Country Guides March 2, 2023

The Pros and Cons of Living in Calgary – What You Need to Know Before Moving

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Calgary is a vibrant and growing city that offers a high quality of life to its residents, which is why living in Calgary has become a popular choice over the years. However, like any city, CAL has its pros and cons. Before you pack your bags, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of living here – and this guide will help you understand what living in CAL is really like.

Is Living in Calgary, Canada, Good or Bad? Check Out the Pros and Cons

Calgary, also known as Stampede City and Cowtown, is a beautiful and dynamic city in Canada that has a lot to offer its residents. From the stunning natural surroundings to the thriving economy, it is an attractive destination for people looking to live in a vibrant urban center. However, life in Calgary can bring both advantages and disadvantages, and you need to learn all about them before opting to move abroad.

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Is Calgary a Good Place to Live? The Pros of Living Here

If you wish to relocate to Canada and are considering Stampede City, note that there are many relocation benefits you can gain from it. The largest city in Alberta, Canada, has been steadily attracting newcomers due to its booming economy, high standard of living, and stunning natural scenery. So, without further ado, let’s check the various advantages of living in this beautiful Canadian city, so you can easily decide whether it’s the right fit for you!

Strong Job Market With Plenty of Opportunities

One of the biggest draws to CAL for those who wish to find a job abroad is its strong job market. Thanks to its thriving oil and gas industry, as well as the growth of other sectors like technology, finance, and agriculture, the city is home to numerous job opportunities.

In fact, according to recent data, CAL has the highest average personal income per capita in Canada. Moreover, it has the highest labor productivity of any major city in Canada. The city’s high income, along with its low unemployment rate, makes it an attractive destination for job seekers.

Studies show that the average weekly earnings in Alberta are higher than those in any other province
Woman smiling in an office
One of Calgary's most important features is its high average income

High Standard of Living With Excellent Healthcare and Education Systems

The city boasts a robust healthcare system that provides its residents with easy access to high-quality medical care. However, Calgary’s education system is also renowned for its excellence. The city has several highly-ranked universities, including the University of Calgary, which offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition, CAL has a number of prestigious private and public schools.

Calgary’s high standard of living is a reflection of its strong economy, excellent healthcare and education systems, low crime rate, and natural beauty – and it makes it one of the best places to live abroad. These factors make it an attractive destination for people of all ages and backgrounds looking for a high quality of life.

Beautiful Natural Scenery With Outdoor Activities Year-Round

One of the standout features of living in CAL is its proximity to beautiful, picturesque landscapes. Nestled within the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Stampede City is just a short drive away from world-famous tourist destinations like Banff and Jasper National Parks. This prime location offers a wealth of outdoor activities for residents to enjoy year-round, including skiing, snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.

Calgary's nature and skyline
CAL offers breathtaking views and plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors

Low Crime Rates and a Safe Environment for Families

Calgary’s one of the best places to live abroad for families, and not just because of high-quality education. Safety is an important aspect when choosing a place to live, and CAL certainly delivers in this regard. With low crime rates compared to other major cities in North America, families can enjoy a safe and secure environment.

Friendly People and a Welcoming Community

CAL is well-known for its friendly and welcoming community. The city is culturally diverse, with a blend of different ethnicities and traditions living together harmoniously. This, combined with the city’s numerous festivals and events, creates a vibrant, dynamic atmosphere that celebrates diversity and community engagement.

But that is not all! Whether you’re new to Canada or just looking for a change of pace, there’s no doubt that Stampede City offers a unique and inviting lifestyle. Take a look at the video below for some of the most interesting things to do once you relocate:

YouTube video

Are There Cons to Life in Calgary? Some May Make You Reconsider Moving Abroad

Is Calgary a good place to live? The answer is most definitely yes – but it doesn’t mean that living in Calgary, Canada, is all sunshine and roses. So, what are some potential drawbacks you may experience?

The Higher Cost of Living Compared to Some US Cities

Stampede City boasts a thriving job market and a booming economy, but that comes with a trade-off – a high cost of living. Rents and home prices can be steep in the city, and you may find yourself paying more for everyday items like groceries and gas. While you may earn a higher income in CAL, if you want to live abroad here, it’s crucial to consider whether the increase in salary will be enough, especially if you’re already relocating on a low budget.

