The city of Calgary is the urban heart of southern Alberta, and is recognized as a tourism, agriculture and petroleum hub within the area. It is the southern anchor of the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor, and home to most of the region’s residents.
The city of Calgary is divided into four distinct quadrants, and all of its street address are appended with the appropriate quadrant information (NW, NE, SE or SW). Streets run north-south and avenues run east-west, with Centre Avenue separating the north from the south and Centre Street separating the east from the west. Streets and avenues are numbered starting at Centre and Centre, with those closest to the core having the smallest numbers.
At the core of Calgary is the City Centre or Downtown area, which contains the Downtown West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, and the Downtown East Village. The Commercial Core is subdivided into several individual districts, including the Stephen Avenue retail core, the Entertainment District, and Calgary’s Government district. The nearby residential and mixed use neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Eau Claire and Beltline are also considered part of the Calgary City Centre area. Beltline is the densest urban neighbourhood within Calgary and the focus of major rejuvenation initiatives. It includes the communities of West Connaught, Connaught Centre, Victoria Park, and East Victoria Park, neighbourhoods that contain well known Calgary areas such as Midtown, the Design District, 4th Street, Uptown, the Warehouse District, and the Rivers District.
Radiating from Calgary’s City Centre are the inner city communities, including Sunnyside, Crescent Heights, Inglewood, Briar Hill, Renfrew, Bridgeland, Mount Royal, Mission, Montgomery, Ramsay, and Radisson Heights. This area has a high percentage of multi-family housing and smaller, older style single family homes, but also includes the high-end Upper Mount Royal area that contains some of Calgary’s most expensive real estate and a mix of historic and new architecture.
Surrounding the inner city are the mature, established neighbourhoods of Calgary, including Mount Pleasant and Rosedale to the north; Killarney, Bankview and Altadore to the south; Glendale, Parkdale and Bowness to the west; and Forest Lawn to the east. These mid to high density communities offer a mix of housing options from single family homes and duplexes to townhouses, condominiums, and walk-up apartments.
Beyond those areas are the Calgary suburban communities and subdivisions where single family detached homes make up the largest percentage of the available real estate. Suburban communities in the outskirts of Calgary include Coventry Hills, McKenzie Towne, Somerset, Country Hills, Hamptons, Taradale, and Royal Oak.
Calgary Parks & River Valley
The city of Calgary is home to over 5,000 urban park sites of varying sizes, including river valley parks bordering sections of both the Elbow River and the Bow River. A network of over 70 kilometres of pathways connect Calgary’s neighbourhoods and greenspaces, and is recognized as one of the most extensive multi-use trail systems in North America. These parks and pathways are enjoyed year round by Calgarians for outdoor activities such as picnics, cycling, running, hiking, tobogganing and cross-country skiing.
Fish Creek Provincial Park can be found winding its way through the southern parts of Calgary. As one of the largest urban parks in North America, it spans 19 kilometres from east to west and is three times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver. Here Calgarians have access to on-site camping facilities, stables, and a lake for swimming.
Northwest Calgary is home to Nose Hill Park, one of the largest natural environment parks in Canada and the second largest parkland area in Calgary. Covering 11 square kilometres, this greenspace has been preserved as a unique grassland ecosystem native to southern Alberta, and is home to almost 200 wildlife species in addition to its endangered plant systems. The park is surrounded by 12 residential communities and is a popular place for Calgary hikers during every season.
The immensely popular Calgary Zoo is located just east of Calgary’s Downtown on St. George’s Island and is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike. As the second largest zoo in Canada, the Calgary Zoo features 8 unique areas, 290 different species, and has over 1,000 animals.
Prince’s Island in downtown Calgary provides downtown residents with picnic and playground areas, and hosts more festivals and events than any other park in Calgary. The Calgary Music Festival, Shakespeare in the Park, Canada Day and Heritage Day are just a few of the annual events that draw enthusiastic crowds to Prince’s Island Park.
Calgary Parks & Recreation Local Attractions
These are some of Calgary’s most well known attractions, including iconic buildings, notable parks, popular public gathering areas, and recreational spots.
Canada Olympic Park
Heritage Historical Village
Telus World of Science
Calgary has over 70 kilometres of multi-use trails and 5,000 urban parks ranging from small community parks and school playgrounds to a large Provincial parks and protected natural areas.
Parks & Trail Map
Fish Creek Provincial Park
West Nose Creek
Off Leash Areas
Nose Hill Park
Central Memorial Park
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
Prince’s Island Park
Reader Rock Garden
Though many Calgarians live in the outlying suburban areas, the neighbourhoods of Calgary’s central districts are growing in popularity and density. There has been a resurgence of interest and cultural activity in inner city areas such as 17th Avenue, Inglewood, and Marda Loop.
