Calgary Facts

Overview

Calgary offers all the energy of a large metropolitan city with the warm and welcoming spirit of a connected community.

Calgary was ranked the most liveable city in North America and the 5th most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2019. A city with diverse communities and endless opportunities, density is low, quality of life is high and housing is abundant.

 

 

Facts

  • Calgarians enjoy more days of sunshine than any other major Canadian city
  • Calgary is home to more than 1.4 million people 
  • Our citizens are young: the median age is just 37.2 years
  • Over 1/3 of Calgarians are visible minorities and more than 120 languages spoken in the city
  • Calgary is 848 square kilometres in size, or 327 square miles
  • Calgarians are community-minded Albertans hold the 2nd highest national volunteer rate at 55 per cent
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Weather

Overview

With 333 days of sunshine, Calgary is the sunniest major city in the country.

Calgary a mountain-high city and the dry climate is directly related to the altitude. Temperatures are mild, especially when compared to most of Canada, as it's usually sunny even when it’s cold.

Even so, Calgary weather is definitely unpredictable.

Seasons

Calgary is a city where you experience all four seasons. Expect temperatures to soar into the low 30s during the summer and a cool breeze in the fall. You can also look forward to chinooks  a warm wind raises temperature by as much as 15 degrees in a few hours  the most distinctive characteristic of a Calgary winter.

Weather Facts

Summer Temperature (June – Aug.)
Daily Average: 15.2C (59.4F)
Daily Maximum: 21.9C (71.4F)

Winter Temperature (Dec. – Feb.)
Daily average: -7.5C (18.5F)
Daily maximum: -1.4C (29.5F)

Precipitation
Rainfall per year is 321mm (12.6 inches)
Snowfall per year is 127cm (50 inches)

Source: Environment Canada
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History

Fort Calgary

Calgary’s natural setting, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, was a region of natural appeal to the traders, farmers, ranchers and visionaries who settled this country.

By the mid-19th century, the Dominion of Canada was taking shape, and started looking to solidify the new nation’s claim to the rich foothills plains.

In 1875, the central government in Ottawa sent a 50-member detachment of the Northwest Mounted Police - the forerunner of Canada’s famous red-coated Mounties - to bring the rule of law to the wide-open territory.

The police built a fort in present-day Calgary, at the junction of the Bow and Elbow rivers. Police Commissioner James Macleod, the troupe’s ranking officer, named it Fort Calgary after his family’s ancestral home in Scotland.

 

Railway Brings Prosperity

In 1883, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) arrived on its way to the Pacific Ocean. These nation-building steel rails linked Canada from ocean to ocean and assured Calgary’s future: in 1884 it was incorporated as a town.

At that time, Calgary made for an impressive western centre, with 30 major buildings, a newspaper and more than 1,000 residents. Within a decade, the population topped 6,000, enough to qualify for full city status.

The early 1900s were boom years for the city. Much of the character, values and spirit of today’s Calgary were established during this time.

For example, the first ‘wild west’ Calgary Stampede was staged in 1912. It’s grown into an annual celebration that today is known around the world.

 

The Little City Oil Built

In 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War, huge reserves of oil were discovered just outside of town.

The world needed oil then, and Calgary had plenty. The little-city-that-oil-built became the place everyone wanted to come to. 

There have been a few economic bumps along the way, but for the most part, Calgary has flourished and thrived since then.

The city is the centre of Canada’s energy industry, and other sectors are gaining strength and international recognition as well.

 
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Demographics

Who is a Calgarian?

As individuals, Calgarians are family-focused, recreation lovers, that are committed to a healthy work-life balance. As citizens, Calgarians are enthusiastic supporters of the community that come together whenever needed.

Calgary is the 3rd most diverse major city in Canada, home to over 240 different ethnic origins. There are also more than 120 languages spoken here.

Immigrants come to Calgary from over 150 countries including India, the Philippines, Eritrea and China. Calgary is also the first choice for ‘second movers'  people who’ve immigrated, settled and decided to re-locate after they’ve been here awhile.

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Cost of Living

Overview

Calgary has the second lowest cost of living in Canadian cities and is more affordable than many large North American cities. We also have the most affordable housing market in North America.

In Alberta, provincial tax, personal income taxes and inheritance taxes are among the lowest in the country. Not only is provincial health care insurance free, but Alberta is also the only province without a sales tax.

Consumer Price Index

In terms of the cost of goods and services, check out Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index to see how Calgary measures up against other Canadian cities:

Annual Consumer Price Index 

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