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jncilliers

Landing March 2020

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jncilliers

Hi Everyone! My wife and I are landing in Calgary on the 23rd of March this year and I am looking for some advise from the experts. The plan is just to Airbnb for a month and get a feel for the area. 

  • I am looking at areas close to the CTrain so we can make use of the public transport system before buying a car. Don't know if this is realistic. Maybe someone can give some advice please. 
  • I have done my own research on areas to reside, but would like to hear from the community where are good places to start and areas to avoid.
  • What advice can you give newbies you wish you knew before landing?

Thanks in advance.

 

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pandaCat

Not an expert but I can share my experience and maybe that is useful in some way.

Was in Calgary for a week for activation of PR. Booked an apartment on booking.com that had a really good rating and was pretty cheap. They may also be on Airbnb. This was located in China town. This ended up being a pretty good call since it was right next to the Harry Hays building which is connected to the +15 (stretch of connected buildings in downtown ~19km I understand including some of the big office blocks and the core shopping center). Harry Hays is also where you need to get your SIN. I think anything close to a building on the +15 in downtown Calgary would be great. Something I only discovered later, there is a +15 app that helps out a lot! The CTrain would also be close, but you can travel by bus as well. Just use google maps, select the public transport tab and it will plan the best route for you be it train or bus and on foot. If you get stuck you can always just uber. My feeling was that everywhere is safe and clean, some areas just more desirable than others e.g. China town was great for us. But maybe wait on others as well as I have limited experience.

Be patient upon landing, you will go through declaration, declare any food etc that they ask on the prompts (dont want to start on wrong foot). We took an uber to our apartment, this was worth the expense for that first trip. Watch youtube videos on the landing experience. Calgary is pretty relaxed compared to e.g. Toronto (almost no ques).

Freedom mobile is a good choice for mobile operator, since they have wifi hotspots everywhere so you don't even use your data, plus if back in SA you can use WiFi calling to use your Canadian number, not all networks have this feature. We only did this later (@ core shopping center).

Good luck.

Edited by pandaCat
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Marv

Hello. Looks like we are in the same situation.

I am planning to land in Calgary around middle of May.

I have done some research and also trying to follow some news. Having no accomodation is stressing me out a bit, but not as much as having no job yet. 

Also, what I do is change the google region setting to Canada, which then helps find information easier.

Good luck :)

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jncilliers

@pandaCat thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate the information.

@Marv since you are in the same situation I would like to chat to you about your planning so far. I am going to DM you my cell number. Maybe we can share some strategies. If you are keen please give me a shout on watsapp and we can share some idees.

 

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GrantM

Stay away from the Northeast quadrant if you can. We are NW people, stayed there for almost 5 years except for a 6 week stint in the SE.

I think staying downtown if you can would be pretty cool, we like the suburbs but I think if we didn't have pets then we would be closer to downtown.

In particular, there is a reason why this meme is so popular. Two of those 3 are considered NE and the other is right alongside Marlborough.

Post image

 

Here is the C-train map for reference

Image result for ctrain map calgary

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jncilliers

@GrantM Thank you. I've heard good things about the NW neighborhoods. I think we will definitely take your advice. What is your opinion about staying in a basement suite. I see they are quite cheap, but it just sounds quite gloomy and depressing to be honest.

Edited by jncilliers

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Kitcat

Hi @jncilliers, when we landed in Calgary last year we stayed in a walk out basement for the first three weeks and it was great - not gloomy at all. The trick is to ensure it’s a “walkout “ which means it has doors and windows with direct access to outside and you’re actually on the garden/ground floor level rather than stuck underground. This was in the SW and we had great access to the CTrain to get into downtown for our admin.

if you don’t have kids I’d definitely suggest you consider staying in an apartment in downtown as it makes it very easy to get things sorted. The section of the CTrain in downtown is also free, which will save some money on transport.

We now stay in the SW and are on the blue line (near 69th st station) and it’s so easy to get into town via bus and train. As mentioned above, stay away from the NE. The SE is nice as is the Deep South, but they’re far from downtown, so not always a great place to start for the first few weeks.

Once you’ve been here for a few days I’d suggest renting a car and driving around the areas you have pinpointed for rentals to get a feel for the area. You may be surprised how different an area is to what you were expecting. When we were researching Calgary we thought we’d start off in the south - Bridlewood, Evergreen etc. but when we drove through we didn’t really like the areas as much as we thought we would and ended up living much further up on the west side of the city.

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GrantM

I know @M-N started out in the NW and eventually settled in the SW and they are happy. Also know that @PJ&Mariska Started in the SW i think and have now settled in the NW so both the NW and SW seem like good places to end up.

As for the SE, I can only comment on our short stay there for 6 weeks last year in McKenzie Towne. It felt like it was far from just about everything and I found the drivers to be particularly aggressive compared to the NW. When I mentioned this to the people that we stayed with, who also used to live in the NW but moved to the SE to be closer to work, their responses was that they agreed and they think it is because housing is quite affordable in that area there seems to be a lot of young families so everyone is in a rush to drop and fetch kids and so on. 

Regardless, Calgary is a great city that is struggling economically right now. I'm sure it will get better and I bet you will enjoy living here.

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jncilliers

@GrantM @Kitcat I appreciate the detailed response. 

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M-N

We stayed in the NW/NE (Panorama Hills) at first. Mainly because the friends we lived with at first lived there and we found a condo close to them. It was right on the BRT route so we only needed to take 2 buses to work in the NE.  It also went straight downtown. We bought a house in the SE area close to Mckenzie actually.  We love it here. Homes are more affordable and it’s quiter. While the NW and SW are nice it’s just not for me. I find it too busy.  We commute via transit downright.  It’s a 10-15 min bus ride to the station and then a 30 min train ride.  I love it because I get to catch up on reading or watching shows.  
 

I would recommend looking at Mission, Marda Loop, Bankview, further south look at Southwood, Canyon Meadows, area. 

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