The decision to move across the country is a big one. The move has to be worth it. 

Moving from Ontario to Calgary can be intimidating. The long distance, the planning, the commitment. But for a lot of people there's some real upside and like the saying (as of late goes) IYKYK (if you know you know) Knowing how your life could benefit from a move like this always helps put things into perspective.

Calgary, Alberta is one of the best places to live in Canada. Don’t take our word for it, Calgary continues to be ranked among the Top 10 Most Livable Cities… worldwide! This year has been no exception. In 2022, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Calgary as the 3rd most livable city in the world. Ranks are based on healthcare, infrastructure, crime rates, education, cultural and sports pursuits, and access to green space.

Calgary is a booming metropolitan city with the unique feature of having access to an abundance of parks and green spaces. We’re talking almost 25,000 acres of nature and parklands, including over 600 miles of gorgeous pathways and thousands of playgrounds and picnic sites. Urban amenities are provided to over 1.5 million people and are placed near the backdrop of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It just doesn’t get much better than that. 

Ready to make your move? Book a consult with our teams Ontario relocation specialist

Ontario to Calgary

Book a consultation to discuss your move with our Ontario relocation specialist.

Already convinced and looking to buy Calgary real estate as part of your move? Contact our top-performing real estate team and we’ll guide you through the journey of finding the right home for your move to Calgary or surrounding areas like Airdire, Chestermere, Okotoks, and Cochrane


Use our navigation guide below to jump to a commute you might need. 

Why move to Calgary?

Calgary is a picturesque place to live with bustling inner-city life. It’s the place to be for outdoor recreation, excellent healthcare,  and a great public transportation system. The city of Calgary is clean, walkable, affordable, friendly, and full of opportunity.

Let’s dive into the reasons why you should make the move from Ontario to Calgary.

Moving to Calgary From Toronto Ontario ? Work with the Real Estate Partners team on your next move from Ontario to Calgary. 

Real Estate is Affordable in Calgary compared to Toronto

Simply put, in Calgary right now (October 2022) there are hundreds of options for single family detached homes available throughout the city and surrounding areas.

In Toronto for homes priced under $500,000 on REALTOR.CA we returned one result, and that was a boat. No actually, a boat. 

You can't find a single home for sale in the Toronto region at this price, and if you're thinking that maybe Toronto just suffers from a lack of single family housing, take a look at the Row/Townhouse Options you have. A total of 6 listings presently available listed in the Toronto market that are priced under $500,000! In Calgary you have over 70X the inventory/options. 

In the Calgary row/townhouse market segment, you'll also find many opportunities to own in for UNDER $200,000 - Something that you simply cannot find in Toronto. In fact, the closest thing you'll find at this price point in Toronto is a few parking spots and one listing, description below. 0 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom offered at $190,000 write up from 

"Seldom Available Bright Bachelor Unit With High Ceilings And Sliding Glass Doors Onto Patio. Well Established Complex For Residents 55+ Which Overlooks A Wooded Ravine And Has Beautifully Landscaped Gardens. Amenities Include A Salt-Water Indoor Pool, Sauna, Exercise Room, Party Room, Workshop, Billiards, Library, Visitor Parking, Some Activities. Near Parks, Hospital, Shopping. Maintenance Fee Includes Property Taxes, Heat, Hydro, Water, Cable And Internet.**** EXTRAS **** Refrigerator, Stove, Electric Light Fixtures, Window Coverings, Window Air Conditioning Unit. All In ""As Is"" Condition. " courtesy of  

Toronto condo market

What about Ottawa? Ontario is a big province after all! You'll presently only find 15 homes for sale priced under $500,000 in Ottawa compared to Calgary with over 400+ options throughout the city. 

Cost of Living

One of the most notable advantages of moving from Ontario to Calgary is the lower cost of living. From housing to transportation, living in Alberta is almost always cheaper than living in Ontario. In fact, local purchasing power in Toronto is almost 31% lower than in Calgary.

Looking to rent? Rent prices in Toronto are approximately 45% higher than in Calgary.

Grabbing dinner out on the town? Restaurant prices in Toronto are approximately 13% higher than in Calgary.

Time for a grocery run? Grocery prices in Toronto are approximately 2% higher than in Calgary.

