Calgary ( ) is the largest
city in the Province of Alberta, Canada.
is located in the south of the province, in an area of foothills
, approximately east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies
. The city is located in
the Grassland region of Alberta. Calgary is the third largest civic
In the Canada 2006 Census
city had a population of 988,193 and the CMA had a population of
1,079,310. As of the 2009 civic census, Calgary's population was
1,065,455 and the CMA had a population of 1,182,446. Greater Calgary is the fifth largest CMA in
the country after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Ottawa.
300 km (200 mi) due south of Edmonton,
statisticians define the narrow populated area between these cities
as the "Calgary-Edmonton
Corridor." Calgary is the largest Canadian metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver.
Calgary is well-known as a destination for winter sports
with a number of major mountain
resorts near the city and metropolitan area. Economic activity in
Calgary is mostly centred on the petroleum industry
agriculture, tourism, and high-tech industries also contribute to
the city's economic growth
. In 1988,
Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Olympic Winter Games
Before the Calgary area was settled by Europeans
, it was inhabited by
people whose presence has
been traced back at least 11,000 years. In 1787, cartographer David Thompson
spent the winter
with a band of Peigan
the Bow River
. He was the first recorded
European to visit the area, and John Glenn
was the first documented
European settler in the Calgary area, in 1873. The native way of
life remained relatively unchanged until the late 1870s, when
Europeans hunted the buffalo to near-extinction.
buffalo gone, the natives began trapping beaver and other
fur-bearing mammals for the Hudson's Bay Company and North-West Company, who set up trading
posts in the Bow
Valley and at Rocky
Mountain House to the northwest.
became a post of the North-West Mounted Police (now the RCMP).
Calgary as it appeared circa
The NWMP detachment was assigned in 1875
to protect the western plains from U.S. whiskey traders, and to
protect the fur trade. Originally named Fort Brisebois, after NWMP officer Éphrem-A. Brisebois, it was renamed Fort Calgary in 1876 by Colonel James
Macleod. It was named after Calgary on the
Mull, Scotland. While there is some disagreement on the
naming of the town, the Museum on the Isle of Mull explains that
kald and gart are similar Old Norse words, meaning 'cold' and 'garden', that
were likely used when named by the Vikings who inhabited the
Alternatively, the name might come from the Gaelic
, Cala ghearraidh
meaning 'beach of the meadow (pasture)'.
The Calgary Fire of 1886
occurred on Sunday, Nov. 7, 1886. 14 buildings were razed and
losses estimated at $103,200. Nobody was killed or injured.
this would never happen again, city officials drafted a law that
all large downtown buildings were to be built with Paskapoo sandstone.
When the Canadian Pacific
reached the area in 1883 and a rail station
was constructed, Calgary began to
grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre. The
Canadian Pacific Railway
headquarters are located in Calgary today.The Calgary townsite had
the good fortune to be built at the entrance to the Kicking-Horse Pass
, one of the few
passages through the sheer eastern wall of the Rocky Mountains. The
10,000-12,000 foot-high peaks denied access to a railway all along
their thousand-mile length, except for a narrow valley which led
from Calgary into the heart of British Columbia. This meant that
the railroad had to be routed through Calgary, which became a major
supply station during the construction process. Calgary was
town in 1884 and elected its first mayor, George Murdoch
. In 1894, it was
incorporated as "The City of Calgary" in what was then the North-West
After the arrival of the railway, the
Dominion Government started leasing grazing land at minimal cost
(up to 100,000 acres for one cent per acre per year). As a result
of this policy, large ranching operations were established in the
outlying country near Calgary. Already a transportation and
distribution hub, Calgary quickly became the center of Canada's
cattle marketing and meatpacking industries.
Between 1896 and 1914 settlers from all over the world poured into
the area in response to the offer of free "homestead
" land. Agriculture and ranching became
key components of the local economy, shaping the future of Calgary
for years to come. The world famous Calgary Stampede, still held annually in July, grew from a small
agricultural show and rodeo started in 1912 by four wealthy
ranchers to "the greatest outdoor show on earth".
inception in 1924, Banff National Park became an international tourist attraction, along
with the Banff
Springs Hotel, and Calgary became the staging point for people
destined for the park.
The oil boom
first discovered in Alberta in 1902, but
it did not become a significant industry in the province until 1947
when huge reserves of it were discovered.
Calgary circa 1969
found itself at the centre of the ensuing oil boom. The city's
economy grew when oil prices increased with the Arab Oil Embargo
of 1973. The population
increased by 272,000 in the eighteen years between 1971 (403,000)
and 1989 (675,000) and another 345,000 in the next eighteen years
(to 1,020,000 in 2007). During these boom years, skyscrapers
constructed at a pace seen by few cities anywhere. The relatively
low-rise downtown quickly became dense with tall buildings, a trend
that continues to this day.
