Any Calgary Bees?

posted 5 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 18
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I’m going to second all of the other PP’s that strongly suggest a car. Even downtown, Calgary is a city where a car is basically a must. There really isn’t much to do “downtown” so even things like going to Kensington, or Marda Loop for dinner, or going to a yoga class etc you would need a car. Uber’s can add up, and the C-train in my opinion is not very good at all. Of course you can go and see what you think for yourself, but I think you’ll quickly realize you will not want to be spending all of your time downtown, and not want to be taking uber’s everyday!

Post # 19
551 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I disagree about downtown being sketchy and dead. The city has come a very long way. The actual core of downtown where all the office buildings are is dead but areas around 17th ave and Stephen ave are busy evenings and weekends (especially in spring/summer)!

I think it’s smart to try living without a car. If you discover that it’s too difficult then you can always just buy one later. You can also sign up for car2go. 

There are lots of grocery stores downtown too. Some of them are more expensive (sunterra, urban fair, community) but there is also a coop and a couple Safeways. I’ve never had an issue with grocery stores being “over picked”. 

Downtown restaurant recommendations are: Bridgette Bar, Lulu, Model Milk. 

Enjoy Calgary!

Post # 22
2041 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I will join the overwhelming majority here and echo that a car in Calgary is nearly a must. I have had so many friends who don’t have cars either rely on me for rides to various places/events or just flat-out refuse to visit because they don’t have a vehicle. Calgary is really not transit-friendly yet. If you must live car-free, Kensington/Sunnyside/East Village types of areas will probably be best. However, there are so many awesome things to do in and around the city that, without a vehicle, I think you’ll find it difficult to really enjoy all Calgary has to offer.

Post # 24
670 posts
Busy bee

Darling Husband and I share a car, live inner-city and have a child and aren’t huge box store people. I work in an area without transit so I have to commute via car everyday but if I worked anywhere else, I’d probably take transit. There are a lot of people who live in the suburbs yes but there are also a lot of people who live inner-city or downtown with families. Calgary, I find tends to have a lot of disposable income – children or not. Anyways we use Car2Go when needed for a second vehicle – I’d highly recommend that – if you can swing not having a car – then I would totally do that – drivers here can be a bit crazy in the winter. If you’re looking at condos eventually, I’d keep an eye on it as the condo market tanked here like 2 years ago and hasn’t recovered yet. If you like to walk/bike, Calgary has some of the most pathways and walking systems per capita and they’re plowed during the winter for commuters – it’s amazing. For grocery stores downtown, I’d recommend co-op for produce, Sunterra for prepared meals and sides and community for specialty foods (this where you will get nitrate free meats, gluten-free and vegan foods – when combined, the three of these fill my void for whole foods. If you like ice cream, you’ll also want to check out made by Marcus and village (I prefer village). Restaurants arent really my thing (too many hit and miss ones) so I’ll let the other bees recommend on them. 

ETA – If your hubby will be working here during stampede, it might be good to pick up or bring a few pieces of westerny clothing as it tends to sell out quick here by late June. When we first moved here Darling Husband went on a rant to me about how his office located in the burbs would not be dressing up for stampede because it didn’t apply to them. He showed up in full business to find every in cowboy optional. 

Post # 26
1671 posts
Bumble bee

mrsautumn36 :  I think people are just trying to be helpful because living in this city,even inner-city is different than most other major canadian cities. Unfortunately, our transit really is not great, but our city council is working hard to fix it and make it more in line with other cities – to give you some perspective, the c-train line to where I live won’t be finished until after 2030 :|. With that being said, I took a lot of transit when I was younger, from the suburbs even, and it is doable just very long and requires a lot of planning, which is ok! I  also totally forgot about car2go but that’s a great option if it’s still around, when we lived inner-city and owned 2 vehicles, were walking distance to a train station, etc. we still had a membership and used it- it’s nice not to have to worry about parking/leaving a vehicle somewhere if you want to have some drinks.

A PP suggested some great areas near downtown that are really great to live in, another place to consider is mission – lots of great restaurants, close to transit, walking distance to the downtown core, close to the saddledome/stampede. I would agree though, the condo market for sellers is really rough right now so if you do end up buying down the road, be sure that you really love the area and plan to be there for awhile.

Re: disposable income in Calgary, sure there may be more at times, but I also think it’s more common for people here to live beyond their means and carry a lot of debt, which isn’t great. Things are quite different in this city since 2015, our oil and gas industry is still really struggling and I don’t know that it will ever fully recover to what we’re used to here. I sure hope we can diversify our economy because it’s pretty depressing. 

As far as sketchy areas downtown go- there really aren’t a ton. I don’t think you really need to worry about that at all. 

When is the move?

Post # 28
8 posts
  • Wedding: September 2019

As a Albertan now living in Toronto I think the biggest difference is the weather.  While not having a car is ok in the summer, the winters are a completely different story.  Toronto gets “winter” about 4 months of the year, while in Alberta it can snow as early as halloween (or earlier) and stay until March/April.  And while in Toronto we have a few chilly days, most of the time the weather is reasonable to go out walking in, in Alberta that weather can be dangerously cold.  You’ll want to Uber those days.  Wishing you all the best!  I miss Alberta all the time and still consider myself a proud Albertan even after living in Ontario for 15 years.

Post # 29
1671 posts
Bumble bee

mrsautumn36 :  Definitely! There’s no harm in trying it out without a car! If you find it doesn’t work, there’s always the option to buy down the road – no need to get one right off the hop :).

You’re right that Calgarians are used to spending like crazy when the going is good, and not the best at saving for a rainy day unfortunately haha. 

I’m excited for you to experience living here. Hopefully we will have a long fall and mild winter with lots of chinooks for your first year here. It really is a lovely city to live in.

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