People will move into a town for numerous reasons but increasingly, people are opting for lifestyle as their number one reason for living in or moving to a town or city. In Western Canada, Vancouver has traditionally been the choice for men and women that enjoy a lifestyle of outdoor living in a mild climate. Calgary, however, is a terrific city for people who love the outdoors and a mild climate but do not need to pay a premium for this. Here are a few reasons why you need to think about Calgary as a place to live.
1. The Great Outdoors
Calgary is situated in the foot of the Canadian Rockies and in as little as 40 minutes someone can drive to any number of great outdoor destinations. Skiing/snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, river kayaking, rock climbing are just a few of the reasons why Calgarians make a weekly pilgrimage outside Hwy 1 to the outside wonderland that we call The Canadian Rockies. Calgary is in close proximity to 5 major ski slopes and COP (Canada Olympic Park) is only ten minutes from the center of the city. The Canmore Nordic Centre for cross-country skiing is only 1.5 hrs drive from downtown Calgary and the Canadian Alpine Club headquarters is only minutes from there. Driving south of town in the spring, summer, and autumn you will find hundreds of fly fishing fans plying the seas looking for some of the world’s largest rainbow trout. If it can be done in the outside, then there’s most likely a club for it in Calgary and individuals who participate.
2. Arts and Culture
Although not known for this, Calgary has a thriving arts community with several live theater venues, festivals, museums and galleries. Each year Calgary plays host to a range of occasions; the most famous one being the Calgary Stampede. The Calgary Folk Music Festival, Calgary Fringe, Calgary International Blues Festival, Kensington Sun & Salsa Festival, GlobalFest and Calgary Lilac Festival are also popular attractions. Calgary’s Glenbow Museum has a huge collection of art and antiquities and is host to exhibitions featuring great works of art.
In the autumn, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival (1.5hrs from Calgary) draws climbers, outdoor lovers and movie makers from all around the world to exhibit and discuss in outside culture.
3. Jobs and Income
Calgary has the highest concentration of head offices, among the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and the greatest per-capita earnings of any other Canadian city. With a booming oil and natural gas industry that employs tens of thousands and other diverse sectors, Calgary is a city that people look to if they’re thinking about a move or searching for a new profession.
While Calgary cannot make the case for being the very moderate climate in Canada, it does have relatively mild winters, punctuated by periods of warm weather because of a phenomenon called the”Chinook”. In the middle of January, it’s common to have a whole week of -20 celcius temperatures followed by temperatures which may go as high as +20 celcius. And with 366.20 hours of average sunshine in summer time (the most of any Canadian city), most people today find Calgary winters to be enjoyable. Calgary is also the sunniest Canadian town with 333 days of sun and the long, warm summer days make it simple to enjoy the outdoors.
5. Education University of Calgary
Calgary has two key universities (The University of Calgary and Mount Royal University) and countless other trade colleges. Located in the center of the town, SAIT Polytechnic offers education in a wide variety of fields, focusing on the specialized areas. From kindergarten to G12, Calgary has an Assortment of Public, Private and Christian schools located throughout Calgary’s communities. To find out more about Calgary schools click here.
6. A Multicultural City
Nearly one quarter of Calgary’s population has a mother tongue other than French or English. And, the people which make up the minority market, bring with them a diverse and vibrant variety of cultures that add to the social-scape of Calgary. Each year, Calgary celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals such as Globalfest, Fiestaval Latin Festival and Afrikadey! Festival. Calgary’s china city is also among the oldest in Canada and the Chinese cultural center, in downtown Calgary, is the biggest cultural center in Canada.
7. Low Taxation
Alberta has no provincial tax and a flat personal tax rate of 10%, which no other state can boast. And, using a lower property tax rate compared to Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Montreal, Calgary can be a very reasonable place to do business and earn an income.
8. Low Crime Rate
Compared to Canada’s other big metropolises, Calgary ranks low for crime figures. According to some 2009 Maclean’s post, Calgary was 27th on a list of cities by threat because of crime, behind cities such as Vancouver (8th), Saskatoon (1th) and Kelowna (19th). And, with a crime seriousness index rating that’s below the national average, Calgarians generally feel secure walking their streets at night.
9. Real Estate
Calgarians have the highest proportion of home ownership of any Canadian metropolis and with good reason. The purchase price of the typical house in Calgary is half the average home cost in Vancouver and 5-10% less than the average home cost in Toronto (February 2011). Given the reasonable price of housing and the high average income, home ownership is extremely affordable in Calgary.
10. Alberta Beef and Produce
If you are in Calgary, you are not very far from a fantastic steak! But in all seriousness, Alberta does have some of the best produce in Canada and Calgary is a hub with an array of farmers markets to purchase your own Taber corn or other fresh veggies. The Calgary Farmers’ Market is a bustling center for those selling locally grown produce and the Kensington Farmers’ Market is set on each Sunday in the community of Kensington (near the core of Calgary).