Welcome home: Calgary Alberta

Here is our guide to the City of Calgary for those who prospective new citizens looking to make a move.

NOTICE: Are you planning or or interested in relocating your family to Calgary or in the surrounding area? We highly recommend you reach out to us directly for information on securing a home for your new adventure. Let us be your warm welcome, Calgary is waiting for you!

Though the oil industry is in a constant state of change, Canada's energy capital builds for its future. In this city of entrepreneurs, the challenge has always been to make things even by diversifying away from fossil fuels and building a resilient city. New projects, such as the newly opened Central Library in the emerging East Village Cultural Centre, reinforce, despite current battles, the long-lauded quality of life of the city. 

Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Calgary is the third largest civic municipality, by population, in Canada. The metropolitan population (CMA) was 1,637,300 in 2021 (est.), making Greater Calgary the third largest Census Metropolitan Area in Canada; And the 20th in North America.

Located 300 kilometres (185 mi) due south of Edmonton, statisticians define the narrow populated region between these cities as the "Calgary-Edmonton Corridor". It is the largest Canadian metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver.

aerial photo of calgary alberta - a city with diverse real estate options

Calgary is becoming known for striking a compelling balance between metropolitan big city appeal, and a calling to the great outdoors.

Calgary is a short drive from some of the best outdoor playgrounds that Canada has to offer. From mountain biking to rock climbing, the outdoor lifestyle is something that defines the city's character.

The nearly synonymous Calgary Stampede is one thing you immediately think about when you mention the city. But spend any amount of time here and you will find that the culture in Calgary and the nightlife the city has to offer are much more.

Calgary is a wonderful contrasting city. Modern skyscrapers are found next to unique monuments, museums and galleries. The nightlife of the city is more than just country music and Western culture. The options for nightlife include traditional pubs and hip spots, a sports bar and clubs. The local people are friendly and festive. And on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, the city parties are hard. But the time is stampede when the city becomes a party monster. 

What strikes many about Calgary and Southern Alberta in general is the variety in landscapes: Huge sprawling rivers, lakes, streams, hillsides, rocky outcrops with forested areas marbling the terrain, whichever direction you travel reveals a diverse new landscape.

Calgary is located on the foothills at the base of the Canadian Rocky mountains. It is a sprawling city with a footprint rivaling that of Paris or Toronto - there are many unique suburban and rural districts each with their own character to choose from, but there are also many great inner city urban areas to enjoy if a faster paces lifestyle is what you are looking for.

There are two major rivers that run through the city. The Bow River is the largest and flows from the west to the south. The Elbow River flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow River near downtown.

Since the climate of the region is generally dry, dense vegetation occurs naturally only in the river valleys, on some north-facing slopes, and within Fish Creek Provincial Park.

The city is large in physical area, consisting of an inner city surrounded by various communities of decreasing density.

Unlike most cities with a sizable metropolitan area, most of Calgary's suburbs are incorporated into the city proper, with the notable exceptions of the city of Airdrie to the north, Cochrane to the northwest, Strathmore to the east, the Springbank district to the west, and Okotoks to the South.

Warm summers exploring the Bow River Valley. Majestic golden tree-covered suburban streets in the fall. The romantic calm after a snowstorm. There is great beauty in each season here.

A Climate as Diverse and Beautiful as its People


Calgary has a prairie-steppe type climate. This means it usually enjoys sunny weather, even in winter, and most of its little rainfall comes in summer. The summer rain is vital for the wheat and grass grown on the prairies.

Calgary endures very cold, windy winters, although not as cold as Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton, which lies farther north. Snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 88 days each year in Calgary compared with about 65 days in Toronto.

Calgarians make the most of this diverse range of climate types experienced throughout the year. Beautiful panoramic landscapes glistening with snow provide opportunities for hikes, exploration, winter sports like skiing, and unique hotels, tours and experiences that make nearby tourist town Banff a world class tourist destination.

At times the wind in Calgary takes the form of a Chinook, a hot, dry, Foehn type wind that blasts down from the Rockies. In winter, the Chinook can raise the temperature in Calgary by 30 degrees Centigrade in the space of a few hours, providing welcome relief from the often bitter cold.

