Everything you need to know about Calgary commute times, transportation methods, and routes!
Did you know Calgary has the lowest commute time and the 2nd lowest traffic congestion of all major cities in Canada?
Sure, it might not feel like it when you’re helplessly stuck in rush hour traffic. But our efficient traffic infrastructure is just another reason why Calgary continues to top lists of most livable cities in not only Canada but the entire world!
Whether you drive, take public transportation, bike, or walk, commuting in Calgary is full of different options that fit your needs and lifestyle.
The city has an extensive and well-developed road network which means there is always a good route to get around town. With access to major highways, it’s even easy to travel to other parts of Alberta and Canada.
We’ve created this guide to help make your commute as easy and stress-free as possible. You’ll get the full overview of commuting in Calgary, from North to South and East to West.
Use our navigation guide below to jump to a commute you might need.
- Navigating North to South
- Navigating East to West
- Commuting from Discovery Ridge (West Calgary) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Tuscany (North West Calgary) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Livingston (North Calgary) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Redstone (North East) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Applewood Park (East Calgary) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Mahogany (South East Calgary) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Legacy (South to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Bridlewood (South West Calgary) to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Cochrane to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Chestermere to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Airdrie to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Okotoks to Downtown Calgary
- Commuting from Strathmore to Downtown Calgary
- How do Calgarian's get around?
- Calgary VS the rest of Canada's commutes
- Calgary Transit & Bus Services
- Biking and Walking in Calgary
Navigating the City: Calgary Major Roads
There are several major roads that travel through Calgary.
There are three major roads in Calgary that run north to south: Macleod Trail, Deerfoot Trail, and Crowchild Trail.
Macleod Trail is a major route for commuters in Calgary. Macleod Trail divides the southeast and southwest quadrants of the city and borders many inner city and suburban communities. Deerfoot Trail also referred to as Highway 2, is the longest and most important road, running from the southern edge of the city to the northern edge. It's a major artery for the city, so it can often be congested.
Crowchild Trail is a scenic minor arterial road that intersects with different neighbourhoods in Calgary. It's not as heavily used as some of the other main roads, but it's a popular route for cyclists and pedestrians.
If you're coming from the north, take the Trans-Canada Highway to the Crowchild Trail exit. Follow Crowchild Trail to Memorial Drive and turn right. Continue to the downtown core. If you're coming from the south, take the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) to the Bow River Bridge. Continue on the bridge and take the exit for 8th Avenue (Highway 2). Follow 8th Avenue to Centre Street, then turn left and continue downtown.
There are three major roads in Calgary that run east to west: Stoney Trail, Trans-Canada Highway, and Memorial Drive.
Highway 201, officially named Stoney Trail, is a ring road that defines Calgary’s outer limits. When it’s finished in 2024, it will essentially be a freeway that encircles all of Calgary. It helps to relieve some of the congestion found on other major routes.
Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and 16th Avenue North are major arteries in the city. 16th Avenue North becomes Trans-Canada Highway outside city limits.
Memorial Drive is another major road in Calgary that divides the northeast and southeast quadrants of the city. Downtown Calgary is located close to the meeting point of Memorial Drive and Center Street.
If you're coming from the east, take the Deerfoot Trail to the Memorial Drive exit. Follow Memorial Drive until you reach downtown.
If you're coming from the west, take the Trans-Canada Highway to the Crowchild Trail exit. Follow Crowchild Trail to Memorial Drive and turn right. Continue to the downtown core.
Commuting from communities around Calgary
In this section, we're breaking down the commute times from the various zones/quadrants in the city and highlighting communities that are on the edge of the city to give you good perspective what the average
Commute time from Discovery Ridge to Downtown Calgary
The typical commute from Discovery Ridge around 7:30AM is 16–28 min (15.6 km)
The commute from Discovery Ridge at 1:00pm is typically 16-22 minutes
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Discovery Ridge at 5:00PM is 20–35 min (17.2 km)
Commute time from Tuscany to Downtown Calgary
Tuscany is a community located in the northwest corner of Calgary - With access to downtown via Stoney Trail to Crowchild Trail, this route is roughly 20km.
