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NamTinker

Calgary living zones

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NamTinker

Advice required please:

Assuming Calgary to be like most normal cities, there would be "good", medium and "bad" areas to live/stay/rent in.

Since I am shopping for accommodation I'd appreciate advice on which areas to stay away from. There do not seem to be a shortage of places to rent. If possible, could advice be related to the main quarters NW, NE, SW, SE.

Which of these areas are close to trails, parks, areas to run/train?

I do not mind traveling a bit.

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debbieD

From my perspective, I prefer the NW - the traffic is marginally better, and they've just extended the LRT line to Dalhousie. However, the SW is also pretty good with far more shops, but also heavier traffic (although I guess it depends which area). In the SW, I like the Signal Hill area, and in the NW, I favour Edgemont/Hawkwood/Ranchlands/Dalhousie/Silver Springs areas. I live in Edgemont, and I have noticed a lot of houses open for rent at the moment. There's one next door to a friend's house, for $950/month including utilities, and it's a really nice house.

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Guest Guest

I also prefer the NW & SW, with NW being the favourite. In the NW I would agree with Debbie, but you can also check out Citadel, Rocky Ridge, Royal Oak and Tuscany, they are newer areas, and there is also quite a few houses for rent, although a bit further from city centre. Most of the communities do have their own bike/ jogging trails.

Good luck.

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Kolla

Namtinker, dis laat in die nag vir my en ek dink dalk nou nie meer so lekker nie, maar hiers n paar dingetjies vir jou om ingedagte te hou as jy dink aan waar om wortels te skiet in Calgary.

Dis altyd goed om voor die tyd websites te bekyk en n gevoel vir die stad te kry, meeste van 'ons' mense bly in die SW en die NW ste en dis ook die raat wat ons gekry het voor ons hier beland het. In die NO is die lughawe en meer industriee.

Calgary werk soos n ui wat mens afskil, die ouer woonbuurte met die kleiner boks huisies met die lekker groot bome is nader aan downtown en hoe verder jy van downtown af beweeg, hoe nuwer word die woongebiede met groter huise en kleiner bome en minder skole ook meestal. Die Ooste het ook mooi dele maar omtrent al Calgary se misdaad en drama gebeur altyd in die NE of die SE as ek die nuus reg hoor. Woon areas soos Forest Lawn en Dover is die agterkant van Calgary en glad nie goed nie, daars nog n paar, maar ek ken die stad nog nie so goed dat ek van die res weet nie.

Dis vir my baie sleg dat die skole baie kere in die ouer gedeeltes is en baie kindertjies sommige van hulle nog klein, elke dag op n skoolbus moet sit, so as dit in jou lyne is, kyk ook gerus daarna. Onthou dis bitter koud in die winter en as kleiner kinders naby aan hul skole kan wees, is dit soveel beter.

Verder kan Calgary winderig wees, en is die nuwer buurte nie so goed beskut teen die wind nie en is die ouer dele met meer bome minder winderig en meer warm. Die NW ste is ook meer winderig as die SW ste. My persoonlike gunsteling is die SW ste en ons sou graag daar wou bly, maar toe ons kom kyk het voor ons hiernatoe getrek het het ons meer waarde vir ons geld gesien en gekry in die NWste en nou bly ek lekker in die NWste in een van die nuwer woonbuurte. As jy vorentoe daaraan dink om n huis te koop, ons gaan maar altyd hier vir n huis onder 13 jaar, die plankie huise het baie onderhoud aan as hulle ouer word en arbeid hier is duur. Die nuwer huise het ook beter tegnologie mbt tot hitte in die winter binnehou en is ook oor die algemeen groter en goed beplan.

Jy kan ook kyk na publieke transport. As jy in downtown gaan werk, is parkering ongemaklik duur daar en ry baie ouens bus en loop die express busse soggens en saans omtrent net so vinnig as wat jy met jou kar sou ry heen en weer.

