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Arno_Joseph

Maybe moving to Calgary - What are the "cons"?

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Arno_Joseph

Hey there guys!

First post here :blink: But been in Canada almost 3 years! Up for Citizenship in October :):)

I may have an oppurtunity to move to Calgary soon.

I have been looking for a new job in Vancouver for close on 9 months now, with no luck what so ever! I became a daddy not too long ago, and providing for my family has just become priority #1 :)

Living in Vancouver is just too expensive these days. I really feel that I could raise my son much better in Calgary and provide for my family much better there.

Sure the weather is nice here, but at what cost? The average house price in Vancouver now is around $600,000! Who has that kind of a job??!!

I have read up on Calgary and have found all the good bits on it, but I am always a bit careful believing all the good reports so, I have a favour to ask:

All you guys living in Calgary...what are the bad things about living there? Please don't hold back, I really want a good perspective on both good and bad aspects of Calgary living.

I am really leaning towards a move that way, but I would like the pros and cons.

Could you indulge a newbie?

Cheers vir eers!

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Guest Barbara

Welcome to the site.

I am not the right person to answer your question because I love Calgary and am so happy here. The only con I can think of is the morning traffic, the same in any city. We don't mind the winters. We have not lived in any other Canadian city.

What sort of job are you looking for ?

Good luck.

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Nelia

Arno,

Having been here in Calgary for more than 2 years, most of the not so good things go hand in hand with living in a city with a million people in it. But as I have moved from Gauteng with its 8 million people, I did not experience it as a negative. I use public transport, so no hassle with the traffic, but it can get pretty bad during rush hour.

Let me know what kind of a job you are looking for and maybe I can help.

One of the positives for Calgary is that it does not rain as much as Vancouver, but it still rains a lot (and I mean a lot) more than in South Africa.

Good luck

Nelia

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Arno_Joseph

Thanks for the responses you two! :blink:

Well, since both asked about my future Job, I'll be looking for a Sales position, since I have 6 years experience in Outside and Inside Sales. 2 Years of that is Sales in Canada, and I had another 6 months at an HVAC company in Vancouver. I also have an Electronic Engineering Diploma with 4 years experience in an R&D Company.

Currently I am in line to be considered for a Account Manager / Junior Engineering Position at an International Power Engineering company at their Calgary office. It's sort of like a Customer liason with Engineering experience. It's still very early, so I'll look at any offers! :)

Feel free to P.M. me if you know of any oppurtunities. Thanks for the offers! :)

Thanks for the help!

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Rolé

Hi,

We've also lived in Calgary for 2 years now, and we absolutely love it! I would also say you just get the usual problems that come with city living, but we can't complain. The winters really aren't that bad. We get Chinook winds fairly regularly, which melts all the snow, so there are no mountains of snow piling up throughout winter. People here are very active in winter, especially with the Rockies being so close.

Calgary is a great city for a family with young children. I have a young daugther and believe me, there are plenty of opportunities for parents and kids.

I guess the biggest problem we have right now is the fact that housing is extremely expensive and it's just getting worse. So, be prepared for that.

But, feel free to PM or e-mail me if you have any more questions.

Good luck with the move!

Rolé

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Dick

Hi Arno,

We've been in Calgary for almost two years now and in Canada for almost 5 years.

Calgary, because of all the amenities, is quite expensive. Almost evrything you want to do will cost you you a few dollars (and of course it might be less than you pay in Van). If you are looking for daycare - stand in line...there could be up to one year waiting lists with monthly fees of $600 and more. If you WANT/HAVE to drive - then traffic frustration would be top of mind. If not, public transit is a dream although it takes a bit longer depending on where you live. Housing prices have been climbing very well over the last few months. You are still able to purchase a 3 bedroom, 1200sqft double storey for anything between $200,000.00 and up. This of course depend in which part of the city you would want to live (diverse, exotic, mouintain views, new, old, treed, close or far from downtown, etc).

This is a very good time to move to Calgary, you will find a good position and can get into the market before things spiral to Vancouver's level. Did I mention that you pay less taxes in Alberta than you do in BC and that Calgary has one of the lowest property taxes in Canada!?!?!

We truely enjoy Calgary. It takes longer to integrate into the community, because of it's size, but otherwise, it's very nice. I would compare it to a much larger and more sophisticated Bloemfontein (might be shot for this by other members). It is definately not Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal *(Like Bloem was never Jo'burg or Cape Town). But for that matter it is very unique (and the most American city in almost every sense of the way, in Canada...like Bloem was probably the most conservative city in South Africa). However if you live in these cities, they become YOUR jewel in the Nile, because of their uniqueness and hidden vibe!

You are welcome to ask any questions you want - just let me know.

Regards

Dick

Thanks for the responses you two! :blink:

Well, since both asked about my future Job, I'll be looking for a Sales position, since I have 6 years experience in Outside and Inside Sales. 2 Years of that is Sales in Canada, and I had another 6 months at an HVAC company in Vancouver. I also have an Electronic Engineering Diploma with 4 years experience in an R&D Company.

Currently I am in line to be considered for a Account Manager / Junior Engineering Position at an International Power Engineering company at their Calgary office. It's sort of like a Customer liason with Engineering experience. It's still very early, so I'll look at any offers! :)

Feel free to P.M. me if you know of any oppurtunities. Thanks for the offers! :)

Thanks for the help!

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Arno_Joseph

"You are still able to purchase a 3 bedroom, 1200sqft double storey for anything between $200,000.00 and up. This of course depend in which part of the city you would want to live (diverse, exotic, mouintain views, new, old, treed, close or far from downtown, etc)."

Thanks Dick!