Calgary neighbourhoods are able to offer affordable housing options because of a competitive housing market. The average 1 bedroom apartment in Calgary’s city centre is $1,419. In downtown Toronto, an apartment of the same size is $2,163. 

Transportation is also cheaper in Calgary. A monthly transportation pass in Calgary costs $112, in Toronto a monthly pass will set you back $156.

Overall, the cost of living in Calgary is 18% less expensive than in Toronto. A lower cost of living means more disposable income for savings or leisure time.

Lower Taxes

When you move from Ontario to Calgary, you’ll pay lower taxes.

In Ontario, people pay a 13% sales tax on most goods and services sold or provided. In Alberta, people only pay a 5% sales tax on most goods and services sold or provided. Paying fewer taxes can really make a big difference in a person's or family's overall monthly expenditure, especially as it adds up over time. As with many other provinces in Canada, Alberta does not have a provincial sales tax or harmonized tax. 

Outdoor Recreation

If you are a nature enthusiast, moving from Ontario to Calgary should be a no-brainer. Living in Calgary will satisfy every craving you have for the great outdoors. You will never run out of beautiful sights to see, activities to do, and paths to explore.

The 25,000 acres of nature and parklands that we mentioned above act as an adult playground of endless summer and winter activities. In the summer you can enjoy activities including hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, zip-lining, golf, and picnicking. In the winter enjoy activities including skating, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and tobogganing.

Calgary is home to some of the most extensive pathway networks in all of North America. Around 96 kilometres of trails and 1000 kilometres of regional pathways are maintained by the city.

Families thoroughly enjoy the abundance of playgrounds, picnic spots, and outdoor recreation facilities. Calgarians always have nearby access to tennis courts, basketball courts, ball diamonds, soccer fields, and skating rinks. Families and friends can set up under a gazebo, roast marshmallows over a fire, or cook up some delicious barbecue in a local pit.

Possibly the best part of all is that stunning day trips can always be had. The Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park, Kananaskis, Lake Louise, and Jasper are all available within an hour to three hour long drive. Here you’ll find stunning wildlife and some of the best ski resorts and golf courses in the world.


Calgary continues to rank among the top spots in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey for environmental stewardship. In 2010 Calgary took home the top spot for the world’s best eco-city.

The cleanliness of the city extends far beyond the streets. This involves Calgary’s sewage systems, water cleanliness and availability, traffic flow, recycling and waste programs, and lack of air pollution.

There are hefty fines imposed for a number of littering offences such as throwing trash out of car windows or dropping cigarette butts on the ground. Calgary even has an environmental charity, Green Calgary, that supports Calgarians in taking effective environmental actions in their homes, workplaces, schools, and communities. With the help of other green initiatives like Too Good to Waste, a program dedicated to decreasing the amount of waste sent to landfills, Calgary aims to reduce landfill waste by 70% by the year 2025.

You wont be short of opportunities to give back in this space as well, Calgary is known for its great spirit of volunteering and giving back, part of the reason our city river walkway and embankments are so nice is due to generous Calgarians giving up their time to help clean and maintain these amazing spots we all appreciate. 

Cleanliness is embedded in the city’s culture. It’s practiced in city facilities, offices, and each and every home. This is why if you are planning to move from Ontario to Calgary you can count on the city staying clean, even as the population continues to grow. Calgary home owners are provided a three bin system, one for compostables (green bin), one for garbage (black bin) and one for recycling (blue bin). 

Friendly People and Dog-Friendly Communities

Many people who move from Ontario to Calgary are surprised by how friendly and welcoming the people in Alberta are. 

Quality of life can be improved by the people who live in your community. Calgary is known to have some of the friendliest people. It’s not uncommon to have people greet each other on the street or in stores, wave to neighbours while driving, or stop to chat at a dog park. The sense of community in this city is strong and continues to grow in many communities with block parties, food truck events or even unique ones like Parkland, which has an infamous 'pig street' where residents host an annual pig roast on their street which is lined with painted pigs embedded into the streets. 

Not only is Calgary friendly, but it’s also family-friendly and dog-friendly too. Affordable childcare, access to quality schooling, and safe community-driven neighbourhoods make Calgary a great place to raise a family. 

As for dog owners thinking of moving to Calgary, you’ll be among friends… over 91,000 to be exact. That’s how many licensed dogs there are in Calgary. Calgary is home to over 150 public off-leash areas in multi-use parks, so there’s no shortage of areas to explore with your furry friend. 

