Both Calgary and Vancouver are great cities to live in, but there are some important factors to consider when making your decision. Cost of living, job market, climate and lifestyle are just a few things to take into account. Are you wondering what it’s like living in Calgary vs Vancouver?

Read on to find out which city is right for you!


Summary of Calgary and Vancouver

To start our comparison, let’s take a quick look at both cities.

Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and is known for its oil and gas industry and its cowboy culture. It’s a vibrant city with plenty to do, and it’s also one of the most affordable cities in Canada.

Vancouver is located in on the West Coast of British Columbia and is known for its natural beauty, mild climate, and bustling arts scene. It’s also one of the most expensive cities in Canada, with a high cost of living and competitive job market.

Let’s explore each city in more detail to see which one is right for you.


Cost of Living

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding between Calgary and Vancouver is the cost of living. Calgary is one of the most affordable cities in Canada, with living expenses up to 30% lower than in Vancouver. Housing is considerably more affordable in Calgary, and you’ll also pay less for food and transportation.

Regardless of your financial situation, there’s no doubt that living in Vancouver is more expensive than living in Calgary. That being said, living expenses in Vancouver can vary significantly depending on where you live, your lifestyle, and how much you’re willing to spend. Overall, Calgary is a great choice for those on a budget, and young families alike.


Job Market

Another key consideration is the job market. If you’re seeking a career centred around oil and gas, technology or healthcare, then Calgary is worth your consideration. The city has a strong job market with plenty of opportunities in these fields and more.

However, Vancouver may be a better option if you’re looking for a creative or arts-related career. The city has a vibrant arts and culture scene, and it’s also home to many major tech companies. Regardless of what field you’re in, it’s important to consider the job market when making your decision.



The climate is another factor to consider when choosing between Calgary and Vancouver. Calgary has a prairie-steppe climate with long, cold winters and warm summers. Nearby mountains cause the city to be dry, with little rainfall.

In contrast, Vancouver has an oceanic climate with mild weather year-round. The city is characterized by rain and fog, but it’s also one of the warmest cities in Canada. If you’re looking for a city with great weather, Vancouver may be the preferred choice.


Size & Lifestyle

It’s important to consider the size and lifestyle of each city.

Calgary is a large city with a population of over 1.3 million people. It’s a dynamic place with plenty of entertainment options and many communities to choose from. Life in Calgary is fast-paced and exciting, with many opportunities to make new friends.

Vancouver is also a large city, but it’s known for its livelier atmosphere and hipster culture. With its beaches, parks, and vibrant arts scene, Vancouver offers lots to see and do. It’s also one of the most multicultural cities in Canada, with a diverse population and many international communities. The city itself is home to over 600,000 people, with the surrounding metro area population totalling nearly 2.3 million.


Public Transportation

When deciding between Calgary and Vancouver, another important factor to consider is public transportation. Calgary has an extensive public transportation system, with buses, light rail, and a commuter rail line. The city also has a convenient airport, making it easy to get around.

In Vancouver, you can get around by bus, Skytrain, or ferry. The city also has a major airport, as well as a seaport for international travel. If you’re looking for a city with great public transportation options, both cities will offer what you’re looking for.


Things to Do

When moving to a new city, it’s important to consider what there is to do. Calgary and Vancouver both offer a wide range of activities, but each city has its own unique offerings.

Calgary is a city known for its engaging culture, with many galleries, museums, and theatres. With close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, outdoor enthusiasts will love living in Calgary. The city is also home to many festivals and events that take place throughout the year, including Stampede and the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

On the other hand, Vancouver is also a cultural hub, with many great restaurants, cafes, and shops. Situated right on the water, Vancouver is also the perfect place for those who love to be outdoors. Ocean and mountain activities are easily accessible, and there is always something to do, whether it’s exploring Stanley Park or hiking one of the many trails.


Making Your Decision

Deciding on living in Calgary vs Vancouver can feel like a difficult choice. Both cities offer great opportunities and are home to many vibrant communities. However, it’s important to consider all of the factors when making your decision.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when making your decision:


What is your budget?

The cost of living in Vancouver is higher than in Calgary, so it’s important to consider your budget when making your decision.


What is the job market like?

Both Calgary and Vancouver have strong job markets, but Vancouver’s can be more competitive.


What is the climate like?

If you’re looking for a city with great weather, Vancouver may be the better choice.


What is the city lifestyle like?

Calgary and Vancouver both offer a fast-paced lifestyle with many things to do.


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