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Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Old Oct 7th 2018, 7:07 am
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Default Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Hi, I have recently activated my PR and currently back in the UK planning next steps. I am thinking to settle in either the Vancouver or Calgary areas, within 1 hr commutable distance to the main cities and work. A little bit about myself: I am a single male (mid 30s) currently live in London and work for a management consultancy doing non-industry specific project management. The main motivation for the move out to Canada is outdoor activities (hiking, climbing, kayaking and winter sports). I have a couple of queries on life and work and wondered if anyone can provide some thoughts.

- How easy is to find work in Calgary vs Vancouver? I am applying for various positions from the UK but not had much luck so far. It's looking more likely I will need to find something when I get out there.
- I am thinking to move out between Jan and March. Is this a good time when companies are hiring?
- A have visited Vancouver several times but never been to Calgary. Does Calgary have the same outdoorsy community as Vancouver?

I was initially set on Vancouver but thinking more long term, I would like to have a house and don't think that would ever be possible in Vancouver. Plus, thinking the drier climate of Alberta would give me more weekends in the mountains.
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Old Oct 7th 2018, 7:58 am
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Originally Posted by UKexpat82 View Post
Hi, I have recently activated my PR and currently back in the UK planning next steps. I am thinking to settle in either the Vancouver or Calgary areas, within 1 hr commutable distance to the main cities and work. A little bit about myself: I am a single male (mid 30s) currently live in London and work for a management consultancy doing non-industry specific project management. The main motivation for the move out to Canada is outdoor activities (hiking, climbing, kayaking and winter sports). I have a couple of queries on life and work and wondered if anyone can provide some thoughts.

- How easy is to find work in Calgary vs Vancouver? I am applying for various positions from the UK but not had much luck so far. It's looking more likely I will need to find something when I get out there.
- I am thinking to move out between Jan and March. Is this a good time when companies are hiring?
- A have visited Vancouver several times but never been to Calgary. Does Calgary have the same outdoorsy community as Vancouver?

I was initially set on Vancouver but thinking more long term, I would like to have a house and don't think that would ever be possible in Vancouver. Plus, thinking the drier climate of Alberta would give me more weekends in the mountains.
In terms of finding work, networking will probably be more effective than making applications in your field, so getting over to Canada will be essential. I don't think there's much seasonality in hiring (except maybe in the oil sands) so again, the sooner the better. Calgary has outdoorsy people too; it's quite a corporate town, there are many 'working for the weekend'. The mountains are close, and as your say, there's less rain (not that that stops Vancouverites). Avoiding the madness and aggro of Vancouver's housing market is a good strategy IMO. Seems like you have done your research and are ready to make the leap !
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Old Oct 7th 2018, 8:12 am
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Originally Posted by Shard View Post
In terms of finding work, networking will probably be more effective than making applications in your field, so getting over to Canada will be essential. I don't think there's much seasonality in hiring (except maybe in the oil sands) so again, the sooner the better. Calgary has outdoorsy people too; it's quite a corporate town, there are many 'working for the weekend'. The mountains are close, and as your say, there's less rain (not that that stops Vancouverites). Avoiding the madness and aggro of Vancouver's housing market is a good strategy IMO. Seems like you have done your research and are ready to make the leap !
Thanks! Bit nerve wracking to make myself unemployed but hopefully all will work out.
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Old Oct 7th 2018, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

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Old Oct 12th 2018, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Originally Posted by UKexpat82 View Post
Plus, thinking the drier climate of Alberta would give me more weekends in the mountains.
More? More-like every weekend. I can count on one hand the number of weekends in a year where weather prevents us from skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or hiking... Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada, with an average of 333 sunny days a year.

