Best Place in Canada

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Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is a dynamic, friendly and sprawling city adjacent to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.  There are trendy village-style neighbourhoods close to downtown and an abundance of family-friendly suburbs in all directions. Calgary is a safe and healthy city – one of the safest and healthiest big cities in the world.

In a worldwide quality of living survey  by Mercer Human Resources Consulting, Calgary was ranked as the cleanest city in the world (for health and sanitation) four times in six years (in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007). In 2008, the firm ranked Calgary among the top 25 cities in the world for personal safety and security.

Calgary’s public transit and network of roads and pathways are world-class.  While a car is required in many of the suburban neighbourhoods, trains and buses reach out to most areas of Calgary, connecting them to the downtown and commercial core of the city.

Fast Facts

  • Calgary’s population is 1.1 million.
  • Calgary is the sunniest city in Canada (Environment Canada, 2011).
  •  In 2011, 31,000 jobs were created in Calgary (Statistics Canada, 2011).
  • Calgary was nominated the fifth most liveable city in the world by Economist Intelligence Unit 2010, 2011, 2012.
  •  Calgary also has a active and dynamic film and television sector with more Oscar, Golden Glove and Emmy nominations than any other region in Canada.

Getting Down to Business

While Calgary’s economy has slowed somewhat from its sizzling pace over the last few years, projections are that Calgary’s economy will create as many as 187,900 new jobs over the next decade to 2021. At the current growth rate, this could mean an even more severe labour shortage for the city, especially within the trades, manufacturing and service sectors. The city still has a tight labour market in need of workers: Calgary’s unemployment rate is lower than the Canadian average.

When comparing salaries and wages per employee in Canada’s six largest cities, Calgarians had:

  • Consistently, the highest salaries and wages per employee for the past 11 years - $64,939 in 2011;
  • The second highest average annual growth in salaries (3.3 per cent) between 2007 and 2011;
  • The second highest total growth (55.1 per cent) and average annual growth (4.4 per cent) in salaries between 2002 and 2011;
  • Average hourly pay rates are also generally higher in Calgary than in the rest of Canada.

Recreation and Outdoors

Calgarians work hard and play hard.  With the spectacular Rocky Mountains, including Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country only an hour away, nature-lovers are in their element in Calgary. 

Hiking, camping, fishing, cycling and mountain biking, mountain climbing and skiing are all located within an hour or two from the city centre. The city hosts international equestrian events at the world-class Spruce Meadows facility.

Within the city, outdoor recreational spots seem to be everywhere in Calgary.  There are more jogging and cycling paths in Calgary than any other Canadian city.  There are hundreds of soccer and baseball fields, indoor ice surfaces, basketball courts and golf courses throughout the city. For the sports watcher, Calgary is home to a professional ice hockey team and a professional Canadian football team.

Arts, Culture and Social Scene

Calgary is more than cowboys and the stampede. There are literally dozens of professional and semi-professional performing arts choices, from avant garde to mainstream, from orchestra to hip-hop, from nationally acclaimed improvisation to summer outdoor Shakespeare.

The superb quality of fine arts programs offered in schools and post-secondary institutions are a constant and growing source of both new performing talent and enthusiastic audiences.

Shopping and dining is diverse and cosmopolitan, as are the theatre, dance and music options throughout the year.  Calgary’s cultural calendar is packed with festivals and events throughout the year.

Whether it’s a table overlooking the mountains, a pint of Alberta brew on a sun-drenched patio, a tray full of international delicacies, or an energy-filled dance club, Calgary has something for everyone. Follow your curiosity to unique culinary experiences where trendy downtown nightspots give way to award-winning bistros and friendly neighbourhood pubs.

Getting to Calgary, Alberta