We have been in Calgary for three weeks now, two of them in a hotel and one in our apartment. In some ways, it feels much longer, but in others, no time at all. Here are our observations so far, in no particular order.
- Lots of construction in certain parts of city
- Parking spaces seem smaller than Ontario
- Lots of homeless people
- Lots of vacant business premises
- Much hotter than expected
- Gridlock at certain times on Highway 2
- Poor Virgin cell phone reception
- Distinct lack of police patrolling city
- Gets very windy along the city streets
- Very close to mountains
- People seem very friendly
- Lots of green space
- Beautiful river walks
- Very clean compared to Belleville
- Not many bugs, even by the water
- Beautiful buildings
- Very pedestrian and bike friendly
- Gas prices low
- Only 5% sales tax (Ontario 13%)
- Tons of parking available
- Easy grid system for roads
- Lots of new brands and stores to explore
- Lots of new birds and animals to see
- Walkable to pretty much everything
The availability of doctors in Calgary:
When we first arrived in Ontario 11 years ago, we could not get a GP as they just weren’t any taking on new patients. After 2 years we managed to find one and after writing a letter to him finally managed to get taken on as a patient. Then 18 months ago, he retired with no warning and left us without a GP. We never found another one before leaving the province.
Here in Calgary, you have a huge choice of doctors and can go online to find one closest to you and then register. There is an abundance of them and we have found a practice just up the road from us where there are several doctors taking on new patients. We will be sorting this out over the next few weeks. It is a University of Calgary teaching clinic, so should be very good.
Although we have only been in our apartment for a little over a week, we have found pros and cons of this too.
- Low heights in the parking garage can be a little unnerving
- Our second bedroom is very small
- We don’t feel as high as we once did now we are used to it
- We have one noisy neighbour who just moved in, hopefully, she will quieten down
- Chris keeps getting the urge to jump off the balcony!
- Parcel delivery is great as the concierge takes in all deliveries so you don’t have to collect from the Post office
- Just about everywhere we want to go is walkable
- Throwing our garbage is easy, just throw it down the shoot or take down to recycling
- Internet speed here is awesome
- Views from the balcony are fab – mountains, green space, river, city
- We are hardly using our truck
- Two grocery stores a block away are really nice
- It seems to get darker much later here
Yes, you read that right, Chris keeps wanting to jump off our 32nd-floor balcony. Apparently, this is a known High Place Phenomenon where people have the urge to jump off high places. Strange but true and very worrying!
Another thing to do with heights we have noticed is that there seems to be “floor envy” within the building. When you meet someone in the elevator and you press a floor number higher than them, you can see their jealous reaction. It’s quite funny really. Although I have to admit, when I got in with a couple the other day and they pressed 33, I was cheesed off too!
When we lived in our house, we were very rural and it was really, really quiet. Here we have city noise, traffic, trains, emergency vehicles, but it really isn’t bothering us at all. This is a big surprise as this is something we worried about, but so far so good.