Bow Valley Ranche Midsummer Harvest Dinner Celebrates Backyard Bounty and Local Producers - Blog Post Week of August 10


The Bow Valley Ranche has had a long tradition of acting as an important local source of food. Thousands of years ago, aboriginals hunted and gathered food in the area. There is evidence of bison pounds first being used in the Bow Valley in 2500 BC, and last used in the 1800s. Later 450,000 acres of the area became part of Patrick Burns’ massive cattle empire.

Taking a page from this amazing history book, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is thrilled to continue the tradition of feeding Calgarians locally sourced fare — and coming full circle; bison is still on the menu! (As an aside, did you know bison is a nutritional powerhouse? It's lower in fat and cholesterol and higher in protein than other red meats, higher in iron, and loaded with vitamins and minerals).

We're inviting you to get your local feed on this August 20th in our own back yard, at our Midsummer Harvest Dinner. The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant gardens are overflowing with fragrant herbs and a bounty of homegrown produce, so we figured that there is no better time to share our good-food fortune than in the middle of this beautiful Calgary summer. And there's no better place for such a dinner than on the lush lawns of our historic dining destination in Fish Creek Park.

The Midsummer Harvest Dinner will showcase freshly picked plump produce and aromatic herbs, served fresh from the source. Chefs Jenny Kang and Daryl Kerr have created a perfect menu, loaded with fresh vegetables, herbs and local meats.  Sommelier Arthur Ledzinski has crafted perfect wine pairings for each course. There will be family fun and live entertainment. And the whole meal will be served family-style. Menu items include Caprese salad with local tomatoes and purple basil from our garden, grilled lamb chops with mint yogurt and rosemary jus and raspberry brûlée with a Madeleine cookie and Bow Valley Ranche garden chocolate mint, among many other options.

We've spent this summer celebrating our local and Canadian producers, because our relationships with them are crucial to bringing our food philosophy to life. We strive for culinary excellence by paying close attention to the source and quality of our ingredients. We use in-season, locally-grown ingredients that are organic and sustainable.  "We're passionate about creating relationships with responsible, ethical producers," says Chef Jenny Kang. "Knowing where your food comes from, and the people behind producing it, is important to us. You can rely on its consistent quality. It's just better."

Bow Valley Ranche's local and Canadian menu items include ingredients such as Carmen Creek Gourmet Bison, RedHat Farms tomatoes, Sungold Specialty Meats lamb, White Gold Cheese Factory Fior di Latte cheese, Noble Meadows Farm goat cheese and feta, Bouvry Farm elk, Rougie foie gras and rabbit, Ardrossan quail, Maple Hill Farms game hens and 4K Farms pork.


Events in Calgary | YYC Food | Farm to Fork Calgary


Bow Valley Ranche Named One of Canada's Top 100 Outdoor Dining Venues - Blog Post Week of July 13

We always knew our outdoor wraparound veranda was a special place to be, and now Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is thrilled to announce that OpenTable diners have named us one of Canada's Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants.

Between indulging in the to-die-for food and immersing in the history of our lovingly-restored building, all the while inspired by the natural beauty of surrounding Fish Creek Provincial Park, there's something to ignite every one of your senses at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. Together, these things spark the spirits of diners who enjoy a great meal taken in the splendour of nature from the ranch house's cozy front veranda.

Where else can you get a porch-side seat to bald eagles soaring over century-old trees and jackrabbits racing through meadows? You quaff a chilled chardonnay and nibble at a charcuterie plate loaded with local goodness. Nosh away on cured meats, freshly made in-house condiments, artisan breads and domestic and imported cheeses.  Mmm. Excuse me, I need to go pull up a patio chair and order something now. Let's enjoy this summer while we can!

