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Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Old Oct 13th 2019, 10:54 am
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Default Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

HI all,

me and my partner are thinking of moving to Alberta in few years time. We have done the initial visa requirement test so are confident we would get in the pool for Express entry visa
In a mean time, I am researching life in Alberta 😊
we are planning to visit Calgary Before we make the move, however, I was interested to see what people living there think.

we currently live in Bristol and Calgary seems to be (statistically) double the size. Edmonton doesn't sound like a place for us. While we aren't keen on living in such a large city, are there any other options?
there are cities with 1mill+ population or 100k- population in Alberta. Are there jobs in smaller cities? Do we have any expats living in small cities in Alberta? Would love to hear from you.

Also, if it comes to working in Calgary, do you have any suggestions of nice neighbourhoods (inside and outside the calgary) that has a feeling of small town/community? Easy to commute to downtown? How is the commuting in general?

I have read several articles about neighbourshoods and commuting but everything seems to be more than 3y old information 😊
Thank you
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Old Oct 13th 2019, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

We have been here for almost 13 years. The first 6 were in Calgary and then we moved to an area 15 minutes drive from the south of the city, close to High River.

IIRC, Calgary's population is similar to Birmingham's but the two locations are nothing like one another. North Amerian cities are, generally, nothing like the UK's cities, and I would imagine that Calgary will feel way less condensed than Bristol would.

There are not many places outside of the two cities that you have mentioned in Alberta that have populations of 100,000. I believe only Red Deer approaches that number.

There are many towns and at least 1 city within 40 minutes drive of Calgary and which of those may be best for you will very much depend upon where in Calgary you will be working, as will the activities you believe you will be doing on a regular basis.

The more information you can give us, the better the recommendations we will be able to make. There are no bad communities in Calgary. There are some less desirable ones but nothing that would cause people used to live in the UK to be nervous at all.

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Old Oct 13th 2019, 3:32 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Thank you a lot.
I know Canada in general has much less crime than UK but it's so hard to imagine large city without bad areas 😊 I noticed that property prices vary greatly in Calgary depending on the area, which "suggests " (from living in UK perspective) that there must be something wrong in the cheaper areas, thank you for reassuring it is not the case in Calgary 😊

In some old articles i read that public transport doesn't reach far outside the Calgary and parking is very expensive inside the city. So people living in suburbs or further away, how do they commute? 😊 it probably sounds like silky questions and everything makes sense once you are there, but it's hard for me to imagine, if it's not like UK, how is it then? 😊

I would love to live in small city/town and work locally, but it seems like there arent many jobs outaide Calgary and Edmonton. Right know we just want a quiet community and aren't fussy about any facilities (shops, restaurants or something else) as long as they reachable by car. But we don't have any jobs lined up yet. I am working as office administrator and my partner is in busines2business sales. We are both open to change occupations as longs as it sticks to regular office hours (e.g. no accommodation or retail).

Perhaps it's best to get jobs and move to Calgary and explore areas, only then choose where is the most suitable for us 😊

P.s. what about Canadian back gardens? Are they generally bigger than british gardens? 😊 or aren't people to bothered about outdoor space next to their homes ?
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Old Oct 13th 2019, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by Crazyutka View Post
Thank you a lot.
I know Canada in general has much less crime than UK but it's so hard to imagine large city without bad areas 😊 I noticed that property prices vary greatly in Calgary depending on the area, which "suggests " (from living in UK perspective) that there must be something wrong in the cheaper areas, thank you for reassuring it is not the case in Calgary 😊
Millionaires like to live next to millionaires, that is the same in Calgary as in the UK. However, in Calgary most professions live in the same street as each other and nobody really cares about what you do. There is no "Moss side" equivalent in Calgary and most communities will have a mixture of townhouses, and detached houses. However, you will likely not be able to find a "run down" area. You may find one or two properties in a community that such a description could be applied to but grow ops will be found in the "expensive" areas too.

Originally Posted by Crazyutka View Post
In some old articles i read that public transport doesn't reach far outside the Calgary and parking is very expensive inside the city. So people living in suburbs or further away, how do they commute? 😊 it probably sounds like silky questions and everything makes sense once you are there, but it's hard for me to imagine, if it's not like UK, how is it then? 😊
Most within, and outside of, Calgary commute by car. Outside of the city there are some non car transport alternatives, but they are very few and far between. Even within Calgary, unless one lives close to a C-train station, travelling around the city using public transport is not a particularly pleasant experience, particularly when it is -20 outside It is possible, but it is nowhere as easy as I imagine it is in Bristol. Downtown parking is quite expensive but, outside of downtown, you are unlikely to have to pay for parking anywhere.

I drive to the city every morning, park up and take the c-train downtown. At the time I arrive, I don't have to pay to park but it is possible to reserve a space, which I do, to allow my daughter to use my space if she wishes to as she attends university in Calgary and would not have a parking spot if I didn't have a reserved spot. This costs $85 a month. I believe that it is possible to get parking spots in underground heated car parks for around $300 a month at the moment. I have never wanted one.

Originally Posted by Crazyutka View Post
I would love to live in small city/town and work locally, but it seems like there arent many jobs outaide Calgary and Edmonton. Right know we just want a quiet community and aren't fussy about any facilities (shops, restaurants or something else) as long as they reachable by car. But we don't have any jobs lined up yet. I am working as office administrator and my partner is in busines2business sales. We are both open to change occupations as longs as it sticks to regular office hours (e.g. no accommodation or retail)
.

