Jump to content

Calgary, AB


Recommended Posts

Hello everybody,

I have been accepted to U of C and am planning to arrive in Calgary by mid-August. As the waiting list for family housing in campus is almost a year long (!!), me and my husband will probably need to find an apartment in the city (=off campus).

I was wondering if someone could tell me a bit about the city (which neighbourhoods are relatively safe, close to uni and/or well served by public transport?).

Any info and general impressions would be much appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody? I second these questions. With my funding offer I'll have about 11,000 (canadian) to live on after tuition. Anybody have an estimation about whether that's doable? Doesn't seem like the cheapest place to live.

Thanks.

--Diospyros

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Diospyros,

I am obviously not the right person to give advice, but after doing some on-line research, I came up with the following info:

It depends whether you're single or not (I'm married, so living with roommates is out of the question. Furthermore, it turns out that there's a pretty long waitinglist for family housing on-campus, so we'll probably have to find an apartment off campus - $$$). As the uni is located in the NW area of town, it looks like that's the most convenient area to live in (On the other hand, 1-2 bedroom apartments cost about 1000$ per month!! whereas in other areas rent can be much cheaper).

As for bills, food etc, I have no idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

MKI and Diospyros--

I'm not a Calgary resident -- I live closer to Edmonton and go there more often -- but I can tell you that Calgary isn't cheap. Rents might have come down a bit with all this economic mess business, but they were also inflated to begin with. I can't tell you much about utilities or anything, but food is generally a little pricier in Alberta than more central parts of Canada as well even if you adjust for the lower sales taxes (5%). $11000 CAD is pretty thread-bare for living in Calgary.

As for good places to live -- you could try to find somewhere close to the C-train which runs you right up to the university. There are two lines, one going from the university southeast, and one that goes to the northeast part of the city. (the airport is NE, fyi, which is a downer, but might also yield cheaper rent). You could live downtown, but that will be really pricey. The NW part of the city near the C-train is probably your best bet, though I'm not sure exactly what rents are like there. Beyond that, I'm not familiar enough with Calgary to make any further suggestions.

Calgary is a really cool city, though, especially if you're an outdoors-type person who likes to get away to the mountains every so often.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I'll do my best here. I have lived in Calgary for 17 years and have spent the last 7 of them as a student at U of C.

Calgary is a pretty expensive place to live, rent-wise. Expect anywhere from $1000-$1200 or more per month for rent in the NW area (where the university is located). I agree with the previous poster that you could live anywhere along the C-Train tracks and have very easy access to the university, and probably with lower rent. Keep in mind that if you live near the C-Train line in the SE, it will be about 45 minutes on the train to get to the university. Not fun, especially in the winter. On a bright note, all students get a U-pass (a universal transit pass for all City of Calgary transit - busses, C-train) that is included in your tuition and cannot be waived. This allows free (already paid-for?) transit. For grad students, you get a U-pass for Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer, where undergrads only get Fall and Winter. I think this year it was about $250 as part of my tuition and I got transit passes for the whole year. Not a bad deal since a transit pass is $75 or $80 per month normally.

Groceries are not too badly priced. Consider shopping at Superstore rather than Co-op or Safeway to save some $$$.

Utilities - they're pretty expensive, but many apartment buildings will include most of them in your rent, so keep that in mind when you're considering rental properties and pricing. You'll have to pay for your own phone and probably internet though. Most people I know just used a cell phone, and there's internet connectivity at school if you need it.

Hmm, what else? Calgary is a truly beautiful city, although it's getting big and crowded, IMO. Banff is a short (one hour and 20 min or so) drive away, edmonton is 2.5 hours away, and the States aren't too far either. I've loved living here, although I'm more of a small city kind of person. Calgary gets about 7 months of snow per year (October or November until April) which can be depressing, but good if you like to ski or snowboard! I read somewhere that Calgary gets 300 days of sun per year - it's not always warm but it's sunny! Summers are usually hot and dry - ranging from +10 on a cloudy day to +40 on a sunny day. The weather changes in an instant, and I have personally experienced snowstorms in every month of the year (although not all in the same year!).

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have. I'll do my best to answer!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey MuseCS,

Thank you so much for sharing this info with us.