Calgary's economy was so closely tied to the oil industry that the
city's boom peaked with the average annual price of oil
in 1981.The subsequent drop in oil
prices were cited by industry as reasons for a collapse in the oil
industry and consequently the overall Calgary economy. However, low
oil prices prevented a full recovery until the 1990s.
With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the
fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was
understandably significant. The unemployment rate
soared. By the end of the
decade, however, the economy was in recovery. Calgary quickly
realized that it could not afford to put so much emphasis on oil
and gas, and the city has since become much more diverse, both
economically and culturally. The period during this recession
marked Calgary's transition from a mid-sized and relatively
nondescript prairie city into a major cosmopolitan and diverse
centre. This transition culminated in February 1988, when the city
hosted the XV Olympic Winter
. The success of these games essentially put the city on
the world stage.
part to escalating oil prices, the economy in Calgary and Alberta was booming
until the end of 2008, and the region of nearly 1.1 million people
was the fastest growing economy in the country.
oil and gas industry comprise an important part of the economy, the
city has invested a great deal into other areas such as tourism and
high-tech manufacturing. Over 3.1 million people now visit the city
annually for its many festivals and attractions, especially the
Stampede. The nearby mountain
resort towns of Banff, Lake
Louise, and Canmore are also becoming increasingly popular with
tourists, and are bringing people into Calgary as a result.
Other modern industries include light
, high-tech, film, e-commerce, transportation, and
services. The city has ranked highly in quality of life
surveys: 25th in 2006, 24th
in 2007 and 25th again in the 2008 Mercer Quality of Living
, and 10th best city to live in according to the Economist Intelligence Unit
the oil industry's dominance in Alberta's economy, Calgary ranked
as the world's cleanest city by Forbes
Map of Calgary
Calgary is located at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies
foothills and the Canadian Prairies
, and is relatively hilly
as a result. Calgary's elevation is approximately above sea level
downtown, and at the
airport. The city proper covers a land area of (as of
2006) and as such exceeds the land area of the City of Toronto.
There are two major rivers that run through the city. The Bow River
is the largest and flows from the west
to the south. The Elbow River
flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow
River near downtown. Since the climate of the region is generally
dry, dense vegetation occurs naturally only in the river valleys,
on some north-facing slopes, and within Fish Creek
The city is large in physical area, consisting of an inner city
surrounded by various communities of
decreasing density. Unlike most cities with a sizable
metropolitan area, most of Calgary's suburbs are incorporated into
the city proper, with the notable exceptions of the city of
Airdrie to the north, Cochrane to the northwest, Strathmore to the east, and the Springbank and Bearspaw acreages to the west. Though it is not
technically within Calgary's metropolitan area, the town of
Okotoks is only a short distance to the south and is
considered a suburb as well.
The Calgary Economic Region
more area than the CMA
has a population of 1,251,600 in 2008.
has undertaken numerous land annexation procedures over the years
to keep up with growth; the most recent was completed in July 2007
and saw the city annex the neighbouring hamlet of Shepard, and place its boundaries adjacent
to the hamlet of Balzac and within
very short distances of the city of Airdrie and town of Chestermere.
Despite this proximity, there are presently
no plans for Calgary to annex either Airdrie or Chestermere, and in
fact Chestermere's administration has a growth plan in the works
that calls for it annexing the intervening land between the town
of Calgary proper is immediately surrounded by two municipal
districts, Rocky View No. 44 to the north, west and east; and Foothills No. 31 to the south.
region of the city consists of five neighbourhoods:
Claire (including the Festival District), the Downtown
West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, Chinatown, and the Downtown East Village (also part of the Rivers District).
The commercial core is itself divided into
a number of districts including the Stephen Avenue
Retail Core, the Entertainment
District, the Arts District and the Government District.
from downtown and south of 9th Avenue is Calgary's densest
neighbourhood, the Beltline.
The area includes a number of communities
such as Connaught, Victoria Crossing and a portion of the Rivers
District. The Beltline is the focus of major planning and
rejuvenation initiatives on the part of the municipal government
to increase the
density and liveliness of Calgary's centre.
to, or directly radiating from the downtown are the first of the inner-city communities.
Heights, Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill, Hillhurst/Sunnyside (including Kensington BRZ),
Bridgeland, Renfrew, Mount Royal, Mission, Ramsay and
Inglewood and Albert Park/Radisson Heights directly to the east. The inner city is, in
turn, surrounded by relatively dense and established neighbourhoods
such as Rosedale and Mount Pleasant to the north; Bowness, Parkdale and Glendale to the west; Park Hill, South Calgary (including Marda Loop), Bankview, Altadore, and Killarney to the south; and Forest Lawn/International Avenue to the
Lying beyond these, and usually separated from one
another by highways, are the suburban communities. In all, there
are over 180 distinct neighbourhoods within the city limits.
