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Edmonton vs. Calgary


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I'm considering moving to either one of these cities after graduation. I'm hoping to get some feedback from people who know both cities fairly well. What is the overall "vibe", feel or impression you get from each of these cities? I'm trying to get a sense of what it might be like to live in these cities, apart from demographics, which I can find online.

 

Here are some examples of descriptors that might apply to either or both cities (but feel free to add your own)...

 

ie: lots of highly ambitious/work-oriented people, family-oriented, college/university-town atmosphere, friendly people, open-minded/closed-minded attitudes, safe/unsafe at night, good night life, high stress lifestlye, lots of traffic, sleepy city and everything closes early, easy access to nature/great outdoors....

 

I'm also wondering: How convenient is it to rely on public transportation in these cities?

 

Feel free to make comparisions to Toronto or Montreal if you wish as I am quite familiar with both cities.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Hello, 

 

I'm in a similar situation, but really only interested in Calgary. Could you share any information you have accrued in regards to Calgary? 

 

I lived in Saskatoon for 2 years and worked in Calgary and Edmonton.    Edmonton is a western city whereas Calgary is much more metropolitan and is comparable to Montreal/Toronto/Ottawa.    Calgary has an excellent train system, a somewhat lively cultural scene and a decent downtown core.   Edmonton has hockey,  lots of working class and woeful transportation.     In Calgary - you can rest your eyes on the foothills of the Rockies whereas Edmonton - welcome to tar sands country.   Also - winter is rough in both places but Edmonton is among the worst things I have ever done (aka the nickname deadmonton). 

 

I have perhaps spent 2 months total in these cities so I have no idea bout living life there but I would say that Calgary is a city whereas Edmonton is a trading outpost turned city.   Calgary is comparable to eastern Canada whereas Edmonton is only comparable to the prairies. 

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I lived in Saskatoon for 2 years and worked in Calgary and Edmonton.    Edmonton is a western city whereas Calgary is much more metropolitan and is comparable to Montreal/Toronto/Ottawa.    Calgary has an excellent train system, a somewhat lively cultural scene and a decent downtown core.   Edmonton has hockey,  lots of working class and woeful transportation.     In Calgary - you can rest your eyes on the foothills of the Rockies whereas Edmonton - welcome to tar sands country.   Also - winter is rough in both places but Edmonton is among the worst things I have ever done (aka the nickname deadmonton). 

 

I have perhaps spent 2 months total in these cities so I have no idea bout living life there but I would say that Calgary is a city whereas Edmonton is a trading outpost turned city.   Calgary is comparable to eastern Canada whereas Edmonton is only comparable to the prairies. 

 

That is great information, thank you for your thoughtful response! 

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I really don't know if you should trust me on this topic but I would definitely visit before I accepted an offer.   The prairies are the west and it is somewhat special!   My memory of Calgary is much based on comparing to other Canadian cities and to Sweden. 

 

Of course, I will definitely visit before I accept. I just thought I'd get a bit of an opinion! So far the response has been pretty positive. 

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I lived in Edmonton for a couple years, and as someone coming from a big city (I grew up in Philly and prior to Edmonton lived in Tokyo), I found it to be fairly dull. The public transit system isn't great- the buses don't run as often as I would like, and the LRT system is limited. (That said, they are working on expanding the LRT.) Night life-wise, Whyte Avenue is a fun area of bars, clubs, and restaurants, but many of the shops close early. Downtown is essentially dead on the weekends. You do have the West Edmonton Mall which provides myriad entertainment. I lived near the University and always felt safe in town, even very late at night. If you don't mind the weather (snow constantly from October to April or May and at least a week of -30 in January or February), it's not a bad place to live.

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Lifelong Edmontonian here.

 

Overall Calgary and Edmonton are pretty similar and each offer a lot a great quality of life, so really I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

Calgary definitely has more of a "big city" feel to it, whereas Edmonton is more quiet, though the populations are more or less equal.

 

Edmonton's transit leaves much to be desired, though if you live along the LRT line it hits most areas of interest. It is undergoing significant expansion over the next few years.

 

I think Edmonton has a much better university-town atmosphere than Calgary, especially in the Garneau/Whyte Avenue area that surrounds the University of Alberta. Downtown isn't the most active of places, but things have improved dramatically in the past 5 years and with a new arena/museum/towers planned it can only get better. For outdoor activities, the river valley is a huge attraction -- the trail system is massive and is one of my favorite places in Canada.

 

Edmonton has a bad reputation for crime, but its pretty overexaggerated. I haven't had any problems.

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  • 2 months later...

I'll be moving to Edmonton this fall from India. Can you please help me where I should look for renting apartment? I want shared accomodations and rent should come under $600. I found that people talk about Whyte Avenue. I will be attending U of A CS department. Please help me with convenient location.

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I'll be moving to Edmonton this fall from India. Can you please help me where I should look for renting apartment? I want shared accomodations and rent should come under $600. I found that people talk about Whyte Avenue. I will be attending U of A CS department. Please help me with convenient location.

 

The Whyte Ave area is worth looking at for sure. You might also want to look into the Garneau area (right beside the university). Another option would be to look at neighbourhoods along Edmonton's LRT line, as students are able to use transit for free with the upass. The McKernan/Belgravia area would be a good place to start.

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