Cold and Harsh Winters May Not Be Suitable for Everyone

Sure, many enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, but you must consider the daily obstacles that winter presents. Icy roads can pose a challenge for driving, and lengthy, full-blown snowstorms can hinder travel plans. If you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to handle extremely cold weather, this is something to keep in mind before getting packing services and organizing your relocation day preparations.

Limited Availability of Certain Goods and Services Due to Calgary’s Location

CAL is somewhat isolated from the rest of the country. Due to its geographic location, certain goods and services may have limited availability compared to other areas. This can make it harder to find specialized medical doctors or niche products that are readily available in larger cities.

Difficulty Obtaining Credit or Insurance Without a Canadian Credit History

Newcomers to Canada, including those moving to CAL from abroad, may have difficulty establishing credit or obtaining insurance. Many banks and insurance companies require a Canadian credit history to determine your eligibility for their services. You may need to consider alternatives, such as secured credit cards or working with credit unions, to help establish your credit in the country.

Without a Canadian credit history, lenders and insurers may view you as a higher risk

How to Obtain Canadian Visas, Permits, and Citizenship

Overall, obtaining Canadian visas, permits, and citizenship can be a complex process. It’s important to do your research, gather all the documents needed to travel abroad, and follow the application instructions carefully to ensure a smooth process. Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Determine your eligibility – visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website to find out if you are eligible to apply for a visa or permit,
  • Choose the appropriate visa or permit – you will need to choose the appropriate visa or permit based on the purpose of your visit,
  • Gather your documents – these may include a valid passport, a letter of invitation, proof of funds, and other documents specific to your application,
  • Apply for your visa or permit – you’re able to do it through the CIC website by following the instructions provided,
  • Wait for processing – the processing times can vary depending on the type of application and the volume of applications being processed,
  • Complete a medical exam and obtain a police clearance certificate.

If you’re planning a long-term stay in Canada, you may want to apply for permanent residency. You can do this through the Express Entry program or through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Once you have been a permanent resident of Canada for at least three years, you may be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship. However, keep in mind that you will need to pass a citizenship test and meet other requirements.

Schmidt International Relocations
Obtaining a Canadian visa can be challenging - but more than worth it in the end

What Are the Cultural Differences Between the US and Canada?

Canada and the United States share many similarities, such as language, history, and democratic values. However, there are also significant cultural differences between the two countries that can cause you to experience culture shock. For example, Canadians often define themselves in opposition to their powerful neighbor to the south. While Americans have a strong sense of individualism and patriotism, Canadians tend to emphasize their collective identity and multiculturalism.

Moreover, English and French are the two official languages of Canada, and most Canadians are bilingual. In the United States, English is the only official language, so there is a chance you’ll need to find some tips about learning a new language before you move abroad. Additionally, Canadians tend to be more reserved and polite than Americans and may be less likely to express their opinions directly.

Tips for Adapting to Canadian Culture and Social Norms

By being aware and respectful of Canadian cultural norms, you can have a more positive and fulfilling experience. Therefore, try to be polite and courteous – Canadians value politeness and may find aggressive or confrontational behavior off-putting. Additionally, be open to learning about and experiencing different cultures and respect Canadian laws and regulations.

Schmidt International Relocations
After the move, embrace new experiences and be open to different perspectives

Tips for Moving to Calgary and Settling In

Relocating to a new city abroad can be both exciting and overwhelming. If you want to reduce the amount of relocation stress when moving internationally, learn as much as you can about Calgary’s neighborhoods, climate, cost of living, transportation, and local attractions before you arrive. This can help you make informed decisions about where to live and how to get around.

At the same time, make sure you have all the important documents in order before you move to another country. This may include your passport, work or study permits, driver’s license, and health insurance. Additionally, ensure to choose a reliable international moving company, such as Schmidt International Relocations. Let the experienced movers provide you with the best international moving services and help you relocate efficiently and stress-free.

Once you move to Stampede City, you’ll have a lot more time to explore its various neighborhoods, parks, and attractions and start making new friends abroad. This can help you feel more connected to your new home and make it easier to settle in.

Move to Calgary With Schmidt International Relocations and Start Anew

Stampede City is a vibrant place with plenty to offer, from its diverse neighborhoods to its natural beauty and world-class amenities. With the right support and resources, moving overseas can be an opportunity for growth and adventure. That’s where Schmidt International Relocations comes in. Our team of experts can help make your move to CAL seamless and stress-free, so you can focus on starting a new chapter in your life. With us by your side, you can make the most of your move to Stampede City and begin your exciting new journey with confidence. So why wait? Contact us today to start planning your move!

