Calgary is a city in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is situated at the confluence of the Bow River and the Elbow River in the south of the province, in an area of foothills and prairie, about 80 km (50 mi) east of the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. In the 2011 census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 and a metropolitan population of 1,214,839, making it the largest city in Alberta, and the third-largest municipality and fifth-largest census metropolitan area (CMA) in Canada.
The economy of Calgary includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors . The Calgary CMA is home to the second-highest number of corporate head offices in Canada among the country's 800 largest corporations.
Calgary anchors the south end of what Statistics Canada defines as the "Calgary–Edmonton Corridor".
In 1988, Calgary became the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympic Games.
|POPULATION :||• City 1,096,833 |
• Urban 1,095,404
• Metro 1,214,839
• Municipal census (2016) 1,235,171
|FOUNDED :||• Founded 1875|
• Town November 7, 1884
• City January 1, 1894
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone MST (UTC−7)|
• Summer (DST) MDT (UTC−6)
|AREA :||• City 825.29 km2 (318.65 sq mi)|
• Urban 704.51 km2 (272.01 sq mi)
• Metro 5,107.55 km2 (1,972.04 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||1,045 m (3,428 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||51°03′N 114°04′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.9%|
• Female: 50.1%
|AREA CODE :||403, 587, 825|
|POSTAL CODE :||T1Y, T2A to T3S|
|DIALING CODE :||+1 587|
Onward!, the official motto of Calgary, is more apt than ever in the wake of the major flooding the city experienced in June 2013. A year later, the casual visitor would have been hard-pressed to find any traces of the flood. As of August 2014, the only changes visitors would have been likely to notice were the closure of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (accessible only by daily guided tours throughout 2014, but the Nature Centre is fully open), interruption of canoeing/kayaking on the Harvie Passage section of the Bow River, and roughly 36 km of bike paths that were closed as a result of flood damage and detours.
Calgary is Alberta's largest city and Canada's fourth-largest, and is located near where the prairies end and the foothills begin. That makes it the eastern gateway to the Rocky Mountains and an important center of trade and tourism for the western prairies. It is your best point of access for Banff and Jasper, and a worthwhile destination in its own right. Calgary is the heart of the largest metropolitan area between Toronto and Vancouver, with over 1,210,000 people as of 2011 (1.1 million within city limits), making it Canada's fourth largest metropolitan area.
Downtown features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, cultural venues, public squares (including Olympic Plaza) and shopping. Notable shopping areas include such as The Core Shopping Centre (formerly Calgary Eaton Centre/TD Square), Stephen Avenue and Eau Claire Market. Downtown tourist attractions include the Calgary Zoo, the Telus Spark, the Telus Convention Centre, the Chinatown district, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC), Military Museum and the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. At 2.5 acres (1.0 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of The Core Shopping Centre (above the shopping). 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, 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". Downtown 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, paddle steamer and electric streetcar. The village itself comprises a mixture of replica buildings and historic structures relocated from southern Alberta. Other major city attractions include Canada Olympic Park, which featuresCanada's Sports Hall of Fame, and Spruce Meadows. In addition to the many shopping areas in the city centre, there are a number of large suburban shopping complexes in the city. 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 southeast, Market Mall in the northwest, Sunridge Mall in the northeast, and the newly built CrossIron Mills just north of the Calgary city limits, and south of the City of Airdrie.
In nearby Airdrie at the Calgary/Airdrie Airport the Airdrie Regional Airshow is held every two years. In 2011 the airshow featured the Canadian Snowbirds, aCF-18 demo and a United States Air Force F-16.
Calgary is located at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies. The city lies within the foothills of the Parkland Natural Region and the Grasslands Natural Region. Downtown Calgary is about 1,045 m (3,428 ft) above sea level, and the airport is 1,076 m (3,531 ft). In 2011, the city covered a land area of 825.29 km2 (318.65 sq mi).
Two rivers run through the city. The Bow River is the larger and it flows from the west to the south. The Elbow River flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow River at the historic site of Fort Calgary 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 Provincial Park.
