Is Calgary a Good Place to Live? Everything You Need to Know

Is Calgary a Good Place to Live? Everything you need to know

Is Calgary a good place to live? This question often comes to mind when considering a move to one of Canada's major cities. Undoubtedly, Calgary is a fantastic choice for a home. With its diverse population, affordable housing options, and robust educational system, Calgary has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the most livable cities in the country.

In this article, we'll delve deeper into the reasons behind Calgary's appeal, exploring what makes it an excellent place to live and the various facets of life in this vibrant metropolis.

Calgary's Diverse Culture and Arts Scene

One of Calgary's standout features is its vibrant culture and arts scene. The city offers many opportunities for residents to explore and enjoy various forms of entertainment, from theatres and galleries to music festivals and cultural events. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a music lover, or a theatre buff, Calgary has something for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

Outdoor Enthusiast's Paradise

Calgary's natural surroundings are nothing short of spectacular. Nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes, the city provides ample outdoor activities and exploration opportunities. Whether you're an avid hiker or cyclist or love immersing yourself in nature, Calgary has it all. The great outdoors beckons residents and visitors alike, from the iconic Nose Hill Park to the nearby Rocky Mountains.

Calgary happens to have North America's most extensive outdoor pathway and bikeway networks. These multi-use pathways connect communities, parks, and natural areas. Calgarians can use them for walking, running, rollerblading, or cycling.

Thriving Economy and Job Opportunities

Calgary's thriving economy is another compelling reason to consider calling it home. The city offers various career opportunities, with significant contributions from multiple sectors, including healthcare, film, oil and gas, technology, and financial services. High-paying jobs, low unemployment rates, and affordable housing options make Calgary an attractive destination for professionals and job-seekers alike.

You can look at a report from the city of Calgary: 2024 Economic outlook.

Safe Neighborhoods and Welcoming Housing Market

Safety is a top priority in Calgary, with low crime rates contributing to a secure environment for residents. The city's housing market is also known for its affordability and accessibility, making it easy for newcomers to find their ideal home in a desirable location. Whether you're looking for a bustling urban neighbourhood or a quiet suburban retreat, Calgary's diverse neighbourhoods offer a wide range of options to suit your preferences.

Quality of Life in Calgary

Calgary offers a high quality of life with a perfect balance of urban amenities and natural access. Its extensive pathway, bikeway network, and large urban parks cater to an active and vibrant lifestyle. Residents can easily partake in activities like cycling, jogging, and picnicking, promoting overall well-being.

Calgary is regularly recognized among the top cities in Canada for its quality of life. The city boasts low crime rates, high-quality drinking water, superior healthcare services, and a clean environment.

Additionally, a robust community spirit further enhances Calgary's appeal as an excellent living destination. Collectively, these elements make Calgary an attractive place to call home.

The Pros of Moving to Calgary

If you're considering a move to Calgary, several vital advantages should be on your radar!

Strong Job Market

Calgary's robust job market, driven by industries such as healthcare and film, presents numerous career opportunities for professionals. The city's high demand for workers in these sectors has led to job openings and career growth for skilled individuals. Alberta is leading Canadian job growth, accounting for many of the country's employment opportunities.

A recent report from CBRE Canada indicates that Alberta is leading Canada with renewed economic optimism and highlights the development in Calgary's office and industrial markets. It provides evidence of a positive economic trend in Calgary, including a decrease in downtown office vacancy and a significant amount of office leasing activity.

Low Sales Tax

Calgary boasts a low sales tax environment, with no provincial sales tax and one of Canada's lowest combined sales tax rates. This results in cost savings for consumers, making the city more affordable for residents. With lower sales tax, residents have greater purchasing power, leading to a higher standard of living and more disposable income.

Family-Friendly City

Calgary is well-suited for families, offering a range of family-friendly activities, attractions, and excellent educational institutions. From the Calgary Zoo and RiverWalk to the SPARK Science Centre, families have access to numerous enriching experiences. The city's education system is known for its quality, and active community centers offer various programs and activities for all ages.

The Alberta School System offers quality education for K-12 students, and government funding ensures that schools are well-equipped and well-staffed. Public school is free to attend, including expats and permanent residents!

Continue Reading: Best Neighbourhoods in Calgary for Families.

