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7 Reasons to Love Living in Calgary, Alberta

7 Reasons Why Living in Calgary Rocksi love yyc i love calgary calgaryism

What reasons are there to absolutely love living in Calgary, Alberta, the “Heart of the New West?” Let me tell you…

#1 – Low Sales TaxI love Calgary

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”history of calgary infographic old new comparison

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 ParksKananaskis Country Calgary

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 WeatherCalgary Sunny City Alberta Canada infographic

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 NetworkRiverWalk outfront of Princeton Luxury downtown Calgary condos

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!

New west LRT line in Calgary#6 – Infrastructure

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!

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 DiverseCalgary Chinese Cultural Centre

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 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!

I Love Calgary


  1. Calgary is the MOST beautiful city in North America. So much life goes on here! Calgary has so many unique areas thru out the city. The shopping, The festivals, absolutely love the restaurants downtown. Reminds me so much of Europe. Calgarians LOVE to eat outside and socialize. Calgary Olympic Park, Jack Singer Hall are just two more fantastic places to mention. And lets not forget the beautiful flowers how they add to our beauty of our city!! LOVE, love, love our CITY!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. GREAT WEATHER???? I guess 6 out of 7 isn’t bad…

  3. John Brooks says

    Nic, I don’t want to damper your enthusiasm, but I can see you haven’t traveled much.

    Calgary is not even close to a beautiful city. It has great features, like the mountains and river flowing through it, but not even close to Vancouver for beauty.

    I grew up in Vancouver and live in Calgary, so can speak for both, and Vancouver by far is more beautiful.

    Would I live in Vancouver again? Maybe, but Calgary has a lot of other things going for it, as in economically, traffic flow, spiritual things, and attitude.

    As for shopping, Montreal is by far better.

    • There is a huge difference between the look of Vancouver and Calgary, and I think different personalities find beauty in one or the other. I have also lived in both and I find Calgary a more beautiful city than Vancouver.

    • I just visited Vancouver and coming from Calgary it is diffiult to appreciate its beauty given the amount of crime and drug use. It is sad to walk down any street downtown and see several homeless people cracked out. The city is dirty there is garbage everywhere. They network of roads is so poorly designed you can’t drive anywhere without meeting traffic even when it isn’t rush hour. I’ve never seen so many wires hanging above streets and buildings either. Sure the landscape is beautiful but the city itself clearly has some major problems. I could never sleep peacefully in a city knowing there are thousands of people just outside my window with serious lifestyle issues. Calgary is clean and calmm and peaceful as far as cities go. Every neighborhood even down to the worst one is at least clean and for the most part its people are off the streets.

      • I lived in Toronto north end for 20+ years, 2 years in Vancouver west end, & now 2 months in north end of Calgary. All 3 cities have good & bad. Vancouver by far has the best weather with it never snowed more than once per year and average temp in winter months was plus 7. I wore a summer jacket for the winter and drove a convertible year round. Now same convertible and in late July fear to take it out with the hale storm that is said to have made over 100 million damage. We now have had 3 hale storms and not yet Sept. I have yet to see a winter here and heard not good. Why moved here, for same reason everyone else does, make $$$ and less taxes. Compared to living in Vancouver, Calgary is much cheaper for everything. Like paying 1.13 for gas instead of 1.51. For nightlife neither Calgary or Vancouver are as good as Toronto & finding most go vacation over into BC.
        Each city has gangs, just stay away from Calgary East, Vancouver East, & several spots in Toronto (Jane/Finch, Scarb upper, & Eastern). For sure many druggies in Vancouver and scary afterhours on Robson where the best shopping is. Also found out lax in laws to put away mental people causing problems in both Vancouver and little less in Calgary compared to Toronto.

        I’m still new to Calgary at only 2 months and looking good so far.

        • Forgot to mention traffic. If you hate traffic, you will love Alberta. I still can’t get used to under 30 mins to drive 30Km here, compared to over 1 hour in Toronto & 45 mins in Vancouver.

          Only problem is Calgary to Edmonton I thought was easy drive and not. 2 1/2 hours of flat land that puts you to sleep and that’s with speeding way over the speed limit of 110.

  4. Marli Klein Ibing says

    Living in Calgary is wonderful. Calgary is a city that fascinates visitors. I am a tour guide and it is a privilege to tell the tourists about the cultural diversity, the varied gastronomy and especially the kindness of Calgarians. Most of them leave Calgary very impressed with such beauty, organization, modernity and cleanliness of the city. I love Calgary.

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