Although Calgary is not Alberta's capital, it is the province's most populous city, with 1.2 million people in the metropolitan area. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Canada, and its unique geographical location places it over a kilometre above sea level. It is far enough north to enjoy long summer days, however, you'll also see long winter nights. Thanks to its wealth, Calgary enjoys a competitive real estate market with buyers vying for the most desirable homes close to the amenities found in the city centre.
Calgary made its mark when it hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988. Since that time, it has risen in profile as a leader in economic growth, while also becoming one of the prettiest cities in Canada. Its skyline offers a scenic view with a nice mix of city buildings including the architecturally appealing building, the Bow.
Calgary has more footbridges than any other city in the world, which adds to its charm. There is over 16 kilometres of interconnected bridges linking the city's buildings, providing an interesting way for locals and tourists to get around.
The city tends to rank high for quality of living and was also ranked the cleanest city in the world. One of its best attractions is the Bow River that offers extensive paths and bike trails keeping city dwellers close to nature when they need to de-stress.
Although not quite as arts intense as cities like Vancouver and Toronto, it is growing in its own rights when it comes to performing arts, shopping and dining.
Living in Calgary tends to be more laid back considering its size and population. There is always something to do in the city with plenty of choices for foodies to indulge in excellent dining options as well as bars and pubs to meet with friends.
Multiple performing arts centres and museums are available, while shopping is becoming a favourite past time in this wealthy city. Of course, the city is best known for its annual Calgary Stampede. The 10-day festival gives visitors a taste for the old West lifestyle right down to rodeo competitions and real cowgirls and cowboys wondering the grounds and events.
The parkland along the Bow River and a short drive to the Rockies both offer easy access to outdoor activities. Calgary is also home to the NHL Flames and CFL Stampeders to meet the needs of avid sports fans.
The city has also attracted an impressive number of entrepreneurs and small businesses, which is helping keep unemployment at record lows. Adding to the city's reputation for wealth Calgary enjoys a high average household income, as well as an exceptionally high GDP per capita.
Oil and gas has long been a mainstay for Calgary, but in the past decade, it has contributed less and less to the city's GDP. Instead, retail sales, business, health, and transportation are all contributing to Calgary's stable economy. As long as employment remains strong, consumer confidence stands a good chance of keeping the economy healthy.
Calgary is divided into quadrants each containing its own little neighbourhoods.
The province's highest-ranked elementary schools K-8 are found in Calgary based on advanced education opportunities, standardized testing, and quality of education. The schools are rated by students and parents, which makes them more relevant. Post-secondary institutions include the University of Calgary known for its outstanding IT department.
Calgary's C Train is a light railway system that runs from select suburbs into downtown Calgary. It is powered by electricity generated by windfarms making it not only very eco-friendly but also a very unique way to get around town. It is actually free for stops in downtown Calgary. However, driving still seems to be the most popular choice for Calgarians.
The Calgary housing market has been quite sluggish, especially when compared to other cities like Toronto and Vancouver. There was a 2.2 percent decline in the average price of new homes and resale housing prices are also falling. The city is seeing the slowest year in 23 years.
Construction of new homes has also seen a 15.8 percent decline from year over year housing starts for detached single-family homes. Experts feel the decline in new homes is due to a high inventory of new homes still sitting on the market.
If you would like more information on living in Calgary, speak to one of our experts today.