Named one of the most liveable places in the world, Calgary is Canada’s fifth largest city, with a population of over 1.2 million, and Alberta’s largest urban centre. Situated in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, the city offers a natural beauty that’s only matched by its rich culture, strong infrastructure, and world-class education.
One of the most well-known annual events held in Calgary is the Calgary Stampede. Attracting over a million visitors from around the world, the 10-day summer event combines western Canadian heritage with contemporary entertainment, music, and food. Yet the Calgary Stampede is just one of many festivals and events held in the city. From arts, music, and film, there’s something for everyone year-round.
A few highlights include the Glenbow Museum, the GlobalFest fireworks festival, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, and the Calgary International Film Festival. And for those with an appreciation for the past, Calgary is home to the country’s largest historical village, the Heritage Park Historical Village.
There are a variety of convenient ways to get around in Calgary, and it’s easy to become familiar with the roads. The city uses a street-grid system with numbered streets running north to south and avenues running east to west. Calgary Transit offers buses and light rail transit (CTrain) across the city, including to and from the Calgary International Airport.
For those travelling on foot or by bike, Calgary’s impressive city pathway and bike system stretches over 800 kilometres along the Bow and Elbow rivers, connecting to different neighbourhoods and parks. The beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains are only about an hour’s drive west on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1).
Relative to other North American cities, Calgary offers a low provincial taxation. There are no healthcare premiums and no provincial sales tax, and the income tax is among the lowest in the country. This tax advantage attracts a mix of families and companies looking for a business-friendly environment. In fact, Calgary is western Canada’s head office centre.
Plenty of public activities can be found in Calgary. A primary venue for the 1988 Winter Olympics, Canada Olympic Park offers facilities for both athletic training and recreational fun, such as the Skyline Luge. For nature lovers, other options include the Devonian Botanic Garden, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and Ralph Klein Park.
Top Academic Institutions
There’s a multitude of world-class educational institutions in Calgary. For elementary and secondary schools, there are public, charter, and private school options. For post-secondary, Mount Royal University, SAIT Polytechnic, and the University of Calgary are top choices. Though it’s a relatively new institution, the University of Calgary is gaining a competitive global reputation, ranking ninth in the world among universities under 50 years of age.