Last edited by Photoplex; Oct 12th 2018 at 3:17 pm.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 3:43 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Originally Posted by Photoplex View Post
More? More-like every weekend. I can count on one hand the number of weekends in a year where weather prevents us from skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or hiking... Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada, with an average of 333 sunny days a year.
This is great to hear exactly the reason I want to move out there.
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Old Oct 12th 2018, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Originally Posted by UKexpat82 View Post
This is great to hear exactly the reason I want to move out there.
Just bear in mind that until you get used to the cold, you may chalk up more "staying home" weekends

But even when it's -25c, it's still usually piercing blue skies and retina scorching sunny.
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Old Oct 13th 2018, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

I'd say Vancouver definitely has the easier job market at the moment, I know a few people who left Calgary and moved there for their first Canadian jobs because they couldn't find work in Calgary. It took me 6 months and I was starting to look at Vancouver as I'd had interest from that city. However I've been to Vancouver but I much prefer Calgary. I finally did get a job but I just want you to know it's tough then you're able to save and be prepared.

I did see more project controls jobs and pm jobs advertised than engineering (my profession).

If you love the outdoors this is the place to be. I've got a road bike for the many cycle paths in Calgary, a mountain bike for trips to kananaskis and bragg creek, I set a goal of 20 mountain peaks this summer which I've completed, going archery on Sunday, been shooting a few times, went dirt biking with a friend in Bragg creek. Hiked a few mountains in the snow too and hired a raft to go down the bow. Bought Ice skates last week and snow shoes today, I'm going to pick up some ski boots in the next few weeks. I love it here! The only problem with doing so many things is you need so much equipment! But the second hand market is amazing here. All my furniture and all my equipment except my mountain bike are second hand.

Rain, snow and forest fires won't bother you, it's when you come across a grizzly that you'll reconsider your life choices haha.

I came in January because I wanted to be employed for the summer then I could enjoy it. The employment market picks up around spring, if you came late January/early February you'd be able to find your feet, then be ready for spring. All the project controls jobs and project manager Jobs seemed to come out around then - two seasons in Canada, winter and construction. July seems to be a lull because of holidays. Winter it cools off... Excuse the pun. This is just what I've been told but I've been told the same by many sources.

Also if you like real ale give me a message when you land.. if you don't man up then message me. There's plenty of beers to be drank, there's so many micro breweries setting up. But seriously, if you're coming alone that could get lonely so if you choose Calgary give me a shout and I'll buy you a beer.

Last edited by Shakyuk; Oct 13th 2018 at 3:19 am.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

I'm just now spending the weekend in Calgary after a conference. I obviously picked the wrong week as I've seen quite a bit of snow and not much sun! I gather it's coming tomorrow but I'll be back in Vancouver where it's also sunny. But yes it rains a lot in Vancouver.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 3:49 am
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Its been a pleasent October in Vancouver this year.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

....... and the pleasant sunny weather in Vancouver is expected to continue until next weekend. Cool nights, days up to 14/15C. Very nice!!
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

I still have to sleep with the windows open, not cold enough yet outside...lol...

Last winter we had to keep the window open a bit or it would get to 25 or so without our heat on.
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Old Oct 14th 2018, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

We never close our bedroom window no matter how cold it gets, and only close the kitchen window when it gets to -5 or so.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Originally Posted by Snowy560 View Post
I'm just now spending the weekend in Calgary after a conference. I obviously picked the wrong week as I've seen quite a bit of snow and not much sun! I gather it's coming tomorrow but I'll be back in Vancouver where it's also sunny. But yes it rains a lot in Vancouver.
With a name like Snowy I now know where the snow came from. We did get a big dump of snow but it calmed down pretty quickly, weather has been nice this past week. Forecast is nice for the coming weeks too, 8 days of sunshine.
My friend says the farmers are expecting a very cold and snowy winter though and he says these guys are rarely wrong.
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Old Oct 18th 2018, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Life and finding work in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Snowy is my daughter's Tesco soft toy. He's very old now. Snowy comes everywhere with us but not to Calgary because my daughter stayed at home.
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