That still sounds very attractive, since here, even the crappiest of stand-alone houses, even single story is more than $ 400,000 probably more like $450,000...and anything descent would set you back approx $550,000.

Thanks for all the insights into Calgary, I really apprecaite the help!

Have a lekker day!

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Kolla

Arno -

We lived in Vancouver for 3 years and then moved to Calgary for work reasons 3 years ago.

If you are used to the traffic of Vancouver, you will find commuting in Calgary a breeze, its not even worth mentioning on here ( how bad the traffic is in Calgary) when you compare it to what its like in Vancouver.

In my own opinion Calgary's biggest drawback, is the really short summers and the long cold icy indoor winters, the weather here is way worse than in Vancouver and that for me was the worst of adapting to Calgary. We had really dry skin here within 24h of arriving, your skin feels and looks like that of a crocodile the 1st few months, we woke up at night itching !! That happened to us when you were used to living in the mild climate of Van. I used to use Ingrams Camper cream from SA and it helped, now I am used to the dry climate and our skins have adapted. A good indication of that is ... I was in Las Vegas last week and at a drug store some other tourists from North Dakota was in line behind me and they asked if I find the dry hot desert climate of Nevada just reaping havoc with our skins and I had to say "No !! I live in Calgary, our air is even drier than this". On a previous trip we were applying lots of lip ice and body lotion soon after arriving in Vegas( back then we lived in Vancouver, which explains it all )

As I sit here and look out the window some of the cold white stuff is falling again and its the 8th of May ! Welcome to Calgary :-)

Lots of positives here that you should weight up against some of the negatives. In my mind the positives of Calgary outweighs the negatives of this city. I did find Vancouver's drivers were more courteous and laid back than some rednecks here in pick ups, that you see a lot more of here as well .. the pick ups !

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Arno_Joseph

Thanks Kolla!

Yeah, I still compare traffic in Vancouver to traffic at the Allandale Offramp going from JHB to PTA! And sometimes I feel like Allandale wins :blink:

Call it ignorance, but my wife and I both fell in love with snow, and we see too little of it here in Van. (Yeah, I know, I know...I'll live to regret these words! :) )

It really does seem like Calgary has more Pros than Cons.

We do have some family here in Vancouver, and a big part of our descision lies there. We don't really want to separate from them...they are wonderful people.

The job here is just not up to scratch, and finding other work here has kept me bust at nights for almost 1 year now, with little or no nibbles.

We are in a situation now where we have to move out of our building anyway, so this might be the time for us!

I keep praying on the matter, hoping the Lord's will be done, and if you guys share my religion, could I ask you to say a quick prayer for us?

Thanks for all the info so far guys! It's wonderful! Keep 'em com'n!

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Dick

Arno,

Keep in mind that if you move here, the family will always have a place to visit during all those nice holiday season and probably you guys in Van. Your job makes up 60% of every day and if does not pay enough, then you are out of luck in any way. Make a decision and be happy with it - if it feels right it's probably His will too!

Regards

Dick

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Arno_Joseph

Thanks Dick.

Yeah, I have been wrestling with this for a little while, and it just seems more and more like a good idea.

I just cannot seem to get the desired salary out of my current employer and I have been trying for quite a qhile to get a new job, with little luck here.

I may be chasing after greener pastures, but all the reports say that there is lots more work in Alberta, and my recent phone call from an HR office sort of proved it.

Very true about family visiting, I'm sure it'll be nice for them to come out to Calgary and visit for a while.

It all sounds very exciting!

I'll see how the job scenario pans out, I'll want to get a job first before we attempt the move.

Thanks for all the input so far! :blink:

You guys skop gat! :)

Okay...now I have another question...mayeb it's better to start a new thread, but let's see how it goes.

How would I go about moving my family to Calgary...

I have figured it'll probably wirk like this:

I'll have to pack up, get a moving company, and ask them to store our stuff for us for a while.

Then, get to Calgary, and get temp accopmodation whilst we search for a little place to rent.

Once we find that, get the moving company the new address and arrange delivery.

It this how it'll work, and also, do any of you guys know who much the moving companies charge for that sort of thing?

Thanks so much for the help guys! :)

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Kolla

If you make a move with a job secured, your employer will pay for the move, so you get a few quotes to move your house contents and they will pack for you.

The way we did our moves between the provinces in the past was, as soon as we know we are on the road again, we flew to the new city to look for a house to buy, I can see 40 homes per day and normally in the past house hunting took us 2 days and by then I have found a new nest for the family. Back in 2002 when we did our last long distance move in Canada our 3 bedroom house contents worked out to be $ 4600 from Vancouver to Calgary. Remember like most things here, its highly negotiable, in the end they threw in free house cleaning of our old home by a team of maids (that helped a lot) and the price went down somewhat when you put in a bit of effort ( even if you dont pay for the move)

Also dont lie about your house contents when they come for the estimates show them all the heavy stuff as they work their quotes here in weight going by pounds, so the more it weights after the truck left your home and they go to the weigh scale, the more you will pay when you reach your new destination. Also clear your credit card with them before they reach the new home. With us they stopped infront of our new home and had to make sure our credit card is good before they even opened the doors to start unloading. If I knew that ahead of time I would have told them to check our card earlier to save some time, that time it took what felt like an ages of them sitting in the truck making phone calls. Red tape all the way :-)

Flying to Calgary only takes an hour and 15 mins and buy a map of the city at the Vancouver airport and on the way here to come house hunting, I studied the city map as much as I could to orientate myself a bit about the city.

If you have to go the pay my own way here you can consider U Haul I often see the trucks between cities even hauling the family car.

Good luck !

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