Moving to Calgary: Your New Home in Canada

Published on: March 4th, 2024
Last updated: March 11th, 2024

Whether you’re moving from another country or relocating within Canada, Calgary is a city that promises a blend of dynamic urban life and breathtaking natural beauty.

Do you qualify to Immigrate to Calgary?

Calgary, in the heart of Alberta, is more than just a city; it’s a vibrant community nestled near the stunning Canadian Rockies. Known for its friendly people and high quality of life, it’s a place where both families and individuals can thrive.

This city isn’t just growing; it’s flourishing. With a strong economy backed by diverse industries and cultures, Calgary is a place where opportunities are plentiful.

It is also a city for nature lovers, the nearby Canadian Rockies offer a paradise for outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. Living in Calgary means you’re never far from an adventure in the great outdoors.


Finding a Place to Live in Calgary

Calgary, a city known for its dynamic growth and diverse communities, offers a variety of living options to suit different lifestyles and budgets. Whether you’re looking for the bustle of downtown life or a quiet suburb, Calgary has something for everyone. Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect home in this vibrant city.

Research Neighborhoods

Calgary’s neighbourhoods each have their unique character. Downtown areas like the Beltline are perfect for those who love urban living, while neighbourhoods like Lake Bonavista or Aspen Woods offer a more suburban feel. Consider factors like proximity to work, schools, and amenities.


Utilize Online Resources

Websites like and are great for browsing listings and getting a feel for what’s available. Don’t forget to check local classifieds and community boards for more options.

It’s highly recommended to visit potential homes and neighbourhoods in person before making any decisions. While online resources and virtual tours can provide a good overview, nothing compares to the experience of physically being in the space and community. A personal visit allows you to get a true feel for the area’s atmosphere, safety, and amenities.

You can also find valiable information about renting a home in Alberta in the official province website: Alberta’s Housing


Renting process in Calgary

Renting in Calgary can be a good option if you’re new to the city or not ready to commit to a single location. More importantly, never rent a property or sign a contract without first visiting it. Photos and descriptions can be misleading, and it’s essential to see the property in its current state. This visit also allows you to meet potential landlords or neighbours, ask questions, and inspect the property for any issues that might not be apparent online. By taking the time to personally explore your options, you ensure that the place you choose to call home truly meets your needs and expectations. You’ll typically be asked to provide several key documents to complete your rental application. These often include proof of income, such as recent pay stubs or a letter from your employer, to verify your ability to pay rent. You’ll also need identification documents like a driver’s license or passport. Additionally, landlords may request a credit report to assess your financial reliability. References, often from previous landlords, are also commonly required to provide insight into your reliability as a tenant.


Navigating Calgary’s Streets

Calgary’s Public Transportation System

Calgary boasts an efficient public transportation system that serves as the backbone of city commuting. The C-Train, Calgary’s light rail transit system, is a key component, offering a quick and eco-friendly way to traverse the city. It runs on two major lines and connects various neighborhoods, downtown, and business districts. Alongside the C-Train, the city’s extensive bus service provides comprehensive coverage, reaching areas not serviced by the light rail. These services are not only convenient but also affordable, making them a popular choice for daily commuters and visitors alike.


Cycling Infrastructure in Calgary

In recent years, Calgary has made significant strides in enhancing its cycling infrastructure. The city has developed an extensive network of bike lanes, paths, and dedicated routes, encouraging a healthy, environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Whether you’re commuting to work or exploring the scenic routes along the Bow River, Calgary’s commitment to cycling is evident in its well-maintained and constantly expanding cycling paths.


Driving Tips in Calgary

For those who prefer driving, Calgary offers a well-maintained network of roads and highways. However, it’s crucial to be prepared for winter driving conditions. Snow and ice can be challenging, so it’s essential to equip your vehicle with winter tires and keep an emergency kit on hand. Always stay updated with weather forecasts and plan your travels accordingly. Be mindful of speed limits and road signs, as Calgary enforces traffic laws strictly to ensure safety.

Exploring Walkable Areas

Calgary is not just about driving or public transport; it’s also a city that celebrates walkability. Neighborhoods like Kensington, Stephen Avenue, and 17th Ave are known for their pedestrian-friendly streets. These areas are bustling with shops, cafes, and restaurants, making them perfect for leisurely strolls and experiencing the local urban culture.


Calgary’s Education System

Calgary’s education system is comprehensive, catering to a range of educational needs from primary to post-secondary levels. The city prides itself on high-quality education, with numerous public and private schools. For higher education, Calgary is home to esteemed institutions like the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, both known for their diverse programs and research opportunities. In terms of colleges, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and Bow Valley College stand out for their practical, career-oriented courses. These institutions play a pivotal role in shaping the city’s educated and skilled workforce.


Healthcare in Calgary

Healthcare in Calgary is part of Canada’s broader public healthcare system, providing residents with access to a wide range of medical services. To access healthcare services, residents must register for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP), which is publicly funded and ensures that basic health services are free of charge. 

Newcomers to Calgary must familiarize themselves with navigating the local healthcare system and obtaining the necessary health insurance, a process that varies depending on their immigration status. If you immigrate as an international student, your health insurance needs might differ from those coming as temporary workers or permanent residents (PRs). For instance, international students often need to obtain private health insurance, while temporary workers may be covered by their employer’s plan. Those landing as PRs through Express Entry or other immigration programs typically qualify for public health insurance provided by the province. Understanding these distinctions is crucial to ensure uninterrupted access to healthcare services in Calgary.

Calgary boasts several major hospitals known for their quality care, including the Foothills Medical Centre and the Peter Lougheed Centre. These hospitals, along with numerous clinics and healthcare facilities, ensure that residents receive comprehensive medical care. 

Calgary’s Job Market and Key Industries

Calgary’s job market is dynamic and diverse, reflecting the city’s robust economic landscape. The city is a hub for the energy sector, particularly oil and gas, which has historically been a significant driver of its economy. However, in recent years, Calgary has seen growth in other sectors such as technology, finance, and renewable energy, diversifying its employment opportunities. The presence of these industries makes Calgary an attractive destination for professionals seeking growth and innovation in their careers.

Growing Industries in Calgary

Industries with more vacancies in Calgary

Opportunities to Immigrate to Calgary, Alberta. 

For those considering immigration to Calgary or another city within Alberta, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) offers different pathways to permanent residence for skilled workers. 

This program aims to support Alberta’s economic growth by attracting and retaining work-ready individuals to the province. Candidates with skills and experience that are in demand in Alberta’s job market, including those in key sectors in Calgary, may have an advantage.


Candidates should possess the necessary expertise to address employment gaps or have intentions to establish or acquire a business in the province of Alberta. Additionally, they should demonstrate the capability to support their families. This initiative is administered collaboratively by the Alberta and Canadian governments.

Successful nominees under this program can seek permanent residence status alongside their spouse or common-law partner and dependent children. The processing of permanent residence applications is overseen by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, with the federal government responsible for making ultimate determinations on these submissions.


These are the current pathways for the AAIP:


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