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Move to Calgary?

Move to Calgary?

Old Mar 2nd 2014, 5:16 am
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Default Move to Calgary?

Hi everyone
We aren't exactly new to the moving scene :-) Moved from the UK to NZ and now living in Perth, Australia.
Canada and Calgary was our first choice of places to move to but due to time-frames for getting in and the "chicken and egg" scenario with getting a job and visa we ended up moving to the other side of the planet!
Due to a number of factors we might be looking to moving back to the UK next year.
Before committing (in my case reluctantly) to moving back to the UK, I thought we would entertain the idea of Calgary again.
I now work for an international company so there might be hope of a transfer. Failing that I would have to look at all the Visa's on offer.

We have been to Calgary a few times but only on winter holidays. I would love to hear from people who have moved there and would pass on their thoughts (good and bad) of what Calgary is like as a place to live, especially for a young family (children are 4 and 5).

I know opinions are personal so if a couple of people wouldn't mind replying to this thread or even messaging me it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation.

Regards

Wayne and Co.
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

boring, faceless and cold but with great proximity to the rockies, low taxes and they have an NHL team...

its not really a bad place to live, though i can't help but think there must be more exciting and friendlier places to live in Canada!
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Originally Posted by haggis88 View Post
boring, faceless and cold but with great proximity to the rockies, low taxes and they have an NHL team...

its not really a bad place to live, though i can't help but think there must be more exciting and friendlier places to live in Canada!

It didn't take you long to get bored with Calgary!
I have to agree with haggis88, that description pretty much hit the nail on the head. However, it has taken us nearly 6 years to start looking for alternatives.

Isn't the worst place on the planet, you can make a decent living here, but it is all work, how big your house/ truck/ tv is, etc. We have made a few good friends here, however we have neighbors we haven't even spoke to. Some genuinely nice people, but the majority don't give a shit about anyone else.
A good example of this is, our next door neighbor moved out on Friday, and left boxes of garbage on our front lawn. I moved it, the new people moved in yesterday, and left their garbage in front of our drive! It is still there this morning.

People keep going on about how cheap it is here, granted, income tax is low, and only 5% GST ( rest of Canada is around 15%) but goods seem to be that bit dearer to start with. Rents are expensive, if you can find one ( 1% rental availability) houses are ridiculously expensive to buy. Houses are crammed together, with very little privacy.

So much so, we are leaving Alberta in June.

Hope this doesn't put you off, we have had a good 6 years here, we just find we are in a rut here, and need a change of lifestyle.

Good luck.
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

I think what this thread demonstrates is that many immigrants are looking for something that may not exist for them. I think this may apply to us too. So far, we're enjoying our time in Calgary, but I agree with some of the comments above. I think it a lot applies equally to Canada as a whole.
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Originally Posted by Jericho79 View Post
I think what this thread demonstrates is that many immigrants are looking for something that may not exist for them. I think this may apply to us too. So far, we're enjoying our time in Calgary, but I agree with some of the comments above. I think it a lot applies equally to Canada as a whole.
That is why we feel we need to try another part of Canada. We came to Calgary as that was where the job offer was. We hadn't even visited Canada before we came here so had no idea of what to expect.

In a trip to Vancouver Island last year, we realised that there is a lot more to Canada than Calgary, and it was the kick we needed to get us out the rut we were in. In fact, we hadn't realised we were in a rut, as the last 6 years have flown past, we just didn't want to wake up one day and find another 6 years had slipped away.
My wife and I are in the fortunate position that we can move anywhere, at any time. So if our next move isn't what we are looking for, we will just move on.
Like the op, this isn't the only (other) country we have lived in, and actually enjoy the planning and moving experience, I'm thinking we must have some Gypsy blood in us!
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Originally Posted by WHinton View Post
Hi everyone
We aren't exactly new to the moving scene :-) Moved from the UK to NZ and now living in Perth, Australia.
Canada and Calgary was our first choice of places to move to but due to time-frames for getting in and the "chicken and egg" scenario with getting a job and visa we ended up moving to the other side of the planet!
Due to a number of factors we might be looking to moving back to the UK next year.
Before committing (in my case reluctantly) to moving back to the UK, I thought we would entertain the idea of Calgary again.
I now work for an international company so there might be hope of a transfer. Failing that I would have to look at all the Visa's on offer.