Several of Calgary's neighbourhoods were initially separate towns
that were annexed by the city as it grew. These include
Bowness, Montgomery, Forest Lawn, Midnapore, Rosedale and, most recently in 2007, Shepard.
Calgary has a semi-arid
, highland continental climate
with long, dry, but
highly variable, winters and short, moderately warm summers
, USDA Plant Hardiness Zone
3b). The climate is
greatly influenced by the city's elevation and close proximity to
the Rocky Mountains
. Calgary's winters can
be uncomfortably cold; but warm, dry Chinook winds routinely blow into the city from
Ocean during the winter months, giving Calgarians a break
from the cold.
These winds have been known to raise the
winter temperature by up to in just a few hours, and may last
several days. The chinooks are such a common feature of Calgary's
winters that only one month (January 1950) has failed to witness a
thaw over more than 100 years of weather observations. More than
one half of all winter days
daily maximum rise above .
Calgary is a city of extremes, and temperatures have ranged
anywhere from a record low of in 1893 to a record high of in 1919.
Temperatures fall below on about five days per year, though extreme
cold spells usually do not last very long. According to Environment Canada
, the average
temperature in Calgary ranges from a January daily average of to a
July daily average of .
As a consequence of Calgary's high elevation and relative dryness,
summer evenings can be very cool. The average summer minimum
temperature drops to . Calgary may experience summer daytime
temperatures exceeding anytime in June, July, & August, and
occasionally as late as September or as early as May. With an average
relative humidity of 55% in the
winter and 45% in the summer, Calgary has a semi-arid climate typical of other cities in the
Plains and Canadian Prairies. Unlike cities further east such as
Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa or even
Winnipeg, humidity is rarely a factor during the Calgary
The city is among the sunniest in Canada, with 2,400 hours of
annual sunshine, on average. Calgary International Airport in the
northeastern section of the city receives an average of of
precipitation annually, with of that occurring in the form of rain,
and the remaining as snow. Most of the precipitation occurs from
May to August, with June averaging the most monthly rainfall. In
June 2005, Calgary received of precipitation, making it the wettest
month in the city's recorded
. Droughts are not uncommon and may occur at any time of
the year, lasting sometimes for months or even several years.
Precipitation decreases somewhat from west to east; consequently,
groves of trees on the western outskirts largely give way to
treeless grassland around the eastern city limit.Located in
Southern Alberta, Calgary endures several very cold spells in most
winters (although they are punctuated by warm spells), albeit not
as cold as Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, which lies farther
north. Snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 88 days
each year in Calgary compared with about 65 days in Toronto.
Calgary averages more than 22 days a year with thunderstorms
, with most all of them occurring
in the summer months. Calgary lies on the edge of Alberta's
alley and is prone to occasional
damaging hailstorms. A hailstorm that struck Calgary on September
7, 1991, was one of the most destructive natural disasters
in Canadian history
, with over $400 million
dollars in damage. Being west of the dry
on most occasions, tornadoes
rare in the region.
- General seasons (not well-defined in Calgary due to highly
- Winter: November through March
- Spring: April through May
- Summer: June through August
- Autumn: September through October
Flora and fauna
Numerous plant and animal species are found within and around
Calgary. The most widespread commercially used conifer
in western North
, the Douglas-fir
northern limit of its range at Calgary. Another conifer of
widespread distribution found in the Calgary area is White Spruce
Plaza in the Arts District
Calgary's urban scene has changed considerably since the beginning
of the city's rapid growth. It is also starting to become
recognized as one of Canada's most diverse cities. Today, Calgary
is a modern cosmopolitan city that still retains much of its
traditional culture of hotel saloons
, western bars, night clubs
. Following its revival in the
1990s, Calgary has also become a centre for country music
in Canada. As such, it is
referred to by some as the "Nashville of the North.".
As a relatively ethnically diverse city, Calgary also has a number
of multicultural areas and assets. It has one of the largest Chinatowns in Canada, as well as a "Little Italy" in the
Forest Lawn is among the most
diverse areas in the city and as such, the area around 17 Avenue SE
within the neighbourhood is also known as International Avenue
district is home to many ethnic restaurants and stores.
As the population has grown, and particularly as the urban density
in central Calgary has increased, so too has the vitality of this
area. While the city continues to embrace suburbanism, people are
beginning to find a wide variety of alternatives in the inner city.
led to significant increases in the popularity of central districts
such as 17
Avenue, Kensington, Inglewood, Forest
Loop and the Mission District.
The nightlife and the availability of
cultural venues in these areas has gradually begun to evolve as a
The Calgary Public Library
a public library
network with 17
branches throughout the city, including a large central library
in the downtown core.
is the site of the Southern Alberta Jubilee
Auditorium, a 4 million ft³
(113,000 m³) performing arts,
culture and community facility.