Ek sou regtig niemand aanbeveel wat in die downtown werk om in een van die 'bedroom communities' te gaan nesskrop nie, dis nogals erg in die winter op die paaie en mens se tyd is kosbaar. Die verre suide van die SWste is ook nie n plek waar ek persoonlik sal bly nie as ek bv in downtown moet werk nie, dis net te ver en die toevoer paaie nie goed uitgedink destyds nie.

As ek in jou skoene was, sou ek so veel as moontlik probeer oplees het van die verskillende areas voor julle arriveer en dan in die eerste 2 weke of so hier, die stad deurkruis en platry en soek na n area wat met jou praat en nou ja, dan oe toemaak en n plek huur. Hiers altyd baie rentals beskikbaar op redelike kort kennisgewing bv 2 weke , en veral nou met die lae rentekoerse, het mens meer bedingingsmag as jy onderhandel vir huur.

Ons het gegaan vir n groter huis omdat mens omtrent 8 maande van die jaar net binneshuis is, maar ek sou baie graag in die ouer dele wou bly, dis baie sentraal en mooi daar en altyd so gemaklik naby aan Kanada se lekker winkels.

Hoop dit help jou so bietjie, vra maar nog as jy aan iets kan dink.

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Guest Gyspy Girl

When I moved here from Vancouver, my husband had rented a flat in Woodlands in the SW. It across a park with an elementary school, shops and a bus stop on the street corner which took us straight to the Anderson train station. I thought it was a great place for us to start as at the time we only had one car so I had to make use of the public transport. The neighbourhood was clean and safe and everything we needed was just on Macleod trial. And being an old neighbourhood there were these stunning big trees that line the streets.

We've now moved to the SE near the Fish Creek Provincial Park, we've been here for about 2 1/2yrs. We've moved to a new community just off the Deerfoot trail. I had particulary like this area as it is warmer than the North side of the city, close the nature reserve (and a fake beach) and the Bow River (my husband is an avid fisherman). It's a bit far from downtown but both my husband and I work 5 & 20 mins. from home along Deerfoot Hwy. There's also a new shopping area being built on 130Ave. off Deerfoot which they have already started building the overpass. The traffic is no too bad as the hiway keeps the cars flowing and they are in the process of eliminating all the traffic lights along the way. A new train station is posted to open in June this year in Shawnessay which is only a 10min. drive from hwy. 22X. It's right next door to a stunning YMCA which had opened only last summer. There's also a brand new library in there. There is also a brand new hospital that have been sited and budgeted for building in the area. This will bring all the house values up once it's built. The communities in the area are: Douglasdale, Douglasglen, Stonegate, Mckenzie Towne, Copperfield, McKenzie Lake and Cranston. I live in Cranston and there's a walking path that takes you straight to the river and Provincial Park. And I get to see the view of the Rockies on my way home everyday.

I find that if start off in one part of town, you normally stay within that area. There's lots of nice neighbourhood around, everyone can talk about why had had selected their neighbourhood. We had chosen ours as it is close and have easy access to our work. We also wanted to be in a family oriented area.

Areas to avoid: Forest Lawn (17th Ave SE)! It's really grubby there! There's also some areas of the old NE that is somewhat dodgy, some of the school have a lot of gang problems.

Newer communities mostly have no schools so the kids have to be bused to he nearest school sometimes a good 40mins. bus ride away.

Good luck hunting! Best to drive around and look at all the different areas. The great thing about renting is that you can always move after you're lease is up if you decided the area you had selected is not of you're liking.

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NamTinker

Thanks for all the replies.

If the NW is OK than the B&B I'll be staying in for the 14 days or so while I shop should do.

Kolla: hoe is die selfoon netwerk(e) daar? Natuurlik moet Kanada op die "tri-band" sisteem wees, :D so dit kos 'n ander foon...

Ek sien jy is 'n "gold member". Enige royalties uit die fliek? ; B)

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debbieD

Which B&B will you be staying at? Perhaps we can tell you what it's like. You can get quite good deals on cellphones here. It's the first thing we bought on arriving in Canada, just in case prospective employers are trying to contact us.

