Calgary, Alberta's largest city, is a product of oil culture, and 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 1,220,000 people as of 2009 (1.1 million city-proper), making it Canada's fifth largest metropolitan area.
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