What Calgary Has to Offer
Home to more than a million people, and being one of Canada’s most famous cities due to its annual Stampede and its importance to the oil industry, Calgary has a lot to offer those who live here or visit. From the magnitude of opportunities that are present in this lively city, to the effortless access to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is the perfect blend of work and play.
Below are just a few of the many reasons Calgary is such a great place to live.
1. Calgary is the World’s Cleanest City
In 2017 Calgary has been named the worlds cleanest city, and has claimed that position numerous times according to the likes of Forbes and the Mercer Global Financial List. Due to the cities clean sewage systems, the quality and availability of drinkable water, and the lack of air pollution, this honor is for good reason. The cleanliness also stems from stringent moderation of littering, which can result in fines of up to $1,000. Additionally, street cleaning in the city is significant, and there are numerous recycling programs in place.
Between the network of busses and trains, and the extensive covered skywalk system, Calgary lends itself greatly to those who work downtown yet live outside of the core city center. Calgary’s electric and wind-powered public train system, called the CTrain, is designed to get people downtown in the mornings and back home in the evenings. The bus system is also very reliable and affordable, with stops at every convenient location around the city. The skywalk system for pedestrians, referred to as the Plus 15 for being 15 feet above ground, is the world’s largest collection of footbridges connected to buildings, with a total of 16 kilometers when combined. With this vast network, you can walk to the majority of downtown buildings without having to step foot outside.
3. Low Sales Tax
In comparison to other provinces, Alberta has significantly lower sales tax, having to only pay the 5% Federal GST, whereas others reach upwards of 15% when factoring in their mandatory provincial sales taxed. This means that you spend less on the necessities, including groceries, clothing, and entertainment
Residing in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Calgary is the ideal place for those who enjoy getting outdoors and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Starting with Canada Olympic Park, located within city limited, this park previously used for the 1988 Winter Olympics is now used by both professional athletes and the general public. During winter, it presents a wonderful opportunity to go skiing, snowboarding, skating or bobsledding with the family, and in the summer people flock there to bike and enjoy the zip line. Within an hour by car, Calgary’s proximity to Canmore and Banff creates the ideal weekend getaway, offering some of the best downhill skiing ]and mountain biking in the world. Also, if you are a cyclist or runner, you will be pleased to know that Calgary is home to nearly 20,000 acres of parkland, and 800 kilometers of pathways, resulting in the most extensive network of urban pathways and bikeways in North America. Finally, one cannot mention recreation in Calgary without bringing up the Calgary Flames, Calgary’s NHL team, and the frequent grudge matches at the Saddledome against other western conference teams.
Calgary is also situated in close proximity to a number of other desirable locations. Edmonton, home of Canada’s largest mall, the West Edmonton Mall, is only a 3 hour drive north, which has a highly reputable water park on top of the unmistakably sought after shopping. Vancouver is just over an hour flight, or by car is of the most scenic and visually stunning 10 hour drives through the mountains. Lastly, the US border is only 3 hours away, which many Calgarians leverage, as they frequent Montana regularly.
For those who are new to Calgary, the city is broken up into four quadrants, namely SW, SE, NW, and NE, which each street address will end with one of these. Ultimately, which quadrant you decide to live in depends on lifestyle, amenities, proximity, and overall personal preference. As a combination of amazing sought after neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown core, and an unbeatable suburban lifestyle, there is plenty to offer everyone.
In the Southwest resides some of Calgary’s most sought after neighborhoods for a number of reasons. Offering a short commute to downtown, sizeable lots, and stunning architecture, areas including the likes of Mount Royal, Elbow Park, and Britannia are greatly desired.
Heading closer to the core of the city center, the Southwest is home to Calgary’s famous 17th Avenue, which offers an eclectic variety of bars, restaurants, and shops. Many young professionals take a liking to these trendy areas, and therefore seek out condos in places such as Beltline and Mission to truly embody the urban lifestyle.
Home to Mount Royal University, the University crowd enjoys the lively communities that boarder the campus, including Altadore, Lakeview, and Garrison Woods, which is home to the popular Marda Loop.
The Southeast is currently the fastest growing quadrant in Calgary. Quaint communities including McKenzie Towne and Quarry Park offer an ideal suburban lifestyle for families, complete with a small-town feel, local amenities, and outdoor activities.
The Southeast also caters to those interested in lakeside living, with communities including Midnapore, Auburn Bay, and Mahogany featuring freshwater lakes and playgrounds. If you like to enjoy nature walks, Fish Creek Provincial Park, the nations second largest urban parks, is easily accessible by communities including Bonavista and Parkland, which also feature large lots and great schools.
With the opening of the new South Health Campus, a state of the art, modern hospital and an abundance of new development in communities such as Seton, the Southeast is a wonderful place to live and grow.
The first thing many think of in reference to the Northwest are the post-secondary institutions, including the University of Calgary (UofC), Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Communities including Varsity and Brentwood lend themselves to the student-life, offering plenty of apartments and condos, with highly desirable amenities conveniently located throughout.
If your prefer living closer to downtown, “hip” communities such as Sunnyside, Hillhurst, Point McKay and Kensington have a wonderful mix of single family homes and condominiums. These neighborhoods also offer some of the cities top restaurants and locally owned small businesses, such as the Kensington Wine Market. For those who’ve always wanted a breathe-taking view, Briar Hill and Rosedale offer just that, but you’ll have to pay a premium.
Primarily known for the Calgary International Airport, the Northeast also hosts a number of industrial and commercial sites. Communities in this quadrant typically have houses at a lower price range, with a very diverse demographic. However, areas including Renfrew and Bridgeland are within walking distance of downtown and host a number of renowned local restaurants.
The outer limits of the Northeast are continuing to develop and flourish, similar to that of the Southeast. With new communities, such as Redstone, being constructed, high demand is beginning to cause a significant interest rise due to price, view, and easy access to major roads.
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