Proximity to Other Destinations

Calgary's central location allows easy access to exciting destinations. Edmonton, the US border, Vancouver, and Banff National Park are all within a reasonable drive, offering diverse experiences from shopping and culture to outdoor adventures and natural beauty.

Great Weather

Calgary enjoys a pleasant climate with mild, sunny summers and occasional above-zero temperatures in winter. The abundant sunshine and mild weather provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities year-round, from hiking to skiing. Calgary's weather enhances the outdoor experience and supports the growth of solar power generation.


Calgary delivers numerous hotspots for those seeking a vibrant nightlife scene, including nightclubs, live music venues, and trendy bars. Popular areas like 17th Avenue, Downtown, Kensington, and 4th Street cater to nightlife enthusiasts, offering various entertainment options.

Growing Restaurant Scene

Calgary's restaurant scene has grown significantly, offering a diverse culinary experience. The city's food culture is thriving, from high-end restaurants on Stephen Avenue to locally sourced food at farmers' markets. Calgary provides various cuisines and dining experiences, making it an exciting and vibrant city for food enthusiasts.

More Affordable Real Estate

Calgary offers more affordable real estate options than other Canadian cities. The absence of provincial sales tax and land transfer tax makes real estate transactions more accessible and affordable. Whether in the city center or suburbs, Calgary provides affordable housing for various budgets.

Here are the average prices of homes in Calgary based on the report from the Wowa

Lots of Outdoor Activities

Calgary is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and an extensive network of urban pathways and bikeways. Opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, cycling, and more abound, allowing residents to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors year-round.

Strong Education System

Calgary's education system is comprehensive and diverse, offering quality K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. The city's multicultural population enriches the education experience, contributing to cultural and recreational activities that enhance students' learning.

In summary, Calgary has opportunities and advantages for individuals and families alike. From a thriving job market and low sales tax to a family-friendly environment and outdoor adventure, Calgary offers a high quality of life for those looking to make it their home. The city's unique blend of urban amenities and access to nature makes it a desirable place to live in Canada.

Cons of Living in Calgary

While Calgary offers many benefits, it's essential to consider some of the challenges and drawbacks of living in the city:

Harsh Winters

Calgary's winters can be pretty harsh, with cold temperatures and snowfall. However, embracing the season by enjoying outdoor activities like skiing and ice skating can make the winter experience more enjoyable.

Economic Volatility

The city's economic volatility, primarily tied to the oil and gas industry, can impact job security and wages during industry downturns. Efforts are being made to diversify the economy and create stable job opportunities.

Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion can be challenging during peak hours in Calgary, particularly in the city center. Commuters may experience delays and longer travel times.

Rising Crime Rates

While Calgary generally maintains a low crime rate compared to other Canadian cities, crime rates have risen recently. Residents should take precautions to ensure their safety. Calgary is ideal for establishing roots and beginning anew. 

But how safe is Calgary? While minor upticks in crime have been reported recently, the city is safe and maintains a level of security that is notably higher than many other major cities in Canada, with its crime rates remaining comparatively lower.

Healthcare Accessibility

Calgary faces challenges in healthcare accessibility, including limited availability of physicians and long wait times for medical services. Efforts are needed to address these healthcare concerns and improve access for residents.

In Conclusion

Calgary is a city of contrasts, offering its residents advantages and challenges. While the city's strong economy, low sales tax, family-friendly atmosphere, and outdoor opportunities make it an appealing place to live, it's essential to be aware of factors such as harsh winters, economic volatility, and healthcare accessibility. Ultimately, Calgary's unique blend of urban amenities and natural beauty makes it a place where many individuals and families can find a fulfilling and enjoyable life—no wonder this significant city consistently ranks among Canada's cleanest towns and most prominent cities.

Ready to Make Calgary Your Home?

Discover the perfect blend of urban living and natural beauty in Calgary! Whether you're seeking a family-friendly neighbourhood or a vibrant city life, our experienced Calgary realtor is here to guide you. With in-depth knowledge of the local market and a passion for finding the right home for every client, we make your transition to Calgary smooth and enjoyable. Don't let the opportunity to live in one of Canada's most dynamic cities slip away. Contact us today to start your journey to a home in Calgary where comfort meets convenience! 

*This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. No professional relationship is formed. Consult a qualified professional before acting on any information.