7 Reasons Why Living in Calgary Rocks
What reasons are there to absolutely love living in Calgary, Alberta, the “Heart of the New West?” Let me tell you…
#1 – Low Sales Tax
Are you tired of paying high sales taxes on everything you buy? If so, that’s probably because you don’t live in Alberta, the only province in Canada that charges just 5 percent sales tax on purchases.
Let’s see the sales taxes charged in provinces across Canada:
- Alberta: GST = 5%
- Saskatchewan: GST+PST = 10%
- British Columbia: GST+PST = 12%
- Manitoba: GST+PST = 13%
- Ontario: HST = 13%
- Quebec: GST+QST = 14.975%
- New Brunswick: HST = 15%
- Newfoundland & Labrador: HST = 15%
- Nova Scotia: HST = 15%
- Prince Edward Island: HST = 15%
*Sourced from Retail Council of Canada
When you’re buying small things everyday, like lunch or groceries in the evening, this additional tax really adds up. Same with the bigger and more expensive purchases we make in life.
Is this a good reason to consider living in Calgary, Alberta? I think so! Also see these 10 Reasons to Love Living in Alberta, Canada.
#2 – Part of the “Energy”
In 2000, the City of Calgary adopted the saying “Heart of the New West” as its official slogan. Wanting to move away from the “western” stereotype often heard about in Canada, that saying was switched to “Be a Part of the Energy” in 2010.
What is being a part of the energy all about? Let’s start off with the obvious, that a large number of major energy corporations have chosen to set up their headquarters here.
As a matter of fact, Calgary has the highest concentration of head offices per capita in Canada which has given way to countless job opportunities in a wide range of industries. Many of these companies are in the energy business.
In 2010, the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) predicted that new investment into Alberta’s oil sands would stimulate employment growth – both directly and indirectly – from 75,000 to more than 900,000 jobs over the next 25 years, many of which would be based within and / or near the city.
Alberta is also home to the world’s 3rd largest proven oil reserves; employment opportunities in both the field and city typically offer higher-than-usual incomes for those with the determination to make it happen. Many of these jobs are in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field largely in part because of the presence of energy companies in the city.
No wonder Alberta has the highest household income of all the provinces according to Statistics Canada’s latest 2016 census data. Could you picture yourself being a part of the energy in Calgary?
#3 – Mountains & National Parks
Calgary is located less than an hour drive away from the Rocky Mountains and multiple National Parks where you’ll discover majestic scenery, beautiful wildlife and countless opportunities for outdoor leisure and recreation.
Having the ability to experience some of the best outdoor recreation there is less than an hour from home is hard to look past for those who love the mountains and what they have to offer.
In winter, it doesn’t take long to hit the slopes when living in Calgary with over five world-class ski resorts located less than 3 hours away.
In the summer there are just as many, if not more fun outdoor activities to do such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping and fishing to name a few. Three favourite parks nearby:
- Banff National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Kootenay National Park
- Yoho National Park
- Kananaskis Country
… plus countless other wildlife reserves and natural areas. Calgary is the ultimate gateway to the Rocky Mountains and beyond where the spoils of this spectacular terrain awaits.
#4 – Awesome Weather
Did you know that Calgary has the most days of sunshine per year out of all major Canadian cities? A 30 year study done by Environment Canada shows that Calgary received on average 2405 hours of bright sunshine over 333 days. Now that’s a lot of sun!
Apart from tons of sunshine, Calgary was founded in a location that experiences a weather phenomenon called a Chinook. These wonderful occurrences have the ability to warm up a cold winter’s day by several degrees Celsius to a point where the snow has melted and can sometimes last for days. Spring in the middle of winter? Yes please!
On the other hand, Calgary can get very cold, even down to minus 40 degrees Celsius if unlucky, but since humidity is low there isn’t much sting from the cold winter wind in comparison to other more humid cities, like Toronto, for example.
#5 – Extensive Pathway Network
Urban living meets nature seamlessly in Calgary! The city’s network of river parks and pathways is one of its most acclaimed characteristics, with trails spanning along the Bow and Elbow River embankments to the furthest reaches of the city.
Did you know that this network is the most extensive of its kind in an urban centre in North America? It consists of over 700km of paved pathways, 42 km of which are cleared during winter for use year-round.
Let’s not forget about how many green spaces, parks and interconnecting pathways there are as well. Calgary Parks take care of more than 7500 hectares of land at more than 3400 sites, an astounding number of such to be found in an urban centre. Also see these Top 10 Inner City Parks in Calgary.
Just another beneficial feature of the City of Calgary that makes it hard not to love living here!
Just when you think it’s too cold to walk around downtown, think again! Ingenuity has given way to the +15 network in downtown Calgary, the largest indoor walkway system in the world!
Hustle and bustle in downtown carries on like the weather outside doesn’t even exist through the use of the +15 walkways that connect adjacent buildings. Stay warm in the winter and stay inside!
- Also see these 15 Cool Facts on Calgary’s +15 Network.
Calgary’s continued population growth has also played a part in the municipal government’s decision to build more key infrastructure needed in the city. The Stoney Trail ring road and the new West LRT are a few example, while LRT stations, parks and pathways are always well-kept and in some instances completely renovated – just like Prince’s Island Park and Bowness Park – where complete overhauls were done to improve the parks accessibility and features.
Consistent infrastructure improvements will only make Calgary more and more appealing to live in as the years pass, that’s for sure!
#7 – Culturally Rich and Diverse
One of the best things about Calgary is how culturally rich and diverse its population is. It is the Cultural Capital of Canada, with approximately 25% of Calgarians being foreign born!
These are the people that have brought their culture and traditions with them and can be accredited with the large diversity of delicious foods, fun cultural activities and events found in the city.
While foreign culture is in abundance, so is our own home grown western culture. Look at the Calgary Stampede for example, an annual event that celebrates and commemorates our western heritage. It’s just one of many fun and exciting things to do every year in Calgary that contribute to an enjoyable living experience filled with tons of local fun and happiness!
For fun things to do in and around YYC, check out our series of Calgary Activities – Do What the Locals Do.
I Love Calgary
Why do you love living in Calgary? Please leave us a comment below and let us know and we will add it to our list of 20 Reasons Why to Love Calgary!
For more of the best local activities, events and everything else to do with YYC, be sure to give us a like at Calgaryism on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay updated via your live social media feed! We hope to see you there!