The auditorium is one of two
"twin" facilities in the province, the other located in Edmonton,
each being locally known as the "Jube." The 2,538-seat auditorium
was opened in 1957 and has been host to hundreds of Broadway musical
, theatrical, stage and
local productions. The Calgary Jube is the resident home of the
, the Calgary opera
, the Kiwanis Music Festival, and
the annual civic Remembrance Day
ceremonies. Both auditoriums operate 365 days a year, and are run
by the provincial government. Both received major renovations as
part of the province's centennial in 2005.
is also home to a number of contemporary and established theatre
companies; among them are One Yellow
Rabbit, which shares the EPCOR Centre
for the Performing Arts with the Calgary Philharmonic
Orchestra, as well as Theatre
Calgary, Alberta Theatre
Projectsand Theatre Junction Grand, culture house dedicated for
the contemporary live arts.
Calgary was also the birthplace
of the improvisational
games known as Theatresports
. The Calgary International Film
is also held in the city annually, as well as the
Festival of Animated Objects
Visual and conceptual artists like the art collective United Congress
, have contributed their
ideas and energy to the city. There are also a number of art galleries in
the downtown, many of them concentrated along the Stephen Avenue and 17
The largest of these is the Art
Gallery of Calgary (AGC). Calgary is also home to the Alberta
College of Art and Design.
A number of world class marching
are based in Calgary. They include the Calgary Round-Up
Band, the Calgary Stetson Show Band, and the two-time World
Association for Marching Show Bands champions, the Calgary Stampede
Showband, as well as military bands including the Band of HMCS
Tecumseh, the Regimental Band of the King's Own Calgary Regiment,
and the Regimental
Pipes and Drums of The Calgary Highlanders
. There are many
other civilian pipe bands in the city, notably the Calgary Police Service
Calgary hosts a number of major annual festivals and events. These
include the growing Calgary International Film
, the Calgary Folk Music Festival, FunnyFest Calgary
Comedy Festival, the Folk Music Festival, the Greek Festival
, Carifest, Wordfest
Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival, the Lilac Festival,
, the Calgary Fringe Festival
, Festival, Expo Latino
, Calgary Gay Pride, and many other
cultural and ethnic festivals. Calgary's best-known event is the Calgary
Stampede, which occurs every July.
It is one of the
largest festivals in Canada
event has a 93-year history. In 2005, attendance at the 10-day
rodeo and exhibition totalled 1,242,928.
Several museums can be found in the city. The Glenbow
Museum is the largest in western
Canada and includes an art gallery
and first nations gallery.
major museums include the Chinese Cultural Centre (at , the largest
stand-alone cultural centre in Canada), the Canadian Olympic Hall
of Fame and Museum (at Canada Olympic Park), The Military Museums, the Cantos Music Museum and the Aero Space
The Calgary area also draws filmmakers. Numerous motion pictures
have been filmed in the general area. The Tom Selleck picture Crossfire Trail was shot on a
ranch near Calgary though the stated setting
of the film is Wyoming.
The Calgary Herald
are the main
newspapers in Calgary. Global
CBC television networks
have local studios in
Sports and recreation
In large part due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains
, Calgary has traditionally
been a popular destination for winter sports. Since hosting the
1988 Winter Olympics, the city
has also been home to a number of major winter sporting facilities
such as Canada
Olympic Park (luge, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, downhill
skiing, snowboarding, and some
summer sports) and the Olympic Oval (speed skating and
These facilities serve as
the primary training venues for a number of competitive
In the summer, the Bow River
popular among fly-fishermen. Golfing
is also an
extremely popular activity for Calgarians and the region has a
large number of courses.
Calgary hosted the 2009 World Water Ski Championship Festival in
August, at the Predator Bay Water Ski Club which is situated
approximately 40 Kilometers south of the city.
Pengrowth Saddle Dome
As part of the wider Battle of
, the city's sports teams enjoy a popular rivalry with
their Edmonton counterparts, most notably the rivalries between the
National Hockey League
and Edmonton Oilers
, and the Canadian Football League
's Calgary Stampeders
and Edmonton Eskimos
also has a large number of urban parks
including Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Hill
Park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary,
Confederation Park, and Prince's Island Park.
Nose Hill Park is the largest municipal
park in Canada. Connecting these parks and most of the city's
neighbourhoods is one of the most extensive multi-use (walking,
bike, rollerblading, etc) path systems in North America.
A founder of the city's professional wrestling tradition was
, patriarch of one of the most prominent families
the history of the business.
- Professional sports teams
- Amateur and junior clubs
downtown features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars,
cultural venues, shopping (most notably, TD Square, Calgary Eaton Centre, Stephen Avenue and
Market), and public squares such as Olympic Plaza. Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the Telus World of Science, the Telus Convention Centre, the Chinatown district, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) and the EPCOR Centre
for the Performing Arts. At 2.5 acres (1.01 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in
the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of TD Square (above
Located here is The Core Shopping center,
resident to many popular stores including Urban, Henry Singer,
and Harry Rosen
. The downtown
region is also home to Prince's
Island Park, an urban park located just north of the Eau Claire
district. Directly to the south of downtown is
Midtown and the Beltline.