17th Avenue running from 14th Street SW to the Calgary Stampede Grounds, known as “Uptown 17th”, has become one of Calgary’s hippest urban hotspots. Featuring mixed-use commercial and residential space, Uptown 17th is home to a rich variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs. Nicknamed the “Red Mile”, 17th Avenue is at the heart of the yearly Calgary Stampede festival.
The district of Inglewood east of Downtown Calgary has become one of the most eclectic and vibrant cultural centres in the city, and has become the hub of the local Calgary music scene, providing popular music and performance venues such as the new Black Centre, the Ironwood Stage, and Grill. Featuring over 100 unique boutiques, shops and eateries, Inglewood is also home to the one-day Sunfest Festival, the Calgary International Fringe Festival, the Mid-Winter Blues Film Festival, and the International Festival of Animated Objects.
Calgary is home to a large number of theatre and performance companies, including Theatre Calgary, the Alberta Ballet, the Calgary Opera, One Yellow Rabbit, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and is the birthplace of the the improve games known as Theatresports.
The Calgary Stampede is the world-renowned annual festival, rodeo and exhibition held every year in July. The ten day event — billed as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” — is attended by over 1 million visitors every year and includes a parade, agriculture shows and competitions, several stage shows, concerts, and First Nations exhibits. The Calgary Stampede is the largest rodeo in the world, one of Canada’s largest festivals, and a popular annual tourist attraction. Since its inception in 1912, the Calgary Stampede has become a city-wide celebration of rodeo sports and the western way of life.
Calgary Culture & Events
Theatres & Venues
From theatre and opera to live local music and classic symphonies, Calgary has some truly fantastic live venues and world-recognized theatre companies.
Performing Arts Centre
One Yellow Rabbit
The Shakespeare Company
The Calgary Opera
Alberta Theatre Projects
Telus Convention Centre
Museums & Galleries
Calgary values its rich, diverse heritage and culture, and takes pride in is preservation and presentation.
National Music Centre
Archive Society of Alberta
Chinese Cultural Centre
Local News Media
Keep up to date on what’s happening in Calgary on a day to day basis with local TV, radio and newspapers.
660 News Radio
Events & Festivals
Calgary’s most well known festival is the Calgary Stampede, but there are dozens more great events happening year round that make Calgary a great place to live and play. Calgary has a festival for every season!
Calgary Folk Music Festival
Canada Day Celebration
International Film Fest
Festival of Animated Objects
FunnyFest Comedy Festival
Calgary Fringe Festival
Spoken Word Festival
Chinatown Street Festival
The Area surrounding Calgary is ‘high and dry’ (big, blue-sky country), with a combination of foothills in the west and rolling prairie in the remaining directions. It has four distinct seasons with an average annual snowfall of 135cm. Calgary’s altitude of 1049 meters above sea level keeps it from getting too hot in the summer. In the winter, the city is ‘warmed’ by the Chinooks, dry winds which blow off the Rocky Mountains (just 60 minutes away!), and can raise a winter day’s temperature by over 20 degrees in a matter of hours (golf shit weather in January!). We even claim more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city.
Bedroom (satellite) communities of Calgary include Airdrie to the North, Chestermere and Strathmore to the East, Okotoks to the South, and Cochrane to the West. Just 45 minutes to the West is Canmore.
Canmore has become a coveted tourist destination and favorite location for hideaway and holiday retreats. Canmore is just outside of Banff National Park which offers world-renowned wilderness and wildlife opportunities for the adventurer. A large part of the reason for Canmore’s popularity is that development within Banff National Park is very restricted and controlled. This makes Canmore the best option.
Calgary traces its origins back to a small police post in 1882 and was incorporated in 1893. By the 1970’s the city had become the hub of the Canadian oil industry and other energy resources followed with Calgary now accommodating over 85% of Canadian energy companies’ headquarters. While the energy industry continues to be a mainstay of the local economy, other sectors have also been targeted for growth including the film industry, tourism, food processing, health services, high-tech research, development, manufacturing (especially in wireless, cellular communications), general manufacturing, and national, international distribution.
Alberta has one of the world’s most productive agricultural economies, producing about 25 percent of the value of Canada’s annual output. Approximately 22 million hectares of cultivated and uncultivated land are used as pasture and forage for livestock. While wheat remains the primary crop, the production of new crops continues to expand as the industry diversifies. The province maintains the largest livestock population in Canada.