When the Chinook blows, it can cause rapid thawing of snow to slush. Calgary enjoys a dry climate with little of the summer humidity that bothers many people in Ontario. Even in summer, Calgary’s nights are rather cool. Although it enjoys high sunshine hours, Calgary’s weather is often changeable – it is also notoriously difficult to predict in detail from day to day.

Calgary's Historical Roots

The Canadian Pacific Railway reached the area in 1883 and a rail station was constructed, Calgary began to grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre.The Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters are located in Calgary today.

Calgary was officially incorporated as a town in 1884 and elected its first mayor, George Murdoch. In 1894, it was incorporated as "The City of Calgary" in what was then the Northwest Territories.

Oil was first discovered in Alberta in 1902, but it did not become a significant industry in the province until 1947 when huge reserves of it were discovered.

Calgary quickly found itself at the center of the ensuing oil boom. The city's economy grew when oil prices increased with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The population increased by 272,000 in the eighteen years between 1971 (403,000) and 1989 (675,000) and another 345,000 in the next eighteen years (to 1,020,000 in 2007).

During these boom years, skyscrapers were constructed at a pace seen by few cities anywhere. The relatively low-rise downtown quickly became dense with tall buildings, a trend that continues to this day. Calgary's economy was so closely tied to the oil industry that the city's boom peaked with the average annual price of oil in 1981.

The subsequent drop in oil prices and the introduction of the National Energy Program were cited by industry as reasons for a collapse in the oil industry and consequently the overall Calgary economy.

The NEP was cancelled in the mid-1980s by the Brian Mulroney federal government. Continued low oil prices, however, prevented a full recovery until the 1990s.

Today, the Oil and Gas Industry fuels a strong economy and Real Estate market, but there are so many other local businesses pursuits.

With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was understandably significant. The unemployment rate soared.

By the end of the decade, however, the economy was in recovery. Calgary quickly realized that it could not afford to put so much emphasis on oil and gas, and the city has since become much more diverse, both economically and culturally. The period during this recession marked Calgary's transition from a mid-sized and relatively nondescript prairie city into a major cosmopolitan and diverse center. This transition culminated in February of 1988, when the city hosted the XV Olympic Winter Games. The success of these games essentially put the city on the world stage.

Calgary's Vibrant Inner City

Calgary's downtown is world renowned for being safe, friendly and clean. The commercial core is itself divided into a number of districts including the Stephen Avenue Retail Core, the Entertainment District, the Arts District and the Government District.

While the downtown core tends to be business centric, where the nightlife and culture really come alive are between 9th Avenue South to 17th Avenue South in the Beltline. The area includes the communities formerly named Connaught, and Victoria Park. The Beltline is the focus of major planning and rejuvenation initiatives on the part of the municipal government to increase the density and liveliness of Calgary's center.

Surrounding Downtown Calgary are several inner city communities with some of the most sought after real estate in the country. Crescent Heights, Briar Hill, Hillhurst, Sunnyside (including Kensington), Bridgeland, Renfrew, Mount Royal, Mission, Ramsay and Inglewood each contain small high streets or walkable districts with unique attractions, restaurants, dining and culture.

Revitalising inner city neighbourhoods which, in turn are surrounded by relatively dense and established neighbourhoods such as Rosedale and Mount Pleasant to the north; Montgomery, Hillhurst; Park Hill, South Calgary (including Marda Loop), Bankview, Altadore and Killarney to the south.

Several of Calgary's neighborhoods were initially separate towns that were annexed by the city as it grew. These include Bowness, Montgomery, Forest Lawn, Midnapore, Rosedale and, most recently in 2007, Shepard.

Northwest Calgary: Rolling hills and Nature

Sometimes the term "alphabet" is restricted.. to systems with separate letters for consonants and vowels, such as the Latin alphabet, although abugidas and abjads may also be accepted as alphabets. Because of this use, Greek is often considered to be the first alphabet.