This area is quickly becoming one of the
city's densest and most active mixed use areas. At the district's
core is the popular "17 Avenue", which is known for its many bars and nightclubs,
restaurants, and shopping venues.
During the Calgary Flames
' playoff run in 2004, 17
Avenue was frequented by over 50,000 fans and supporters per game
night. The concentration of red jersey-wearing fans led to the
street's playoff moniker, the "Red Mile
Calgary is easily accessed using the city's C-Train light rail (LRT) transit system.
Attractions on the west side of the city
include the Heritage Park Historical
Village historical park, depicting life in pre-1914 Alberta
and featuring working historic vehicles such as a steam train, paddlewheel boat and electric
The village itself comprises a mixture of replica
buildings and historic structures relocated from southern Alberta.
major city attractions include Canada Olympic Park, and Spruce Meadows.
In addition to the many shopping areas in
the city centre, there are a number of large suburban shopping
complexes in Calgary. Among the largest are Chinook
Centre and Southcentre Mall in the south, WestHills and Signal Hill in the
southwest, South Trail Crossing and Deerfoot Meadows in the
Mall in the northwest, Sunridge Mall and the newly built CrossIron Mills just north of the city limits in the
downtown can easily be recognized by its numerous
skyscrapers. Some of these structures, such as the
Tower and the Pengrowth Saddledome are unique enough to be symbols of Calgary.
buildings tend to concentrate within the commercial core, while
residential towers occur most frequently within the Downtown West
End and the Beltline, south of downtown.
These buildings are
iconographic of the city's booms and busts, and it is easy to
recognize the various phases of development that have shaped the
image of downtown. The first skyscraper building boom occurred
during the late 1950s and continued through to the 1970s. After
1980, during the recession, many high-rise construction projects
were immediately halted. It was not until the late 1980s and
through to the early 1990s that major construction began again,
initiated by the 1988 Winter
and stimulated by the growing economy.
In total, there are 10 office towers that are at least 150 metres
(500 ft) (usually around 40 floors) or higher. The tallest of these
is the Suncor
Energy Centre (formerly known as the Petro-Canada Centre), which
is the tallest office tower in Canada
outside of Toronto.
Hall Towers are also the tallest twin towers in
Canada. Several larger office towers are planned for
Bow, Jamieson Place, Eighth Avenue Place (two
towers), Centennial Place (two towers), City Centre (two towers),
and the highly anticipated (although only rumoured) Imperial Oil
Canadian Centre II towers.
As of 2008, Calgary had 264
completed high-rise buildings
with 42 more under construction, another 13 approved for
construction and 63 more proposed.
connect many of the downtown office buildings, the city also boasts
the world's most extensive skyway network
(elevated indoor pedestrian bridges), officially called the
The name derives from the fact that the
bridges are usually above grade.
According the 2006 Statistics
federal census, there were 1,088,193 people living
within the City of Calgary proper. Of this population, 49.9 per
cent were male and 50.1 per cent were female. Children under five
accounted for approximately 6.0 per cent of the resident population
of Calgary. This compares with 6.2 per cent in Alberta, and almost
5.6 per cent for Canada overall.
In 2006, the average age in Calgary was 35.7 years of age compared
with 36.0 for Alberta and 39.5 years of age for all of
In 2001, the population was 878,866, while in 1996 Calgary had
Between 2001 and 2006, Calgary's population grew by 12.4 percent.
the same time period, the population of Alberta increased by
10.6 percent, while that of Canada grew by 5.4 percent.
population density of Calgary averaged , compared with an average
of for the province.
A city-administered census estimate, conducted annually to assist
in negotiating financial agreements with the provincial and federal
governments, showed a population of just over 991,000 in 2006. The
population of the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area
over 1.1 million, and the Calgary
posted a population of just under 1.17 million
in 2006. On July 25, 2006 the municipal government officially
acknowledged the birth of the city's one millionth resident, with
the census indicating that the population is rising by
approximately 98 people per day. This date was arrived at only by
means of assumption and statistical approximation and only took
into account children born to Calgarian parents. A net migration of
25,794 persons/year was recorded in 2006, a significant increase
from 12,117 in 2005.
is the main city of Census Division No. 6 and the Calgary Regional
- Visible Minorities and Aboriginals Peoples
Calgary CMA is the third most diverse in Canada in terms of visible
minorities after Toronto and Vancouver when considering only CMAs
with population greater than 200,000.
|City of Calgary 2006
Source: Statistics Canada
||% of Group
||% of Total Population
|Visible minority group
|Not Included Elsewhere
|Total Visible Minorities
|Total Aboriginal Identity
|Not A Visible Minority or Aboriginal
Government and politics
Calgary's New City Hall and Old City Hall
Calgary is generally considered a conservative city, dominated by
traditional small-c social
. As the city is a corporate power-centre, a high
percentage of the workforce is employed in white-collar jobs. The
high concentration of oil and gas corporation led to the rise of
in 1971. During the 1990s the city's
mainstream political culture
dominated by the right-wing Reform Party of Canada
the Progressive Conservatives provincially.
