Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

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Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby Uncle dans leg » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:22 am

Well my contract is up down-under and I'm coming back to Canada in a month. I was wondering if anyone has anything positive and/or negative to say about Calgary? Yeah, I know about the flames and the redneck factor but come on...I've been in Queensland for a year! It can't get any worse....

I am especially interested in things like traffic, property market, livability.

I left Vancouver 10 years ago for these issues and don't want to get caught up in another commuting nightmare scenario where I could only afford a home 1.5 hours away.

From a distance it appears to be a fairly livable place with a half decent climate.

Anyone?
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby Topper » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:47 am

Calgary is in full speed ahead urban sprawl. I have friends out near Strathmore to the east that work in town. I have another friend who lives in easy walking distance of downtown. Lots of cool restaurants and bars and shops.

Most of the city is designed for for having a truck.

They have a gay Muslim Mayor.
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby Arachnid » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:41 am

Their natives are smarter than ours :roll:
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby sagebrush » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:50 am

For a couple years work required that I spent a third of my time there.
Comparing to Vancouver.....

The good.
The local recreation facilities (rinks, community and private health clubs) are good. Easy access to trails to ride and run on.
Lots of migrants = plenty of people that are open to meeting newcomers.
A couple hours gets you to the Rockies.
Lots of work opportunities - but subject to the economy.
More lanes for less traffic.
Fun to go to Flames games and cheer loudly for the opposition. :)

The bad.
Ethnic food choices aren't so much; same with the nightclubs (unless you like line dancing).
The cold winter is expected, you grit your teeth and compensate (that's what +15's are for). The changeable weather is something else - a work colleague moved there from Oz a while back and told the horror storey about changeable weather. He came out of the office to find frost on the inside of his windshield. You may need a change of clothes at work in spring/fall because the weather changes so much in 3 or 4 hours.
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby BCExpat » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:29 pm

I've been in Alberta for 36 years now. I live just east of Calgary - in Strathmore (I might know your buddy out here Topper).

Anyway, I came here from B.C., because of the work opportunities. While I don't think it is booming right now, the economy here is still very strong. You shouldn't have a problem getting a decent job with good pay. House prices seem to have stablized, they are cheaper than Vancouver, but still pricy. The tax rate here is lower than most provinces and there is no sales tax. I know a lot of people on these boards slag Alberta, but the rocky mountains are very close, and there is some great scenery on the west side of the province.

The changing weather is something that you get used to. In the winter, we have chinooks here - which are warm winds coming out of west (something to do with dropping in elevation causing the air to warm - I'm not really sure about the physics behind it). Anyway, you could wake up and it'll be -20 deg C outside. By lunch time, it could be up to +5 deg C. This is one of the reasons why the roads need constant repair - freeze/thaw cycles. A chinook can last up to a week - and then the weather will get cold again. We usually get a chinook at least once a month. The summers are reasonable - today for example, it was around 22 deg C here - we are supposed to go up to around 26 deg C in the next few days.

I don't travel much in Calgary, but when I do have to go to a meeting with a client, I find the traffic is tolerable. Generally, it moves fairly well. Mind you, I avoid rush hours, so it could be a totally different story then. If you are looking for a place in Calgary, try and find something near an LRT (light rail transit) route.
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby Uncle dans leg » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:01 pm

Thanks for all the insight everyone. Appreciate it.

I did live in Edmonton before here and have a pretty good handle on prarie winters. Vacations are essential or you lose your mind.

Wondering which part of town is less likely to be a residential rabbit warren. My experences in the NE corner were of an oatmeal like sprawl of drab, non-commital colour schemes with limited entrances and exits to developments. Not so pleasant.

I did like the older neighbourhoods of South Edmonton with the mature trees and the park space. Is there an older part of Calgary as well? What is it called and which quadrant is it? Is it family friendly or a bohemian urbania like the Cambie and 16th area of Vancouver?
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby BCExpat » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:32 pm

Uncle dans leg wrote:Thanks for all the insight everyone. Appreciate it.

I did live in Edmonton before here and have a pretty good handle on prarie winters. Vacations are essential or you lose your mind.

Wondering which part of town is less likely to be a residential rabbit warren. My experences in the NE corner were of an oatmeal like sprawl of drab, non-commital colour schemes with limited entrances and exits to developments. Not so pleasant.

I did like the older neighbourhoods of South Edmonton with the mature trees and the park space. Is there an older part of Calgary as well? What is it called and which quadrant is it? Is it family friendly or a bohemian urbania like the Cambie and 16th area of Vancouver?


Basically there are a lot of nice inner city areas, with mature trees, etc. On the north side, places like Rosedale, Sunnyside, etc., are nice. If you move out a little ways from the inner city, you would probably like the North west or South west part of the city. Again, lots of mature trees etc. in some of these areas. A lot of these areas are a short commute to downtown. Also, the LRT access from the south, and soon from the very west side of Calgary is good (they are constructing the West leg of the LRT right now).

You are right about the North East - it isn't a desirable area. In the South east, there are some really nice areas down around Willow Park for example. Other areas in the South East, such as Dover or Forest Lawn are dumps.
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby Uncle dans leg » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:51 am

BCExpat wrote:
Basically there are a lot of nice inner city areas, with mature trees, etc. On the north side, places like Rosedale, Sunnyside, etc., are nice. If you move out a little ways from the inner city, you would probably like the North west or South west part of the city. Again, lots of mature trees etc. in some of these areas. A lot of these areas are a short commute to downtown. Also, the LRT access from the south, and soon from the very west side of Calgary is good (they are constructing the West leg of the LRT right now).

You are right about the North East - it isn't a desirable area. In the South east, there are some really nice areas down around Willow Park for example. Other areas in the South East, such as Dover or Forest Lawn are dumps.

I have my eye on an area called woodlands in the southwest. It would appear it's easy to duck out of town to the crowsnest or up through Ft Bragg to Banff. My potential employer is located in the south east industrial area so I wouldn't have to cross town hopefully.
I'm all for getting away from the swarms of humanity. I was right at home in the Yukon until winter bored me to tears...
What's Strathmore like? I see it's a fair distance out but that feature may have it's benefits.
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Re: Considering moving to Calgary(from Australia)

Postby BCExpat » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:54 am

I love Strathmore, but if you are working in Calgary, it's a long drive every day. I'm lucky enough to work out of my house, so I don't have to live in Calgary, where most of my clients are.
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