Anyway, thank you, OpenTable diners, for placing us on your prestigious list. Unfamiliar with OpenTable? Here's some info:

Originally launched in November 2008, the OpenTable Reviews program helps diners find restaurants that best fit their dining occasions.  Only diners who have booked and honoured an OpenTable reservation are able to submit restaurant reviews. Only reviews by verified diners are published on OpenTable.  Visitors to OpenTable can access reviews for thousands of OpenTable restaurant partners across Canada, the United States, Germany and the UK. The OpenTable Reviews program has generated more than 30 million restaurant reviews by verified diners, establishing OpenTable as one of the largest and most trusted sources for restaurant reviews. Check them out on

Patios in Calgary | Patios YYC | YYC Food | Calgary Dining


Bow Valley Ranche birthplace of Calgary Stampede

Blog Post Week of June 29

Bow Valley Ranche in Fish Creek, Calgary historyImagine four buttoned-down businessmen in fine suits sitting by a fire in in the front parlour of the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. It's a familiar scene at the historic ranch that is now Calgary's premiere historic dining destination.

But we're not talking about a meeting of modern-day businessmen who have driven to the serene setting for a lunchtime meeting. We're talking about the men now known as the Big Four — wealthy ranchers Patrick Burns, George Lane, A.E. Cross and Archibald McLean — who helped shape Calgary's entrepreneurial and cultural landscape. And we're not talking about just any meeting — this meeting, in 1919, was the one that solidified the Calgary Stampede as an annual event, and it was held when the Bow Valley Ranche was Pat Burns' home.

The Big Four had already backed the first Stampede event in 1912. It was then called the "Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship Contest," and it featured saddlebronc, roping and trick events, with competitors coming from all over North America. But following the outbreak of the First World War, making the event annual was not economically feasible. According to the Calgary Stampede's website, Guy Weadick — a vaudeville performer of some renown and a trick roper "envisioned a world-class rodeo competition that would celebrate the romance and culture of the 'disappearing' Old West."

Then in 1919, the Big Four summoned Weadick to the Ranche house parlour bubbling with big plans to hold a Victory Stampede to celebrate the end of the First World War. Not only that — they wanted to make the Stampede an annual event. That event, which in 1923 merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to form the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, has since come to define our city.

To celebrate the Bow Valley Ranche's role and pay homage to the birthplace of the monumental event that put Calgary on the global map, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant will be hosting the first-ever Big Four Dinner on Sunday, July 12th.

Held in the garden where Pat Burns once entertained visiting socialites and dignitaries, the Big Four Dinner will feature a menu inspired by the early 1900s. Locally sourced and historically inspired food will include elk carpaccio, a First Nations inspired dish and mainstay meat for local tribes and farmers of that time. However, unlike in the olden days, the chef will take full advantage of the modern kitchen in the historic dwelling.

"Burns' cook and gardener Charlie Yuen cooked out of a lean-to at the back of the house and it was all bald prairie around there back then," says Wayne Meikle, who is a retired urban park planner that worked extensively in Fish Creek Park, and is founder of Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society.

Come celebrate the Bow Valley Ranche's ties to the Stampede while the big event is in full swing. Click here to reserve your tickets now!

Events in Calgary | Events YYC | YYC Food | Calgary History | Calgary Stampede


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of June 22

Upcoming events this summer at the Bow Valley Ranche

A Culinary Tribute to our Stampede Forefathers

It was in the front parlour of the Bow Valley Ranche
where the Big Four hatched the idea for the Calgary Stampede. 

To pay homage to the birthplace of the monumental event that
put Calgary on the global map, join us for the first-ever Big Four Dinner.

Click here for more info.

Stampede Events in Calgary | Stampede YYC | YYC Food


Coming soon...

Join us August 11 as we join forces with City Palate and
Crush Pad to bring you The Chef & The Farmer Dinner Series.

Let the food come, the wine flow and the stories begin.

Click here for more info.

Events in Calgary | Events YYC | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post June 19

It's Dad's turn to be spoiled!

This Sunday only, come check out our extra special Father's Day features, alongside our regular a là carte brunch menu.

Baked Beans & Bacon Cipollini | 19
with poached eggs on a pretzel bun

Savoury French Toast | 20
with onion jam, ham, applewood smoked cheddar

Salmon & Spinach Quiche | 20
with house salad

This Sunday only! Reservations 403.476.1310

Father's Day in Calgary | Father's Day YYC | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of May 18

Exciting news this week!