I'm mostly worried about (not) getting used to the cold (7 months of snow?!!!!! OMG!! and I'm too clumsy to even try skiing!!!) and about having nothing to do in the city. Could you tell us more about the city itself? Are there nice cafes? pubs? places to go??

I would also very much appreciate it if you could tell me (us?) more about the University. It seems like the campus is HUGE (I've spent 7 years in a teeny tiny campus) and easy to get lost in :-). Did you enjoy studying at C?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi MK1,

You WILL get used to to the cold, although be prepared - it often gets down to -30 degrees celsius in the winter. I'm not trying to scare you, it's just the truth! Also, since Calgary is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, we get warm winds called chinooks that will warm up the temperature considerably, although many people suffer symptoms such as achy joints and migraines during the chinooks. It means that it might get to -30 in the winter, but it doesn't stay that cold for very long!

There are plenty of great things to do in Calgary. There's the Glenbow Museum, the Nickel Arts Museum, which is on campus, lots of shopping, great parks with events like live music, food tastings from local restaurants (these last two are always in the summer and are at Prince's Island Park just outside downtown), you can go to Canada Olympic Park and take a skiing or snowboarding lesson, or go on the luge there, ummmm, what else? Dinosaur National Park is nearby in Drumheller, there are live music and plays at the Jubilee auditorium. There are lots of great cafes - they range from the usual Starbucks to some neat places in the Kensington area of town, such as the Roasterie. Speaking of Kensington, there are a lot of cool pubs and restaurants there too (and it's fairly close to the Sunnyside C-train station, which is only 4 stops from the University). For pubs I really like Molly Malone's, the Kensington Pub, and Original Joes, all of which are in Kensington. The Marda Loop area also has some cool pubs, although I'm not as familiar with that area. The drinking age in Alberta is 18, so you should be set! Oh, there's also a Farmer's Market at Currie Barracks (the former location of Canadian Forces Base Calgary) and there's also the Wild Rose Brewery, which makes excellent micro-brew beer (try the Wild Rose Wraspberry!) and also acts as a pub. There's a really fun wine tasting event every October at the Roundup Center in Stampede Park. It's called the Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival. I highly recommend checking it out. You get to sample all sorts of wine and food from local restaurants. There's also the Stampede, but that's in early July every year. It's world-famous and a lot of fun. There's chuck wagon races, horse racing, a carnival, and the whole city celebrates for 10 days.

As for the campus, it's pretty big but I have to say that you'll probably stick to just one part of campus. There are whole parts of it that I only go to if I'm going for a walk or because I want to explore. There's lots of construction on campus right now, although some of it will be done before you get there. The Taylor Family Digital Library and the EEEE building will still be under construction when you get there. A lot of campus is kind of shabby and run-down looking, and the classrooms are sometimes not the best. What program will you be in? I can probably tell you what part of campus you'll likely be in.

I definitely enjoyed studying at U of C. I got my BSc in Computer Science there, and will be finishing my MSc in the same soon. I have to say that the faculty are pretty great, at least in CS and in Math, which is where most of my classes were. I also took some great classes in the Military and Strategic Studies field. I'm going to miss it, but it's time to move on! The campus is very busy and lively during the Fall and WInter semesters - there are around 30,000 students registered at U of C.

I'd be happy to answer more questions if you have them :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

I did my undergrad in Calgary. What do you want to know? I didn't like it much at first, but stayed for the program, but the city is growing on me. Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in North America, and contrary to popular belief, has an interesting young arts scene. Don't try to park down town, although you'll probably get a UPass from the university. There are a lot of jack rabbits and other random animals around. Stampede is my only complaint. This year, I'm planning on being out of town. I live in the Beltline, and people are so loud for the entire week that I don't get any sleep.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Stampede is my only complaint.

Stampede is a complaint?? I must admit I've never been, even though I lived in Edmonton my whole life, but it sounds like an amazingly fun time. Although I would assume by this you're not a big partier? I'm not really either, but I do enjoy a good event like this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did my undergrad in Calgary. What do you want to know? I didn't like it much at first, but stayed for the program, but the city is growing on me. Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in North America, and contrary to popular belief, has an interesting young arts scene. Don't try to park down town, although you'll probably get a UPass from the university. There are a lot of jack rabbits and other random animals around. Stampede is my only complaint. This year, I'm planning on being out of town. I live in the Beltline, and people are so loud for the entire week that I don't get any sleep.

