Calgary is the city that can do both. It's the perfect place to live for those of us who love to get a nice balance between country and city. While we spend 10 days in the summer embracing "cowboy culture" - there is also an extensive nightlife and so much diversity that you feel like you're getting the best of both worlds.
While moving to Calgary seems like the best thing ever (and it is) - there are a few mistakes people often make when moving to C-town. Don't get me wrong, there's no "right or wrong" way to move - however, there are some things that are... "not recommended." But as always, we've got your back to avoid making these common mistakes and making your transition into a true Calgarian as smooth as possible.
Here are 21 mistakes people make when moving to YYC.
Going to Cowboys on your first night out in Calgary.
If you're not into the whole country scene, please do not do this. Take my word for it, you will never want to go out again. If you've already made this mistake, I promise all the club and bars aren't like this. Give us another chance!
Thinking that the Stampede is the epitome of Calgary culture.
You'll hear that Calgary is some super country/ wild, wild, west city from everyone except Calgarians. Yes, we embrace the "cowboy culture." But we really aren't that bad. Just during Stampede - then we're that bad. Yeehaw!
Working at Stampede.
Just... don't. It's really not for everyone and certainly not as great as it sounds.
Not going to Stampede.
I know I'm sounding pretty contradictory here, but even if the whole "cowboy culture" isn't your thing - you need to visit the Calgary Stampede at least once. After all, it is the greatest outdoor show on Earth!
Being afraid to try new things.
Calgary is the city of the fearless and adventurous. Don't be afraid to try new things. Trust me, you'll eventually acquire some serious FOMO. Try that deep-fried Oreo at Stampede! Go on that rollercoaster at Calaway! Life's too short to not enjoy Calgary's luxuries.
Not utilizing the highway gift that is Stoney Trail.
Don't worry, I, too, made this mistake. If you can use Stoney to get to your destination, always use it. I promise, 90% of the time, it is faster than Deerfoot.
Being fooled by the cheap prices of homes in the NE.
Don't get me wrong, the northeastern section of Calgary has some really nice homes. However, sometimes people will get excited by the insanely low prices and move there without doing much research on the area... or realizing how far it is from their job...
Renting a place/ room off Kijiji.
This should be pretty self-explanatory. Kijiji isn't the best place to find a new place or a roommate...
Not leaving 3 hours early in the summer (and winter).
Our seasons are as follows: Construction, construction, construction, snow and unfinished construction from the past 3 seasons. Be ready for some traffic and insane detours.
Honking while in traffic on the highway.
Yeah... no. We don't do that here.
Thinking that you'll find [free] parking downtown. Especially on 17th Ave.
LOL. Parking? Downtown? Maybe if you're willing to pay $10 per half hour.
Underestimating how cold it really gets in Calgary.
This may be the worst mistake of all. It gets cold here - like really, really cold. -30 is no stranger to Calgary. If you ever think you won't need your jacket, mitts, or toque - you most likely will. Also, you may want to invest in some long johns.
Staying inside all winter.
Yes, I know I said it gets really cold - but hear me out. Calgary is insanely close to the Rockies and you'll be making a huge mistake if you miss out on viewing the mountains or going for a walk through Calgary and it's surrounding areas in the winter.
Thinking that the first sunny week in February/ March means the end of winter.
If you're gonna take anything out of this article, take this: Calgary weather does not give a f%!k. The snow will be basically melted and the roads will be flooded with water (pro tip: stock up on washer fluid), and it'll literally snow again. Calgary weather doesn't care - it'll snow in the spring, summer, fall...
On that note, not learning how to drive in the snow.
Look, let me be the first to tell you that winter-driving in crucial in Calgary. Become familiar with the "LOW" gear on your vehicle. Do not book it down Deerfoot when it just snowed unless you enjoy spinning into a ditch. Not only that, but other Calgarians will hate you. Be safe, friends. Calgary winter driving is no joke.
Visiting any bar wearing the opposing team's jersey when the Flames are playing.
This is just a recipe for disaster. If you happen to be cheering for the opposing team - do it silently... in your head. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Underestimating the line at Commonwealth.
For your own sanity, get there early. Think of your idea of "early" and get there earlier than that. Especially in the winter.
Going to Chinook Centre, Sunridge, or Cross Iron on the weekend or even worse, during the holidays.
Not only will it be impossible for you to find parking, it'll be impossible for you to find a store that isn't overflowing with humans.
Not being friendly.
Canadians, in general, are nice people - Calgarians are extra nice people. However, if you piss us off... oh man. Be friendly.
Not getting to know your neighbours.
Along with being friendly, get to know your neighbours! Calgarians are very nice people after all. And you never know, you might need someone to feed your pets or water your plants if you're ever away.
Not exploring the city (or reading Narcity Calgary)
There are actually many fun things to do in Calgary and you're definitely missing out if you don't go exploring. Our landmarks, parks, lookouts, and restaurants are some of the best parts of this city. If you're ever looking for things to do in Calgary - you know where to go.