A warm welcome to our new Executive Chef, Jenny Kang, who will be debuting new menus in June. Stay tuned for Jenny's bio, and for delicious new treats for Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.

Dining in Calgary | Dining YYC | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of May 11

The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is thrilled to be a part of an innovative program that benefits those in need. partners with restaurants across Canada to “Buy one, give one.” When you buy a meal from a Mealshare partner you then give one to a person in need either locally through the Calgary Drop-in Centre or internationally through Save the Children Canada. The Bow Valley Ranche is pleased to have three menu items as a part of the Mealshare program: Spanakopita Cannelloni at brunch, the Carmen Creek Bison Burger at lunch and our Heritage Angus Grass-fed Striploin at dinner.

Almost one million Canadians access food support programs every month. But according to Mealshare, eight million Canadians dine out every day. To find out more about Mealshare and how you can “help out by dining out,” visit for a list of restaurants in Calgary and across Canada.

Click here for a link to an informative video on Youtube.

Mealshare Calgary | Mealshare YYC | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of May 4


  Spoil the amazing woman who gave you life!

  Treat mom to to an amazing brunch at Calgary's historic Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant,
  then take in a beautiful spring stroll at Fish Creek Park. What a wonderful way to celebrate Mother's Day.

  Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10

  Click here to make a reservation, call 403.476.1310 or email us 

Click here to view our menu.  (Gratuities and GST not included)

Mothers Day in Calgary | Mother's Day Weekend Calgary | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of January 19


  Romance is a breeze at the Bow Valley Ranche!

  After a hand-in-hand stroll through beautiful, frosty Fish Creek Park,
  warm up with a candlelit dinner.
Our special menu has several items
  made especially for two and is available all weekend long.
  Treat your sweetie to an evening that won't soon be forgotten.

  Click here to make a reservation, call 403.476.1310 or email us

  February 13 - 15, 2014

  Click here to view our menu.

  (Gratuities and GST not included)

Valentines Day in Calgary | Romantic Calgary | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of January 12

We're open again!

After a brief restoration closure, we're open to serve you, all winter long.

Join us for weekday lunches, Tuesday through Friday, 11 am - 2 pm. The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is the perfect place to impress that new client.

Looking to treat your pookie to a romantic evening? Take romance to the next level with a stroll through beautiful, frosty Fish Creek Park to watch the sun set, then warm up over candlelit dinner at the Bow Valley Ranche, open Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 5 pm.

Spend some quality family time this weekend at brunch, open 10 am - 2 pm Saturday and Sunday. Or pop by between brunch and dinner for Afternoon Tea.

Reservations at 403-476-1310, at OpenTable or

Lunch in Calgary | Dinner in Calgary | Brunch in Calgary | YYC Food


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of November 17

Join us for the fanciest night of the year!

We've been planning a lovely night to celebrate the end of another year. Reservations can be made with our team at 403-476-1310 or

Click here for our menu. Click here for more inforamtion.

New Year's Eve in Calgary | New Year's Eve 2014


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of October 13

Cooking Up A Murder

Tickets are selling fast for the October 30th event Cooking Up A Murder at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. We'll be converting our Grande Salon into a theatre banquet room for this special Halloween thriller, so get your costume ready!

Chef Kory's timer may run out, don't let yours do the same! Someone could be cooking up a murder!

For more information, click here. For tickets, click here.



Autumn Pumpkin

Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of October 6

Autumn Menu

This week, we launched Chef's new Autumn Menu. Drop by to taste some of our new items, including Lois Lake Steelhead Salmon, Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Velouté, Wild Mushroom and Acorn Squash, Duck Confit and Baby Arugula Salad, as well as our Red Wine Poached Okanogan Pear Brûlée.

Thanksgiving Brunch

As of Saturday, October 11, our Autumn Brunch Menu will be available. New items include Shrimp Salad Croissant, Rocky's Sausage Scrambler, Elk Rillette Eggs Benedict, Grand Marnier Crêpes topped with Shiraz-poached pears, as well as Spanakopita Cannelloni. Join us this weekend, as we'll be adding two special Thanksgiving dishes. Don't miss these!

