and made my way to Chinook Centre.

While there were a few people waiting for trains and buses at Chinook station, the mall was a different story. The walkway was closed, so I had to walk to the old pedestrian bridge just to get across the street.

The parking lots were mostly empty. Although Shoppers Drug Mart and TD Bank were still open, Chinook Centre was a ghost town.

One of the empty parking lots outside Chinook Centre in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Essential services inside the mall continue to stay open. LOU DE ASIS

Finally, I went back downtown and visited the New Central Library. Normally bustling with a cross-section of people, the sidewalks around the library were mostly empty. After sticking around for a few minutes, it was time to head home.

The New Central Library in Calgary on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Library patrons often used this area to access the building. LOU DE ASIS