About Calgary

About the City of Calgary

Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is located in the south of the province, in a region of foothills and high plains, approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies.

Calgary is the third largest civic municipality, by population, in Canada.
As of the 2007 civic census, Calgary's population was 1,019,942. The metropolitan population (CMA) was 1,079,310 in 2006, making Greater Calgary the fifth largest Census Metropolitan Area in the country.

Because it is located 300 kilometres (185 mi) due south of Edmonton, statisticians define the narrow populated region between these cities as the "Calgary-Edmonton Corridor". It is the largest Canadian metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver.
A resident of Calgary is known as a Calgarian.


Calgary is located at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies, and is relatively hilly as a result. Calgary's elevation is approximately 1,048 metres (3,440 ft) above sea level downtown, and 1,083 metres (3,553 ft) at the airport. The city proper covers a land area of 726.5 km² (280.5 sq mi) (as of 2006) and as such exceeds the land area of the City of Toronto. 

There are two major rivers that run through the city. The Bow River is the largest and flows from the west to the south. The Elbow River flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow River near downtown. 

Since the climate of the region is generally dry, dense vegetation occurs naturally only in the river valleys, on some north-facing slopes, and within Fish Creek Provincial Park. 

The city is large in physical area, consisting of an inner city surrounded by various communities of decreasing density. 

Unlike most cities with a sizable metropolitan area, most of Calgary's suburbs are incorporated into the city proper, with the notable exceptions of the city of Airdrie to the north, Cochrane to the northwest, Strathmore to the east, and the sprawling Springbank district to the west. 

Though it is not technically within Calgary's metropolitan area, the town of Okotoks is only a short distance to the south and is considered a suburb as well. 

The Calgary Economic Region includes slightly more area than the CMA and has a population of 1,146,900. 

The City of Calgary is immediately surrounded by two municipal districts, Rocky View No. 44 to the north, west and east; and Foothills No. 31 to the south.


Calgary has a semi-arid, highland continental climate with long, dry, but highly variable, winters and short, moderately warm summers. The climate is greatly influenced by the city's elevation and close proximity to the Rocky Mountains.
Although Calgary's winters can be uncomfortably cold, warm, dry Chinook winds routinely blow into the city from the Pacific Ocean during the winter months, giving Calgarians a break from the cold. These winds have been known to raise the winter temperature by up to 15°C (27°F) in just a few hours, and may last several days.
The chinooks are such a common feature of Calgary's winters that only one month (January 1950) has failed to witness a thaw over more than 100 years of weather observations. More than one half of all winter days see the daily maximum rise above 0 °C (32 °F). Some winter days even approach +20 °C (68 °F) on occasion.
According to Environment Canada, the average temperature in Calgary ranges from a January daily average of −9 °C (15.8 °F) to a July daily average of +16 °C (60.8 °F).
(sourced Information from Wikipedia)


The Canadian Pacific Railway reached the area in 1883 and a rail station was constructed, Calgary began to grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre.
The Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters are located in Calgary today.
Calgary was officially incorporated as a town in 1884 and elected its first mayor, George Murdoch. In 1894, it was incorporated as "The City of Calgary" in what was then the Northwest Territories.
The oil boom
Oil was first discovered in Alberta in 1902, but it did not become a significant industry in the province until 1947 when huge reserves of it were discovered.
Calgary quickly found itself at the centre of the ensuing oil boom. The city's economy grew when oil prices increased with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The population increased by 272,000 in the eighteen years between 1971 (403,000) and 1989 (675,000) and another 345,000 in the next eighteen years (to 1,020,000 in 2007).
During these boom years, skyscrapers were constructed at a pace seen by few cities anywhere. The relatively low-rise downtown quickly became dense with tall buildings, a trend that continues to this day.
Calgary's economy was so closely tied to the oil industry that the city's boom peaked with the average annual price of oil in 1981.
The subsequent drop in oil prices and the introduction of the National Energy Program were cited by industry as reasons for a collapse in the oil industry and consequently the overall Calgary economy.
The NEP was cancelled in the mid-1980s by the Brian Mulroney federal government. Continued low oil prices, however, prevented a full recovery until the 1990s.
Recent history
With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was understandably significant. The unemployment rate soared.
By the end of the decade, however, the economy was in recovery. Calgary quickly realized that it could not afford to put so much emphasis on oil and gas, and the city has since become much more diverse, both economically and culturally.
The period during this recession marked Calgary's transition from a mid-sized and relatively nondescript prairie city into a major cosmopolitan and diverse centre.
This transition culminated in February of 1988, when the city hosted the XV Olympic Winter Games. The success of these games essentially put the city on the world stage.