Thanksgiving weekend ONLY!

Turkey Confit Hash
quail egg, cranberry hollandaise

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Cooking Up a Murder

Chef Kory Ander is in a stew. She has two sous chefs, Vanilla Cream and Cinnamon Hart and one of them seems to be out to get Kory into hot water. Chef Kory also has to deal with Chez Maison's owner, Horst Doover, who worked his way up from owning a diner in Okotoks. Then there's the snooty hostess, Rutabaga Puray, who uses her position for a little social climbing. Added to the mix is Chef Al Imentary, Kory's rival and former cooking school fellow student. 

Everyone's in quite a stir at Chez Maison's Grand Opening, and the shiitake is going to hit the fan, because someone could be cooking up a murder!

For more information, click here. For tickets, click here.


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of June 23

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Annie’s Bakery has Re-Opened in Fish Creek Park on June 20, 2014.

June 25, 2014 – CALGARY, AB – The Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is excited to announce that Annie’s Bakery & Café has reopened its doors after a period of closure, during which the floors, siding and walls were restored. Annie’s Bakery will offer ice cream, baked goods, salads and paninis to pedestrian visitors of Fish Creek Provincial Park during the summer months.

This quaint farmhouse was moved to its current spot in 1905 and once housed the ranch foremen and their families, including Billy Bannister and his wife, Annie. Today you can enjoy a wholesome lunch or a special treat while sitting on Annie’s sunny front porch. This has been a favourite destination of Calgarians for many generations.

Built over 100 years ago by William Roper Hull, the Bow Valley Ranche property was built as a private family home by one of the original Calgarians. The Great Events Group took over the management of this historic property and restaurant in early 2014.

“There is so much history here,” commented Ulrich Kuenz, founder of the Great Events Group of Companies. “It is a little known fact that the idea for the Calgary Stampede was born in the front parlour room of the ranch house by the Big Four, as they are known today.”*

You too can dine where “the Big Four” sat in the newly restored dining rooms of the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. Experience the exquisite ambiance of the restaurant’s tranquil setting through intimate family dining, that special night out, a romantic wedding or through a corporate event. Regardless of the occasion, guests will be enchanted by the elegant country atmosphere and dazzled by the fresh, locally sourced Canadian cuisine.

New this year to Fish Creek Provincial Park is the Meadow Muse Pavilion event and wedding tent. This charming, elegant space greets guests with a beautiful blank slate for decorating, complete with hardwood floors and pleasant lighting. The walls are retractable to let in the sunshine on those breathtaking Fish Creek summer days. The transition of space between the events hosted here and the surrounding park becomes seamless.

Annie’s hours of operation are: Monday – Thursday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Friday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The Bow Valley Ranche’s summer hours of operation are: Lunch: Tuesday – Friday 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, Dinner: Tuesday – Friday 5:00 pm – Close and Brunch: Saturday – Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Penalver | Marketing Manager
Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant
P: (403) 256-7150 | E:

*NOTE: The Big Four were the wealthy Alberta cattlemen Patrick Burns, George Lane, A. E. Cross and Archibald J. McLean. Together they founded the Calgary Stampede. It is said that in the summer of 1912, the Big Four were approached by cowboy Guy Weadick with the proposal for a wild west show that would "make Buffalo Bill's Wild West Extravaganza look like a sideshow.”  Source: Wikipedia


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of April 21

More about the Bow Valley Ranche during the William Roper Hull era

Hull cultivated the social life of an elegant class of ranchers whose lifestyle was unique to the time period in which he lived, with the Bow Valley Ranche becoming the focal point for their gatherings.

When the original log home from the Government Supply Farm burned down in 1896, Hull built the Bow Valley Ranche House. The Ranche House represented the height of country luxury and grace; Hull wanted a home that would allow his wife,. Emme and him entertain his peers on a lavish scale and be a fitting monument to his financial success.

