The City of Calgary is geographically well-situated, with access to the Rocky Mountains to the West and the Prairies to the East. Bow River and Elbow River cross the City and offer clean water, recreation, and wildlife habitat.
Highways connect the City with the provincial capital Edmonton to the North, the US border to the South, Vancouver to the West, and the other Prairie provinces to the East. Calgary’s airport has become a major hub for air travel offering a great variety of domestic and international destinations.
Calgary has attracted many large corporations which help to support jobs in natural resources, technology, engineering, and manufacturing, as well as open opportunities for professional services, including legal, accounting, and finance. This attracts lots of immigrants from abroad, a workforce looking for relocation to Calgary or just people from other provinces who consider moving to Alberta in search of better job opportunities or cheaper properties.
Oxford Economics report predicts that GDP in Edmonton and Calgary will grow by more than 5.5% in 2022 while Vancouver is expected to grow by 5.4%, and Toronto by 5.0%.
The economy has improved dramatically over the past few years with the opening of new businesses and increased immigration, which has driven growth. There are several reasons why Calgary is on its way to becoming one of the top cities in Canada for economic growth and why many people chose to move or relocate there:
The oil and gas sector in Alberta recovered and surpassed previous production levels — total oil production in Alberta hit a record in the first half of 2022, averaging 3.6 million barrels per day. Although this doesn’t translate into as many jobs as in previous years, the province still has the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world. With the uncertainty around the Russia-Ukraine war and the steady demand for oil around the globe, the opportunities for the sector in Alberta are high.
Calgary hosts 432 local and foreign oil and gas companies and branches which offer high-paying jobs for professional field and office workers. The top 3 are Cenovus Energy Inc, Suncor Energy Inc, and Canadian Natural Resources Limited.
Several large technology companies are headquartered in Calgary, including Telus, CGI Group, Nortel Networks, and Enbridge. These companies attract significant investment from the United States and Europe, with about $3 billion being invested in the city for the last two years alone. This influx of investment has helped boost local economic growth and create more jobs for residents, attracting the relocation to Calgary of many well-paid IT professionals.
Alberta’s economy is heavily dependent on the natural resources sector. According to Alberta’s government, the oil and gas industry provides over $87 billion in revenues. This has led to lower income tax rates for Albertans compared to other provinces, making living in Calgary more affordable. When considering a move to Alberta, it is also important to keep in mind that there is no provincial sales tax, but only 5% GST.
In a recent 2022 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Calgary ranked as the third most livable city in the world. Other surveys evaluating different criteria also consistently rank it high.
The city boasts a strong hospitality sector and natural beauty thanks to its location close to the Rocky Mountains. Moving to Alberta means moving to world-class healthcare facilities, excellent education services, high-quality arts and entertainment, recreation facilities, and several well-known museums. Quality-of-life factors include:
With a metropolitan area of more than 1.6 million people, Calgary has traditionally had a variety of options for housing, including condo and apartment rentals, as well as single-family and detached homes.
For the last 2022 however, the housing market has seen pressure and volatility due to the high demand, the sharp price increase at the beginning of the year, and the interest hikes in the second half of the year.
This means fewer options for people who consider moving to Calgary or relocating to the province and who don’t know the area and different parts of the City. A real estate agent specializing in relocation properties and with expertise in serving people moving from another province can help with evaluating the options, choosing the best area, and searching for properties that are not always listed on the agencies’ websites.
The City is home to several world-class health facilities, and one of Canada’s top cancer centers, the Cross Cancer Institute, is based in Calgary. Other award-winning hospitals within the Calgary health region include the Rockyview General Hospital, the South Health Campus, and Peter Lougheed Centre.
Calgary is a major center for higher education with four major universities, including the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and SAIT Polytechnic. The metropolitan area has more than 40 post-secondary institutions providing students an opportunity to obtain degrees from a local facility. Calgary Public Elementary and Secondary school boards are among the highest-rated in Canada.