Calgary Economic Development
Economic activity in Calgary is mostly centred on the petroleum industry; however, agriculture, tourism, and high-tech industries also contribute to the city's fast economic growth.
The economy in Calgary and Alberta is now booming, and the region of nearly 1.1 million people is the fastest growing in the country. While the oil and gas industry comprise most of the economy, the city has invested a great deal into other areas such as tourism and high-tech manufacturing. Over 3.1 million people now visit the city on an annual basis for its many festivals and attractions, especially the Calgary Stampede.
The nearby mountain resort towns of Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore are also becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and are bringing people into Calgary as a result.
Other modern industries include light manufacturing, high-tech, film, transportation, and services.
Despite the importance of the oil industry to its economic success, Calgary was ranked the World's Cleanest City by Mercer Quality of Living in a survey published in 2007 by Forbes Magazine.

Calgary named "Most Livable City in North America" September 2019 in The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Livability Index. 

Calgary is ranked as One of the World's Best Cities in 2021 According to the Resonance Consultancy.

Alberta Enterprise’s latest Alberta Deal Flow Study shows promise for the tech sector in Alberta — and especially in Calgary. The 2021 study reports more than 3,000 tech companies in Alberta, a 232 per cent increase from 2012. 1,776 of those are in Calgary, ahead of Edmonton, with 918, and “other,” with 389. The findings also break down figures on investment, revenue, staff size, industry and diversity. Follow the link to see the report in full.


 Calgary is well-known as a destination for winter sports and ecotourism with a number of major mountain resorts near the city and metropolitan area.
In large part due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has traditionally been a popular destination for winter sports.
In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games, and one of the fastest ice skating rinks in the world was built to accommodate these games. 
The city has also been home to a number of major winter sporting facilities such as Canada Olympic Park (luge, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and some summer sports) and the Olympic Oval (speed skating and hockey). These facilities serve as the primary training venues for a number of competitive athletes.
In the summer, the Bow River is very popular among fly-fishermen.
Golfing is also an extremely popular activity for Calgarians and the region has a large number of courses.
The city also has a large number of urban parks including Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Hill Park, Bowness Park, Edworthy Park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Confederation Park, and Prince's Island Park. Nose Hill Park is the largest municipal park in Canada. Connecting these parks and most of the city's neighbourhoods is one of the most extensive multi-use (walking, bike, rollerblading, etc) path systems in North America.


Calgary holds many major annual festivals and events which include the Calgary Stampede, the Folk Music Festival, the 4th Street Lilac Festival, Wordfest: Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, One World Festival (GlobalFest), and one of Canada's largest Caribbean festivals in the country (Carifest).
Other festivals include the growing Calgary International Film Festival, FunnyFest Calgary Comedy Festival, the Greek Festival, the Calgary Fringe Festival, Expo Latino, Calgary Gay Pride, and many other cultural and ethnic festivals.
Calgary is also home to a number of contemporary and established theatre companies; among them are One Yellow Rabbit, which shares the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Theatre Calgary, and Alberta Theatre Projects.
The city is home to several museums. The Glenbow Museum (Currently under renovation until 2024) is the largest in western Canada and includes an art gallery and first nations gallery.
Other major museums include the Chinese Cultural Centre (at 70,000 sq ft, the largest stand-alone cultural centre in Canada), the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame and Museum (at Canada Olympic Park), The Military Museums, the Studio Bell National Music Centre and the Hangar Flight Museum.
Art Galleries
There are also a number of art galleries in the city, many of them concentrated along the Stephen Avenue and 17th Avenue corridors; Gibson Fine Art, Leighton Art Centre, Loch Gallery, Christine Klassen Gallery (CKG), Sparrow Artspace, Wallace Galleries and many more. The largest of these is the Contemporary Calgary.
Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the TELUS Spark Science Centre, the TELUS Convention Centre, the Chinatown district and the Calgary Tower. At 2.5 acres (1.01 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of TD Square (above the shopping)

Sports Teams

Professional Sports Teams

ClubLeague  Venue  


Calgary FlamesNational Hockey LeaguePengrowth Saddledome


Calgary StampedersCanadian Football LeagueMcMahon Stadium


Calgary RoughnecksNational Lacrosse LeaguePengrowth Saddledome


Calgary VipersNorthern League (Baseball)Foothills Stadium


(*) Established as the Atlanta Flames in 1972.