We have been to Calgary a few times but only on winter holidays. I would love to hear from people who have moved there and would pass on their thoughts (good and bad) of what Calgary is like as a place to live, especially for a young family (children are 4 and 5).

I know opinions are personal so if a couple of people wouldn't mind replying to this thread or even messaging me it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation.

Regards

Wayne and Co.
I moved to Calgary 7 weeks ago after visiting here many times.

My hubbie and I have had the most amazing welcome and love all the Canadian people we have met. They really can not do enough for you.

We found a nice apartment and think we will have a life long friend with our landlady and many of her friends.

There seems to be a lot of opportunity in Calgary and there is a lot to to socially. The Rockies on your doorstep is a big selling factor!

Yeh it can be expensive but just shop around. The odd non Canadian person can let the city down but you learn where not to go.

It's great here please PM me if you have any questions. Not home sick yet, we worked very hard to get here and appreciate everyday!
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Originally Posted by MartinandClaire View Post
I moved to Calgary 7 weeks ago after visiting here many times.

My hubbie and I have had the most amazing welcome and love all the Canadian people we have met. They really can not do enough for you.

We found a nice apartment and think we will have a life long friend with our landlady and many of her friends.

There seems to be a lot of opportunity in Calgary and there is a lot to to socially. The Rockies on your doorstep is a big selling factor!

Yeh it can be expensive but just shop around. The odd non Canadian person can let the city down but you learn where not to go.

It's great here please PM me if you have any questions. Not home sick yet, we worked very hard to get here and appreciate everyday!
Glad your move has went well and your settling in.

But at 7 weeks, it's still all new and exciting for you. We were the same for the first 2 years.
I just wanted the op to get our experience of the city after a reasonable amount of years. Then again, most people will say the same about anywhere, after a number of years. I guess we just haven't found our "place" yet.

As Canada is such a big and diverse place, we never planned to just stay in Calgary for ever more.
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Old Mar 2nd 2014, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Originally Posted by the undutchables View Post
It didn't take you long to get bored with Calgary!
I have to agree with haggis88, that description pretty much hit the nail on the head. However, it has taken us nearly 6 years to start looking for alternatives.

Isn't the worst place on the planet, you can make a decent living here, but it is all work, how big your house/ truck/ tv is, etc. We have made a few good friends here, however we have neighbors we haven't even spoke to. Some genuinely nice people, but the majority don't give a shit about anyone else.
A good example of this is, our next door neighbor moved out on Friday, and left boxes of garbage on our front lawn. I moved it, the new people moved in yesterday, and left their garbage in front of our drive! It is still there this morning.

People keep going on about how cheap it is here, granted, income tax is low, and only 5% GST ( rest of Canada is around 15%) but goods seem to be that bit dearer to start with. Rents are expensive, if you can find one ( 1% rental availability) houses are ridiculously expensive to buy. Houses are crammed together, with very little privacy.

So much so, we are leaving Alberta in June.

Hope this doesn't put you off, we have had a good 6 years here, we just find we are in a rut here, and need a change of lifestyle.

Good luck.
I wouldn't say i'm bored per-say, I've got loads of hobbies and always seem to be doing something but not everyone has the disposable cash to just decide to go away skiing one weekend or buy a car to tinker with when going outside isn't really advised (like this weekend). I also play ice-hockey 3 or 4 times a week, but I do have a lot of free time on my hands.

You have expanded on what i said, and I have to say you're pretty spot on with what you say also!

My neighbour on one side is from backwoods Ontario and is really nice and chatty. The other side is from Calgary and he says hello when i see him but getting more than that is rare

The houses are really crammed in as you mention, from my living room I can see right through my kitchen window, through my back neighbours house and out their front window

I'm happy enough with where I am right now, and don't have any immediate plans to go anywhere but I couldn't imagine raising a family here...I don't think I'd want my kids to grow up as Calgarians
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 12:28 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Thanks so much for your honest opinions guys. Settling in somewhere can take a lot of time no matter where you live and its not just the material things that matter.
The place needs to feel like home too :-)
When we were in Calgary it felt homely but I guess you can never tell until you've tried it. Like any city it must have its problems.
Its good to find out how people got on settling in and how they feel about the place. Both from those who have been there a few years and those newly there :-)
Martin and Claire, I tried to PM you but I need a few posts first before it lets me. Maybe you could PM me. Would love to keep in touch and hear how you get on.
The comments about neighbours made me laugh :-) I think it must be a global thing. I don't know who lives next door to us! We smile now and then but that's about all. They keep the bins on their side though :-)
Keep your thoughts coming :-)
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 1:35 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Originally Posted by MartinandClaire View Post
I moved to Calgary 7 weeks ago after visiting here many times.