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Guest Gyspy Girl

There's a rental properties magazine that is free and available in most of the convienent stores like Macs and 7/11 as well as the communities centers and ice rinks. Another source for hunting rental properties.

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NamTinker

Debbie

It's called the "Cozy Nest", rate of 250/week.

Advice will be appreciated!

I was used to traveling an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, over two mountain passes to get to work.

Anything "shorter" will be a bonus!

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debbieD

I haven't heard of the Cozy Nest, but will look it up. My hubby works in the SE and we live in the NW, and it takes him from 45minutes to an hour to get to work, but it's only an hour when the weather is really bad, and traffic is backed up.

:angry:

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debbieD

I found the place on the net, and it looks like a private home used as a b & b. Looks nice enough, and it's just down the road from us (and there are lots of other South Africans in the area) in a suburb called Silver Springs, and it'll be about a 25 minute drive to the city centre, and it's about a 5-10 minute drive to the nearest LRT station (and I'm sure you can get a bus to the LRT station too, if you don't have a car).

Calgary has a maze of bike trails running around and through the city - you can get a map of it somewhere (my hubby will know since he's into cycling in summer). Where you will be staying is close to where there is a lovely bike/running path along the river. Nice area for taking dogs for walks too. There's also a gym in Silver Springs, and there's a YMCA about 10 minutes away with a running track (also swimming pool, courts of various kinds, and training equipment). There's also various other internationally known gyms nearby like Golds Gym in Dalhousie, and World Health (not sure of the full name) down the road from us.

When do you expect to be arriving? :angry:

Edited by debbieD

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NamTinker

Debbie

I'm landing on May 28th.

Thanks for the advice - sounds perfect for me.

I just want to use the B&B as base for around two weeks to find a more permanent address.

Since your husband is into cycling and it is supposed to be summer then, maybe we can cycle/train a bit together. Unfortunately most of my stuff would only arrive about three weeks later - including my mountain bike. Would only have basic gym/running gear.

Do you get any people that cycle into the city in summer or is it not allowed??

Cheers

Coenraad

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Kolla

Namtinker, by the end of May it can still be very cold in Calgary, more spring weather I would say. If I still remember well we had our last snowfall by the end of May last year.

Somehow newly landed people find it very much colder than us locals in the beginning here. We had some family over from SA by the 22 nd of June and they found our city very cold the first few days and then again had a bunch a guests July 6th and also for them I had to get extra warm clothes from our clausets. My only thoughts on that is that somehow our blood has thickened and we are used to the different cold and that people who just arrived here from a warmer climate, has not acclimated to the local colder weather that well at first.

But dont let that thought scare you, I will say that by the beginning of July it should be summer here, as we know it. If there is no snow on the ground and day temps are nice with no cold wind, you should be able to get out many days in late May and early June to enjoy the numerous bike paths leading into the city with ease. I know of a few folks in our neighberhood that bikes in summer to their job in downtown, a very scenic route mostly following all along the Bow river and farely flat as well.

Its compulsory to wear a bike helmet here as well as to have a bike bell, doing the tring tring thing, to warn folks on foot of you nearing them, people get very upset if you pass them from behind and you didnt warn them.

Because our summers here are very short you will see almost the whole city out on warm days and then places like the shared bike/walking paths are full of people, little kids and dogs. Over here we greet one another on the route with smiles and a 'hi ', almost always. People are very friendly and polite.

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debbieD

Yeah, May can be pretty chilly, but it varies - going from snow to sunny in a matter of days. I think the hottest time is July, especially around Stampede week (second week of July). I always think of Stampede week being very hot and unpleasant. My husband used to bike it downtown when he worked there, and there are usually bike stands at every office building, so I think it's very much the in-thing to do. Canadians (at least, a huge portion of them) are pretty health and fitness conscious, and the city infrastructure is geared to that mindset. Give us a shout when you arrive - and if you need a ride from the airport. ;)

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NamTinker

Thanks Debbie and Kolla for the info. Will give you a call - good that you warned me about the cold...

