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Chamuel

Is Calgary or Edmonton Better Place to Live?

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Calgary or Edmonton? Which is a better place to live???

Hi. I am a US citizen living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I've made up my mind to move to either Calgary or Edmonton, but I can't figure out which one is a nicer place to live. Would you mind sharing your opinion? (I will be renting an apartment.) Anything you can tell me to help compare the two cities would be appreciated--maybe in terms of cost of living, living conditions, temperatures, available water, how crowded they are, or ANYthing else that you think I should know about! Thanks so much.

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I do not live in Alberta but I have two sons who do live in Calgary. I have visited on numerous occasions both Calgary and Edmonton, and I have to say I much prefer Calgary because it is a modern city while Edmonton I found to be old and dirty in comparison. To each his own, I think it depends on what you get used to, and Edmonton is the Capital City of Alberta.

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Calgary.

There's nothing wrong with Edmonton but I like Calgary better.

Calgary is more dynamic, is closer to the mountains, and has much better weather. Edmonton is more government and blue-collar. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, but that should give you an idea.

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Calgary or Edmonton?  Which is a better place to live???

Edmonton is a far, far more attractive city in my opinion. In terms of activities, Edmonton also blows away Calgary in every category except maybe calf-roping... the shear number of world class festivals in Edmonton every summer will keep you busy and entertained, no matter what you're into. Edmonton has a far better arts scene as well. And, most importantly, Edmonton's sports teams are light years ahead of Calgary's! :P

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Go for Edmonton,they have the West Edmonton mall(one of the biggest in the world) this is where Edmontonians spend all of their time pretending they live somewhere else.

Edmonton also has the advantage of having longer winters with more cold and snow that the poor Calgarians only wish they could get.

Their football team is called the "Edmonton Eskimos",that should tell you a lot.

Calgary has this thing called "Chinooks", it's awful,it's a kind of wind that ,right in the middle of winter when it's -30F it can change the temperature to +70F in a matter of minutes.Then Calgarians have to go and change to shorts and t-shirts.Poor people can't even put away their summer clothes in the winter.

I guess the best way to decide is to come here and see for yourself....but better hurry though,Alberta may be issuing passports in the near future,and you may have a long wait to get in.

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Thanks for your reply. This is great information. However, I have never head anything about "Alberta may be issuing passports' [to US citizens?] as a precondition for visiting. The Canada customs website, for instance, says nothing about this.

So, could I ask you please what is your source of your information for this claim?

>but better hurry though,Alberta may be issuing passports in the near future,and you may have a long wait to get in.

I would like to check it out further. - Jim

Go for Edmonton,they have the West Edmonton mall(one of the biggest in the world) this is where Edmontonians spend all of their time pretending they live somewhere else.

Edmonton also has the advantage of having longer winters with more cold and snow that the poor Calgarians only wish they could  get.

Their football team is called the "Edmonton Eskimos",that should tell you a lot.

Calgary has this thing called "Chinooks", it's awful,it's a kind of wind that ,right in the middle of winter when it's -30F  it can change the temperature to +70F in a matter of minutes.Then Calgarians have to go and change to shorts and t-shirts.Poor people can't even put away their summer clothes in the winter.

I guess the best way to decide is to come here and see for yourself....but better hurry though,Alberta may be issuing passports in the near future,and you may have a long wait to get in.

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Chamuel,

I apologise for that comment,it's a inside Canadian joke.

There is a political movement in Alberta that wants Alberta to separate from Canada and become it's own country,the same as the province of Quebec has a a group wanting to separate from Canada.

:) Don't worry about it we are still Canadians here and will be for a long time.Canada is a great country to live in and I hope you come here and make it your new home. :)

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I've spent most of my life living between the two cities.

It really depends what you are in to...

Calgary is slightly warmer, closer to the mountains if you ski/snowboard, and is geared more towards the oil industry in terms of commerce.