The Green Party of Canada
also made inroads in Calgary, exemplified by results of the
where they achieved 7.5% of the vote across the city
and 11.3% in the Calgary North
riding. The right-wing Alberta Alliance
became active during the
26th Alberta general
and campaigned for fiscally and socially conservative
reforms. However, the Alberta Alliance and its successor, the
, did not manage
to make inroads in the 2008 Provincial
However, as Calgary's population has increased, so has the
diversity of its politics. One growing alternative movement was
recently active during the 2000 World Petroleum Congress
demonstrations and the J26 G8 2002
. Protesters were a mix of locals and outsiders. The
city has chapters of various activist organizations, as well as an
- Municipal politics
Calgary is governed in accordance with Alberta's Municipal
Government Act (1995). The citizens vote for members of the
Calgary City Council
three years with the most recent vote in October 2007. City Council
consists of the mayor and 14 ward
. The mayor is Dave Bronconnier
who was first elected in
The city has an operating budget
$2.1 billion for 2007, supported 41% by property taxes
. $757 million in property taxes
are collected annually, with $386 million from residential and $371
million from non-residential properties. 54% of expenditures are
for city employee salary, wages, and benefits.
- Provincial politics
Calgary is represented by 23 provincial MLAs
members of the Progressive Conservatives and five members of the
. For exactly
14 years (from December 14, 1992 to December 14, 2006), the
provincial premier and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party
of Alberta, Ralph Klein
, held the
seat. Klein was elected
to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1989 and resigned on
September 20, 2006. He was succeeded as provincial premier and
leader of the Progressive Conservative Party by Ed Stelmach
, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville
Following this leadership
Calgary saw its leadership and representation on
provincial matters further reduced as its representation on the
provincial cabinet was reduced from eight to three with only one
Calgary MLA, Greg Melchin, retaining a cabinet seat. In June 2007
Ralph Klein's old riding, a seat the PC Party held since it took
office in 1971 fell to Alberta Liberal Craig Cheffins
during a by-election
. In the run up to the 2008 general
election pundits predicted significant Tory losses in traditional
stronghold that many felt was being taken for granted and
The 2008 election
the Liberals increase their seat count in the city by one to five.
While the results in Calgary were not particularly surprising given
the grievances especially in Central Calgary with the Stelmach
administration, the fact that they happened in the face of
significant PC gains in Edmonton was. The Liberals were reduced to
nine seats overall, meaning for the first time ever the majority of
their caucus represents Calgary ridings.
- Federal politics
All eight of Calgary's federal
are members of the Conservative Party of Canada
(CPC). The CPC's predecessors have traditionally held the majority
of the city's federal seats. The federal electoral district
of Calgary Southwest
is held by Prime
Minister and CPC leader Stephen
. Coincidentally, the same seat was also held by Preston Manning
, the leader of the Reform Party of Canada
, a predecessor
of CPC. Joe Clark
, former Prime Minister
and former leader of
Conservative Party of Canada
(also a predecessor of the CPC),
held the riding of Calgary Centre
Canada's 22 prime ministers, two have represented a Calgary riding
while prime minister. The first was R.
, who held that position from 1930 to 1935.
|Employment by industry
|Health and education
Calgary's economy is not dominated by the oil and gas industry to
the extent it used to be, although it is still the single largest
contributor to the city's GDP. In 2006, Calgary's real GDP (in
constant 1997 dollars) was C$
52.386 billion, of
which Oil & Gas and Mining contributed 12%). The larger Oil
& Gas companies are BP
, Imperial Oil
, Shell Canada
, and TransCanada
, making the city home to
87% of Canada's oil and natural gas
producers and 66% of coal producers.
|Labour force (2006)
In 1996, Canadian Pacific
moved its head office
Montreal to Calgary, and, with 3,100 employees, is among the city's
top employers. In 2005, Imperial Oil
moved its headquarters from Toronto to Calgary in order to take
advantage of Alberta's favourable corporate taxes and to be closer
to its oil operations. This involved the relocation of
approximately 400 families.
other large employers include Shaw
Communications (7,500 employees), NOVA Chemicals (4,900 employees), Telus (4,500 employees), Nexen (3,200
employees), CNRL (2,500
employees), Shell Canada (2,200
employees), Dow Chemical Canada
October 2006, EnCana announced
the construction of the Bow, a 58-floor skyscraper in the downtown core of the
This new corporate headquarters for the company will
become, when completed, the tallest building in Canada outside of
As of 2005, Calgary had a labour force
of 649,300 (a 76.3% participation rate). In 2006, Calgary had the
lowest unemployment rate (3.2%) among major cities in Canada, and
as a result, there is an extreme shortage of workers, both skilled
and unskilled. It is common to see signing bonuses for workers in
the service industry
well as starting wages for grade school students up to $15 per hour
at local fast food eateries. Downtown hotels have had to shut down
floors due to a lack of staff to clean all the rooms. Calgary's
housing boom, combined with large road construction projects and
competition from oil fields
wages to the north, has created a strain on the labour force.