Calgary’s climate offers four distinct seasons. The city has an average of over 2,200 hours of sunshine each year and is one of the sunniest cities in Canada. In comparison, Calgary is also exposed to fewer heavy snowfalls than similar cities in Canada, with approximately 350 mm of snowfall per year. Many people relocate to Calgary in pursuit of more sunshine.
Although the winters have regular temperature drops of -30℃, a natural phenomenon called Chinook often brings warmer Pacific air to the area that can make the scale go up by more than 20℃ in a single day.
The Rocky Mountains surround the city with peaks, including Mount Falcon, Mount Rundle, Mount Lefroy, and Mount Temple. At the same time, other mountains include the Blackfoot Range in the southwest and the Columbia Icefield on the outskirts of Banff. Several magazines have recognized the city’s scenic beauty, including “The Huffington Post”, which named Calgary one of Canada’s prettiest towns to visit.
Calgary’s residents regularly enjoy day trips to the mountains – Fish Creek provincial park is located inside the city, and Kananaskis provincial park can be accessed through Bragg Creek within just 40-50 kilometers from the City. Banff National Park is about 100 kilometers away. Yoho and Jasper National Parks are located further but offer well-serviced camping sites and mountain lodge accommodations.
The rich settlement and indigenous heritage are preserved in the Heritage Park and Fort of Calgary, both located inside the City.
Only one of three Canadian cities to host the Olympic games in 1988, Calgary is home to numerous attractions, making it a popular destination for tourists. These include the Calgary Zoo, the Foothills Nature Park, the Glenbow Museum, professional sports facilities such as McMahon Stadium and Stampede Park, four outdoor swimming pools, and numerous nightclubs and bars.
Moving to Calgary is exciting, especially as a sports fan, with over 50 primary and minor league teams and over two dozen recreation centers throughout the city and surrounding area. There are also many golf courses and tennis courts available for public use and several parks and hiking trails.
West of the City there are several ski areas, including Canada Olympic Park, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise in the Banff National Park, making it a popular destination for winter recreation.
Calgary is home to numerous theaters and performing arts facilities, including the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, the BMO Centre, the Arts Commons, and Theatre Junction Grand. At the beginning of July every year, Calgary hosts the international rodeo Calgary Stampede which calls itself “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. Millions of visitors from all over the world walk through the Stampede grounds during the week of the events enjoying the rodeo, exhibitions, midway with rides, many food stands, and beer gardens.
Other entertainment options in the city include national and international concerts, festivals like the Calgary International Film Festival and Lilac Festival, and dance and theatre performances at numerous venues.
The diverse communities in the City celebrate their cultural and religious events which become great attractions for people from other communities who can experience different food, dances, and souvenirs.
The Calgary real estate market is performing well, with prices rising steadily over the last year but still staying way below comparable home prices in other metropolitan areas. According to a recent report by the WOWA, the average home prices are up by 4 % (12-month period). The value of an average home in Calgary is $490K.
Compared with other big cities, the average home price sold in December 2022 in Vancouver is almost $1.2M, and in Toronto, it is $1.08M.
This makes Calgary much more affordable for younger families who cannot afford an expensive home in other metro areas and for more senior families who have paid off their mortgages and are considering selling and living off the difference between the sold and purchase price.
For these people who consider moving to Calgary and the immediate area, choosing a place from afar, planning the actual viewing, and closing a deal could be a real challenge. Here comes the role of an experienced relocation realtor who knows the area in order to offer the best property selection, and who could plan the showings and the deal closing according to his clients’ schedules.
Calgary is an ideal place for business and commercial activities. The city offers strong job growth and a young and diverse population to support the business community. The tax structure in the area is also more favorable than in other regions of Canada, making it an attractive location for investors. The city is positioned for future growth and success in the coming years and is well-suited to handle the needs of agile business professionals.
The more affordable home prices make it an attractive place both for young and senior people.
Using a professional realtor specializing in relocation services and assisting people who explore moving to Calgary for economic or lifestyle reasons, would help by speeding up the process and finding the right place for rental or for purchasing options.