The typical commute from Tuscany around 7:30AM is 20–40 min (20.0 km)
The commute from Tuscany at 1:00pm is typically 18–30 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Tuscany at 5:00PM is 24–50 min (20.9 km)
Commute time from Livingston to Downtown Calgary
Livingston is a community located in the North of Calgary,
The typical commute from Livingston around 7:30AM is 26–45 min (24.0 km)
The commute from Livingston at 1:00pm is typically 25–35 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Livingston at 5:00PM is 28–45 min (27.9 km)
Commute time from Redstone to Downtown Calgary
Redstone is a community located in the North of Calgary,
The typical commute from Redstone around 7:30AM is 28–50 min (26.8 km)
The commute from Redstone at 1:00pm is typically 25–35 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Redstone at 5:00PM is 26–45 min (24.6 km)
Commute time from Applewood Park to Downtown Calgary
Applewood Park is a community located in the Upper South East of Calgary,
The typical commute from Applewood Park around 7:30AM is 18–35 min (12.4 km)
The commute from Applewood Park at 1:00pm is typically 18–35 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Applewood Park at 5:00PM is 16–25 min (11.9 km)
Mahogany is a community located in the South East of Calgary,
The typical commute from Mahogany around 7:30AM is 30–55 min (30.6 km)
The commute from Mahogany at 1:00pm is typically 24–40 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Mahogany at 5:00PM is 28–50 min (30.4 km)
Commute time from Legacy to Downtown Calgary
Legacy is a community located in the South East of Calgary,
The typical commute from Legacy around 7:30AM is 30–50 min (35.4 km)
The commute from Legacy at 1:00pm is typically 26-40 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Legacy at 5:00PM is 26–59 min (23.1 km)
Commute time from Bridlewood to Downtown Calgary
Bridlewood is a community located in the South West quadrant of Calgary,
The typical commute from Bridlewood around 7:30AM is 22–40 min (25.6 km)
The commute from Bridlewood at 1:00pm is typically 20–28 min
The typical commute from downtown Calgary to Bridlewood at 5:00PM is 24–45 min (27.4 km)
Calgary Commute Times: Commuting from the Outskirts
Cochrane is a town in the Calgary Metropolitan Region of Alberta, Canada. The town is located 31 km west of the Calgary city limits along Highway 1A.
Typically you can expect the commute from Cochrane to Downtown Calgary to take about 30 - 45 minutes.
During rush hour the drive can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Congestion usually starts around the University of Calgary and can last until West Village.
On the weekends the drive can take as little as 28 minutes but typically hovers between half an hour to 45 minutes.
Chestermere, originally named Chestermere Lake, is a city in the Canadian province of Alberta, within Rocky View County. Located 22 km east of the Calgary city limits along the Trans- Canada Highway.
Typically you can expect the commute from Chestermere to Downtown Calgary to take about 18 - 23 minutes.
During rush hour the drive can take anywhere from 20 - 35 minutes. Congestion usually starts after passing Calgary Zoo.
On the weekends the drive is the same as the weekdays, ranging from 18 - 23 minutes.
Airdrie is a city in Alberta, Canada within the Calgary Region. It is located 28 km north of city limits along Highway 2.
Typically you can expect the commute from Airdrie to Downtown Calgary to take about 24 minutes.
During rush hour the drive can take anywhere from 24 - 35 minutes. Congestion is usually consistent while passing Calgary International Airport and the Trans Canada Highway. On the weekends the drive can take as little as 20 minutes but can sometimes take up to 28 minutes.
Okotoks is a town by Sheep River in the Calgary Region of Alberta, Canada. It is located approximately 18 km south of Calgary along Highway 2A.
Typically you can expect the commute from Okotoks to Downtown Calgary to take about 35- 40 minutes.
During rush hour the drive can take anywhere from 40 minutes to just over 1 hour depending on the route you take. Congestion usually happens right before and after crossing the Bow River. On the weekends the drive can take as little as 30 minutes but can sometimes take up to 40 minutes.
Strathmore is a town located in southern Alberta, Canada surrounded by Wheatland County. It is located approximately 50 km east of Calgary along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Typically you can expect the commute from Strathmore to Downtown Calgary to take about 42 - 47 minutes.
During rush hour the drive can take anywhere from 50 minutes to just over 1 hour. Congestion usually occurs just after passing Calgary Zoo.
On the weekends the drive can take as little as 35 minutes but can sometimes take up to 50 minutes.
When is Rush Hour in Calgary?
This won’t come as a surprise to any drivers out there, but traffic can always strike when you least expect it. While any road can get slowed down during Calgary’s rush hour, the city does have its usual suspects.
Putting your best foot forward, not necessarily on the gas, is the best option for planning your Calgary commute and avoiding as much hassle as you can.
Morning rush hour in Calgary typically begins around 7:00 a.m. and lasts until 9:30 a.m. Evening rush hour in Calgary typically begins around 4:30 p.m. and lasts until 6:30 p.m. If you’re in a pinch during rush hour, you might want to think about avoiding Crowchild Trail, Deerfoot Trail, and Glenmore Trail. These tend to be the most congested at peak hours.
