Living in Calgary Alberta | | I Love Moving

Expat’s Guide to Living in Calgary Alberta

Posted Country Guides / December 23, 2020

Calgary is one of the most attractive and appealing places in Canada to settle in and start home. And living in Calgary is an enjoyable experience with many positives. Read on to find out what sets this city apart from the rest of Canada and what to expect when moving there.

The biggest city in the prairie province of Alberta, Calgary is close to Vancouver and the US border. Apart from its prime location, the city is famous for its booming oil industry and cowboy tradition – it is host to the world’s largest rodeo called the Stampede. It is also engraved in many people’s memory as the site for one of the most enthralling Olympic Winter Games. Nowadays, it is home to many immigrants from all over the world, seeking fresh opportunities and a place to make their dreams come true.

Is Calgary a Good Place to Live?

The Heart of the New West, to use one of the city’s numerous nicknames, is considered to be a great place for living. It was proclaimed the fifth most liveable city in the world in 2019 by the Economist’s Global Liveability Index and the first in the country, beating Vancouver and Toronto. This survey took into account factors such as stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, which goes to say that the C-town is a safe bet in terms of major aspects that make up a good living standard for most people. But, before moving overseas, check out the major pros and cons of life in the fifth most liveable city in the world.

Pros of Living in the City

Adjusting to a new country and lifestyle will be a piece of cake here because there is so much to keep you occupied. One of the world’s cleanest cities does not only offer warmer winters than other Canadian centers, but it also has a plethora of positives and things to do. From sports activities to culture and cuisine, you’ll be at a loss where to start. And if you get stuck, you’ll be able to communicate without worrying about breaking the language barrier. Finally, if moving internationally and all the people get a bit too much, Alberta’s breathtaking lake sceneries and the Rockies will be within reach.

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Cons of Moving to Calgary

There are a few negatives to coming to Cowtown, but Calgary’s economy is the real joker in the pack. The city is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry, which is the backbone of its job market and the financial system. When this sector is growing, the overall situation is prosperous, but the town faces hardships when this industry is in decline, and the city’s unemployment rate can soar. Apart from this, you might want to rethink your international car shipping because the city hasn’t got a metro and is one of the least developed in terms of public transport. But, things are looking up, and the Government is constantly trying to improve these problematic areas.

Moving to Calgary Canada – Getting a Job in the City

According to Calgary’s Labour Market Review, the city mostly offers work in sectors such as manufacturing, technology, education, healthcare, and social assistance. Nevertheless, jobs can also be found in information, culture, and recreation fields. Besides, if you are worried about how to move to another country because of employment opportunities, it won’t be an issue here. It is one of the most welcoming Canadian cities, and it is also the second in terms of the number of corporate headquarters and millionaires per capita in the country. So, if you want to make it big, it won’t leave you hanging. But, first, you’ll have to settle the administration.

Paying Canadian Tax

Canada has a complex tax system since it strives to be a welfare state, and apart from personal income tax, one must pay other sales levies imposed by either the federal government (GST –  the Goods and Services Tax) or the provinces. The great news is that Alberta is the only province that didn’t introduce any sales taxes, so you might be able to save for some things on your buying when making a moving abroad checklist.

Immigration to Alberta, Canada

If you’re looking for more than getting a federal work permit for your Calgary’s adventure, you should check out Alberta’s immigration options and think about applying for the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP), which has got different streams for different types of job seekers and entrepreneurs. An important point here is that if you have a valid Alberta job offer, your application will be given higher preference. So, you should think about your employee relocation options and relocation questions to ask your employer if you’ve already got a steady job. If you haven’t, don’t worry since it’s not mandatory, and you’ll still be eligible for moving to Canada. Take a look at the following video if you want to learn more about this policy and the program.

The Cost of Living in Calgary

If you were wondering “is Calgary expensive to live in,” the answer basically depends on the place you compare it with. As mentioned above, the oil and gas industry influence the prices to a large degree. Still, when you look at the cost of living in Canada, life in Calgary is 8% cheaper when compared to the cost of living Vancouver, its relatively close neighbor, and 13% lower than the Toronto cost of living, according to Expatistan. This may be, in fact, due to the better prices of oil and the lack of the province sales tax. But, Calgary’s still moderately more expensive (7%) than Edmonton, Alberta’s capital, and other places nearby.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Calgary?