Edmonton is the seat of government, has a better university and a bigger cultural/live band scene.

People don't really read the posts they reply to. If you are from Minneapolis the weather won't be that big a deal for you in either city. Edmonton/Calgary will be slightly colder than you are used to but it is an extremely dry cold. You will probably get less snow than you are used to in either city.

Both cities are rocking right now because of oil, which could make it tough if you are looking to start out with a standard coffee shop/waiting tables kinda job.

You will find the people in both cities pretty welcoming.

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Calgary is a very Americanized city, full of pretention (especially during Stampede week). It's a "conservative" city as reflected in its politics and lifestyle. I don't care for big cities, but I'd choose Edmonton in a heartbeat as it exhibits the cultural and politics that I'm attracted to.

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I was way out in Calgary, Alberta, last week, the tar sands capital of western Canada. I was there to yak on camera for a CBC-sponsored documentary about suburbia, and the city itself proved to be a strange and interesting case of immersive delusional behavior.

Calgary started out, of course, as the railhead for western ranching and a jump-off for various gold rushes in the late 19th century. Now it has become an archetypal city of immense glass boxes in a sterilized center surrounded by an asteroid belt of beige residential subdivisions -- sort of what Rochester, New York, would be like if it had an economy. The vast suburbs ooze out onto the prairie to the east, along with their complements of strip malls, power centers, car dealerships, and fry-pits, and on the west they bump up against the foothills of the Rockies.

Kuntsler

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I live near Edmonton.

If you need directions to Calgary from here you just go south til you smell it and then west til you step in it...

Just kidding of course, but there is a healthy rivalry going and Calgary is closer by 2 hours to the mountains although I believe the cost of living is higher there.

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Having just got back from a week in Montreal, I can safely say that both Edmonton and Calgary are podunk burgs.

Calgary is the Jed Clampett of cities: a hillbilly who struck in rich and bought a big house (with cement pond), fancy new car and so forth, but whom, in spite of all the trappings of wealth, remains a hick. Edmonton is worse because it aspires to be that hick.

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Having just got back from a week in Montreal, I can safely say that both Edmonton and Calgary are podunk burgs.

Having lived in Vancouver and Ottawa, I can safely say that we're more blessed than we realize.

-k

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Explain.

"The Grass Is Always Greener" syndrome.

-k

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"The Grass Is Always Greener" syndrome.

You can do better than that. I understand how much of this kind of thing is personal preference. Mine just happen to be for communities that have strong sense of identity and direction, vibrant culture and a positive atmosphere. Alberta's city's are prety bereft of ant of thos ethings IMO.

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"The Grass Is Always Greener" syndrome.

You can do better than that. I understand how much of this kind of thing is personal preference. Mine just happen to be for communities that have strong sense of identity and direction, vibrant culture and a positive atmosphere. Alberta's city's are prety bereft of ant of thos ethings IMO.

And way too conservative for your anarchistic liberal ways...hehe. Face it you belong and deserve to be out east. It's written all over your posts. You must be one of those eastern bums Ralph was referring to a few years back??

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"The Grass Is Always Greener" syndrome.

You can do better than that. I understand how much of this kind of thing is personal preference. Mine just happen to be for communities that have strong sense of identity and direction, vibrant culture and a positive atmosphere. Alberta's city's are prety bereft of ant of thos ethings IMO.