Another featural script is SignWriting, the most popular writing system for many sign languages, where the shapes and movements of the hands and face are represented iconically. Featural scripts are also common in fictional or invented systems, such as J.R.R. Tolkien's Tengwar.

Northeast Calgary: Value & Opportunity

Perhaps the best value proposition for a new family, Northeast Calgary offers some of the best priced properties for the square footage and lot size. There are many excellent schools, it is multicultural, and there are excellent community centers and recreational amenities. In some of the older districts, there are many large green trees, and the shops are full of character. 

Northeast Calgary has a great central shopping district are along 36th street, is served by Calgary's C-Train LRT line, and has great access to many of the city's business districts. Did you know only 1/3rd of Calgarians work Downtown? NE Calgary is very close and accessible to many NE office parks and industry.

Southwest Calgary: Luxury, Style and Scenery

In Calgary's Southwest region, Bankview, Killarney, and Mount Royal are among the greatest neighbourhoods. The This quadrant, along with the Northwest, is regarded as the nicest place to live in Calgary, hence an average house price that is on average slightly higher than elsewhere.

The C-Train Blue Line is easier to reach in the northern half of the Southwest region, making it a lot easier trip downtown. Many of the most popular downtown lodging locations, such as the Beltline, are located in the Southwest. You'll spend a little more for property in this great location, but it's one of the best places to stay if you want to be more often exposed to the nighttime activity. 

The C-Train Blue Line is more accessible in the northern portion of the Southwest region, making a commute downtown much easier. Moving out further into the suburbs one will find some of the most luxurious and scenic suburban properties at a variety of styles and price points available in the city. Property in this wonderful location will cost a little extra, but it's one of the greatest places to stay if you want to be exposed to more nightly activities. 

Southwest Calgary: Luxury, Style and Scenery

In Calgary's Southwest region, Bankview, Killarney, and Mount Royal are among the greatest neighbourhoods. The This quadrant, along with the Northwest, is regarded as the nicest place to live in Calgary, hence an average house price that is on average slightly higher than elsewhere.

The C-Train Blue Line is easier to reach in the northern half of the Southwest region, making it a lot easier trip downtown. Many of the most popular downtown lodging locations, such as the Beltline, are located in the Southwest. You'll spend a little more for property in this great location, but it's one of the best places to stay if you want to be more often exposed to the nighttime activity. 

The C-Train Blue Line is more accessible in the northern portion of the Southwest region, making a commute downtown much easier. Moving out further into the suburbs one will find some of the most luxurious and scenic suburban properties at a variety of styles and price points available in the city. Property in this wonderful location will cost a little extra, but it's one of the greatest places to stay if you want to be exposed to more nightly activities. 

Education: The future is Bright

Be Part of the Energy

Calgary is home to five world class major public post-secondary institutions.

The University of Calgary is Calgary's primary large degree-granting facility. 28,807 students were enrolled there in 2006.

Mount Royal College is one of the city's largest post-secondary institutions with 13,000 students, granting degrees in a number of fields. With over 14,000 full-time students, SAIT Polytechnic provides polytechnic and apprentice education, granting certificates, diplomas and applied degrees. The Main Campus is in the North West Quadrant, just north of downtown. Bow Valley College's main campus is located downtown and provides training in business, technology, and the liberal arts for about 10,000 students (the college has three campuses in Calgary and numerous in the region).

The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) is located in Calgary. In addition, the University of Lethbridge has a satellite campus in the city. There are also several private liberal arts institutions including Ambrose University College, official Canadian university college of the Church of the Nazarene and the Christian and Missionary Alliance and St. Mary's University College.

Foundations for Growth

Public School System: In the year 2005 roughly 97,000 students attended K-12 in about 215 schools in the English language public school system run by the Calgary Board of Education. Another 43,000 attend about 93 schools in the separate English language Calgary Catholic School District Board.

The much smaller Francophone community has their own French language school boards (public and Catholic), which are both based in Calgary, but serve a larger regional district. There are also several public charter schools in the city. Calgary has a number of unique schools, including the country's first high school exclusively designed for Olympic-calibre athletes, the National Sport School.

