The Pros and Cons of Living in Calgary: What You Need to Know Before Making the Move

The Pros and Cons of Living in Calgary Featured Image

Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and is situated in the southern part of the province. As of 2022, the population is over 1,611,000, a 1.9% increase from 2021, which continues to grow yearly. 

Moving to a new location necessitates a lot of thought and planning. And, of course, you’d also want to learn more about the place where you intend to relocate and have a good understanding of the new area. You want to know what makes the location unique and what benefits you may receive from it.

This article will explore the pros and cons of living in Calgary and look into the best things to do in Calgary. With this information, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision about whether or not this city is a good option for you.

What Makes Calgary a Vibrant Place to Live?

In Calgary, the cost of living is cheaper compared to other large cities in Canada. The average cost of living in Calgary is $2,069 per month, while the average cost of living in Toronto is $4,975 per month. This is an added advantage, especially for people looking to save money.

If you love the outdoors, then Calgary is your place. There are plenty of things to do in Calgary, including hiking, skiing, snowboarding in the winter, and golfing and swimming in the summer.

Many festivals and events, such as the Calgary Stampede, a world-famous rodeo event, occur throughout the year. In addition, there are numerous museums, art galleries, and historical sites to explore in Calgary. The city also has a vibrant nightlife scene with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained.

The breathtaking scenery is one of the best aspects of living in Calgary. The city is situated in the Rocky Mountain foothills, providing a stunning backdrop. Fish Creek Provincial Park, Prince’s Island Park, and Nose Hill Park are among the many parks and green spaces to enjoy.

The economy in Calgary is booming thanks to the oil and gas industry. However, it’s not just the energy sector that’s doing well. The city is home to many large corporations, such as Telus, Shaw Communications, WestJet, and Imperial Oil.

Calgary has a low unemployment rate of 5% in July 2022. This is good news for those looking for employment opportunities in this city.

Calgary is one of the cleanest cities in the world. This is due to the city’s strong environmental policies and commitment to cleaning the streets and public spaces.

The city of Calgary has an excellent transportation system. The C-Train is a light rail transit system that runs throughout the city, making it easy to get around. There are also many bus routes and a bike-sharing program.

Plus, the roads are in good condition, and there is little traffic congestion. This makes Calgary a very livable city.

The Cons of Living in Calgary

Cold Winters

Cold Winters

Although the scenery is beautiful, the cold winters can be a downside to living in Calgary. The temperatures can dip as low as -27°C (-19°F) and sometimes even lower.

Snowfall is expected, so you’ll need to invest in a good winter coat and boots. If you don’t like the cold, then Calgary might not be the right place for you.

High Cost of Rent

The cost of rent in Calgary has been rising in recent years. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,158 per month, while the monthly rent for a 2-bedroom apartment ranges between $1,375 and $7,450.

This can be a challenge for people on a tight budget. However, you can find many affordable housing options if you do your research.

Not as Diverse As Other Cities

Calgary is not as culturally diverse as other large Canadian cities, such as Toronto or Vancouver. However, the city is slowly becoming more varied as the number of immigrants moving here increase.

Heavy Traffic and Long Commutes

Despite the many advantages of living in Calgary, there are also some drawbacks. One such drawback is the heavy traffic and long commutes.

The city’s infrastructure has been unable to keep up with the population growth, resulting in congested roads. This can be frustrating for people who commute to work or school.

The Best Things to Do in Calgary

The Best Things to Do in Calgary

Calgary offers so much that it can be tough to decide where to start. If you’re visiting this city for the first time, here are a few things you should experience.

Heritage Park Historical Village is a living history museum in Calgary, Alberta. The park represents an 1870s prairie town, and the village is complete with over 100 buildings and homes, costumed interpreters, and authentic artifacts.

Visitors can explore the village streets, visit the homes and businesses, and learn about the everyday lives of the people there. The park also offers a variety of special events throughout the year, such as concerts, festivals, and holiday celebrations.

Stampede Park is a world-famous rodeo and exhibition grounds in Calgary, Alberta. Every July, the park hosts the Calgary Stampede, a ten-day event that features a rodeo, chuckwagon races, concerts, agricultural displays, and more.

Stampede Park is also home to the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, a yearly event that features agricultural exhibits, midway rides, and live entertainment. The park is open year-round and offers a variety of events and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

Spruce Meadows is an equestrian facility in Calgary, Alberta. The facility is home to various equestrian events, including show jumping, dressage, and eventing.

Spruce Meadows also offers a variety of educational programs, such as horseback riding lessons, pony rides, and camps. The facility is open to the public year-round and provides a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

The Calgary Zoo is home to over one thousand animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. The Calgary Zoo is great for learning about animals and their habitats.

