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Living in City Centre Calgary: Reasons to Love Downtown Living

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022 at 6:22am.

What it's Like to Live in Calgary's City Centre

With its rugged, natural beauty, ample employment opportunities, booming local economy, and high quality of living, it's easy to see why so many people are eager to invest in Calgary real estate. And of the areas that are rapidly growing, one of the most in-demand areas is the City Centre community.

The City Centre community is a vibrant urban district in the center of Canada's third-largest city, with a world-class food scene, a budding art scene, and a thriving economy. Comprising ten primary neighbourhoods, the City Centre is bounded by the Bow River at the north, 14th Street SW at the west, the Elbow River at the east, and borders 1 Street SE and Stampede Park at the south. Does life in the heart of Calgary sound like a dream come true? Keep reading to learn everything there is to love about living in the City Centre community.

The City Centre Lifestyle

Situated in the heart of Calgary, the City Centre district is one of the most metropolitan neighbourhoods in Western Canada. Founded in 1875, Calgary was named after Calgary on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. As a western city, Calgary is shaped by its natural landscape: the rolling prairie hills, the nearby Rocky Mountains, and the two rivers that cut through it.

Today, with over 1.2 million people, Calgary is Canada's third-largest city, only behind Toronto and Montreal. Calgary is a contemporary city with modern architecture and stunning mountain views, creating one of the most impressive skylines in North America. Calgary residents, particularly those who live in the City Centre, take great pride in their city's unparalleled magnificence and natural beauty.

The City Centre, one of Calgary's most prominent districts, comprises ten distinct neighbourhoods:

  • Downtown
  • Eau Claire
  • West End
  • West Connaught
  • Connaught Center
  • Victoria Crossing Centre
  • Stampede Park
  • East Victoria Crossing
  • East Village
  • Chinatown

Each of these neighbourhoods has a unique identity, with the condos for sale in Downtown Calgary marking the true center of this urban district. Seven of the ten neighbourhoods partially border the Bow River or the Elbow River, adding to each neighbourhood's personality. While each neighbourhood is distinguished, most residents value these four things: outdoor living, exceptional food, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities to enjoy their community.

Employers Near City Centre

Employers Near City Centre

The Calgary cost of living and thriving local economy draw people to the city every year. And with a projected job growth rate of 6.1% in 2021, Calgary shows plenty of economic promise. Over 143 major companies have headquarters based in Calgary—the highest concentration of any city in Canada. Furthermore, many of these company headquarters are located in the City Centre of Calgary. Of the numerous employers based in Downtown Calgary, these are the most prominent:

  • Aecon Group Inc. - a construction and development company that focuses on infrastructure; has over 12,000+ employees.
  • Suncor - an energy company that focuses on the world's most prevalent energy sources; has over 13,000+ employees worldwide.
  • Enerflex Ltd. - a worldwide supplier of products and services to the global power generation and gas production industry; has over 1,800 employees worldwide.
  • Gibson Energy - a crude oil infrastructure company that focuses on providing global markets with oil; has approximately 550 employees

With so many companies, Calgary's top industries include:

  • Aerospace & Logistics
  • Agriculture
  • Creative Industries
  • Fuel & Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Interactive Digital Media
  • Life Sciences
  • Technology
  • Economics
  • Healthcare

In addition to these industries, Calgary also has a demand for professional service providers, such as real estate professionals, accountants, attorneys, etc. For professionals who are considering relocating to Calgary, particularly City Centre, this city has a thriving job market that caters to various industries.

City Centre Amenities

When deciding to relocate to a new area, whether it's relocating from another city or moving to another area within the city, one of the most important factors prospective residents consider is the area's amenities. And in City Centre, there is an array of amenities any resident would need, especially regarding health & wellness, healthcare facilities, public transportation, museums and galleries, entertainment venues, outdoor spaces, shops, and fine dining options. Very few cities strike a balance between urban abundance and living a well-rounded lifestyle as Calgary does—and no district achieves this better than City Centre. Learn more about everything this area has to offer.

Neighbourhood Services

One of the most appealing aspects of living in the urbanized City Centre is its abundance of amenities and services for many residents. One of the primary services many take into consideration is public transportation. Fortunately, Calgary has one of the best public transit systems in Canada. Calgary Transit, the city's central public transit system, allows Calgarians easy access to transit via bus, train, rideshare, and special services, transporting residents to all four quadrants. Around 50% of Calgary's downtown workforce utilizes the city's public transit system. In addition to public transit, Calgary has over 700km of multi-use pathways, making it one of the most bike-friendly cities in Canada.