The mood of Calgary is upbeat, youthful, dynamic, enthusiastic, and progressive. Calgary is well-known as a destination for winter sports and eco-tourism with a number of major mountain resorts near the city and metropolitan area. Calgary’s economy is largely centered on the petroleum industry, with agriculture, tourism, and the high-tech industries also contributing to the city’s rapid economic growth.
Long known as Canada’s “energy province,” Alberta has more than 65 percent of the country’s reserves of conventional crude oil, over 80 percent of its natural gas, and all of its accessible bitumen and oil-sands reserves.
Calgary boasts the lowest provincial and civic tax rates in Canada. The Premier has called this the “Alberta Advantage”. Alberta is also the most business friendly province in Canada which helps to maintain a healthy tax base and consistent economic growth. Fuel tax in Alberta is only nine cents a liter and no provincial sales tax contribute to a low cost of living compared to some other provinces. Albertans and the government have recently erased a provincial debt of almost $23 billion.
The city of Calgary has many city parks, including Nose Hill, Canada’s largest natural area urban park. Calgary is also is surrounded by many beautiful sites. To the west are the spectacular Canadian Rockies. Hiking, mountaineering, skiing, biking, rafting, kayaking, horse riding and sight-seeing are all easily accessible in the many national and provincial parks and public lands surrounding and within the Rocky Mountain range. Most famous are Banff National Park, and Kananaskis Country. To the east are the badlands, a spectacular set of winding canyons containing one of the largest deposits of dinosaur fossils. Visit the world-famous Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and research facility in Drumheller or explore Dinosaur Provincial park.
To the north of Calgary enjoy the Red Deer River and Sylvan Lake. Located South of Calgary you can visit the Chain Lakes Provincial Park, a mountain home to an abundance of wildlife, and Head-smashed-in Buffalo Jump, a famous archaeological site depicting the rich history of the native Blackfoot peoples.
Calgary boasts an active arts community. As well as having a large number of independent theatres, downtown Calgary is also home to the Calgary Centre for Performing Arts which has five theatres and one concert hall and is the site for the Calgary Opera and Calgary Philharmonic. Calgary’s many theatres target a large range of interests, including murder mystery, musicals, comedy, improvisation, children, and modern plays. A large assortment of music can be found in Calgary, from rock, country, blues, jazz, alternative, opera, classical and more. Catch the Calgary Folk Festival, the Jazz Fest, Edgefest, and the many other concerts and special attractions!
Calgary also has ties to the sporting world, most notable was the hosting of the 1988 Winter Olympics. This city is home to two professional sporting teams: The Calgary Flames (NHL) who play at the Pengrowth Saddledome, and The Calgary Stampeders (CFL) who play at McMahon Stadium and have won 4 Grey Cups. Calgary also supports several minor and junior league teams.
And of course there is the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede.
Welcome to Calgary!
We like to think our city has it all. A mountain playground only minutes away. Fine dining. Dozens of golf courses and huge natural parks. Music. Theatre. Museums. Historical Sites. A world class Zoo. Hundreds of kilometres of paved recreational pathways. Major sports teams. Come and see for yourself. I know you’ll love it.
Calgary Relocation Resources and Information
Moving your belongings is only part of settling in to a new place – getting to know your new community can really help you make it feel like home.
You don’t have to wait until you get here to learn all about what Calgary has to offer. Request to have us mail you our FREE Relocation Package packed full of information about Calgary. In the meantime, follow these local links and get a head start on settling in!
We have gone ahead and built a list of even more kid & family friendly activities for you to check out! It is our mission to not just help you with your move, but to also help you find a Calgary community that makes the most of your interests. We have a Calgary mom who has worked with us on this upcoming post, so you can be sure that when you do arrive in Calgary, that there will be plenty for you, and your kids to do! You can also check out Kid friendly Calgary Communities here
FREE Calgary Relocation Package
Use the form below to request your free Calgary Alberta real estate Relocation Package. Within days, you will receive a mailbox-
busting package of information about Calgary MLS homes for sale, tailored to your specific needs.
Our Relocation Packages Include:
Some details on Active Calgary Real Estate Listings that might interest you.
Information about Rob and how he can help you.
Calgary Real Estate News
Weekend edition of the Calgary Herald – Homes section
Home Base Calgary Real Estate Guides for Single Family, Condominiums, or New Homes
Moving to Calgary Alberta Magazine
Rob’s Most Recent Market Newsletter
Maps of Calgary – Streets, Bike Paths
Calgary Parks & Recreation Guide
New Home Buyer’s Guide (if 1st time buyers)
Lots of other information about various Calgary services and venues relevant to your lifestyle.
If you are thinking of moving to Calgary, contact us today!
We’d love to hear from you.