Saturday, July 14, 2012

Edmonton vs. Calgary, my comparision

After moving to Calgary from Edmonton I remembered the periods when I was deciding where to immigrate to Edmonton or Calgary. At that time I was not able to find any article comparing them from immigration point of view. Therefore, I decided to write it down when I have enough experience here in Calgary. So today I will have lots of words and no pictures... I would like to indicate that all the facts is based on my impressions and none of the is based on the official numbers. For the sake of clarity I will divide my post to several subheadings:

My first impression about Calgary was that it looks like my home city, Baku. Traffic jam is everywhere.  I have noticed that road system in Edmonton is designed better than in Calgary. In Edmonton I was able to choose between several alternative roads from one part of the city to the opposite part. However, in Calgary I am limited in only couple of highways. In my opinion that is main reason creating the traffic here.

The other thing I have noticed in Calgary is road constructions. It creates impression that the city is still under development. However, in Edmonton an only road construction we have noticed was last part of the Anthony Handey belt road. But quality of the road surface is better in Calgary. As regards the belt road, Calgary even not close to Edmonton. Edmonton already finished it, but Calgary is just at the start...

Prices in Calgary is a little bit higher than in Edmonton. Gas price is 3 cents higher. Food and accommodations has the same difference, close to 3%. Most probably it is affected by the salary levels. As I know Calgary has pay rates more than Edmonton.

Shopping in Calgary and Edmonton is different. Edmonton has West Edmonton Mall, which was largest indoor shopping mall in the world until 2004. It is very convenient having shops, cinemas, eating, kid's playground, beach under the same roof. In Calgary you need to find all of the them separately. We are not able to find alternative of Galaxy Land here in Calgary. It is indoor attraction for kids(and not only) at West Edmonton Mall. But my wife noticed that quality of clothes here is better than in Edmonton. May be being close to the US affects it.

Driving habits

One of the first things surprised me when I was traveling to Calgary was driving style of the local people. Speeding was looking usual. Maneuvers done by the drivers were similar to my home city. To be honest in my home city people has more aggressive driving style))). First 8 months we spent in Canada we have never faced with speeding or aggressive style of driving. However, in Calgary you can easily meet people speeding or passing you aggressively...

Oooohhhh... I do not want upset Edmontonians, however Calgary is much and much better than Edmonton in nature. Calgary has very different landscaping in different part of the city. North-West of Calgary remembers me Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia. For the reader from North America I would like to note that it is not State of Georgia in the US, it is an independent country located between Black sea and Caucasus mountains. The South-West looks like Switzerland. To be honest I have never been in Switzerland, but based on the videos I have watched they have something similar.
However, Edmonton has very straight landscaping. I can not comment which of them is better for the living standards, but for me personally Calgary looks much, much better. It can be very subjective. As my native village-Alpan, where I spent most of my childhood and all my school vacations has very similar landscaping.

Now it is raining in Calgary. I have opened the windows, switched of the lights, sat down on the sofa and closed my eyes. And felt myself in Alpan... Same sounds, same smell... Looks like I am starting having homesick again... Alpan is located very close to Caucasus mountains and has very similar nature with Calgary. Icy mountains are not strange for me. I used to see icy Shah Dagh each morning when I was a child. So, I feel happy each day living in Calgary as I feel myself very comfortable. But from other part I remember and miss my native village, mountains more and more... Here we have visited Banff, Lake Louise, Elbow Falls which are really amazing!!! I will have different posts on this trips.

Hope my post will be helpful for the people choosing between Calgary and Edmonton. And hope my Edmontonian friends will not bear a grudge against me for this post...


  1. I told you! You will love Calgary more and more!

  2. welcome to Calgary )
    I'll probably agree regarding speeding, as when I go via Edmonton to/from work, I usually think 'why is everyone going within the speed limits, 10 over is OK on big highways'. Calgarian mentality...

    1. Thanks!
      After living 8 months in Edmonton it was really strange for me to drive in Calgary. I was feeling like "chaynik" during my first visits... :))))

  3. what to say i praise of this blog, which contains a lot of amazing information as well as the thoughtful writes.
    Canadian experince class Edmonton