Calgary, Alberta Community Overview
Calgary is a vibrant city of 1,100,000 (2007), located within breathtaking sight of the
Canadian Rockies. The city's population has doubled over the past 20 years, when it hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Calgary has a compact and very modern downtown core with tall, mirrored skyscrapers on the edge of the always-blue Bow River.
Calgary is Canada's second-biggest head office city, second only to Toronto.
The city is headquarters to the oil & gas industry (through the production & refining is generally closer to Edmonton and Fort McMurray, to the north), and is a key centre for logistics, agriculture and southern Alberta tourism.
The city's weather generally features wide-open blue skies, but the
temperatures can be quite unpredictable. Calgary can get July weather in January, courtesy
of the famous Chinook winds, which not only warm temperatures by 20C in a few
hours, but literally sucks the snow off the ground. Of course, being so close
to the mountains, Calgary can get the occassional snowfall in any month,
including July. By the way, the area's ski season usually goes from
mid-November until the Victoria Day Weekend.
Following the last ice age, which ended 10,000 years ago, which brought humans from Asia into the Americas, the area was settled by the Blackfoot, Blood, Peigan, Sarcee (Tsuu T'ina), and Stoney bands.
Early Calgary grew around what is now Inglewood, and when the CPR built the trans-continental railroad, they located Calgary's station and railroad hotel west of the Fort and the Elbow River, setting the location for its current downtown. The city became a major commercial centre for this part of the prairies and in 1894, The City of Calgary was incorporated, and in 1904, the City abandoned most street names and converted to numbered streets. The city boomed and many old sandstone buildings along the eastern end of Stephen (8th) Avenue Walk and along Atlantic (9th) Avenue SE date back to this era when Calgary grew to 85,000 residents.
Calgary has actually had three oil booms: the first around World War I, when oil was found south of town in Pincher Creek and natural gas near Medicine Hat, the second following the 1949 Leduc strike (near Edmonton) which caused an investment boom in the city's stock exchange, and lastly following the 1974 Arab Oil Boycott, which spurred madcap exploration in Western Canada, while causing disruption in other economic sectors and other regions of Canada. The "oilpatch" headquartered in Calgary grew rapidly and the city's population grew from 325,000 in 1974 to 650,000 by the early 1980s. Any surviving pre-1974 building is considered a candidate for being declared a heritage structure.
Moving To Calgary
The city has grown exponentially over the past 30 years. Those who move here in the early 1980s remember grain eleveators and only a few homes south of Fish Creek Provincial Park, no homes west of Canada Olympic Park (then called "Paskapoo") and homes just beginning to creek up around and north of Nose Hill Park, and few homes in the Southeast below the Ogden Railyards. Each of theose areas now supports populations of over 50,000, towns in their own right, with retail, workplace, and mass-transit infrastructure. Calgary offers a range of housing from Inner City living to suburbs miles away from the urban rush, from high-density high rise condos to surburban spawl.
More about Calgary, from FoundLocally.
Calgary Community Map