According to 2016 city civic census data, a majority (67%) of commuters get around as solo drivers.
Solo drivers: 67.7%
Calgary Transit: 14.4%
On foot: 4.7%
By bike: 1.5%
Carpool or taxi: 10.2%
In Calgary - over 75% of commuters live within 0 - 9.9KM when measuring distance of job from city centre.
While places like Toronto have just 30%, Montreal 47%, Vancouver 54%, Edmonton 65% of people having jobs that close to city centre.
Toronto vs Calgary commutes:
Toronto commuters are travelling the longest distances to get to work.
19.4% of Toronto commuters travel 25+ KM or more while only 7.6% do in Calgary.
88% of the long 25+km commuters are in a car, truck or van (Toronto) while only
Parking in Downtown Calgary
Where can I get free street parking in downtown Calgary?
Where can I park in downtown Calgary on weekends?
Where is the nearest parking garage downtown?
These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves as we near the busy core.
Here are a few tips you need to know about free or cheap parking in downtown Calgary… On Sundays, there is free street parking all day long. From Monday to Saturday there is free street parking after 6 p.m. on marked city streets. Read all signage to ensure you're not in a tow zone, restricted, etc. The city has many options when it comes to parking, parking fees (city) are reduced after 6pm in places like parking garages and lots run by the city. The park plus system (city of Calgary parking program) can accept credit cards but not debit cards. This is administered by the Calgary parking authority.
The city of Calgary is quite proactive in parking enforcement, vehicles are equipped with high tech systems that read your license plates as they drive around. If you haven't registered your license plate and are seen by the patrol, it will automatically generate a ticket and have it mailed to you.
For Calgary surface lot pricing, please click here.
For parkade parking pricing, click here.
For on-street parking pricing, click here.
For reduced evenings and weekend pricing, click here.
For holiday parking pricing, click here.
If you have been towed by calgary parking authority The address of the Impound Lot is 400 - 39 Avenue SE T2G 5P8.
CORE Mall allows you to park free for 3 hours with validated parking. (Call to determine as this is subject to change)
Park overnight for $2 at Banker’s Hall (Call to determine as this is subject to change)
Here are some popular parking garages in downtown Calgary…
CPA Lot 36 City Hall Parkade at 322 9 Ave SE
CPA Lot 24 Arts Commons Parkade at 829 Macleod Trail SE
City of Calgary Parking Lot at 605 3 Ave SW
CPA Lot 40 Parkade at 112 5 Ave SW
CPA Lot 25 City Centre Parkade at 340 10 Ave SW
Why risk getting stuck on Deerfoot Trail during rush hour when you can hop on the CTrain and commute to downtown Calgary in no time?
That’s probably why 50% of Calgary’s downtown workforce commutes by public transit every single day!
The Calgary Transit system provides Calgarians with a great alternative to driving. The city has an extensive bus and light rail system that makes it easy to get around.
Calgary has 169 bus routes and its light rail system (the CTrain) has 46 stations spanning 118 kilometers of tracks. Community shuttle buses and ride-sharing services are available. Access
Calgary Transit FAQs
Where to buy Calgary transit passes?
There are plenty of options for buying Calgary transit tickets and passes.
Buy online at calgarytransit.com/shop
Use the My Fare app
Check out using vending machines located at stations
Buy at a nearby convenience or grocery store (select stores)
How much is Calgary transit?
You can view up-to-date Calgary transit fare prices by visiting their website .
Adult cash fare: $3.60
Youth cash fare: $2.45
Children cash fare: Free
What time does Calgary transit stop running?
The C-Train runs for 20 hours straight! Trains begin at 4:00 a.m. and end at 1:00 a.m.
Where can I find calgary transit route information?
Calgary transit map schedules can be found here - you can also utilize this tool to schedule your next route in the future.
Of course, you can always choose to walk or ride your bike. Calgary is a great city for walking, and there are plenty of bike paths to explore!
Actually, Calgary has some of the best outdoor pathway systems in all of North America. We’re talking 290 kilometers of street-side bikeways, dedicated bike paths downtown, and over 1000 kilometers of paved multi-use pathways in and around local communities.
If you’re looking for a truly scenic commute - or a workout - walking or biking is a great option.
Well, there you have it, everything you need to know about commuting to downtown Calgary!
With so many different commuting options for getting around town, Calgary commuters have the
freedom to choose the method that is best suited to them and their lifestyle.
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