He hired James Llewellyn Wilson, Calgary's most prominent architect at the time, to design the Ranche House. Wilson created a design for the home that was simple, yet elegant and sophisticated. He based it on the T- floor plan, common at the turn of the century. The floor plan, exterior design and landscaping provided front areas of the home for leisure, while the rear of the house was where all labour, such as cooking, laundry, etc. was conducted.

The cost of the Ranche House to build in 1896 was around $4,000. It was known to be the finest country home in the Territories during that era and a unique piece of architecture.

Under the ownership of William Roper Hull, the ranch itself also became known for its irrigation system and crop production. Hay production jumped from 82 to 1,089 tonnes within three years and some oat crops stood 3 metres tall. Newspapers and reporters often referred to the ranch as Hull's Irrigation Farm.

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of April 13

Bow Valley Ranche during the William Roper Hull era

The new purchasers were William Roper Hull, who later became one of Calgary's most prominent citizens, and his brother, John Roper Hull. Pioneer rancher, entrepreneur, land developer and philanthropist, William Roper Hull played a prominent role in western Canada's early economic development. In 1892, William Roper Hull and his brother John Roper Hull purchased the Bow Valley Farm from Quebec Lt.-Gov. Theodore Robitaille and renamed it the Bow Valley Ranche (formerly the Bow Valley Farm).

Born in Somerset, England in 1856, William Roper Hull sailed for Panama with his brother John in 1873 when both were in their late teens. They went on to cross the isthmus by foot, travel by steamer to Victoria, boat up the Fraser River toward Yale and finally finish their journey on foot to Kamloops, BC. Later on they assembled and drove 1,200 head of horses over the Crowsnest Pass in the Rocky Mountains to arrive in Calgary, where they sold the horses to the North West Mounted Police and the North West Cattle Company

The Hull brothers arrived in Canada from England around 1873, and began to learn the ranching business from an uncle in Kamloops, BC. The two brothers later purchased two ranches near Nanton, Alberta. Their operations rapidly expanded, and by 1888 they owned the largest meat business across BC and the NWT.

William Roper Hull then began expanding into other businesses. With well known A.E. Cross and M. Cochrane, he opened the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company. He also expanded into ranching, after obtaining a contract with the Canadian Pacific Railway to supply construction crews in British Columbia with fresh beef.

As a commercial real estate developer, he was responsible for many notable Calgary landmarks and other comparable buildings in BC and Alberta. In 1893, Hull built Calgary's first opera house, a 1000 seat, two-storey sandstone theatre (Center Street and 6th Avenue SW). He also built the Hull Block (8th Avenue and Center Street SW) and in 1909, he built the six-storey Grain Exchange Building (9th Avenue and 1st Street SW), which was a skyscraper in its day.

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of April 7

John Glenn’s wife, Adelaide (née Belcourt) was a Métis woman from Lac Ste. Anne. No less a pioneer than her husband, Adelaide raised six children, helped with tending livestock, and provided room and board for travelers. She earned the nickname of “Grandmother of Midnapore” as she practiced midwifery in the area. Adelaide also provided vital emotional support to the early women settlers who arrived shortly after her pioneering settlement.

In 1879, the Glenns moved further up the Fish Creek Valley, establishing a second farm at the McLeod Trail crossing. John Glenn sold their original buildings to the Canadian Government, who intended to use them as a Government Supply Farm to help train Native people in European farming techniques. He sold his first farm, together with all his improvements, including a cow and a calf, for $360.

A shrewd and honourable businessman John Glenn always had great faith in the future of Calgary. With its splendid agricultural and stock raising capabilities, along with enormous mineral resources, he believed Calgary would one day grow to be one of the largest cities in the west. John Glenn died of pneumonia in 1886, at the age of 52 years.

Land Speculation

The inefficiency of the Supply Farm prompted the Dominion Government to close it upon completion of harvest in 1882. Even before this decision became public knowledge, the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, Theodore Robitaille, indicated his interest in purchasing the site for the sum of $10,000.

