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Navigating Life in Calgary: A Comprehensive Guide for Newcomers

Ashley Shelton



Life in Calgary

Calgary, Alberta, stands out as Canada’s largest city, home to over 1.6 million Canadians. This vibrant metropolis has earned its place among the top 10 most livable cities globally, securing the seventh spot in the Global Livability Index 2023 with an impressive overall score of 96.8. What sets Calgary apart is its perfect 100.0 rating in key categories such as Healthcare, Infrastructure, Stability, and Education.

Diversity and Welcoming Atmosphere

Calgary prides itself on being the third most diverse city in Canada, with residents conversing in more than 120 languages. Nearly 25% of the city’s population comprises immigrants, fostering an inclusive environment that makes it easier for newcomers to integrate seamlessly.

Essential Insights for Newcomers

For those embarking on their journey to make Calgary home, this guide provides crucial insights into the city’s major neighborhoods, public transportation, thriving industries, education system, emergency services, and available newcomer services.

Discovering Calgary’s Neighborhoods

Calgary boasts 333 days of sunshine annually, making it a city full of opportunities for residents to explore. Understanding the major neighborhoods is key to embracing the city’s unique charm.

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Downtown Calgary offers a diverse blend of top-rated restaurants, live entertainment, museums, and iconic landmarks like the Calgary Tower. It caters to families, young international students, and anyone seeking a dynamic urban experience.


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Moving south, the Beltline neighborhood is renowned for its urban culture and nightlife, appealing to Calgary’s youthful population. Inglewood, Calgary’s oldest neighborhood, provides a quieter, more historic setting, perfect for those who enjoy walking and biking.

Public Transportation

Calgary Transit efficiently manages public transport, including buses and the CTrain (Light Rail Transit). Commuters can access single-fare purchases, ticket bundles, or passes, with special pricing for students, seniors, and low-income residents. The My Fare mobile app and the Calgary Transit website offer tools for planning commutes and staying informed about service updates.

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Thriving Industries

Calgary’s tech sector is a standout, experiencing the fastest workforce growth in North America. The city is a burgeoning hub for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) opportunities. Additionally, Calgary excels in industries such as agribusiness, entertainment, and arts, positioning itself as a multifaceted economic center.

Education in Calgary

Calgary provides diverse education options, including public schools and private institutions. The public education curriculum, guided by the provincial government, ensures a standardized learning experience. The city hosts over 60 Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) for post-secondary education, crucial for international students seeking Canadian study permits.


Emergency Services

Newcomers must familiarize themselves with Calgary’s emergency services by dialing 911 in urgent situations. The Alberta Health Services website offers essential information on hospitals, facilities, and available programs.

Newcomer Services

Calgary’s extensive network of service providers assists newcomers with settlement, integration, education, employment, and general immigrant services. Organizations like the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association and the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council play pivotal roles in supporting newcomers on their journey.

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As you embark on your new life in Calgary, seize the opportunities the city offers. Explore its diverse neighborhoods, utilize efficient public transportation, and engage with thriving industries. Calgary welcomes you with open arms, and the comprehensive support system ensures a smooth transition. Connect with newcomer services to enhance your settlement experience and make the most of your time in this dynamic city. Welcome to Calgary!

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