Amateur and junior clubs
Club  League  Venue  


Calgary HitmenWestern Hockey LeaguePengrowth Saddledome


Calgary CanucksAlberta Junior Hockey LeagueMax Bell Centre


Calgary RoyalsAlberta Junior Hockey LeagueFather David Bauer Olympic Arena


Calgary Oval X-TremeNational Women's Hockey LeagueOlympic Oval  


Calgary MavericksRugby Canada Super LeagueCalgary Rugby Park


Calgary Speed Skating AssociationSpeed Skating CanadaOlympic Oval


Calgary United FCCanadian Major Indoor Soccer LeagueStampede Corral



Real Estate

CREA - Canadian Real Estate Association
MLS - Multiple Listing Service
AREA - Alberta Real Estate Association
CMHC - Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation
AMBA - Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association
CAHPI - Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors

The downtown region of the city consists of five neighbourhoods: Eau Claire (including the Festival District), the Downtown West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, Chinatown, and the Downtown East Village (also part of the Rivers District).
The commercial core is itself divided into a number of districts including the Stephen Avenue Retail Core, the Entertainment District, the Arts District and the Government District.
Distinct from downtown and south of 9th Avenue is Calgary's densest neighbourhood, the Beltline. The area includes a number of communities such as Connaught, Victoria Crossing and a portion of the Rivers District. The Beltline is the focus of major planning and rejuvenation initiatives on the part of the municipal government to increase the density and liveliness of Calgary's centre.
Adjacent to, or directly radiating from the downtown are the first of the inner-city communities. These include Crescent Heights, Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill, Hillhurst /Sunnyside (including Kensington BRZ), Bridgeland, Renfrew, Mount Royal, Mission, Ramsay and Inglewood and Albert Park/Radisson Heights directly to the east.
The inner city is, in turn, surrounded by relatively dense and established neighbourhoods such as Rosedale and Mount Pleasant to the north; Bowness, Parkdale and Glendale to the west; Park Hill, South Calgary (including Marda Loop), Bankview, Altadore and Killarney to the south; and Forest Lawn/International Avenue to the east.
Lying beyond these, and usually separated from one another by highways, are the suburban communities, often characterized as "Commuter Communities". The greatest amount of suburban expansion is happening in the city's deep south with major growth on the northwestern edge as well. In all, there are over 180 distinct neighbourhoods within the city limits.
Several of Calgary's neighborhoods were initially separate towns that were annexed by the city as it grew. These include Bowness, Montgomery, Forest Lawn, Midnapore, Rosedale and, most recently in 2007, Shepard.


Calgary is divided into four quadrants.
Northwest Calgary is in general the region West of Center Street and North of the Bow River with the exception of several neighbourhoods South of the Bow River on the western edge of the city which are also considered to be part of the Northwest.
Northeast Calgary is the region east of Centre Street and North of Memorial Drive.
Southwest Calgary is, in general, the region South of the Bow River and West of Centre Street/Macleod Trail with the exception of several communities found South of the Bow River that are considered to be part of the Northwest.
Southeast Calgary is the area South of Downtown and Memorial Drive and East of Macleod Trail.


Post-secondary  (Information sourced from Life in Calgary, 2022)

The University of Calgary is the city’s premier post-secondary education and research institution. Ranked #7 out of Canada's Top 50 Research Universities and Canada's top university for sustainability. Ranked for several years running as the #1 young university in Canada, it also sits at #2 in North America and #9 worldwide amongst educational institutions under the age of 50. One of the largest employers in Calgary, the university contributes nearly $8 billion annually to the Alberta economy.

A member of Canada's U15 — the nation's most research-intensive universities — it attracts $325 million of sponsored research funding, has more than 70 Canada Research Chairs, and houses over 50 research centres actively tackling society's most pressing challenges.