Calgary is also home to many private schools including Strathcona Tweedsmuir, Rundle College, Clear Water Academy, Webber Academy, Masters Academy and West Island College.

Attractions

Be Part of the Energy

Calgary is home to five world class major public post-secondary institutions.

The University of Calgary is Calgary's primary large degree-granting facility. 28,807 students were enrolled there in 2006.

Mount Royal College is one of the city's largest post-secondary institutions with 13,000 students, granting degrees in a number of fields. With over 14,000 full-time students, SAIT Polytechnic provides polytechnic and apprentice education, granting certificates, diplomas and applied degrees. The Main Campus is in the North West Quadrant, just north of downtown. Bow Valley College's main campus is located downtown and provides training in business, technology, and the liberal arts for about 10,000 students (the college has three campuses in Calgary and numerous in the region).

The Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) is located in Calgary. In addition, the University of Lethbridge has a satellite campus in the city. There are also several private liberal arts institutions including Ambrose University College, official Canadian university college of the Church of the Nazarene and the Christian and Missionary Alliance and St. Mary's University College.

bring on the attractions

Attractions in Calgary


Festivals

Calgary holds many amazing major annual festivals and events which include the Calgary Stampede, the Folk Music Festival, the Lilac Festival, Wordfest: Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, One World Festival (GlobalFest), and the second largest Caribbean festival in the country (Carifest).

Other festivals include the growing Calgary International Film Festival, FunnyFest Calgary Comedy Festival, the Greek Festival, the National Music Centre Summerstock, Expo Latino, Calgary Gay Pride, and many other cultural and ethnic festivals.

Calgary is also home to a number of contemporary and established theatre companies; among them are One Yellow Rabbit, which shares the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Theatre Calgary, and Alberta Theatre Projects.

Museums

The city is home to several museums. The Glenbow Museum is the largest in western Canada and includes an art gallery and first nations gallery.

Other major museums include the Chinese Cultural Centre (at 70,000 sq ft, the largest stand-alone cultural centre in Canada), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum (at Canada Olympic Park), The Military Museums, the Cantos Music Museum and the Aero Space Museum.

Art Galleries

There are also a number of art galleries in the city, many of them concentrated along the Stephen Avenue and 17th Avenue corridors. 

Downtown

Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the TELUS World of Science, the TELUS Convention Centre, the Chinatown district and the Calgary Tower. At 2.5 acres (1.01 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of TD Square (above the shopping)

Other major city attractions include Calaway Park amusement park and Spruce Meadows (equestrian/showjumping centre)

Downtown Calgary

Full Service Real Estate

Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the TELUS World of Science, the TELUS Convention Centre, the Chinatown district and the Calgary Tower. At 2.5 acres (1.01 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of TD Square (above the shopping)

Sports in Calgary

Calgary is known for its amazing sport scene with several famous organizations and great traditions.

Professional Sports Teams

Club
League
Venue
Established
Championships
Calgary FlamesNational Hockey LeagueSaddledome

1980*

1

Calgary StampedersCanadian Football LeagueMcMahon Stadium

1945

5

Calgary RoughnecksNational Lacrosse LeagueSaddledome

2001

1

     


(*) Established as the Atlanta Flames in 1972.

Amateur and junior clubs

Club
League
Venue
Established
Championships
Calgary HitmenWestern Hockey LeaguePengrowth Saddledome

1995

1

Calgary CanucksAlberta Junior Hockey LeagueMax Bell Centre

1971

9

Calgary RoyalsAlberta Junior Hockey LeagueFather David Bauer Olympic Arena

1990

1

Calgary InfernoNational Women's Hockey LeagueCoral

2011

4

Calgary MavericksRugby Canada Super LeagueCalgary Rugby Park

1998

1

Calgary Speed Skating AssociationSpeed Skating CanadaOlympic Oval

1990

 >10

Calgary United FCCanadian Major Indoor Soccer LeagueStampede Corral

2007

0


Recreation in Calgary

Calgary is known for its amazing sport scene with several famous organizations and great traditions.