When you start thinking how to live in another country, housing costs are one of the first that come to mind. The good news is that the housing market is quite competitive here, so you have great chances of finding affordable housing. According to Numbeo, you can rent a studio apartment in the downtown area for about 1,300 CAD per month (about 1,000 USD.) If you’re buying a home, different factors come into play, and you should wait for an opportune moment. Still, you should also set aside funds for utilities, Internet, food, and having fun (whatever it includes in your case). According to the Dailyhive, if you’re moving abroad alone, you’ll need about 3,400 CAD monthly here (about 2,600 USD) to have a comfortable life in the downtown core and afford the basics as well as going out and fitness. Though it’s definitely not the cheapest place to live in Canada, there are many different spending and saving strategies, so don’t get too worked up about the figures.

Is It Safe to Live in Calgary?

Calgary is the seventh safest city in the country according to the Government’s Crime Severity Index, and its safety ranking score on the Economist’s list is 100%. But this is also impacted by the economy. Certain data indicate that periods of industrial decline cause an increase in petty and violent crimes. Be that as it may, certain neighborhoods are still considered safer than the others.

Safest Neighborhoods

If you’re on the lookout for the best places to live abroad with family, safety is likely to be one of your primary concerns, and you must be wondering – is Calgary a good place to live? The city and its suburbs have got you covered with many family-friendly and safe neighborhoods. Here are some of the quarters with the lowest crime rates:

  • Aspen Woods – sheltered and very close to the downtown area.
  • Hamptons – hard to get in, but extremely safe and peaceful.
  • Springbank Hill – known for great schools and recreational facilities.

Sherwood – a new quarter located in the vicinity of all the major highways and replete with stunning nature and parks.

Covid-19 – New Rules

If you’re worried about your relocation and possibilities to travel abroad during covid-19, perhaps you might want to consult the official covid-19 info for Albertans. Since the pandemic is unpredictable, documents needed to travel abroad as well as safety measures keep changing, so the most you can do is keep up to date.

Weather – Pros and Cons

If you’re wondering what to pack when moving abroad, parkas and other winter gear are indispensable in this case. Though the prairies are famous for the Chinook winds that make winter days warmer and more pleasant, the weather can still get freezing here around Christmas. So beware if you’re moving during the holidays since the temperatures can drop to 14°F (-10°C) and you are recommended to switch to winter tires. But, if you’re a fan of winter sports, heaven will be a place on Earth for you in one of the many resorts on the Rockies. Calgs is also one of the sunniest Canadian cities in summer so don’t forget about light clothes during your where to start packing for a move dilemma.

Things to Do in Calgary

In one of the friendliest countries in the world, it won’t be hard to get recommendations of places and activities you should give a try. And you’ll soon realize that living in Calgary, Canada, is much more than cowboys and rodeo tradition, though it can also be exciting to watch. Here is a list of the best things to do in the city.

Enjoy Sports

You can practice almost any sport that comes to mind, and the place won’t fall short of your expectations if you’re a fan of being active. Watch some good ice hockey and the local team at Saddledome or visit the Olympic Park and try your hand at skiing, snowboarding, and bobsledding. In summer, give ziplining and cycling a go and enjoy the serene peace of the city’s parks and oases of nature. You’ll be grateful for these, especially if you’re moving with pets. And if you’re into something more extreme, the Gaelic Games might be just for you.

Have a Ball in the City and Taste the Immigrant Love for Food

Calgary is a gourmet paradise where you can find specialties from all over the globe. From street food to fine dining, one of the best vegan cities is sure to leave you wanting for more. And if eating is just a starter, you won’t be disappointed. From pubs and live music to expat networking events, the city’s nightlife is full of promise.

Feel the Spirit of the Place

Finally, a large chunk of learning how to move overseas will consist of discovering places special to you in the new home. We suggest you start from the Calgary Observation Tower, where you can enjoy the city’s skyline against the infinity of space. Then, head to the Heritage Park Historical Village and peek into the past of the Prairies. And, from there, who knows what you’ll come across next.

Ready to Move?

If you made up your mind that moving overseas is for you, now is the time to find a reliable overseas moving company. Schedule your free survey with a top-notch international moving company on time. Arrange boxes and moving supplies along with packing services and custom crating for your valuables, overseas vehicle shipping, but also a storage unit, or any other services you need. Make your international moving pleasurable with the right Calgary international movers, and keep your energy for adventures awaiting for you in Calgary!

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