Eventually Robitaille purchased the Government Farm, despite much competition from Calgary area ranches, for $3.00 per acre. From his correspondence, it appears he was speculating in the sale of lands to incoming settlers. It is also thought possible he was told that the land might lay in the path of the CPR mainline, as he attempted to sell it as town lots.

The onset of a general depression, appearing mainly in the form of a land crash in the Northwest, quashed Robitaille's speculative plans. He then leased the land to the first of several local ranchers.

Hand over to the Hull Brothers

By 1892, the remaining buildings and the land of Glenn's first farm had been purchased by William Roper Hull. Hull built the opulent Bow Valley Ranche House only a few metres from the original log cabin, which still exists today and is being restored by the University of Calgary Archeology Department.

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online


Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of March 31

History of John Glenn and other Bow Valley Ranche settlers

While native people probably hunted in the Bow Valley area at least 1,000 years ago, Europeans and other settlers arrived in this region only recently. The earliest European explorers reached the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about the middle of the eighteenth century.

As far we know, the first Caucasian to set eyes on the Bow River was David Thompson, who visited the confluence of the Bow and the Elbow in 1767. Following the explorers came a slow trickle of fur traders, and following them came the missionaries, after which settlers arrived to stay.

It was not until the 1870's that the first homesteader established a permanent farm in the Bow Valley area. The homesteader was John Glenn, an experienced farmer, trapper, and prospector, who had searched for gold in California and the Cariboo and traveled through much of the West before coming to the Bow River Valley area. He chose to settle in what he thought was an ideal site, where the Fish Creek joins the Bow, ‘and had everything a settler could desire’.

Glenn, whom we wrote about in last week’s blog, also sold hay to the mounted police and did labour for them to supplement his income. He was a vehement supporter of Settlers' Rights in the Canadian West area and a strong proponent for development in the Calgary area.

More next week about the history of the Bow Valley Ranche area and the first settlers

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online


The Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of March 24

John Glenn, the original Bow Valley Ranche area settler

Born in Ireland in 1834, John Glenn was the first settler of the area we know today as the Bow Valley Ranche. At age 16, he emigrated to the U.S. and found himself in the southern United States at the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War. He was drafted into the Confederate Army, but seriously disagreed with the principles of the Confederacy and became a deserter. He then made his way to Union-held territory and joined the other side.

At the end of the Civil War in 1865, Glenn made his way the U.S. and into the Canadian West. After mining for a time in B.C. he then traveled eastward, lured by the prospects of gold on the Saskatchewan River.

In 1873, after years of solitary wandering, the 40 year-old bachelor married Adelaide Belcourt. The newly married couple, searching for suitable land on which to settle, packed their worldly possessions onto the back of a single mule. They made their way to the broad valley where the Fish Creek flows into the Bow River, establishing the first European settlement in what we know as Calgary today. The Glenns built their first home together, a log cabin complete with sod roof and stone fireplace.

In the following years, Glenn continued to improve his homestead. He raised cattle and broke virgin sod to grow grain. The soil was fertile and his crops flourished. After only three years, the Glenn homestead had grown and included nine partially fenced acres sown with barley and oats, a hay meadow and a vegetable garden.

He went on to set up the first irrigation system in Alberta on the bottom twenty-one acres of his farm. The rich glacial silt produced good crops—up to 220 bushels of potatoes per acres. By 1879 he was comfortably established.

More next week John Glenn and the first Bow Valley area settlers

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online


The Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of March 21

Organizing your event

Special event organization is a skill requiring the ability to bring together several parts of an overall big picture seamlessly, while delighting both the hosts and the guests.


A significant part of the event is, of course, the venue. It should be suited to both small and large parties, and be capable of being an intimate gathering, or having the space to hold many guests comfortably. The venue should also lend itself to being both casual and elegant, depending on the event and the wishes and wants of the hosts. With Calgary’s sometimes inclement weather, being able to move indoors is always a must.


