The City of Calgary

The City of Calgary is located in Southern Alberta, just a short distance from Kananaskis Provincial park, Canmore and Banff in the awesome Rocky Mountains.

The city has everything from beautiful parks, an abundance of various museums, shopping malls, skyscrapers in the downtown area and the Canada Olympic Park , host to the 1988 winter Olympics.

A rapidly expanding city, Calgary hit the population of 1 million people during 2006. It is a popular place to live with many new communities being built in and around the city with both Immigrants and Canadians flocking here due to the massive boom in the area. With all the house building in the area there is a very robust Real Estate Market with new builds setting records in 2006. Finding accommodation can be an issue in the current climate - especially rentals - so contact a Calgary Realtor and get them working for you well in advance of any move. For buyers their extensive services and knowledge are totally free and they are bound by strict codes of practice - definitely a newcomers best friend!

It's a straight forward city to find your way around and is divided into four areas; North West, North East, South West and South East. The Bow River separates North and South and Centre Street separates east from west. Streets run north to south and avenues from east to west, the numbers increase as you move from the centre(Downtown).

The numbering of addresses was confusing to start with but it is really quite simple, the last digits of the first number are the house number. E.g. 1726-5th Ave SW is no.26 17th Avenue at the intersection of 5th Ave Southwest.

The city has a good Public Transport system with a plentiful mixture of buses and the C-train. These are reinforced by a strong showing by Taxi companies.

A multi-cultural community, there are fantastic opportunities for dining, shopping and entertainment with virtually every taste catered for. With a wide variety of restaurants, bars and night clubs, it's definitely a cosmopolitan city.

The choice of shopping malls are too numerous to mention, there is also Kensington which is close to the Downtown Area

and offers high street shopping and not forgetting the fashionable 17th Ave.

Calgary still shows signs of its frontier origins particularly in the surrounding cattle country, with boots, Stetsons and plenty of cowboys. The city is probably most famous for the Stampede held annually for two weeks in July, where the people and tourists of southern Alberta take part in a huge cowboy carnival. There is plenty for everyone from parades, all night parties, live music and arts to all the different aspects of the Rodeo.

Calgary is a major Business centre supported by several high quality post secondary Educational Institutions and a developing International Airport that serves most of the major airports around the world. The airport is located in the Northeast of the city and is convenient for most locations. There is a rapidly expanding business and distribution park being constructed next to the airport that is generating plenty of job opportunities.

The Calgary Board of Education is an elected body of trustees responsible for governing the City of Calgary schools and education services. It is worth contacting the particular schools you are interested in to determine registration dates and procedures.

One major benefit of living here is that during the winter months the Chinooks (which are warming winds) come from the West. They can raise the temperatures dramatically in only a couple of hours and melt a foot of snow in a day. This can be a welcome relief from temperatures as low as -35 degrees. The winters normally start in October and go right through to April/May.

I was not looking forward to the winters but they really aren't as bad as you think. Make sure you buy good quality winter clothing (the best available is in Canada) and be prepared. Make the most of the snow and take up winter activities like skating and skiing and those winter months soon fly by. The summers are usually hot and dry. Some of the electrical storms can be magnificent to watch, though the hail can be deafening if caught in your car!

The summer months are definitely spent outdoors and take advantage of all the activities including camping, rafting, mountain biking and hiking to name a few.

The Zoo is one of the best I've ever visited; it is located in the Northeast not too far from downtown. There are so many different exhibits to look at it's difficult to cover everything in one trip. They have a lot of special events happening through out the year including Boo at the Zoo for Halloween and Zoo lights at Christmas.

Another great place in Calgary is Heritage Park where you can step back in time to pre 1914 life in Western Canada. It is a historical real life village, with shops, buildings, a fair ground, a paddle boat and even a real steam train.

The 18,500 seat Scotiabank Saddledome is home to the Calgary Flames NHL Hockey Team, the Hitmen Western Hockey (WHL)League team and the Roughnecks professional Lacrosse team. The Saddledome also plays host to most of the "big name" concerts that are in Calgary. The Canadian Football League (CFL) team is the Calgary Stampeders whose home is the impressive McMahon Stadium.

For more information about the City go to the website.

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