Calgary ranks #2 on the Best Places to Live in Canada List for 2014. A city gets on this list by consideration of its population, unemployment rate, and a compilation of averages – average discretionary income, average house prices, average years to buy a home, average household net worth, sales tax, income tax, new luxury cars, numbers walking to work, numbers biking to work, total rainfall, days per year with precipitation, days per year with rain, etc., a rather impressive list, and indication of a remarkable recovery from the economic problems in the early 1980’s.
Wikipedia says “The economy of Calgary includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors.”
Tourism is absolutely key to Calgary’s economic assets, as Calgary can be one great big party – a smorgasbord of exciting activities and events in this city with one million residents and a million visitors a year.
There’s a festival for every interest – an annual rodeo festival, the Calgary Stampede, where they raise tipis and celebrate with dances and games – the Calgary Folk Music Festival, the International Blues Festival, and the Chinatown Street Festival. If classical music is your proclivity, you can attend the Honens International Piano Competition, held every three years. Finalists get to perform with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and get a huge cash prize.
You have your choice of museums, including the Gasoline Alley Museum in Heritage Park, featuring antique vehicles, the Glenbow, Western Canada’s museum of art and culture and the Aero Space Museum, highlighting a display of military and civilian aircraft. To educate the public about Canada’s military, Calgary has eight museums housed under a single roof and simply called “The Military Museums”, containing a wide variety of exhibits from Canada’s air force, army, and navy. The Firefighters Museum features vintage fire trucks, historical memorabilia and documents, and firefighting equipment from the early part of the 20th century to the present.
For the sports fans, there’s the Canada Sports Hall of fame, telling the stories of more than 500 sport heroes.
You can take the children to the Calgary Zoo to see no less than 1000 animals, which may be why it won a Traveler’s Choice Award in 2014 and has an overall rating of four stars.
This city is diversity personified. Although most Calgarians are of European origin (English, Irish, German, Scottish, Canadian, German), the ethnic make-up includes citizens from India, China, and Calgary is home for 33,370 aboriginals, including Metis (aboriginals with First Nations [Indians] and mixed settler ancestry, with their own cultural identity, language and heritage.) Calgarians speak Tagalog (from the Philippines), Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, French and English.
Calgary sounds like a great place to visit, if not settle down.