A TikToker Left The 'Chaos' Of Toronto For Calgary & Got Real About Why It's Better (VIDEO)

"Everything that I thought I knew about Alberta and Calgary...ended up being so far from the truth."

Calgary TikToker.

Calgary TikToker.

For all you Torontonians tired of the big city life, and the price tag that comes along with it — Alberta might be calling.

A TikToker traded in Toronto for Calgary and made a video about why she's not looking back. People on TikTok were here for her points, some even considering a move themselves.

Hearing Mel Chow talk about lower taxes, cheaper rent, and access to the Rocky Mountains, it's hard not to feel tempted to make the move.

Narcity got in touch with Chow to hear more about her experience and how her perspective on Alberta has changed since she moved there.

"I didn’t like all the chaos of Toronto, so I found Calgary was the perfect city allowing a calmer life but still lots happening for when I wanted to do something," she said.

In the TikTok video, Chow said back in Toronto she was working a ton and not managing to save much, thanks to the high cost of living. She "hit a point" where she couldn't take it anymore so packed up and moved to Calgary.

The result? Some seriously good quality of life.

"Everything that I thought I knew about Alberta and Calgary, everything that I heard, ended up being so far from the truth. Best thing I ever did," she said in the video.

Chow shouted out Calgary for its sunny blue skies "all year round," and for being "super cheap," down to the lower tax costs.

Overall she highlighted her high quality of life — with savings, an investment property, and the ability to drive to the mountains whenever she wants.


I moved to Calgary from Toronto … Storytime. // #storytime #toronto #vancouver #calgary

It turns out Calgary has a lot going on

In an email to Narcity, Chow said she had some assumptions about the Western Canadian city that turned out to be wrong.

She said that when she was thinking about moving to Calgary, a lot of her friends said things like "there's nothing there" and "it's all farming and cowboys out there."

"I essentially had the assumption Calgary was just an open field in the middle of nowhere," she added. "I was hugely surprised when I moved to Calgary. The city has a lot going on, it's so pretty, clean and I felt really safe exploring on my own."

It's cheap(er)

One of the biggest pluses of Calgary life, for Chow, was the cost. "With cost of living so low, I also found my daily stress to be much lower," she told Narcity.

She also said she was able to grow her career, in the 'smaller pond' that is Calgary, as opposed to the "small fish, big pond" mentality in Toronto.

According to Numbeo, "rent in Calgary is, on average, 32.1% lower than in Toronto." While other things might be similar in cost, this could save you a big chunk of change.

There were some adjustments

Chow said that some of the biggest adjustments she had to get used to were the traffic and the weather. "I still have an issue with leaving for everything on 'Toronto time,'" she said.

That means leaving bright and early, under the assumption traffic will be bad — only to arrive early in Calgary. "Calgary has very minimal traffic compared to Toronto and it's quick to get around."

On the less-ideal side are chinooks. "In the wintertime, that takes getting used to," she said.

"Chinooks are essentially a spell of warm weather. They're great! But, because of air pressure, some people get headaches during this time," Chow added.

More people are considering the move

Chow might have inspired some people on TikTok. One person in the comments said that they're "considering moving there next year."

"I'm 21 and you got me really thinking about leaving the GTA and moving to Calgary [because] I will never be able to afford anything here," another wrote.

Fellow Calgary lovers were speaking up too. "Love me 5% tax," one wrote.

Morgan Leet
Morgan Leet is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media based in Vancouver, B.C.