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The best places to live in Calgary
Calgary is a geographically dispersed city and expats will find that housing generally consists more of separate, detached dwellings rather than the high-rise apartment blocks found in most cities. As is the case almost anywhere, living in a neighbourhood close to the city centre tends to be more expensive than living in the suburbs. Expats who opt to live in suburbs further away from downtown Calgary will find that the properties are generally larger and more modern.
The area or suburb of Calgary chosen by expats will be influenced by their age, family situation and lifestyle. For example, expats with children tend to pick neighbourhoods where the kids can walk to school and easily take part in extra-curricular activities. Single professionals and younger couples who prefer a more urban lifestyle usually live close to the downtown core of Calgary.
Generally, the more popular neighbourhoods of Calgary tend to be in the northwest and southwest areas because of the attractive mountain views and proximity to the Rockies. Naturally, rent and property prices are higher in these areas. Calgary’s commercial and industrial districts are in the southeast quadrant of the city.
Below are some of the most popular areas and suburbs in Calgary for expats.
Suburban life in Calgary
Thanks to the alluring man-made lake that lies at the heart of the area and the amenities available, Arbour Lake residents have the best of both worlds with the combination of convenient urban living and the laid-back lakeside lifestyle. Those living by the lake can enjoy canoeing and other water sports. The area is also home to lots of quaint cafés and small eateries.
Haysboro is a popular area among those with families who are looking to buy property and settle down in Calgary for the long term. The area's access to key landmarks in Calgary, such as Heritage Park, Glenmore Reservoir and the Southcenter Mall, also serves to attract people to the area. New arrivals enjoy the strong community spirit in Haysboro with the local community centre hosting many events to bring residents together. The C-Train also provides easy access to the city centre.
This is a family-friendly neighbourhood in Calgary that is perfect for busy people who want easy access to all of the city’s main attractions. Shopping hotspots lie within blocks of Fairview and the commute to the city centre is fairly reasonable. The properties are large, there is easy access to a number of good public schools and the area is extremely safe, which makes it an attractive location for expats with children.
Cougar Ridge is a family-friendly area of Calgary that is located just above Canada Olympic Park. It is a relatively new community and one of the main factors drawing people to the area is the spectacular views one can get of the Rockies and the Calgary city skyline. Cougar Ridge is a compact little neighbourhood. Getting into downtown Calgary is fairly easily thanks to public transport networks which service the area.
City living in Calgary
This is a very popular inner-city neighbourhood in northwest Calgary. Residents enjoy being located just minutes from the downtown core and its amenities. The type of housing found here varies from restored heritage homes and low-rise condos to modern townhouses. Expats living in Hillhurst will have an array of restaurants and coffee shops available to them. In addition, Hillhurst is located along a stretch of the Bow River, which offers residents some stunning views. It is also a great spot for those moving to Calgary with kids as there are a number of excellent schools located close by.
Just a few years old, Walden is a neighbourhood in close proximity to downtown Calgary. The residents find that one of the best features of this area is that it has lots of great facilities such as shopping centres, restaurants and bars within easy walking distance.
Residents of Capitol Hill get to strike the perfect balance with a whole host of amenities and services on their doorstep, as well as easy access to Calgary's great outdoor recreational opportunities. Those living here can easily get downtown on the C-Train. Capitol Hill is also located along a number of bus routes, which makes it even easier for residents to get around Calgary. It's also a great location for those with families as it is home to a number of good schools.
►Moving to Calgary with kids? Find out more about schooling options on the Education and Schools in Calgary page
Advice from local expats:
"Where an expat wants to live will depend a lot on their lifestyle and family situation. Young expats who don’t have kids should consider living closer to downtown where there are great restaurants and entertainment options. It’s also close to the Bow River, which has great walking paths and parks for picnics. Those with families will likely head to the suburbs, of which there are so many to choose from. Great family areas include Tuscany and Scenic Acres in the north west, and Signal Hill, Sundance, Somerset, Bridlewood and Silverado in the south." Read more about Catherine's experiences of living in Calgary.
Are you an expat living in Calgary?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Calgary. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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