Okotoks, Cochrane, Chestermere, High River sound like the types of areas you will be looking at, possibly Airdrie too, which is the only one that is a city and is nothing like what you will likely think of a city. The employment opportunities available in them will be nothing like those available in the city but, if you can secure employment there, you will likely be very happy.

Originally Posted by Crazyutka View Post
Perhaps it's best to get jobs and move to Calgary and explore areas, only then choose where is the most suitable for us 😊

P.s. what about Canadian back gardens? Are they generally bigger than british gardens? 😊 or aren't people to bothered about outdoor space next to their homes ?
We had a largish 4 bedroomed detached house in the UK. It was around 1800 sq ft and was a former showhome. It's garden (Derbyshire) was about the same size as our 1600 sq ft house we had in Calgary. Clearly, whether what you will get in Calgary is bigger or smaller than what you have now is a question only you can answer but, a typical house in the city of Bristol would likely struggle to compete with the size of garden a typical house in the city of Calgary would give you.


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Old Oct 13th 2019, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Thank you for very helpful information! It's only good news 😊

I will definitely look up all these towns you have mentioned.

We currently have 1200sq ft house and tiny 400sq ft garden. I suppose that anything will be bigger than that 😊(according to my initial house searche and you suggestion about gardens)

I will be looking forward to visiting Calgary soon and surrounding areas, as well as moving to Alberta!

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Old Oct 14th 2019, 1:43 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Re gardens, I bought the biggest I could affordπŸ˜‰. And it’s nice and I enjoy it. But only from May to Sept.

As of two weeks ago, it’s pretty much a snowy or frozen or soggy no go area, I likely won’t wander around it again until April before willing it all to come back to life. June is nice.

i see why folks are not to bothered about large gardens here, and why a decent deck is king.
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Old Oct 14th 2019, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

New builds tend to have small gardens (or 'yards' as they are known here). Downtown (City centre) will have smaller lots (not gnerally as wide as the suburbs).. it will depend on the type of housing you are looking for - and where, of course, as to the size of the lot (plot) of land you will have with it.
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Old Oct 14th 2019, 9:19 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by Crazyutka View Post
We have done the initial visa requirement test so are confident we would get in the pool for Express entry visa
Just checking, but you're aware that being in the pool doesn't mean you'll get a visa? You'll need to be scoring enough to get selected and invited to apply for PR. I'm sure you know this, but the website doesn't always make it clear and a lot of people think they'll be able to get PR via EE when in fact they can’t because their points fall short.

Hopefully you're scoring well over the 450/460 required on the CRS so it's not an issue, but if you did need to get your points up with a job offer, you may find you don't get any choice in the city (or even province) that you will be going to, as you'll just need to go wherever you can find a sponsoring employer. So just wanted to flag that before you do too much research on Calgary! And don't forget your points score will go down with each birthday if you are over 30, just another thing to be aware of if you're not planning on moving for a while, so if you do score enough now, I'd recommend you apply asap.

Good luck.

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Old Oct 14th 2019, 9:36 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
New builds tend to have small gardens (or 'yards' as they are known here). Downtown (City centre) will have smaller lots (not gnerally as wide as the suburbs).. it will depend on the type of housing you are looking for - and where, of course, as to the size of the lot (plot) of land you will have with it.
Exactly the same as in the UK, older houses such as Victorian terraces tend to have large gardens, new builds seem to have postage stamps. I always struggle to see why on earth anybody would buy a new build with such tiny plots and neighbours looking in from all directions.

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Old Oct 15th 2019, 2:07 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
I always struggle to see why on earth anybody would buy a new build with such tiny plots and neighbours looking in from all directions.
Here it's because the intended market is people from India and they tend not to want any outdoor maintenance and tend to need as much internal space as possible so as to accommodate long term visitors. Anyone wanting to swing a cat in Brampton would have to do so indoors.
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Old Oct 15th 2019, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Having a large garden is lovely - I swapped a 14ft x 40ft garden behind a terraced house in Essex for an acre in Newfoundland. I appreciate the space and not being cheek by jowl with my neighbours. It's a job to keep on top of it all though - as I contemplate out the window the vegetable boxes that simply didn't get planted this year because summer is too short and was too busy this year. Fitting in outdoor maintenance with a busy family life, work etc can be a challenge. One only imagine how gentlemen farmer Dbd33 copes....
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Old Oct 15th 2019, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by Atlantic Xpat View Post
Having a large garden is lovely - I swapped a 14ft x 40ft garden behind a terraced house in Essex for an acre in Newfoundland. I appreciate the space and not being cheek by jowl with my neighbours. It's a job to keep on top of it all though - as I contemplate out the window the vegetable boxes that simply didn't get planted this year because summer is too short and was too busy this year. Fitting in outdoor maintenance with a busy family life, work etc can be a challenge. One only imagine how gentlemen farmer Dbd33 copes....
On Sunday we mowed. That is, apart from a brief horse ride, two people with two expensive machines cut grass from getting up to going to bed, You need to have nothing else to do.
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Old Oct 16th 2019, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by dbd33 View Post
Here it's because the intended market is people from India and they tend not to want any outdoor maintenance and tend to need as much internal space as possible so as to accommodate long term visitors. Anyone wanting to swing a cat in Brampton would have to do so indoors.


AC, what's the city 40 mins from Calgary?
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Old Oct 16th 2019, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

AC, what's the city 40 mins from Calgary?[/QUOTE]

Airdrie is a City
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Old Oct 16th 2019, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Living Alberta - small towns, Calgary neighbourhoods and commuting

Originally Posted by bairn7 View Post
AC, what's the city 40 mins from Calgary?
Airdrie is a City[/QUOTE]

ok.
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