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Old Oct 11th 2010, 2:41 am   #1
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Default Calgary - what's it like to live there?

Hey all

I've been in Vancouver for a few months now and like it.
Still not decided as to whether I like Canada enough to leave the UK completely, mind you.

But, I'm still doing my research.

So, there is a potential job opportunity in Calgary.......can anyone give me some idea of what it's like there?

Mr S
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 2:51 am   #2
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

I don't know about living there but, this weekend, I'm in Sault St. Marie Ontario. As a place to visit it reminds me so much of Calgary. There's no reason to visit Calgary except that the train to the Rockies goes from there, the hotels are just racks for the Asians, off to the Rockies, three shifts a day. It's an ugly place, but it's in Canada, what they value there is warmth and iced hockey. It might work if you came from Birmingham.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 2:54 am   #3
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

s'alright to visit, wouldn't want to live there. That's just a personal opinion mind, there's lots on here do live there and love it
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 3:02 am   #4
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

I'd say it depends very much on what you're looking for. If you want shopping, night life, good restaurants, nice architecture, I'd say Calgary's probably not for you. (It's a fairly uninspiring N. American city).

If, however, you're looking to easy access to a good out doors lifestyle - skiing, hiking, camping, nice city parks then Calgary has a lot to offer.

I live in Calgary, find the city on the whole pretty dull but enjoy the life it allows me to lead.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 3:52 am   #5
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
I don't know about living there but, this weekend, I'm in Sault St. Marie Ontario. As a place to visit it reminds me so much of Calgary. There's no reason to visit Calgary except that the train to the Rockies goes from there, the hotels are just racks for the Asians, off to the Rockies, three shifts a day. It's an ugly place, but it's in Canada, what they value there is warmth and iced hockey. It might work if you came from Birmingham.
I nominate this as post of the year.

And yes I'm being sar-ficking-tastic

Last edited by triumphguy; Oct 11th 2010 at 3:56 am.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 5:35 am   #6
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

From a day to day point of view, its probably no different than anywhere else.

I've been here for 12 years, spent 2 in Vancouver and 8 in Victoria and in all three a good part of my time is spent at the office, getting to and from it, or being at home. So a lot of the living part is exactly the same as anywhere else. I suppose the rest of it is what you make of it.

If you like eating at restaurants, Calgary has some very good ones (no matter what others might say). Don't know about the night life, thats not my thing. The great outdoors go right through the city and extend all the way to the mountains (just like Vancouver - except Vancouver's mountains are closer). Shopping I would guess is about the same as any other Canadian city.

Transit is okay if you're going downtown. Not so great for going across town as I found out when I was working in a somewhat industrial area a couple of years ago.

You won't likely be walking to the corner to do your shopping unless you seek out a place in an older neighbourhood that has shops close by. So you'll be putting miles on the car.

The school board seems to be doing its best to screw things up if you live in an older neighbourhood - if you have kids and don't want to bus them, then research which neighbourhoods actually have schools that won't be closed in the next couple of years.

Winters can be cold. Or warm (relatively speaking). Two weeks of -30 make the next two weeks of -10 feel warm. But its a dry cold. Or a cold cold. Summer can be hot unless its 2010. The first day of summer this year was Sept 21.

There's an election next week so I suspect everything will be perfect after that.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 11:46 am   #7
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

We're just about to find out........woohoo
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 2:14 pm   #8
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

I find there to be quite a lot of snobbery from Easterns on here about Alberta.

It really depends on what you're looking for. As mentioned, if it's arts, architecture etc you're not gonna find it in Calgary, but that doesnt make it any less of a city than those in Ontario.

We chose to live in Calgary originally, but ended up in Edmonton, but the proximity to the Rockies was what appealed to me.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 3:19 pm   #9
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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Originally Posted by rwin View Post
From a day to day point of view, its probably no different than anywhere else.

I've been here for 12 years, spent 2 in Vancouver and 8 in Victoria and in all three a good part of my time is spent at the office, getting to and from it, or being at home. So a lot of the living part is exactly the same as anywhere else. I suppose the rest of it is what you make of it.

If you like eating at restaurants, Calgary has some very good ones (no matter what others might say). Don't know about the night life, thats not my thing. The great outdoors go right through the city and extend all the way to the mountains (just like Vancouver - except Vancouver's mountains are closer). Shopping I would guess is about the same as any other Canadian city.

Transit is okay if you're going downtown. Not so great for going across town as I found out when I was working in a somewhat industrial area a couple of years ago.

You won't likely be walking to the corner to do your shopping unless you seek out a place in an older neighbourhood that has shops close by. So you'll be putting miles on the car.