Calgary TowerThe Calgary Tower is an observation deck located in Calgary, Alberta. The Calgary Tower offers stunning views of the city from its vantage point.

Visitors can also enjoy the revolving restaurant, which offers a unique dining experience as you watch the city move below you. The Calgary Tower is a great place to get a bird’s-eye view of the city.

What is the Food Scene Like?

What is the Food Scene Like

The food scene in Calgary is diverse and exciting. From upscale restaurants to street food carts, there is something to please everyone’s palate. Many cuisines are represented, including Canadian, Italian, Indian, Chinese, and more.

One of Calgary’s most popular places to eat is the downtown core. Here, you will find various restaurants, cafés, and food trucks serving everything from Pizza and Burgers to Sushi and Pad Thai. There is also a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to keep you entertained ‘til the early morning.

If you’re looking for something a little more laid-back, there are plenty of great options in the suburbs. Many of the city’s best-known restaurants have suburban locations, so you can enjoy a fine dining experience without having to fight through downtown traffic.

There are also several malls, shopping centers, food courts, and various fast food outlets. No matter what your budget is or what your taste buds are craving, you’re sure to find something to your liking in Calgary’s food scene.

Best Neighborhoods in Calgary

Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Calgary.

The Acadia neighborhood is home to many young professionals and families. It is a great place to live if you’re looking for an active and social lifestyle. The area has plenty of amenities, including restaurants, shopping, parks, and recreational facilities.

For several reasons, Auburn Bay is one of the best neighborhoods in Calgary. First, the community is very close-knit and friendly, making it a great place to raise a family.

There are also several excellent schools in the area, and the community is very safe. In addition, Auburn Bay has several great amenities, including a recreational center, a library, and parks.

The community is also very close to downtown Calgary, making it convenient for commuters.

If you’re looking for a place to live where you can enjoy the outdoors and have access to plenty of amenities, Queensland is a great option.

Queensland is home to several schools, making it an ideal location for families. It is also just a short drive from the city and the airport, making it easy to get around. With its convenient location and amenities, Queensland is an ideal place to call home.

Chaparral is a young and vibrant area with a lot to offer its residents. The community is diverse, and there is something for everyone. The amenities are top-notch, and the schools are excellent.

The homes are affordable, and there is an excellent selection of floor plans. The builders are some of the best in the business and have a reputation for quality construction. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new home in Calgary.

Fairview is a beautiful small town situated in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada. It’s a great place to enjoy the outdoors, with hiking and biking trails. The town is also home to many businesses, including a grocery store, hardware store, and several restaurants. 

Fairview is a safe and friendly community; its residents are known for hospitality. If you’re looking for a quiet place to call home, Fairview is worth considering.

Lake Bonavista is one of Calgary’s most popular neighborhoods. The area is well-known for its excellent schools, safety, and beautiful homes. The community is also close to downtown Calgary, making it convenient for commuters.

For a friendly, safe community with top-notch schools and amenities, consider Lake Bonavista.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Calgary

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering moving to Calgary or are already in the process of looking for your new home, you can consult with me. I will help make your transition to living in Calgary as smooth as possible and guide you through finding and buying your perfect home. Read what one of my clients said about me:

“There are not enough thank you’s for Tara from Jamie Newton & Associates – RE/MAX First! She and her team made my home search seamless, and she was always available to communicate and went above and beyond to find a home that met all my wants/ needs. 

Forever grateful for all your help in the home buying process and for making my move from Ontario to Alberta an easy transition.’’

– Stephanie Mitchell

If you would like to be the next homeowner in Calgary, contact me through my email, Facebook, or Instagram, and let’s discuss how to make your house hunting easy and smooth.


Compared to other Canadian cities, Calgary ranks highly in terms of its affluence, cleanliness, and overall livability. Calgarians, like their counterparts in Edmonton, benefit from a low tax rate, a robust employment market, and a reduced overall cost of living. Alberta is one of the few Canadian provinces that does not impose any kind of statewide or local sales tax. The provincial income tax rate for Calgarians is also the lowest in Canada, at just 10%.

Compared to Calgary, the cost of living in Columbus, Ohio, is higher. To maintain the same standard of living monthly as you can in Calgary with $4,840, you’ll need to spend around $4,900 monthly in Ohio. The main reason for this disparity is the cost of housing, as rents in Columbus are significantly higher than in Calgary.

The number of people living under the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) in Calgary is unknown. However, as of 2021, if your annual income as a single person is below $26,426, this means you’re poor.

People living in Calgary, Alberta, are called Albertans.

The average cost of living in Calgary is $2,069 a month.