Moving a dog from Ontario to Calgary? 

Read our blog that covers the best communities in Calgary for dog owners, and connect with us to grab a copy of our guide for top tips when moving with your pets. 

In Calgary, locals are happy to share their knowledge of the city and give you the low down on the city’s highlights and undiscovered favourites. In the winter, it's not uncommon  even help you get your car unstuck from the snow or help you with your groceries.

When it comes to driving and road rage, Calgarians tend to be a lot more patient and personable when compared to what you might experience in Toronto.

Though it may be minor for some, Calgary's small town feel in many places are what make its big city charm shine. Small acts of kindness and respect can add up and positively affect the way someone feels about where they live. 

Rated Best City to Live in the World

This year, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Calgary as the 3rd most livable city in the world. Calgary was surpassed only by Vienna and Copenhagen. This prestigious list ranks city’s based on healthcare, infrastructure, crime rates, education, cultural and sports pursuits, and access to green space.

In 2022, Calgary was awarded an index of 96.3 out of 100 points, with perfect scores in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. In the past, Calgary has been ranked the 5th best city to live in the world for 11 consecutive years.

Another reason why Calgary is one of the best places to live is a healthy work-life balance. Calgary was ranked, by Holidu, as having the best work-life balance in Canada as well as having some of the most affordable housing markets in the world. 

Job Opportunities

Calgary is home to some of Canada’s leading job and economic growth. Calgary houses 118 of Canada’s 800 largest corporate headquarters. 

By measure of population, Calgary is a Canadian leader in the concentration of corporate headquarters with 6.0 corporate head offices per 100,000 people. Toronto measures 3.0 corporate head offices per 100,000 people.

Having such a high number of head offices per capita provides numerous employment opportunities across many different industries including energy and technology.

Tech is a leading industry in Calgary as the city has been rapidly transforming into a global tech hub. The city is seeing some of the fastest growth in tech talent in all of North America. Calgary is an exciting place to be for young professionals, especially those in the tech and innovation space. In its 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Startup Genome ranked Calgary among the Top 10 North American Ecosystems for Affordable Talent.

While the city and province of Alberta continues to be labeled as boom and bust as oil prices soar and sink, Calgary has demonstrated its ability to persevere and real estate has remained a solid investment. There is no 10 year window in the last 40 years where you wouldn't have been able to make money or break even against the general real estate market. 

Commute To Work?

The average commute for Canadians is 29 minutes, this is brought up by cities like Montreal and Vancouver who average 36 and 33 minutes respectively, but they don't compare to Toronto who sees an average of 42 minutes! While Ottawa (29) and Edmonton (27) and Calgary come in below the national average at just 27 minutes! 

More reasons why Calgary is a great place to live…

Calgary is the third most culturally diverse city in Canada. The city is inclusive and welcoming for everyone, so you’ll be sure to feel right at home. Immigrants from over 150 countries call Calgary home, with over 240 different ethnic origins and 120 languages spoken. 

While Calgary is home to people from all around the world, it’s also home to some world-class festivals too! The Calgary Stampede is a world-class year-round gathering place for heritage, culture, and community spirit. Another famous event hosted in Calgary is The Folk Music Festival which takes place in Prince’s Island Park. The ever-growing cultural scene in Calgary provides locals with things to do every weekend all year round!

If you still weren't convinced, we have a few words left… warm Chinook winds. This unique weather phenomenon causes cold winter temperatures to climb 20 degrees in just a few hours. Chinook winds are dry, warm winds that occur on the downward slope of a mountain, like the Canadian Rockies, when warm air has lost its moisture. This provides Calgarians with much-needed breaks from freezing winter temperatures.  

Watch our pros and cons of Calgary communities playlist on youtube - It's the perfect way to get to know the city of Calgary, especially if you're moving from Ontario. 

Considering a move from Ontario to Calgary?

Our experienced Calgary real estate team will help you find your dream Calgary home. Together, we’ll conquer the journey of buying a new home, from contract negotiations to understanding the ins and outs of the real estate market. 

Give us a call at 587-573-7653 or contact us online. Let us take care of all your Calgary real estate needs!

Posted by Cody Tritter on
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