Calgary is well-known as a destination for winter sports and ecotourism with a number of major mountain resorts near the city and metropolitan area.

In large part due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has traditionally been a popular destination for winter sports. In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games, and one of the fastest ice skating rinks in the world was built to accommodate these games. 

The city has also been home to a number of major winter sporting facilities such as Canada Olympic Park (luge, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and some summer sports) and the Olympic Oval (speed skating and hockey). These facilities serve as the primary training venues for a number of competitive athletes. In the summer, the Bow River is very popular among fly-fishermen.

Golfing is also an extremely popular activity for Calgarians and the region has a large number of courses.

The city also has a large number of urban parks including Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Hill Park, Bowness Park, Edworthy Park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Confederation Park, and Prince's Island Park. Nose Hill Park is the largest municipal park in Canada. Connecting these parks and most of the city's neighbourhoods is one of the most extensive multi-use (walking, bike, electric scooters, rollerblading, etc) path systems in North America.

So many choices!

Shopping in Calgary


SHOPPING

Calgary's downtown features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, cultural venues, shopping (most notably, The core - TD Square, Eau Claire and Stephen Avenue)

In addition to the many shopping areas in the city centre, there are a number of large suburban shopping complexes in Calgary. Among the largest are Chinook Centre and Southcentre Mall in the south. WestHills, Signal Hill and Shawnessy in the Southwest. South Trail Crossing, Deerfoot Meadows and 130th Ave in the southeast. Market Mall and Crowfoot Centres in the northwest. Sunridge Mall, Crossiron Mills and Deerfoot City in the northeast.

TRANSPORTATION

Calgary is considered a transportation hub for much of central and western Canada. Calgary International Airport (YYC), in the city's northeast, is the fourth largest in Canada by passenger movements and is also a major cargo hub.

Non-stop destinations include cities throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Central America, and Asia (cargo services only). Calgary's presence on the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline also make it an important hub for freight.

Calgary no longer has regular interurban passenger rail service but CPR still operates a passenger railway station for rail tour companies at Palliser Square.

Calgary maintains a major streets network and a freeway system. Much of the system is on a grid where roads are numbered with avenues running east-west and streets running north-south. Roads in predominantly residential areas as well as freeways and expressways do not generally conform to the grid and are usually not numbered as a result.

Public Transportation

Calgary Transit provides public transportation services throughout the city with buses and light rail. Calgary's rail system, known as the CTrain was one of the first such systems in North America and consists of three lines (two routes) on 42.1 kilometres (26.2 mi) of track (mostly at grade with a dedicated right-of-way carrying 42% of the downtown working population). Light rail transit use within the downtown core is free.

The bus system has over 160 routes and is operated by 800 vehicles.

As an alternative to the over 260 kilometres (162 mi) of dedicated bikeways on streets, the city has a large interconnected network of paved multi-use (bicycle, walking, rollerblading, etc) paths spanning over 635 kilometres (395 mi).

Content Derived from Wikipedia

UTILITIES & SERVICES

PHONE - INTERNET - CELL - TV

  • SHAW          
  • BELL          
  • TELUS          
  • ROGERS

WATER - ENERGY

  • TRANSALTA          
  • ENMAX          
  • ATCO

LOCAL MEDIA

Newspaper

The Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Metro are the main newspapers in Calgary.


Television

Global, Citytv, CTV and CBC television networks have local studios in the city.


Radio

Calgary Radio Stations AM/FM

HOSPITALS

Calgary has four major hospitals; the South Health Campus the Foothills Medical Centre, the Rockyview General Hospital and the Peter Lougheed Centre, all overseen by the Calgary Health Region.

A medical evacuation helicopter operates under the auspices of the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society.

Calgary also has the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (located in the Foothills Medical Centre), Alberta Children's Hospital, and Grace Women's Health Centre providing a variety of care, in addition to hundreds of smaller medical and dental clinics.

The University of Calgary Medical Centre also operates in partnership with the Calgary Health Region, by researching cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, joint injury, arthritis and genetics.

Content Derived from Wikipedia

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