If you’re considering moving to Canada, one of the cities to consider is Calgary. It’s one of the most affordable major cities in the country. But you might also ask, is a major city like Calgary a good place to raise kids?
Calgary is a great place to raise kids. The city has all the qualities you’ll look for in a place when starting a family. These include affordability, kid-friendly amenities, an excellent educational system from kindergarten to tertiary, short commute time, low crime rate, and quality healthcare.
Although the weather can be a bit cold, it’s still fairly conducive by Canadian standards. This article discusses whether Calgary is a good place to raise kids.
Why Calgary is a Good Place to Raise Kids
Raising kids is a costly exercise and a stressful one too. This is why most people always target suburbs when they decide to start a family. But Calgary is quite different. This is an urban area where it’s possible to start a family. Here are the factors that make Calgary a great place for kids.
Calgary’s low cost of living is the first factor in its favour as a family-friendly city. Homes in North America cost a lot, and Canada is even more expensive than the US when it comes to homes. As far as homes go, the kind of homes you need to raise a family is the most expensive you’ll buy. You’ll probably want a single-family home of three bedrooms or more. The average cost of homes here is CA$520,013. But before you think that’s too much, you need to compare it with other urban areas in the country.
Families usually move to suburbs or smaller towns because they can’t afford the cost of these homes while they still have to plan and save for other milestones in the kid’s life. So, if you want a major city that can offer you affordable housing, Calgary is one of your best options.
2. Short Commute Time
Another reason Calgary is the ideal place to raise a family is the ease of getting around here. Unlike major cities where traffic is a common sight, Calgary is different. The average commute time in Calgary is 26 minutes. This makes it the city with the lowest commute time in Canada. By comparison, London’s average commute time is 74 minutes, and San Francisco’s is 68 minutes.
Short commute time contributes to a better quality of life. It means you don’t have to spend most of your days in traffic and spend more time with family. With kids at home, getting home on time is even more important. It also saves cost on transport, fuel, and carbon footprints and ensures your car lasts longer. Short commutes are common in Calgary, and many residents don’t even bother with cars, especially in the summer when bicycles can do the job.
Although the city is largely car-dependent, this is an advantage for most parents who usually need cars to get their kids around.
3. Kid-Friendly Amenities
One of the most important jobs you’ll have as a parent is keeping your kids entertained. Kids get bored and restless easily. Fortunately, Calgary is a city with several facilities that kids would enjoy. There are tons of parks here, and almost every Calgary resident is a few minutes away from a park. There are also Calgary zoos where your child can see all kinds of animals. Kids rarely get tired of seeing wild animals.
There are also several amusement parks in the city, including the biggest of them all, Calaway Park. There are over 30 rides in the park along with entertainment and games for people of all ages. There’s even an overnight campground. The Canada Olympic Park and WinSport are also here. Part of the Olympic Park is open to the public, and you can take your kid skiing, skating, tubing, snowboarding, etc.
There are over 5,600 open spaces and parks in the city, with more than 100 dog parks.
4. Educational System
Calgary has two educational systems from K1 to year 12. So you have to decide whether you want your kid to attend the catholic separate school board or Calgary board of education schools. The Esch system has excellent schools. With many schools in the city, finding one near your location would be best. There are private schools here too, even though you’ll have to pay for those.
Even if you want your kids to have all their education in Calgary, it’s possible. There are several top-ranking universities in the city. They include the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and St Mary’s University. The Alberta University of Arts, etc.
5. Low Crime Rate
The importance of safety can’t be overemphasized, especially when you’re raising kids. As a parent, you want to know your children are safe when outside. In Calgary, you have that assurance. The city is relatively safe, with a violent crime rate that’s 22% below the national average. Its overall crime rate is the same as the national level and lower than the province average. Crimes have been decreasing here over time. How safe you get in Calgary will also depend on the location. Some parts of the city are safer than others.
There’s a specialist hospital for children in Calgary. So, if you’re considering raising your kids where they can access the best healthcare services, here might be perfect. The Alberta Children’s Hospital is an amazing place designed with kids in mind. Although there are a lot of colourful sights here for children, and it’s just beyond the aesthetics, the quality of care available is also top-notch.
Calgary has quite pleasant weather by Canadian standards. The winter is usually mild due to the Chinooks raising the temperature to as high as 20 degrees. The city has a prairie-steppe climate. The little rainfall here is in the summer, and about 88 days of the year here come with snow of around 1cm deep. But even during winter, you can still expect sunshine.
When it comes to overall livability, Calgary is the third most livable city in the world and the first in Canada. This shows just how lovely it is to live here. While it might not be a fast-paced city like Toronto and Vancouver, it’s an ideal place for young people who want to raise a family in a major city.