Neighbourhood Shopping

Home to ten distinct neighbourhoods, City Centre, is home to hundreds of specialty shops and restaurants to suit shoppers' needs. Like many large metropolitan areas, City Centre has tons of small specialty food stores within walking distance, particularly in Downtown Calgary and Chinatown. 17th Street is one of the main arteries that run through most of the district's neighbourhoods, where many residents find smaller bodegas, delis, and specialty markets. For shoppers looking for more formal shopping options, The Core serves as Downtown's main shopping center, with a variety of boutiques, retailers, restaurants, and specialty stores.

Things To Do in Calgary City Centre

Things to do in City Centre

For residents living in City Centre, excitement is around every corner in this vibrant, western city. There is never a shortage of things to do, from a bevy of urban parks to the numerous art galleries and museums. Even within City Centre, each neighbourhood has a distinctive flavour, with sites for nearly every type of visitor. Each neighbourhood has unique restaurants and boutique shops worth exploring, from Chinatown to the luxury Eau Claire attractions. Check out each of the neighbourhoods of City Centre and beyond to get a feel for everything Calgary offers.

Outdoor Activities

One of the most exciting aspects of life in Calgary is its outdoor spaces for many residents. Calgary is one of North America's most naturally beautiful cities, with the rolling prairie hills to the east and the Canadian Rockies to the west. Many residents take advantage of this city's stunning beauty and incorporate the great outdoors into their lifestyles. Calgary has hundreds of kilometres of multi-purpose pathways through the city's park systems, used for biking, jogging, and walking. It is also one of the most bike-friendly cities in North America. Even within City Centre, there is a bevy of beautiful city parks, including:

  • Prince's Island Park
  • Pearce Estate Park
  • Eau Claire Plaza

Prince's Island Park, located in Downtown Calgary, is one of the area's most famous city parks and is often used for significant events, such as Canada Day Celebration and the Calgary Folk Festival. Pearce Estate Park, located on the shores of Bow River, is a natural wetland park and is home to the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery and the Bow Habitat Visitor Centre. Eau Claire Plaza, located in the Eau Claire neighbourhood, is a beautiful city park with a market, a wading pool, restaurants, and a playground.

Restaurants, Breweries, & Bars

In recent years, Calgary has become one of the rising stars in the culinary world. It is a top contender for one of the best foodie cities in Canada, competing with the likes of Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. And City Centre is one of the main reasons for this honour. Nicknamed Cowtown, Calgary was historically known for its meat-centric menus due to its rich cattle-ranching heritage. Today, it's increasing its gastronomic profile to world-class proportions, offering dining selections from all over the world. From casual eating to upscale dining, this city offers everything in between. Downtown Calgary's most popular restaurants include:

  • CHARCUT Roast House
  • Blink Restaurant & Bar
  • Holy Grill
  • Brigg's Kitchen & Bar
  • Kabuku Downtown
  • Mango Shiva

Nearby Attractions

From Calgary Zoo to nightlife in Beltline, Calgary has all the trappings of a world-class city. Even in the City Centre, visitors are enthralled with this beautiful city. To get an even better view of the city, many visitors climb to the top of Calgary Tower, offering sweeping views of the area's rolling landscapes and stunning mountain vistas. Other nearby attractions in the downtown area include Glenbow Museum, Stephan Avenue Walk, Peace Bridge, Olympic Plaza, and Fort Calgary National Park.

City Centre Schools

Schools in City Centre

The schools in Calgary offer a variety of learning opportunities for students of all ages. As part of the Calgary Board of Education, students living in City Centre can easily find schools near their neighbourhoods. Students living City Centre are part of Area VII, which has over forty public and private schools. Students attending secondary school will likely attend Western Canada High School, south of City Centre.

For students who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education, Northeast Calgary is just a short distance from some of the area's best universities:

  • University of Calgary
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)
  • Mount Royal University
  • Ambrose University College
  • Alberta University of the Arts
  • Bow Valley College

Things to Consider Before Moving To City Centre

From its robust economy to its big-city amenities, City Centre offers nearly everything residents love about Calgary. In recent years, Calgary has provided its residents with unparalleled employment opportunities, coupled with an outstanding work-life balance. Yet, when moving to City Centre, it's crucial to explore the different neighbourhoods to find the right fit. Every neighbourhood in this district has its own distinct identity and finding the right fit can be genuinely enriching for a resident's life. For Canadian residents who enjoy all that Calgary offers, City Centre strikes the right balance between vibrant city living and natural beauty.

If you're looking for the perfect Calgary home, contact Justin Havre with eXp Realty and Calgary Homes at (403) 217-0003 to get in touch with a local Calgary real estate agent and discover your new dream home today.

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