After much deliberation we have decided to move to the beautiful city of Calgary, Alberta! The list of potential cities started out very large, and it was quite a challenge to choose, so we are relieved to finally know where we’re going. When comparing cities we looked at many factors, but the ones listed below were the most important for us.
- Urban location
- Good job opportunities/ strong economy
- The “Je ne sais quoi” factor — French is one of my new country’s (wipe tear of happiness) official language, so I say things like that now
A little about us before we begin. We are a couple of 20 somethings with no kids, who enjoy good food, the outdoors and city life. As far as work, we both have backgrounds in the oil and gas industry. We have been working on learning French for the past year, and are fluent English speakers. So with that in mind, lets get started!
- Urban Location: 5 out of 5
Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and 4th largest in Canada. It has a population of 1.2 million of which 30% are minorities. I know that to many of you 1.2 million sounds small, but by Canadian standards it’s a actually quite large, and they will soon have 2 more people!
- Jobs & Economy: 5 out of 5
Calgary is the Houston of Canada–as far as oil and gas goes, it is the place to be. Calgary also boasts one of Canada’s highest GDP per capita and a growing economy. I won’t bore you with all kinds of stats and numbers, but if you are interested in that, you can check this link out: https://www.calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/research-and-reports/economic-indicators/more-economic-indicators/
- Affordability: 4 out of 5
Calgary is affordable; not Montreal affordable, but affordable. In fact, Calgary’s housing prices are below the national average. A quick search on Craigslist will reveal that there are plenty of beautiful apartments to be found in the core of downtown for $1,000 CAD a month, or less! Living downtown is important to us, so this was a huge selling point.
- Beauty: 3 out of 5
Calgary is beautiful and modern, the only reason it doesn’t get a higher number is because I am comparing it to places like Vancouver and Montreal. It is worth noting that I am not taking into account Banff, since it is not Calgary proper. Fun fact: the city of Calgary has been named cleanest city in the world. Google it!
- Je ne sais quoi (AKA “X factor” for all of you muggles) : 4 out of 5
The beautiful Banff in only an hour and a half drive away!
- Weather: 1 out of 5
Calgary is the coldest place in this list. The winters are long, with average low’s of -20 F. I keep reading that its a dry cold, and this is somehow better, but -20 F is -20 F. As someone who has basically been living in a sauna for the past couple a years, I am not afraid to admit that I’m a bit scared. We will be arriving in early March (four months from now!), which is still winter over there, so I’ll be reporting on what -20 F feels like soon. On the bright side, Calgary is supposed to be a very sunny place, so hopefully that helps!
In order to keep this post from going too long I will write about the other cities we were considering in a separate post. Next week: Ottawa, stay tuned!
So how about you? For those of you also moving, what city did you choose? Why? I would love to hear from you in the comments!