WestJet is headquartered in Calgary, by Calgary
Prior to its dissolution, Canadian Airlines
was headquartered in
Calgary by the airport. Prior to its dissolution, Air Canada
was headquartered in Calgary.
In the year 2005 roughly 97,000 students attended K-12
in about 215 schools in the English language
public school system
run by the Calgary Board of
. Another 43,000 attend about 95 schools in the
separate English language Calgary Catholic School
board. The much smaller Francophone community has
their own French language school boards
(public and Catholic),
which are both based in Calgary, but serve a larger regional
district. There are also several public charter schools
in the city. Calgary
has a number of unique schools, including the country's first high
school exclusively designed for Olympic-calibre athletes, the
. Calgary is also home to many private schools
including Rundle College,
, Clear Water Academy
, Chinook Winds
Adventist Academy, Webber Academy,Delta West Academy, Masters
Academy, Menno Simons Christian School, West Island College
and Edge School
Calgary is also home to Western Canada's largest public high
school, Lord Beaverbrook
, with 2241 students enrolled in the 2005-2006
Calgary is the site of five major public post-secondary
institutions. The University
of Calgary is Calgary's primary large degree-granting
facility, and enrolled 28,807 students in 2006. Other post-secondary
institutions include Mount Royal University, with 13,000 students, granting degrees in a number
of fields; and SAIT
Polytechnic, with over 14,000 students, provides polytechnic
and apprentice education, granting certificates, diplomas and
SAIT's main campus is in the Northwest
quadrant, just north of downtown.
post-secondary institutions include Bow Valley College and Alberta College of Art and
also several private liberal arts
institutions including Ambrose University College, official Canadian university college of the
Church of the Nazarene and
the Christian and
Missionary Alliance and St. Mary's University
College. As well, Calgary is home to DeVry
Career College's only Canadian campus.
Calgary is considered a transportation hub for much of central and
western Canada. Calgary International Airport
, in the city's northeast, is the third largest in
Canada by aircraft movements and is a major cargo hub.
destinations include cities
throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Central America
, and Asia. Calgary's
presence on the Trans-Canada
and the Canadian
mainline (which includes the CPR Alyth Yard
) also make it an important hub
for freight. The Rocky Mountaineer
and Royal Canadian Pacific
provides intercity railtour service to Calgary; VIA Rail
no longer provides rail service to
Calgary maintains a major streets network and a freeway system.
Much of the system is on a grid where roads are numbered with
avenues running east–west and streets running north–south. Roads in
predominantly residential areas as well as freeways and expressways
do not generally conform to the grid and are usually not numbered
as a result. However, it is a developer and city convention in
Calgary that non-numbered streets within a new community have the
same name prefix as the community itself so that streets can more
easily be located within the city.
transportation services throughout the city with buses
and light rail
Calgary's rail system, known as the C-Train
was one of the first such systems in North America and consists of
three lines (two routes) on of track (mostly at grade with a
carrying 42% of the downtown working population). Light rail
transit use within the downtown core is free. The bus system has
over 160 routes and is operated by 800 vehicles.
As an alternative to the over of shared bikeways on streets, the
city has a network of multi-use (bicycle, walking, rollerblading,
etc) paths spanning over .
has three major hospitals; the Foothills Medical Centre, the Rockyview General Hospital and the Peter Lougheed Centre, all overseen by the Alberta Health Services: Calgary Health Region.
- Medical centres and hospitals
helicopter operates under
the auspices of the Shock Trauma Air Rescue
. Calgary also has the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (located in the Foothills
Medical Centre), Alberta Children's Hospital, and Grace Women's Health Centre providing a
variety of care, in addition to hundreds of smaller medical and
dental clinics. The University of Calgary Medical Centre also
operates in partnership with the Calgary Health Region, by
researching cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, joint injury,
arthritis and genetics.
The four largest Calgary hospitals have a combined total of more
than 2,100 beds, and employ over 11,500 people.