The City of Calgary, 848 km2 (327 sq mi) in size, consists of an inner city surrounded by suburban communities of various density. The city is immediately surrounded by two municipal districts – the Municipal District of Foothills No. 31 to the south and Rocky View County to the north, west and east. Proximate urban communities beyond the city within the Calgary Region include: the City of Airdrie to the north; the City of Chestermere, the Town of Strathmore and the Hamlet of Langdon to the east; the towns of Okotoks and High River to the south; and the Town of Cochraneto the northwest. Numerous rural subdivisions are located within the Elbow Valley,Springbank and Bearspaw areas to the west and northwest. The Tsuu T'ina Nation Indian Reserve No. 145 borders Calgary to the southwest.
Over the years, the city has made many land annexations to facilitate growth. In the most recent annexation of lands from Rocky View County, completed in July 2007, the city annexed Shepard, a former hamlet, and placed its boundaries adjacent to the Hamlet of Balzac and City of Chestermere, and very close to the City of Airdrie.
Calgary is recognized as a Canadian leader in the oil and gas industry as well as for being a leader in economic expansion. Its high personal and family incomes, low unemployment and high GDP per capita have all benefited from increased sales and prices due to a resource boom, and increasing economic diversification.
Calgary benefits from a relatively strong job market in Alberta, is part of the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor, one of the fastest growing regions in the country. It is the head office for many major oil and gas related companies, and many financial service business have grown up around them. Small business and self-employment levels also rank amongst the highest in Canada. It is also a distribution and transportation hub with high retail sales.
Calgary's economy is decreasingly dominated by the oil and gas industry, 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 and gas companies are BP Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, Encana, Imperial Oil, Suncor Energy, Shell Canada, Husky Energy, TransCanada, and Nexen, making the city home to 87% of Canada's oil and natural gas producers and 66% of coal producers.
As of 2010, the city had a labour force of 618,000 (a 74.6% participation rate) and 7.0% unemployment rate. In 2006, the unemployment rate was amongst the lowest of the major cities in Canada at 3.2%, causing a shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers.
|Employment by industry|
|Health and education||25.1%||18.8%|
In 2010 the "Professional, Technical and Management" Industry accounted for over 14% of employment and the areas of "Architectural, Engineering and Design Services" and "Management, Scientific and Technical Services" employment levels far exceed Canadian levels. Though Trade employs 14.7% of the work force, its percentage of total employment is not higher than the Canadian average. Levels of employment in Construction are both fairly high, exceed Canadian averages, and have grown 16% between 2006 and 2010. Health and Welfare services, which account for 10% of employment, have grown 20% in that period.
In 2006, the top three private sector employers in Calgary were Shaw Communications(7,500 employees), Nova Chemicals (4,945) and Telus (4,517). Companies rounding out the top ten were Mark's Work Wearhouse, the Calgary Co-op, Nexen, Canadian Pacific Railway, CNRL, Shell Canada and Dow Chemical Canada. The top public sector employers in 2006 were the Calgary Zone of the Alberta Health Services (22,000), the City of Calgary (12,296) and the Calgary Board of Education (8,000). Public sector employers rounding out the top five were the University of Calgary and the Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School Division.
In Canada, Calgary has the second-highest concentration of head offices in Canada (behind Toronto), the most head offices per capita, and the highest head office revenue per capita. Some large employers with Calgary head offices include Canada Safeway Limited, Westfair Foods Ltd., Suncor Energy, Agrium, Flint Energy Services Ltd., Shaw Communication, and Canadian Pacific Railway. CPR moved its head office from Montreal in 1996 and Imperial Oil moved from Toronto in 2005. EnCana's new 58-floor corporate headquarters, the Bow, became the tallest building in Canada outside of Toronto. In 2001, the city became the corporate headquarters of the TSX Venture Exchange.
WestJet is headquartered close to the Calgary International Airport, and Enerjet has its headquarters on the airport grounds. Prior to their dissolution, Canadian Airlines and Air Canada's subsidiary Zip were also headquartered near the city's airport. Although the main office is now based in Yellowknife, Canadian North, purchased from Canadian Airlines in September 1998, still maintain the operations and charter offices in Calgary.
According to a report by Alexi Olcheski of Avison Young published in August 2015, vacancy rates rose to 11.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2015 from 8.3 per cent in 2014. Oil and gas company office spaces in downtown Calgary are subleasing 40 per cent of their overall vacancies. H&R Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the 58-storey 158,000-square-metre highrise the Bow Tower claims the building was fully leased. Tenants such as Suncor "have been letting staff and contractors go in response to the downturn."