I will mention climate, first off, because that's one of the most frequent complaints about Calgary and especially Edmonton, and one of the easiest to address. My experience in Ottawa showed me that climate means a lot more than average daily temperatures. Ottawa is a miserable shithole during the summer and early fall, as humidity and heat combine to make life miserable. During the winter, Ottawa gets rain as frequently as snow, and the temperature rises and falls above the zero mark frequently, with the result of creating puddles of standing water then freezing it. The entire city becomes a skating rink, so they heavily and frequently salt every horizontal surface in town. When dry, the sidewalks and roads have a chalky white layer of salt on them, and when wet, this salt gets sprayed everywhere-- onto vehicles and clothes. It's quite simply disgusting. People always talk about how great winter on the coast is. After experiencing winter in Vancouver, I personally did not feel it lived up to the hype. True, it's a lot warmer. However, I found that it was almost constantly drizzling or raining, and almost continually dark outside as heavy cloud blankets the place for so much of the winter. And when the temperature is just a few degrees above freezing, with so much water and humidity in the air, it penetrates your clothing and chills you in a way that dry air doesn't. I find that it is easy to dress for cold and snow, but very difficult to dress for nearly-freezing rain. I found that the non-stop cold wetness and non-stop darkness was depressing. As you say, it's a matter of personal preference, but I much prefer our bright, cold, dry winter to Vancouver's dark, wet, somewhat less cold winter. I suspect that many prairie dwellers who get the chance to spend winter on the coast discover that it's not as great as they imagined it would be.

Of course, there's more to "quality of life" than climate. You mention "strong sense of identity and direction, vibrant culture and a positive atmosphere" ... I'm not actually sure what you mean by much of this. A positive atmosphere? I find the atmosphere here highly positive... people generally seem to have tremendous optimism for the future. Can you give me a better description of what positive atmosphere you see elsewhere that you don't see here?

Identity... I somewhat suspect that by identity, you actually mean old buildings, certainly a weakness for Edmonton and Calgary. If you mean something more compelling, I'll ask you to elaborate.

Vibrant culture... well, larger centres certainly have more prominent and visible cultural symbols. Older centres certainly have more prominent and visible historical symbols. We're well behind the nation's leading communities on both of those fronts, I'll certainly agree. However, if the notion is that people elsewhere are more cultured and sophisticated, I'm skeptical. I am of the view that lack of class is as universal as stupidity. Edmontonians look around our city and find it full of mulleted, jean-jacket wearing laborers and tradesmen, or look around Calgary and see it is full of effete "urban cowboys," and recognize this as the exact opposite of culture. What they don't realize is that Ottawa and Vancouver are equally filled with urban thug wannabe types. I'm sure that the same can be said for Montreal or any other big city that people imagine to be more sophisticated than our little burg. You might not have noticed it while you were touring museums and art galleries and so-on (ie, visiting) but you notice it when you're travelling to and from school or work (ie, living there.) You don't get a chance to meet Ottawa's large population of dumb-asses when you're bumping around the National Art Gallery or Museum of Civilization, just as you don't meet Edmonton's mullet population when you're at the Winspear Centre or Edmonton Art Gallery. But spend a year living someplace, going to school or work, doing the things normal people do... and I'm confident that you'll come to agree with my believe in the widespread universality of the dumb-guy mentality.

Ottawa has many nice things. The Parliament Buildings and the National Art Gallery and the Rideau Canal and the ice-sculptures during Winterlude and the people who build inukshuks in the shallows along the Ottawa River during the summer, and many lovely old buildings. And if you cross the river you can visit the Museum of Civilization and Gatineau Park and you can see the whole valley all aglow with red and gold maple leaves during the fall. Lots of lovely things to see. But is this the stuff that quality of life is made from? The big tourist attractions were things that I visited once or twice while I lived there, but not really stuff that affects your day to day life. I could have been just as enriched if I had visited Ottawa for a week or two and seen all of these things. I enjoyed jogging along the canal in summer and skating on it in winter, but there are lovely parks here to jog in and skate at as well.

Direction? I believe that Ottawa has exactly the same direction as Edmonton. It is a city of people determined to earn enough money to move to a bigger house in the burbs. Urban sprawl and big box stores. Once you're outside of the city centre, both cities look an awful lot the same. If you were dropped into a neighborhood outside city centre, I doubt you could tell which city you were in, except by the type of trees. Ottawa has more European luxury sedans and fewer shiny new pickups, but aside from that, it's a lot alike. Vancouver's worse than either, because that valley is running out of places to stack up all the people it now houses, and they're all getting pretty surly as they try to commute to work at the same time. I'm skeptical that Edmonton's direction is anything unique among Canada's major centres. If Montreal is doing something remarkable that the rest of us aren't, I'd be interested to hear it.