A great chef is also an artist. There are many people who are good cooks, but the talent of taking the different ingredients—game, meat, fish or poultry, and vegetables and garnishes—and turning them into a gastronomic masterpiece belongs to truly artistic chefs. Your guests should want to photograph their food before they eat it!

The wrong combinations can spoil a meal, while the right ones can make guests gasp with delight.

Finishing touches

Bringing the vision together with the final touches—lighting, decorative, personal elements and whatever else is needed—can take an event from ordinary to extraordinary. Again, artistry is needed to take the big picture and bring together all the details, even the smallest ones, to create an outstanding event.

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online


The Bow Valley Ranche blog post Week of March 17

Winemakers Dinner April 11th, 2014 

Friday, April 11th, we have Thomas Sichta from Chehalem winery, located in Willamette Oregon for a winemaker dinner at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant. 

Chehalem (Chuh-hay-lum) traces its history back to vineyard operations started by Harry Peterson-Nedry in 1980 at Ridgecrest Vineyards, the pioneering wine operation on Ribbon Ridge, northwest of Newberg, Oregon.

Equally well-known for red and white wine quality, Chehalem has a passion and focus for cool climate varieties that reflect both site and climate in complex, structured and intensely fruited wines. The winery is unusual in Oregon for its equal production of red and white wines.

TIckets are $100 per person and can be purchased from Erin Macdonald between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Please call 403.476.1310 for more information.


Easter Brunch Sunday, April 20

Weekend brunch is a tradition in many families. Every Saturday and Sunday, the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant offers locally-sourced eggs, meats and vegetables on our delicious brunch menu.

With Easter just around the corner, we'd like to invite you to join us for an Easter Brunch in style. We will be offering a special menu with amazing local dishes. With three seatings, 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, we cater to the needs of the early bird as well as the late riser.

Call us at 403.476.1310 to make reservations.


The Bow Valley Ranche blog post Week of March 10

Bow Valley Ranche Native Gardens

When you visit us, don’t miss the spectacular Native Gardens nestled between the Bow Valley Ranche House and Annie’s Bakery & Café.  The Native Gardens showcase native plants and grasses going back to the late 1800s, and representing the history of this area.

Trembling aspens, white spruce, saskatoon and chokecherry bushes, native roses and shrubs, snowberries, junipers as well as hundreds of wild flowers have been reintroduced to the site by Calgary Horticultural Society volunteers, along with bunch wheat, needle grass and several other species of native grasses.

A rich history

The area surrounding the Bow Valley Ranche once harboured teepees, buffalo rings, wagon trails and farmlands. Today, amongst the restored heritage plantings in these educational and interpretive gardens, you’ll experience serenity as you wander along peaceful pathways. Along you the way you’ll find pine benches, a private period gazebo, gas lampposts from bygone eras, a mini amphitheatre and great amounts of sandstone boulders recovered from the surrounding area.

Pioneer Women

The Native Gardens also include a bronze sculpture honouring the spirit of Pioneer Women. These remarkable and courageous women were awe-inspiring as they coped only with the challenges of homesteading, but also with the accompanying sadness and grief of leaving behind loved ones and losing family members on the path to their new life. 

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online

The Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of March 3, 2014

A little history on Annie’s Café

Annie’s Bakery & Café, which will be re-opening this spring, was named for Annie Bannister, the wife of Billy Bannister, the former ranch foreman. Billy left his home in Ontario, and at the age of 34, married Annie Louise Birney of Calgary in 1899. She was 19 at the time, and lived with her family on a farm close to what is now MacLeod Trail and Heritage Drive.

The Bannisters made Hull House their home up until the time when they were expecting their fourth child. In 1905, Patrick Burns had a farmhouse moved to the property, to a spot west of the main house, as he felt the family was becoming too large.

This quaint house later became Annie’s Bakery & Café. If you’re out for a run, bike ride, or a walk around Fish Creek Park, stop in for a light bite. The surroundings are beautiful and you can enjoy the view from the sunny front porch or inside, beside a wood-burning stove.

