18 Feb Calgary: The Heart of the New West
Known to other Canadians as “cowtown”, Calgary is the largest and most populous city in the Canadian province of Alberta. With its long snowy winters and relaxed summers, the city of Calgary is filled with breathtaking natural beauty that leaves you with a sense of serenity.
There are endless reasons to love Calgary; here are 7 reasons why I love the city I proudly call home!
1. Cultural Capital of Canada
English and French are the official languages of Canada, but believe it or not, nearly 120 languages are spoken in the city of Calgary! It is so culturally rich and diverse with approximately 25% of the population being foreign-born.
2. Mountains, Lakes & National Parks
Depending on where you are in the city, the Rocky Mountains and a number of national parks are only about an hour’s drive away. There are also countless lakes to enjoy a unique back-to-nature experience. One of my all-time favorites is the bright blue colored Lake Louise at Banff National Park. I can’t help but be taken aback by its beautiful wildlife, magnificent scenery and countless opportunities for leisure and recreation. Those who love the mountains and what they have to offer have the ability to experience some of the best outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hiking, biking, and camping to a name a few.
My neighborhood is on the north sides of Calgary and I absolutely loved waking up to a big prairie sky and appreciating the splendid views of the ribbon of mountains and massive clouds out my window.
3. The Weather
As odd as it may sound, Calgarians embrace the cold and it makes us who we are. Winters are long and very cold with temperatures dipping as low as -40°C and with 20-30 cm of snow… Scary, eh!
The good news is that even when it’s cold, it’s usually sunny since Calgary has the most days of sunshine per year out of all other Canadian cities. Not only that, Calgary also experiences a unique weather phenomenon – the Chinook winds. These winds warm up our frosty and frigid winter months by several degrees Celsius, instantly melting away the accumulated snow.
Yes…The weather is fairly unpredictable with Spring in the middle of winter. In the words of actor Leonardo DiCaprio who experienced the Chinook winds while he was filming “The Revenant” in Calgary:
“We would see eight feet of snow, and then all of a sudden a warm gust of wind would come.”
Preservation of the natural environment is and has always been a priority for Calgarians. Alberta’s provincial parks are protected natural spaces for almost 600 species of wildlife.
Calgary offers a rewarding wildlife viewing opportunity. Expect to see an elk on a hike or a road trip!
5. Friendly City
It’s not only the look of the place that defines the city; Calgary tends to “heart” people back. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how welcoming the heart of Wild West is. Friendly spirited, independent and fun-loving is how I always defined Calgarians. A statement you’ll always hear from us is “we’re nice” and this is one of the first things people notice about people in Calgary.
Oh.. We have one of the highest rates of volunteering in Canada!
6. Safe & Clean
Calgary is one of the safest, cleanest and healthiest cities in Canada. For seven years in a row, Calgary ranked as the world’s fifth most livable city by the Economist in 2017 and topped the list of the 10 cleanest cities in the world in 2015. Boasting a clean environment and contagious spirit, Calgary has little litter and refreshingly clean air.
7. Fall Colors
Fall is one of the prettiest times of the year in Calgary. Not only very pleasing to the eye, the tranquility brings a feeling of peace and serves as a reminder of the great outdoors.
As summer fades and the leaves turn golden…
If you spot someone wearing a Flames jersey and cowboy boots, know that it’s a Calgarian!
What do you love about your hometown? Share it with us in the comments below!