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, and in this article we outline the most common neighbourhoods for newcomers to Calgary.
Calgary is divided into four quadrants, and the quadrant in which a particular neighbourhood of Calgary 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 around Calgary becomes very easy.
The public transport system in Calgary isn’t as comprehensive as those seen in other large Canadian cities. That doesn’t mean that you need a car here, but, compared to some other cities, proximity to your workplace may be a more important consideration when assessing the best neighbourhoods in Calgary for you.
Travelling between quadrants (e.g Southwest to Northeast) can be tricky on public transport, and heavy traffic congestion is also common if you have to drive across bridges during rush hour. The morning and evening commute shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing new place to call home among the many Calgary neighbourhoods. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each of these four Calgary quadrants.
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 homes and buildings.
Calgary, like Alberta in general, relies heavily on the oil and gas industry, thus generating regular ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ cycles. The city is recovering from recession, and there’s plenty of residential construction taking place across the city. New condominium (condo) units are popping up across Calgary, boosting an already steady supply of residential properties.
As with most cities, Calgary neighbourhoods 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. Downtown locations, such as the Beltline and Kensington, are becoming increasingly popular, however, because there’s no need for residents to splash as much cash on public transport or hefty parking costs.
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 Calgary neighbourhoods 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, the best neighbourhoods in Calgary for you may be in the suburbs, where 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. Some Calgary neighbourhoods close to downtown, like Inglewood, are experiencing a revival and draw in lots of young adults from around Canada and further afield.
It’s generally accepted the best neighbourhoods in Calgary, in terms of aesthetics, 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. Rents are typically higher in the northwest and southwest quadrants, and closer to facilities such as U of C. RentFaster and Kijiji are two of the most popular websites for accommodation listings in Calgary, and both are regularly updated with new houses, apartments, and condos.
Calgary neighbourhoods list
The table below contains key information on every residential Calgary neighbourhoods. The data is from 2012.