The Top 4 Things to Do in Medicine Hat, Alberta

With its revitalized downtown and an active cultural community, Medicine Hat, in southern Alberta, has become a must-visit city full of parks, historic sites and art spaces.
 

1. Medalta in the Historic Clay District

Photograph courtesy of Medalta.

An excavated kiln from this former 1912 ceramics factory is on display in the Medalta lobby. Take a look at it before touring the site, which is now a museum. Learn how pottery used to be made on the factory’s original machines, and discover the historic importance of clay to Medicine Hat’s economy.

2. Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre

Photograph courtesy of Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre.

The Esplanade, a downtown arts complex, is home to a 3,000-square-foot gallery, 700-seat theatre, museum and archive. Stop to admire Blake Senini’s sculpture, Turn Turn Turn (A Resting Place) out front before strolling the heritage garden of the Victorian Ewart Duggan House next door.

3. The Monarch Theatre

Photograph by Michael Wheatley/Alamy.

Opened in 1911, The Monarch Theatre is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Alberta. The smooth, white stucco moderne façade has hardly changed since its 1935 renovation, and inside, the red-velvet stage curtain and art deco plasterwork are reminiscent of a distinctly more-stylish era in theatre history.

4. Inspire Café

Photograph by Maureen Newton.

Sisters Maureen Newton and Louise Vernal run this art gallery and café combo, which is located in a former general store built in 1901. The space is filled with works by local artists—admire them while snacking on a gourmet cheddar, swiss and brie grilled-cheese sandwich and sipping a locally roasted coffee.


Medicine Hat By the Numbers

1887

The year the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede began. Now in its 132nd year, it is one of Canada’s oldest rodeos. This year’s spectacle takes place July 24 to 27.

115

The number of kilometres in Medicine Hat’s Heritage Trail Network. Borrow a free bike from the Visitor Information Centre to pedal along the South Saskatchewan River.

330

The number of days of annual sunshine in the city—making any time you visit perfect for viewing the colourful murals along South Railway Street.

[This story appears in the July 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]