-k

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The one major advantage that Calgary has over Edmonton that cannot be disputed is that you can always move on up to Edmonton when you realize it's better.

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Alberta may be issuing passports' [to US citizens?] as a precondition for visiting

ROTFLMAO :lol: I was drinking pop when i read that it almost flew out of my nose. Thats hilarious. Thanks for my daily laugh! :)

K..seriously. I live in Edmonton. Its fine. Calgary is fine.

From a completely practical point of view..if you live in Montana and have family in Montana, you would probalby want to live in Calgary because it is closer.

If thats not an issue, than it comes down to various things. Like whats important to you.

Calgary is very much of a conservative business town. I don't say that in a mean way..it just is. Its expanding so much that the price of living there is slightly higher than Edmonton. And yah..it does stay yellow/brownish i think..hahaha. But it is closer to the Rocky Mountains...but Banff is the commercialized part of the Rocky Mountains...where as if you drive 3 hours from Edmonton, you get Jasper..the not so commercialized part of the Rocky Mountains...but...i still like Banff better...:P

Calgary rolls up its street earlier at night...if you go out to the bars and stuff, Edmonton closes their bars and have their "last call later". Plus we are admittedly more cultural and play less into the yeehaw cowboy syndrome. But you can't smoke in Edmontons restaurants or bars.

We do have the mall..i live very close there and i like it. But if shopping is not your thing, than its not so much of an appeal. But when you are bored, its good to have it nearby. We also have really good river valley trails and stuff.

There are tons of jobs in both cities. The people are nice in both cities.

It depends on what you are looking for in a city. Both have their pros and cons. But keep in mind, we have the winninest football team and our hockey team (The Oiles) rock. hahaha. Sports is what divides us! Edmonton also has more festivals to participate in...and they are fun.

Either or, you will do ok. If you have specific things you are looking for, ask. Tell us what you are moving her specifically for. If its for jobs..i say both are good. If its for Culture or Education, Edmonton. Calgary for convenience and location.

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As a Calgarian I feel obligated to through my two cents worth in.

I agree with the more sensible posts here that either city is great if you are simply looking at working conditions. This is very true if you have an engineering or business background, if you are a tradesperson any nook or cranny of the province will suffice depending on your preferences.

With regards to Calgary being brown all year round, I tend to disagree. The north east and south east .... ya I will give you that, but the south west and north west have some beautiful communties as this marks the boundries between prairie and foothills.

Where culture and social events are concerned, Edmonton is definitely king in Alberta. Although I just saw BB King at the Jube the other night and he was awsome (one of my absolute faves) and the Stones were here last night.

Both fantastic cities in their own rights.

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Out of my way I got here late. Wow so much unjustified bashing of my city Ottawa. People are so insecure. Nothing like the plentiful and beautiful cottage country around Ottawa region to spend the gorgeous Ottawa summer. Frankly it is infinitely more pleasant than Klondike Days.

148Cottage%20Outside%20017.jpg

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Out of my way I got here late. Wow so much unjustified bashing of my city Ottawa. People are so insecure. Nothing like the plentiful and beautiful cottage country around Ottawa region to spend the gorgeous Ottawa summer. Frankly it is infinitely more pleasant than Klondike Days.

148Cottage%20Outside%20017.jpg

Wow this thread returns from the dead...

I'll take the Stampede and summer in Banff/Canmore/Interior BC over Ontario anyday. And I've lived half my life in both.

And since your into the picture contest:

http://www.ualberta.ca/~rrothery/wallpaper...ains/windy2.JPG

(I've climbed a few there)

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