Post # 1
My husband and I are moving to Calgary in a few months.
It will be a big move since I have been in Toronto since I was born and my husband has been here since 2007.
I’m very excited about the comparatively low cost of living, mountain views, and the cleaner air.
Can any Calgary bees tell me anything I need to know about living in Calgary?
Post # 2
The cleaner air? Haha I’m sorry I’m laughing a little, but we’ve been under a smoke advisory warning for the last few days because the air quality is so bad with the forest fires.
I’m from Toronto originally, and have no plans to go back. I fell completely in love with the mountains. I know my colleague was unhappy here as she hated the outdoors and felt people here spent way too much time in it. My advice is to pick a winter and a summer outdoor activity and make the most of it. I had heels, fake nails and brunch down when I moved here, now I hike, ski, and rock climb.
Calgary’s dining scene has come a long way. There are fantastic restaurants. Cleaver has an amazing happy hour.
If you like theatre there are at least four or five companies. ATP is my favourite. I think they put out the best plays most consistently.
Any specific questions ?
Post # 3
I was talking about the cleaner air when forest fires are not an issue.
I thought that was obvious since Calgary is not always struggling with the aftermath of forest fires.
Great information about activities and the dining scene.
Post # 4
mrsautumn36 : I thought it was obvious she was joking about the air.
Post # 5
Do you have any information about living in Calgary?
Post # 6
The city is very spread out, so before you commit to where you want to live, I would suggest testing your commute to and from work during peak rush hour. Considering renting for a while if you are thinking of buying. Transit may be getting better, but it’s nowhere near Toronto level of accessible. Explore neighbourhoods too, and decide where you want to spend a lot of your time.
Post # 7
I lived in Calgary all my life. And fastest way to get around is car because everything is spread out. Transit is better now but it still takes forever and sometimes inconvenient when you have to switch multiple buses or ctrains. So depending on where you work it might be best to live in a community close by or you’ll have to put up with potentially long commutes.
As for buying food and such – I think it’s slightly cheaper than Toronto and Vancouver. The price tag might be a bit higher but we only have 5% sales tax.z
Employment is okay. There were more opportunities prior to the recession. As such the crime rate increased but you won’t really notice it too much if you are in a relatively safe community.
Housing is cheaper nowadays. But I agree with j3n12345 about checking out the communities first before buying. You can find cheaper rent compare to Toronto. Like some condos are $1600 near the university, or $1500 for houses in other communities. Some of my friends live downtown and it’s less in demand nowadays so you have more power negotiating the rent price. I might be off a bit since I haven’t checked it out for a while. But personally I wouldn’t live downtown. It’s only lively during business hours, shady at night, and quiet during weekends. If you want to buy then you can still find a nice house in a good community for about $350k – $600k (depending on the size and such).
Overall Calgary is a working city. We are close to the mountains to enjoy the nature. But inside the city it’s quieter than Vancouver and Toronto because most people are there for work.
Post # 8
- Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK
Where are you moving from?. My cousin moved there from the UK 15 years ago and loves it. I’ve only visited twice but loved the city and they have a great quality of life. Obviously you’ll know about the crazy low temperatures that can change in a day. I did struggle when it was -20 as I’m not used to it. They live in Chinook Park area. Cousin works for government.
Post # 9
Thanks so much! You provided a lot of helpful hints.
We are planning on renting for a condo for a year or two because we don’t want to rush into ownership in a new province. Our condo will be located near downtown so that a car won’t be necessary. There’s always Uber and cabs if the CTrain is delayed. We’re not going to bother with shipping our car to Calgary because it isn’t worth the price. Our car is old so we’re just going to sell it. We’ll buy a car when we buy in the suburbs.
It’s great that my husband lived in Calgary for years. He knows the city well so that is very helpful. He actually said the same thing you did about downtown becoming quiet at night and weekends. As for shadiness, I have lived in bad areas in Toronto and I’m sure Calgary is nothing compared to that. I’m excited about discovering a new city while living in an area with lots of restaurants and other things to do.
I agree about housing costs. Housing prices are low compared to Toronto and that’s true for renting as well as owning.
Post # 10
I’m moving from central Ontario in Canada.
Post # 11
You may want to think about a vehicle even if you do live downtown. I live downtown and walk to work, but having a vehicle is very convenient.
I only put about 13,000km on my car annually, but because of the layout of the city, and the not great public transportation, I find it very helpful in the following situations (which may not apply to you):
– Visiting friends who insist on living in the godforsaken outskirts like Mackenzie Town, or worse, Okotoks;
– Weekend day trips to Banff and Canmore (otherwise you will get city itch);
– Returning bottles (in Alberta we have a 10 cent bottle deposit. It depends how much you drink, but I’m addicted to diet coke and perrier and get about $7/week in refunds – yes, five diet cokes and five perriers a day);
– Other activities… I go to the climbing gym, not conveniently located.
I lived my first year in Calgary without a car and it was a nightmare. Sure, I got by, but it was horrible having to plan everything out so far in advance. It really is the city layout. I lived for a year in Glasgow, Scotland, and I think I regretted not having a car once.
Even if you get a throwaway car, insurance out here is incredibly cheap. My sister just moved here for the summer and picked up a $3,500 car that she plans on reselling in September when she goes back to school.
Post # 12
mrsautumn36 : I hope you’ll like it here! I’ve lived in Calgary most of my life and I really enjoy it. I live in the godforsaken outskirts as minnewanka so eloquently put it, so a vehicle is a must have for me haha. There aren’t a ton of options for grocery stores in/around downtown, and the ones that are there are quite pricey and overpicked, so one thing to consider!
Post # 13
I’m happy that you got a car since you found it awful not to have one. While I agree that having a car is always convenient, it’s certainly doable to live without one in a major city. I’m told that Downtown Calgary is very walkable and of course there is always Uber or taxis if we don’t want to walk. We’ll save so much by not having car repairs and insurance. Our transit costs will be lower since we will live in or near a free fare zone.
Fortunately, we can just rent a car when we want to go to Banff or any other destination. It’s not as if we’ll be outside of Calgary every weekend. Neither of us have any friends who live outside of the city
It’s funny that you mention food costs. My husband has always prioritzed buying the best food available. I was appalled when I moved in with him but now I understand why he doesn’t mind spending more on groceries. We approach our dog’s diet the same way.
Post # 14
mrsautumn36 : that’s a wonderful approach when it comes to food for you guys and your sweet pup. Unfortunately in this case, I don’t think expensive = quality. There is a farmers market not too far away though and outside of the core area there is definitely more selection for grocery stores.
Post # 15
- Wedding: February 2020 - City, State
I don’t live in Calgary, but my brother does. I agree that there’s some really good restaurants. One of my favourite parts about Calgary, other than the proximity to the mountains that others have mentioned, is the dog parks. There are so many nice dog parks in the city, and fenced! Which was really nice when my dog was still learning to use his “listening ears” and I didn’t fully trust him to come back in unfenced areas, haha