What are the best Calgary neighbourhoods? Where is the best place to live in Calgary for young singles or young families? Where to live in Calgary depends on your preferences and particular needs, so we try to outline the most common neighbourhoods for newcomers to the city.
Calgary is divided into four quadrants, and the quadrant in which a place is situated is reflected in its street address, which ends in NW, SW, SE or NE. Avenues typically run east-west, while streets run north-south. Once you adjust to this system, navigating your way around the city becomes very easy.
Calgary is one of the most geographically dispersed cities in the world. Rather than high-rise multi-story apartments, housing in Calgary generally consists of separate, detached dwellings.
As with most cities, neighbourhoods that are closer to downtown tend to be more expensive, and neighbourhoods that are further out tend to be less expensive. Bear this in mind when researching where to live in Calgary.
The suburbs of Calgary are typically newer and, with an ever-sprawling city, many larger homes have been built in the suburbs. Houses in desirable inner-city neighborhoods tend to retain value and appreciate more than houses in the outer suburbs.
When selecting the best place to live in Calgary, you may also be influenced by your age and lifestyle. For example, if you have a young family, you may want to live in a suburban neighbourhood in which your kids can walk to school and participate in sports.
If you have university-aged children, you may want to live in the NW quadrant, in which the University of Calgary (U of C) is situated, or SWS where Mount Royal University is situated.
If you are single, or if you have a partner but no kids and want a more urban lifestyle, perhaps the downtown core is the best place to live in Calgary.
The preferred residential areas of Calgary lie in the northwest and southwest suburbs. These are closest to the Rockies with attractive mountain views.
Much of Calgary’s commercial and industrial enterprises are situated in the southeast quadrant of the city. Rents are typically higher in the northwest and southwest quadrants, and closer to facilities such as U of C.
Where to live in Calgary: Southwest (SW)
In the southwest, Bankview, Killarney, Mount Royal are recommended neighborhoods. The Southwest is seen as the best place to live in Calgary, so naturally this area has higher rent and home prices.
17th Avenue in the southwest is a short walk from downtown. It has an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and shops. 12th Avenue to 30th Avenue is a popular area for young singles and couples. This is due to its close proximity to 17th Ave and the downtown core.
If you go a little further out from downtown, there are many popular neighbourhoods such as Haysboro, Acadia, Sundance and Chinook Park. These areas are all serviced with ample amenities, and with Macleod Trail and the C Train, all have excellent access to downtown.
Where to live in Calgary: Northwest (NW)
In the northwest, West Hillhurst, Sunnyside, Tuscany, Edgemont, Country Hills, Dalhousie and Rosedale are all pleasant, popular neighbourhoods.
Kensington offers an eclectic mix of cafes, pubs, bistros, boutiques, arts and crafts shops. It’s generally a fun place to hang out for a few hours and just a short walk from downtown.
Where to live in Calgary: Northeast (NE)
Calgary Airport is located fairly centrally in the city, in the NE quadrant. There also are some commercial areas in the northeast.
Perhaps as a result of their proximity to these commercial facilities, the northeast neighbourhoods tend not to be the most desirable locations in Calgary. It is commonly heard that east of Deerfoot Trail is not as nice due to higher crime rates and gang problems.
This is not to say all of the NE is like that, but it’s known as the area that experiences the most petty crime.
However, this may be the best place to live in Calgary, depending on your circumstances. Lower rent has meant the northeast quadrant is one in which younger couples and some new immigrants buy their first Calgary homes. This is often with a view to relocating later in their stay.
Canada’s labour force is relatively mobile, such that it is not uncommon for families to move three or four times during their working lives. Some nicer areas in the NE, such as Bridgeland, are closer to downtown.
Where to live in Calgary: Southeast (SE)
The northern part of the southeast quadrant is a commercial and light industrial area.
The neighbourhoods that are adjacent to the commercial and industrial zones are not considered prime areas when choosing where to live in Calgary. Housing adjacent to these areas is typically lower priced.
However, the far south part of the SE quadrant, which is well removed from the commercial and industrial zones, is just as popular as any other residential zone.
McKenzie Lake and Midnapore are newer suburbs with good reputations. Inglewood (or Ninth Avenue East) is similar to Kensington, with the added attraction of antique stores and funky shops.
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