Coldest I've operated in was in an adventure race in the Eastern Cape mountains - minus 15. And I was on foot and bicycle nice and snug. Hopefully warmer than that in May! ;)

BTW I'm Afrikaans, just writing in English from habit!

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Works_With_No_Pants

I didn't read everyone elses posts but here's my two cents:

Stay away from the NE. If you are looking for a totally crime free community then look no further than Cranston in the SE It's on the south side of 22X.

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Guest Michael Negus

Just as an update to this.....this website describes different areas of Calgary in some areas....hope this helps future lookers.....http://www.telusplanet.net/public/dixiex2/calgarycity.htm

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Estelle

HI Calgarians

Please help another lost soul moving to Calgary.

My husband and I are moving to Calgary from Montreal. I will be comming to Calgary ahead of him in order to find accomadation for us. So I have a myriad of questions as I am hoping to leave next week.

My husband will be working downtown in 6th Ave (I think) and we will be temporarily staying in Hawthorne apartments I think also in 6th Ave, is it easy to get around by taxi to the suburbs when looking for accomadation or do the estate agents collect you?

How far is downtown from the SW or NW? Which one is closer to downtown using public transport?

Reading the previous posts it appears NW or SW are the areas to look at, we will only be renting initially so the criteria is really walking distance to public transport.

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Hendie

Hi Estelle,

I see you are really getting into researching our town! Staying downtown for the first while is certainly a good idea. From there you can get just about anywhere on the public transport system. Elsewhere you asked about a downloadable map of Calgary. The best one for your purposes I think can be found here on the Calgary Transit website. There are various formats, just pick the one that works best for you.

Downtown is about equidistant from everywhere, since it is ... well downtown! :) I am sure that estate agents will gladly pick you up where-ever you are. If you are looking for some estate agents, have a look at our Real Estate Agents advertising forum, you are sure to find someone there who can help you.

Good luck and feel free to call me if you need verbal help as well! (my contact details are in my profile)

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Kolla

Estelle -

Regarding your real estate pick up question, my experience so far here is that they prefer that you get to the location of the home that you are interested in, on your own, it seems driving clients around are a huge liability for them. We recently sold our home and all the potential clients came in their own vehicles and met the agent on our driveway. The same goes if you are interested in a rental place, they will meet you at the address and take you on a tour of the home.

However 2 years ago when we got here, I insisted that the agent drive us around as I had no clue about the city and when you have to view at least 50 homes in less than 2 days, it can be a nightmare finding your way around a city you dont know, on your own. So once you have made contact with an agent, its advisable to ask him/her about driving you around. Then again I think its not a good idea to buy a place when you are only days/ few weeks in a new city, its so much better to rent 1st and get a feel for where you are more comfortable.

Good luck with your move.

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Dick

Hi Estelle,

It is really difficult to understand the complexities of the location of jobs/housing, transit and travel time and good amenities. Example: I live in the far south of Calgary (Sundance). It takes me about 45 minutes (bus+train) to get to work which is located on the eastern end of the downtown/Stephens Avenue. Driving to work would take me about 25 minutes, but I prefer to take the train. We have a our own lake, with canoeing and windsurfing, beachlife, skating, etc. opportunities right on our doorstep with the provincial park 150 meters away. We have 5 schools in our neighbourhood which is a huge bonus. So it's about choices.

The west and south west (especially) are excellent areas which gives access to almost every part of town, whether it's recreational or shopping. On the other hand the NW is and excellent area for mountain views, but they always get the brunt of the weather coming over the mountains and therefore are usually a few degrees cooler that the rest of the city.

"Closeness" is a strange concept in Cowtown. You might live in the neighbourhood adjacent to the downtown, however if there a no LRT connection and you have to take the bus, it will most probably take you almost the same time as a person seemingly living on the "outskirts" of town.