My hubbie and I have had the most amazing welcome and love all the Canadian people we have met. They really can not do enough for you.

We found a nice apartment and think we will have a life long friend with our landlady and many of her friends.

There seems to be a lot of opportunity in Calgary and there is a lot to to socially. The Rockies on your doorstep is a big selling factor!

Yeh it can be expensive but just shop around. The odd non Canadian person can let the city down but you learn where not to go.

It's great here please PM me if you have any questions. Not home sick yet, we worked very hard to get here and appreciate everyday!
Whilst you are, of course, free to pm it's preferred that questions and answers are posted on the forum so that it can help others looking as well.



Glad you have settled in well!
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 1:58 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

We have been here 2 years next week.

We absolutely love it and are doing well.

We moved for my husbands job and whilst he took a big step back in terms of responsibility to come he has been promoted several times and his salary is good. Better than the UK, job is now similar but it took a while to get back to UK standard.

I have set up on my own and am making 8 times per hour what I used to in the UK. Business is getting busy so that side of things is all good.

Our son is very happy here - never complains about the weather.

We love it. We have a good circle of very good friends who we see all the time. Weekends are about getting together and for example NYE was spent skating on a lake with a firepit. Kids and grownups had a great night. Would never have done stuff like this in the UK.

Rentals are very hard to find - a lot to do with the flooding back in June. We bought as soon as we got PR and are very happy. House is huge.

We can see the Rockies from our house so I personally love living here.

Calgary is a big city and very new. I miss York and history and green grass but overall we are happier here.

I have some very good Canadian friends. They are all genuinely nice welcoming people. Most of them don't get sarcasm but a few do.

Hope that helps. Not all expats think it's dull.
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 4:12 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

I've been here nearly a year, the proximity of Banff and where we are in the nw, right by nose hill park, coupled with very friendly neighbours, has made this a good experience.

However, I thought it so odd how so many calgarians asked why on earth we chose to come and live here , I've discovered the reason for this is the horrendous and torturous winter which with 2 young children and a dog to get out and about every day in sometimes -38 temps like today, it's really unpleasant and hard work. I wonder how the elderly and all the wildlife actually even survive living in a place like this!!

That being said overall I am fairly happy with the move.
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Geordie Lass that's great news that you have settled in so well and even started your own business!
I think its the making of good friends that helps a lot. We have tried here in Aussie but aside from workmates it is very hard. Even with the abundance of Poms it is hard to have regular folk to meet up with. We need the common factor of young children :-)
Gemma I remember the first time I visited Calgary. -40 and I had to walk backwards to avoid freezing my face off :-) Banff definitely is beautiful though and I am an outdoor type person.
When we were in NZ there were quite a few ex pats. In Aussie here there are loads! I 'm still not sure that's a good thing or a bad one? Are there many ex pats in Calgary?
Martin and Claire, we must be close to being able to open your PM :-) Of course .... posting on here is still good :-)
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Love reading about everything you all have to say on Calgary and Alberta in general - It's where I have my beady eye on.

And Siouxie is right... Keep it public for nosey people ike me
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Old Mar 3rd 2014, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Move to Calgary?

Sorry guys will keep my replies public, still all new to me!

Gemmab1979 - Surprisingly my hubbie and I were looking forward to the crazy weather. I think it's all about research and visiting before you move.

Did the dog go for a walk yest? We went for a walk about 20 blocks in all! If you bundle up its fine. We get so many bright sunny days and then there's the chinooks :-) The variation in weather always has you guessing, totally diff to what I'm used to in the UK. It's great!

Warm weather to come yay!
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