Annie’s Bakery & Café uses locally sourced ingredients and everything is made in-house. The café offers coffee, ice cream, baked goods, soups, sandwiches and more. Gluten-free options are also available, including dairy, gluten and egg-free sorbets.

Make sure to drop by and enjoy some wholesome food at our charming café when the weather warms up.

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:

Click here to book a reservation online

The Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of February 24, 2013

The Bow Valley Ranche’s Ghost

During the time that William Roper Hull and his brother, John Roper Hull, owned the Bow Valley Ranche, they hired Charlie Yuen, a Chinese cook, to do odd chores and feed the crew. Under Charlie’s supervision, the ranch became a showplace, welcoming many local and foreign visitors.

After Patrick Burns purchased the property, Chariie continued to welcome and supervise the comforts of any visitor to the ranch. Charlie was famous for his delicious pies, according to legend.

In 1938, Charlie died in a car accident while traveling in China. His dying wish was to be buried at the Bow Valley Ranche, where he had worked for so many years.

Although he was buried in China, he is believed to haunt the private dining room of the restaurant; lights often are turned on mysteriously and music plays without the stereo being turned on. As employees leave the building late at night, lights will turn back on.

One of the volunteers in the Artisan Gardens at Fish Creek tells of walking by the Cook House, early morning, and seeing a person in a long nightshirt carrying a candle stick, walk by a window. This is sometimes accompanied by the smell of bread baking. Who knows, perhaps it is Charlie...

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:
Click here to book a reservation online

The Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of February 3

With the Bow Valley Ranche re-opening February 4, 2014 (news), revisiting some of its history seems appropriate. Several of Alberta’s most prominent citizens have figured in the stories that make up its past.

The Ranche House’s beginnings were humble—an early settler John Glenn built a log house and barns on a homestead located where the Fish Creek joins the Bow, and ‘it was everything a settler could desire.’

Over the years, other well-known Calgarians owned the Ranche House. In the late 1800s, William Roper Hull and his brother, John Roper Hull, purchased the property, which was known at the time as the Bow Valley Ranche. The Hulls went onto make many improvements. They replaced the original log house with a two-story brick ranch house. The Bow Valley Ranche became a showplace which was visited by many local and foreign visitors.

In 1902, Patrick Burns, one of Alberta’s leading ranchers and a meat packer, purchased the property. Patrick Burns was one of the pioneers of ranching in our province. He was interested in conservation and recognizing the value of the trees in the area, had trees planted around the groves of aspen and poplar to protect from his cattle.

The property was passed on through the Burns family, with many improvements made including a tennis court, swimming pool and a one-story addition. In 1973, the Provincial Government purchased approximately 1,400 acres of the Bow Valley Range and in 1995, the landmark came to the attention of Larry and Mitzie Wasyliw, who created the Ranche at Fish Creek Restoration Society, to restore the property to its former grandeur. The Ranche House restoration was completed in 1999, to the beautiful site it is today.

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:
Click here to book a reservation online

The Bow Valley Ranche Blog Post Week of February 10

Surprise your Valentine with a wonderful dinner ..and a bit of trivia

One of the legends surrounding Valentine’s Day began with the Romans. Emperor Claudius II, or ‘Claudius the Cruel’, as he was often called, had a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military campaigns. Believing Roman men did not want to leave their loves and families, he cancelled all weddings and engagements.

Saint Valentine, a Roman priest, defied the Emperor and continued to perform marriages in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius sentenced him to death.

While he was in prison, Valentine fell in love with a young woman, who may have been the daughter of his jailer, who visited him. Before his death, on February 14th, he sent her a letter, signing it ‘From your Valentine’. And so, the legend goes…

How will you celebrate your love?

One of the most romantic and enjoyable ways to celebrate your romance is over a spectacular and creative dinner.

Our Executive Chef has designed a delicious menu especially for Valentine’s Day.

Join us at The Bow Valley Ranche and let us help you celebrate!

Location address: 15979 Bow Bottom Trail SE, Calgary AB

Click here to view our map location

Phone: 403.476.1310
General Inquiries:
Event Bookings:
Click here to book a reservation online

Sunday, July 12