The school board seems to be doing its best to screw things up if you live in an older neighbourhood - if you have kids and don't want to bus them, then research which neighbourhoods actually have schools that won't be closed in the next couple of years.

Winters can be cold. Or warm (relatively speaking). Two weeks of -30 make the next two weeks of -10 feel warm. But its a dry cold. Or a cold cold. Summer can be hot unless its 2010. The first day of summer this year was Sept 21.

There's an election next week so I suspect everything will be perfect after that.
What he said ^^^.

But the shopping may be marginally better than other locations in Canada with the new addition the Chinook Mall now open. Some stores apparently have chosen Calgary as the location for their first foray into Canada. Who they are I have no idea I have no interest in that stuff.
http://www.chinookcentre.com/EN/dire...StoresA-Z.aspx

Here are some pretty decent pictures of Calgary. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=185555 click on each image to see a larger version in separate window.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 4:07 pm   #10
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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Originally Posted by jericho View Post
I find there to be quite a lot of snobbery from Easterns on here about Alberta.


Not picking on you, jericho, but your comment makes me remember Ralph Klein's famous line about Easterners... I'll bet Steve remembers it
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 4:58 pm   #11
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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Not picking on you, jericho, but your comment makes me remember Ralph Klein's famous line about Easterners... I'll bet Steve remembers it
I remember it well, but still there is some truth in Jericho's statement.

Last edited by Steve_P; Oct 11th 2010 at 5:03 pm.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 5:25 pm   #12
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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I find there to be quite a lot of snobbery from Easterns on here about Alberta.
Particularly from those that have never lived here. A bit like someone going to Exmouth on a rainy, winter's day and stating that seaside living sucks.

I can't imagine anyone seeking architecture, history or arts will find many cities anywhere in the world, but particularly in North America, ticking all of the boxes.

To the OP: I cannot imagine that day to day living is vastly different in Vancouver or Calgary. Having to work, travelling to work, etc. I am sure that there are thousands living in Vancouver that never ski, never hike, never ride mountain bikes, etc, just as there are in Calgary. When I first started working downtown how few in Calgary pursued an "outdooors lifestyle". Give us an idea of what you want from a city and you will receive more useful advice.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 6:12 pm   #13
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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Originally Posted by The Esses View Post
So, there is a potential job opportunity in Calgary.......can anyone give me some idea of what it's like there?

Mr S
It's a lot different from Vancouver, most of the greater Vancouver area is pretty similar to England.

Calgary has a low population density and you don't often see people walking around outside, there are very few trees in town and the weather is totally different, usually sunny but it gets very cold during the winter. In fact I think it's fair to say that there aren't enough words in the English language to describe a winter on the prairies. "Cold" and "frigid" aren't descriptive enough. You can tell the difference between -10, -20, -25, -30, -40 etc. For example skin freezes on contact with air at -23, which is why freezers are usually set to around -22.

Vancouver and Victoria were settled by people who wanted to make it look just like England, Alberta was settled more recently.

Living here is definitely more bare knuckle than urban BC.

Other than the weather I think the main shock to the system for anyone from Europe is that Calgary is very isolated. It's basically one monolithic municipality and there isn't much around it, a few smaller towns like Airdrie and Okotoks. There's not much to the east except Medicine Hat, not much to the south other than Lethbridge, not much to the west except Canmore and Banff. I never thought I'd get used to doing a 1,000km roundtrip to go shopping in the US but I have.

People are very much more laid back in Alberta and I do find that I get annoyed sometimes at the glacial slowness of getting anything done here. I think it's partly caused by the altitude, you're aware of it if you're from somewhere else but if you grow up here I think naturally you just go slower because the air is thinner! But the main reason why I think is the number of people who move here from small towns where nothing ever happens.

Generally speaking I prefer living here to the UK, you never get tired of low taxes and the lack of yobs, but don't be expecting some super sophisticated fast paced style of life. People will try and regail you with tales of how fantastic the skiing is or whatever, however you have to be careful because basically what happens here is that to cope with the winter people develop psychological coping mechanisms and talk a lot of BS.

There are 190 days pa below freezing here. It is f---ing cold (and very, very dry), if you don't like cold, this is not for you. You'll notice if you visit that there are lot more fat people than in Vancouver, because they sit inside watching the TV all winter. You ain't going skiing in -25.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 6:13 pm   #14
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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It might work if you came from Birmingham.
Hahahahahahahaha.

Oh that made my day.
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Old Oct 11th 2010, 6:16 pm   #15
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Default Re: Calgary - what's it like to live there?

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But the shopping may be marginally better than other locations in Canada with the new addition the Chinook Mall now open.
Alberta generally has better shopping because (a) no PST so people come here to shop and (b) main thing to do during the winter.
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