Hi, thanks for responding! I actually wanted to know about the arts scene so that's good to know!

I also wanted to know about shopping for fish and fresh produce....noticed that Alberta is land-locked province so I was wondering if fresh fish is hard to come by? Are there any places near campus with a good fresh produce section? Any farmers markets?

Stampede actually sounds like something I'd want to take in even if only a few events. I'll probably still be working on my thesis so it would be a nice break :)

Thanks again!

Link to post
Share on other sites

About Housing: On campus v/s Off Campus

I have applied for and have received an offer from on campus housing.

How does on-campus housing compare with off-campus in terms of facilities, pricing and convenience?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Link to post
Share on other sites

About Housing: On campus v/s Off Campus

I have applied for and have received an offer from on campus housing.

How does on-campus housing compare with off-campus in terms of facilities, pricing and convenience?

Thanks a lot in advance!

What building did you receive an offer for? If you're staying in one of the apartment dorms, it's probably better to accept that offer. Rent in Calgary isn't cheap, and unless you can find a cheap apartment nearby campus, you can't beat the residence. If you want the cheapest apartments possible, you have to look further away from campus, in the northeast or south.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 8 months later...

Hello, quick question, what is the approximate date for PhD actual courses starting in canadian unives in Alberta and U of Calgary? Roughly, beginning or middle of September.. calendar from last year was not clear in the university I wanted checking. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys. What's a block week? It's there after it says beginning of fall term on 3rd sep, then actual fall term lectures begin on 10th sep except block week lectures. The 7 days difference matter in my case for some reason.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, my mistake! Regular classes will start on the 9th, then. U of C is one of the few (if not the only?) universities that does block week courses. Essentially, they offer certain classes (NOT core degree classes) that are taught 9-5 for 5 days, and you get credit for a full semester course. I would guess you won't have any block week classes. From what I've seen, it's random a lot of random film studies courses that are good for people who need more credits but don't want to take 6 classes in a semester, haha.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That seems funny. Lol I see, so I won't need that and don't like to try it :) I found the grad calendar here http://grad.ucalgary.ca/sites/grad.ucalgary.ca/files/2012-2013-grad-calendar-3rd-edition-december-15.pdf but it's for 2012-2013. I assume the approximate cate would be Sep 9 for next fall lectures, the. Thanks all for the replies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, my mistake! Regular classes will start on the 9th, then. U of C is one of the few (if not the only?) universities that does block week courses. Essentially, they offer certain classes (NOT core degree classes) that are taught 9-5 for 5 days, and you get credit for a full semester course. I would guess you won't have any block week classes. From what I've seen, it's random a lot of random film studies courses that are good for people who need more credits but don't want to take 6 classes in a semester, haha.

 

It's also used for orientation, so grad school orientation might be during that time (I can't remember when it was last year).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...

Wanted to revive this thread and ask if there's anyone in Calgary who can chat about the renting situation. I have a friend who lives there now, but she lives with her family. The impression she gave me was that recovering from the floods has made finding somewhere decent/affordable to rent is somewhat difficult?

 

If I do go to U of C I'll probably apply for on-campus housing anyway (hopefully in Glacier?) but aside from the few pictures the school has up online I don't know much about the dorms either.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Wanted to revive this thread and ask if there's anyone in Calgary who can chat about the renting situation. I have a friend who lives there now, but she lives with her family. The impression she gave me was that recovering from the floods has made finding somewhere decent/affordable to rent is somewhat difficult?

 

If I do go to U of C I'll probably apply for on-campus housing anyway (hopefully in Glacier?) but aside from the few pictures the school has up online I don't know much about the dorms either.

 

Hey I lived on Glacier for a year and it was pretty decent as far as space and noise levels were concerned. It's definitely one of the newer buildings (I think only Global VIllage is newer) - and that's why rent is so steep. I'm currently on Castle which is ok but definitely older and smaller...and darker because of the trees that are nearby. Thankfully, it's warmer for some reason so we don't need to turn on the heat too high during winter.

If you want you can check out this site for off-campus housing: https://www.su.ucalgary.ca/ooch . Brentwood is one of the areas closest to the school, and downtown is maybe a 10-15 minute train ride away. As long as you're near to the C-Train line or somewhere with some reliable buses, you should be ok.

Hope some of that helped.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.