The presence of the Canadian military has been part of Calgary's
economy and culture since the early years of the 20th century,
beginning with the assignment of a squadron of Strathcona's
. After many failed attempts to create the city's own
unit, the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) was finally authorized on
April 1, 1910. Canadian Forces Base
was established as Currie Barracks and Harvie Barracks
following the Second World War
remained the most significant Department of National
Defence institution in the city until it was decommissioned in
1998, when most of the units moved to CFB Edmonton.
Despite this closure, Calgary is still home
to a number of Canadian Forces
Reserve units, garrisoned throughout the city. They include the
Naval Reserve Unit,
The King's Own
, 15 (Edmonton) Field Ambulance Detachment Calgary,
41CER detachment Calgary (33 Engineer Squadron), along with a small
cadre of Regular Force support. Calgary is also home to several
cadet units, including 52 "City of Calgary" Squadron, the oldest
air cadet squadron in Calgary which celebrated their 65th
anniversary in 2007.
As a city that has experienced rapid growth in recent years,
Calgary has experienced issues such as urban sprawl
. With no geographical barriers to its
growth besides the Tsuu T'ina First Nation, the city spread out at an accelerated rate.
This has led to difficulties in providing necessary transportation
to Calgary’s population. It has also led to an interpretation of
the city as being a "driver’s city". However, the city's light rail
system (the C-Train
) has the highest
ridership (both in total and on a per capita basis) of any North
system, but most
cities in North America use other forms of public transit. The LRT
has an average of 297,500 boardings per weekday in the fourth
quarter of 2008.
redevelopment of the Beltline and the Downtown East Village at the forefront, efforts are underway to vastly
increase the density of the inner city, but the sprawl
continues. In 2003, the combined population of the
downtown neighbourhoods (the Downtown Commercial Core, the Downtown East Village, the Downtown West End, Eau Claire, and Chinatown) was just over 12,600.
In addition, the
Beltline to the south of downtown had a population of 17,200.
of the growth of the city, its southwest borders are now
immediately adjacent to the Tsuu T'ina
Nation Indian reserve.
Recent residential developments
in the deep
southwest of the city have created a demand for a major roadway
heading into the interior of the city, but because of complications
in negotiations with the Tsuu
about the construction, the construction has not yet
The city has many socioeconomic
issues including homelessness
portions of downtown
core and inner city have been singled out as being home
to much higher proportions of disadvantaged residents, as well as
some neighbourhoods in the city’s east.
The share of poor
families living in very poor neighbourhoods increased from 6.4% to
20.3% between 1980 and 1990.
Although Calgary and Alberta have traditionally been affordable
places to live, substantial growth (much of it due to the
prosperous energy sector and the northern oil
projects) has led to increasing demand on real-estate
. As a result, house prices
in Calgary have increased
significantly in recent years, but have stagnated over the last
half of 2007, and into 2008. As of November 2006, Calgary is the
most expensive city in Canada for commercial/downtown office space,
and the second most expensive city (second to Vancouver) for
residential real-estate. The cost of living and inflation is now
the highest in the country, recent figures show that inflation was
running at 6% in April 2007.
In March 2008, City Council approved a pilot project to test
closed circuit television
. A total of
sixteen CCTV cameras are being installed in three downtown
locations. They are being deployed in the East Village and along
the Stephen Avenue Mall. The project began in early 2009, primarily
being led by Animal & Bylaw Services.
Even though Calgary has a relatively low crime rate
when compared to other cities in North
and drug-related crime
have increased along
with the booming economy in Calgary. In 2009, 62 additional police
officers were deployed as foot patrols in the downtown area.
The city of Calgary maintains trade development programs, cultural
and educational partnerships in twinning
agreements with six cities:
- 2006 Statistics Canada Community Profiles:
- 2006 Statistics Canada Community Profiles: Calgary
- "Growth spurt makes Calgary third largest Canadian
municipality, census finds ". National Post, July 22, 2009.
- Mull Museum, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland retrieved July
- Calgary architecture : the boom years, 1972-1982,
Pierre S Guimond; Brian R Sinclair, Detselig Enterprises, 1984,
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(March 13, 2007) Calgary 2006 Community Profile. Catalogue no.
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- Calgary Economic Development
- Town of Chestermere Growth Study March
2007, p. 26. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
- Environment Canada— Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000. Retrieved
March 9, 2009.
- C. Michael Hogan (2008) Douglas-fir: "Pseudotsuga
menzesii", GlobalTwitcher.com, ed. N. Stromberg Roxx Kommunikationsbyrå gör kundtidningar hemsidor,
film & reklam
- Calgary Marching Bands: Round-Up Band, Stetson Show
Band, Calgary Stampede Showband, World Association for
Marching Show Bands
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2002. 2001 Community Profiles. Released June 27, 2002. Last
modified: 2005-11-30. Statistics Canada Catalogue no.
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Canadian Airlines. March 3, 2000.
Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
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; Move follows competition bureau ruling Battle could intensify
when Zip flies eastward." Toronto Star. January 22, 2003. Business
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