A Guide to Moving to the Scenic Region of Alberta, Canada
From pretty rural towns to big, bustling cities there’s a community to suit every expat moving to Alberta. The province not only boasts the spectacular peaks of the Rocky Mountains and unique landscape of the Wood Buffalo National Park, but is also rich in natural resources. The province is viewed as the energy capital of Canada due to the abundance of oil and gas and continues to demonstrate strong economic growth. This comparative wealth keeps employment rates high and salaries competitive which, combined with the lowest personal tax rate in Canada, could make moving to Alberta an excellent choice for work and business. With beautiful scenery and a vibrant economy, it is easy to see why Alberta is the fastest growing province in the country.
Cities and Towns in Alberta
Alberta’s largest city is a bustling, thriving metropolis surrounded by natural beauty and just 90 minutes from the magnificent Banff National Park. Recently voted one of the top five most liveable cities in the world, Calgary has a thriving economy driven by the finance, energy and technology sectors.
Situated about 300km north of Calgary, the provincial capital is a flourishing city with high employment and plenty of clean, open space. Edmonton has more parkland per capita than any other city in Canada largely due to the beautiful River Valley that runs through the centre. The area also is rich in natural resources and the oil and gas industries dominate the growing economy.
Roughly halfway between Calgary and Edmonton, the smart city of Red Deer combines urban amenities with relaxed rural living. The local economy benefits from the strong energy sector and the city’s schools, shops and restaurants rank amongst the best in the province. There are also two nearby lakes where residents spend summer weekends boating, swimming and enjoying the stunning views.
Lethbridge is the commercial and cultural centre of Southern Alberta and offers excellent opportunities in education, healthcare and retail. Its low cost of living and proximity to both the Waverton Lakes National Park and the Rocky Mountains make it a great choice for families moving to Alberta.
Transport and Getting Around in Alberta
Alberta has a simple, well-managed system of highways and roads with Highway 2 running from north to south and the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 16 running east to west across the province. Alberta’s cities and larger towns have good, reliable bus networks and Calgary and Edmonton also have excellent light rail systems widely used by commuters. Via rail operate trains between Jasper and Northern British Columbia and the Canadian route runs through the heart of the province taking in Jasper and Edmonton. Alberta has two international airports in Edmonton and Calgary with the latter offering regular flights to the UK.
Leisure Activities and Things to Do in Alberta
The spectacular mountains and lakes of Alberta’s National and Provincial Parks draw tourists from around the world. The Icefields Parkway is one of the most breath-taking drives in the country taking in both Banff and Jasper National Parks. In the winter months, both parks boasts world class skiing including the simply stunning Lake Louise resort in Banff. In the summer, you can hike or cycle around countless trails or visit Jasper’s Maligne Lake and take a scenic river cruise. The small town of Drumheller is ‘the dinosaur capital of the world’ due to the huge number of fossils found in the valley. You can see incredible dinosaur skeletons at the Royal Tyrell Museum and visit the nearby Dinosaur Provincial Park where many of them were found. The vibrant city of Edmonton comes alive with festivals throughout the summer celebrating everything from folk and jazz to food and poetry. Calgary is also home to ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, the Calgary Stampede, when the city hosts ten days of rodeo events, parades and chuckwagon racing.
Interesting facts about Alberta
- Alberta’s government has spent millions of dollars creating tree-lined bridges over the Trans-Canada highway so wildlife such as moose, wolves and bears can cross safely.
- At Canada Olympic Park in Calgary you can zip down the very track made famous in 1988 by the Jamaican Bobsleigh team in a genuine Olympic sleigh.
- Alberta is home to North America’s largest shopping centre, West Edmonton Mall, which has its own waterpark, amusement park and ice rink.
- With more hours of sunshine per annum than any other town in Canada, Calgary is officially the country’s sunniest city.