A vibrant, entrepreneurial, urban university with a strong sense of community, its core areas of research expertise include energy; brain and mental health; smart and secure cities; earth-space technologies; biomedical engineering; and chronic diseases.

The University of Calgary has 14 faculties and 53 teaching departments, offering hundreds of programs for its 30,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, as well as rich offerings for thousands of lifelong learners through continuing education, summer camps, and active living initiatives. More than 2/3 of the university's 163,627 alumni have chosen to remain in and around Calgary, effectively building the future of the city and its communities.
A college up until 2009, Mount Royal University welcomed 179 students when it first opened its doors in 1911. Today, it serves approximately 10,000 students with a variety of programs and courses including bachelor’s degrees, applied degrees, university transfer courses, diplomas and certificates. Student satisfaction with their overall experience at Mount Royal is high at 92% among fourth-year students, compared with 80% at comparator institutions.

Undergraduate programs are offered in a range of disciplines including arts, business, communications, community and health studies, music, theatre arts, and science and technology. 

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) provides relevant, skill-oriented education to more than 50,000 people each year. SAIT offers certificate, diploma, post diploma, apprenticeship and applied degree programs, baccalaureate degrees, corporate training and more than 1,000 continuing education courses. Curriculum at SAIT is developed through industry partnerships to ensure graduates have the skills and knowledge required in the workplace. In Fall 2020, with a historic gift from philanthropist David Bisset, SAIT opened its ninth school — the School for Advanced Digital Technology.

SAIT's main campus, located on 16 Avenue (the Trans-Canada Highway), overlooks downtown Calgary and is served by the C-train light rail system. SAIT has five other campus and facility locations:  

  • Mayland Heights – located on Centre Avenue, this campus supports students pursuing a career in auto body, crane and hoisting, recreation vehicle service, plumbing and rail.
  • Culinary Campus – located on Stephen Avenue, this facility provides baking basics and cooking fundamentals. It also acts as a marketplace, selling food to the general public. 
  • Art Smith Aero Centre – occupying 17 acres at the Calgary International Airport, this campus supports the School of Transportation’s aircraft maintenance and avionics technology programs.
  • The Tastemarket by SAIT – located downtown, the Tastemarket is an urban eatery and an innovative learning environment for future culinary entrepreneurs.
  • The Crane and Ironworker Facility is a purpose-built 7.74-acre facility in southeast Calgary and houses the largest array of crane simulators in North America.
Founded in 1926, the AUArts is one of only four accredited public art and design colleges in Canada, and is the only post-secondary institution in the prairie provinces devoted exclusively to education, practice and research in visual culture and design.

AUArts has over 1,100 full and part-time students enrolled in a variety of areas including bachelor programs in fine arts, design, media arts and digital technologies.

The school provides a rigorous studio-based program that produces innovative thinkers, problem solvers and visually talented members of the creative class. 

Bow Valley College is Calgary’s only comprehensive community college, providing over 13,700 full and part-time students with highly focused career-oriented training meant to get them into the workforce quickly.

The college offers English as a second language, academic upgrading and career certificate and diploma programs in business, accounting, health care, administration, computers and a number of community-oriented subject areas.

Certificates can be achieved in less than a year, while diplomas are two-year programs. There are both in-class and online options for learning, as well as part-time studies.

The school boasts a 93 per cent employment rate: each year that percentage of students finds jobs in their chosen career within six months of graduation.
St. Mary's College officially became St. Mary's University and was authorized to grant its own Bachelor of Arts degrees on June 16, 2004. The independent Catholic liberal arts university is well-known for its small class sizes, with an average of 25 students per class and is an innovative teaching and research university that provides affordable, accredited and highly valued degrees in the Liberal Arts, Sciences and Education.

School system and K-12

In the year 2021 roughly 125,000 students attended K-12 in about 247 schools in the English language public school system run by the Calgary Board of Education.
Another 56,000 attend about 117 schools in the separate English language Calgary Catholic School District board.
The much smaller Francophone community has their own French language school boards (public and Catholic), which are both based in Calgary, but serve a larger regional district.
There are also several public charter schools in the city.
Calgary has a number of unique schools, including the country's first high school exclusively designed for Olympic-calibre athletes, the National Sport School.
Calgary is also home to many private schools including Strathcona Tweedsmuir, Rundle College, Clear Water Academy, Webber Academy, Masters Academy and West Island College.

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