Calgary, Canada

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 30, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Calgary, Canada. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

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What do I need to know about living in Calgary?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Calgary, they said:

"Think twice. Not what you expect it to be. More laid back and very expansive and expensive. We may speak English, but Canadians and Americians are very different. Also, the weather here is very dreary and cold. Which is to be expected," remarked another in Calgary.

"Prepare for the weather, educate yourself about Canadian current events, be knowledgeable about why you see this as a great opportunity and come experience it for yourself," explained one expat.

What do I need to know before moving to Calgary?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Calgary, they said:

"Do your homework! Calgary is a beautiful city, close to the mountains. Anything you could want you can find here. There aren't really very many high crime areas here, just driving through a neighborhood will give you a feel if you want to live there," remarked another in Calgary.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Calgary?

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"Live in a Condo so I don't have to worry about yardwork. Some expats live in houses and apartments, there is a wide variety to choose from," explained one expat living in Calgary.

What is the average cost of housing in Calgary?

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If you are thinking about moving to Calgary, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Housing costs are definitely lower. Paid 140 for a 1200 foot condo, its only four years old so it's all like new," said another expat in Calgary.

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Need a rental in Canada? We've partnered with Explorastay, the largest aggregator of 1-12+ month stays. Compare listings and rental rates from 20+ accommodation sites in one search, including: Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, UniPlaces, Spotahome, HousingAnywhere, Zumper and over a dozen more accommodation companies. Search for Rentals in Canada

How do I meet people in Calgary?

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When we asked people living in Calgary about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Calgary Outdoor Club, Any Health Club, A Church, Walk in the off leash dog parks with your dog- you will meet a number of people," explained one expat living in Calgary.

Will I be able to find a job in Calgary?

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When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Calgary, they reponded:

"Jobs aplenty. Gas and oil are big here. Look in the aper and I am sure you will find a job," added another person living in Calgary.

What is life like in Calgary?

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When we asked people living in Calgary what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Quality of life is high. A 37.5 hour woork week allows people to focus on family, outdoor activities and other personal interests," added another person living in Calgary.

Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Calgary accepting of differences?

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"They might be accepting but there is not a lot of cultural diversity here. Not many people of color or places to go where you can enjoy something other than dance or country music," said another person in Calgary.

"Very diverse across the boards. Interestingly right now the US is not a very popular place to be from among Canadians. The older generations politely discuss their feelings about US foreign policy. We have encountered individuals from ages 18 to 30 who have less politely expressed their feelings," remarked another expat in Calgary.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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