Frequently Asked Questions About Living in Calgary

What Is the Weather Like in Calgary?

CAL is located in western Canada and has a semi-arid climate and four distinct seasons, including warm summers and cold winters, with the latter commonly featuring snowfall.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Calgary?

The cost of living in CAL can vary depending on one’s lifestyle and family size. Generally, the cost of living in Stampede City is higher than in other cities in Canada. Housing, transportation, and food expenses are significant contributors to the cost of living – the average rent price, according to Numbeo, is between $1,150 and $2,000, depending on the size and the location of the place. However, CAL has a lower tax rate compared to other Canadian cities, which can help offset the higher cost of living.

Is Public Transportation Available in Calgary?

Yes, public transportation is available in CAL, and the Calgary Transit system operates buses and a light rail system known as the CTrain. The CTrain serves the downtown core and suburbs and is an efficient and cost-effective way to get around the city.

How Safe Is Living in Calgary?

Calgary is considered a safe city to live in. The city has a low crime rate compared to other Canadian cities, and the police force is effective in maintaining public safety. However, like any city, there are some neighborhoods where crime rates may be higher than others, and it’s always best to take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety.

Are There Any Tourist Attractions I Should Visit While Living in Calgary?

Stampede City is home to several tourist attractions, including the Calgary Tower, the Calgary Zoo, and the Glenbow Museum. Other popular tourist destinations include the Heritage Park Historical Village, the TELUS Spark Science Centre, and the Calgary Stampede, a world-famous rodeo.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods to Live in Calgary?

CAL has several neighborhoods to choose from, and the best neighborhood to live in depends on one’s lifestyle and budget. Some of the most popular neighborhoods in Stampede City include Kensington, Beltline, Bridgeland, Mission, and Inglewood.

Are There Any Outdoor Activities Available Near or Around Calgary?

Stampede City is surrounded by several natural attractions, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. The Rocky Mountains are a short drive from the city, providing opportunities for hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. The city also has several parks, such as Nose Hill Park and Fish Creek Provincial Park, where residents can enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking.

What Are the Job Opportunities Like in Calgary?

CAL has a diverse economy, with several industries, such as oil and gas, finance, and technology. The city has a low unemployment rate (although a bit higher than the Canadian average) and offers good job opportunities, particularly in the energy sector.

What Is the Average Cost of Rent in Calgary?

According to Numbeo, the average cost of rent in CAL can vary depending on the neighborhood and type of housing. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $1,150, and the approximate price for a place outside of it is $950. Larger apartments are more expensive, with prices between $1,600 and $2,000, depending on the location.

Are There Any Educational Institutions Located in Calgary?

Stampede City has several educational institutions, including the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, which offer undergraduate and graduate programs. The city also has several public and private schools for elementary and secondary education.

Is There an International Airport Nearby?

Yes, the Calgary International Airport is located just outside the city and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. The airport offers flights to several domestic and international destinations.

Are There Any Festivals I Should Attend While Living in Calgary?

CAL hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, so there’s always something to look forward to. Some of the most popular festivals include:

  • Calgary Stampede – an annual 10-day event in July that celebrates Western heritage and culture. It features rodeos, concerts, parades, and carnival rides, among other activities.
  • Calgary Folk Music Festival – a four-day event in July that showcases a diverse range of folk, roots, and world music. It takes place in the beautiful Prince’s Island Park.
  • GlobalFest – a cultural and fireworks festival that takes place over several days in August. It features international pavilions, food, music, and a fireworks competition.
  • Calgary International Film Festival – a 10-day event in September that showcases a wide range of local and international films.
  • Beakerhead – a festival that celebrates science, technology, and art. It features workshops, exhibitions, and performances.

Is It Easy to Find Housing and Rentals in Calgary?

CAL has a diverse range of housing options, from apartments to single-family homes. The rental market can be competitive at times, but there are many resources available to help you find a place to live. Websites like and are popular resources for finding rentals in Stampede City.

Is Healthcare Easily Accessible in Calgary?

CAL has a strong healthcare system, with many hospitals and clinics located throughout the city. The main healthcare provider in Stampede City is Alberta Health Services, which offers a range of services, including emergency, primary, and specialist care. In addition, there are many private healthcare providers in the city.

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