Before I forget, also check out the Transportation section of the City's website as indicated by Hendie - they provide a schedule of future roadworks projects. AVOID THESE AT ALL COSTS if you decide to drive from home to work.

Here is also a website with information on each neighbourhood. It gives you a breakdown of amenities, schools, income levels, types of housing, etc. http://www.calgarycommunities.com/

If you need more info. please let me know. I will be glad to help you out.

Regards

Dick

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Jos

Hi

I also live in Sundance and fully agree with Dick - Sundance is in my mind one of the better communities in Calgary. Everything is close - schools, shopping, lake, Fish Creek Park, church etc. It feels like we live in a smallish stand alone community south of the mighty Fish Creek! :)

The downside is that "livin' in the deep south" means that you are further away from the rest of Calgary. The new LRT is great, if you work in reach of the LRT network. If not, you are forced to take bus/train/bus twice daily. My commute by road to work is 22 km both ways and it takes me anything between 20 to 40 minutes, depending on time, weather etc. (The road connections on McLeod Trail across Fish Creek are being upgraded, but my personal opinion is that they are only playing catch-up and are not getting ahead at all. ;) The only real solution would be the road extension through the Tsu Tina.)

In the end, your roots and your sentiments are where you live and people very seldom leave their communities once they have settled in, unless they are forced to change by a lifestyle change, e.g. retirement.

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Gypsy Girl

I'm also in the "Deep South" (Cranston) and consider it a great place to live. Although, I'm on the otherside of the river from Sundance I am only mins. away from their LTR station. There are direct bus routes from Cranston to downtown which I think takes 45mins. Deerfoot is my main access to and from work and shops; it is a quick and effecient way to get anywhere as soon as they finish up with the construction in Douglasdale - they have been working on removing all traffic lights on Deerfoot and this is the last one in the South so by next year we should be smooth sailing again. To downtown I think it will take about 30mins. to drive. I don't work downtown and it take me only just over 15mins. to get to work near Chinook Mall. I used to live in Woodlands which is a closer neighbourhood to work but it took me 35mins. to get to work as there's so many traffic lights to get through! And Dick is right, it may seem quite far out being in the suburbs but it may suprise you on how much faster it may take to get to downtown than being in an Inner City Neighourhood (not counting those neighbourhoods in Tuxedo, Kennsignton, Inglewood, etc all cost a fortune to by a house in!).

We too share the same access to the Provincial Park as Sundance but we don't have access to a lake. The shops are all relatively new so there's less crowds even on the weekends. However, there are no schools in the neighbourhood I am in. But it suits me fine cuz my child goes to a French school 10mins. from my office. I'd rather have my kids in schools closer to my work than at home (where there's nobody there). I can pop in during my lunch break for school assemblies and pick up early when there's a snow storm.

I think the NW is also very nice, great veiws, bike paths and golf courses but the some of the roads seem quite steep and hilly. I don't know how icey they get in the winter as I've only been in area in the summer.

And the NE is just about the most unflattering area in Calgary as well as SE in Forest Lawn and surrounding areas. The rare occasion that I had gone to the Walmart in the Marborough Mall; it was a frenzy of people and one is lucky not to come out with bruises as you get pushed out through the main doors by impatient shoppers. And last weekend we had free tickets to the Odeon Movie Theatre and it seems the only one nearby was in the NE on 32Ave & Sunridge Blvd. I don't know if it was just that occasion but people were just talking right though the whole movie! And it was hard to get in and of the theatre with the hoards of gangster looking teens hanging around the outside access..... I think I'm getting old! I think that one still has to keep their doors locked firmly and their steering wheel locks tight on their cars in that neighouhood!

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Adele

Any info on Airdrie? A friend of mine has family there and we have been invited for a visit in the summer. Nice neighbourhood? Far from downtown? does the C-Train go out there, for that matter is public transit around that area good?

Would flying in or taking our own car be better (from Vancouver)?

Adele

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Rolé

Airdrie is a town just north of Calgary and not part of Calgary as such. The town has a website - www.airdrie.com - if you want more info.

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