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Best Places to Live in Alberta, Canada?

October 26, 2022

Here are a few best places to live in Alberta

Alberta has incredible natural sceneries, ranging from the majestic Rocky Mountains to boreal forests. One of the three prairie provinces in Canada, the area is blessed with pristine lakes and rivers, mountain forests, and badlands.

It boasts 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Dinosaur Provincial Park – the world’s number one place for fans of dinosaurs. In addition, the province has successfully preserved rich biodiversity reflected in its abundantly diverse flora and fauna.

Economy & Population

While the province is renowned for its natural beauty, artistic heritage, richness in fossils, and nature reserves, it is equally famous for its oil and gas industry. Agriculture, livestock, tourism, and forestry are other significant economic sectors.

Ethnically Diverse

Alberta is ethnically diverse, with a significant immigrant population ranking it Canada’s fourth most populous province. A considerable majority speak  English, though a substantial percentage uses French, Hindi, Punjabi, and Tagalog. Just over 4.2 million people call some part of Alberta home, and more than half live in Edmonton or Calgary.

Statistics Canada estimated that the province had a population of over 4.5 million in Q3 of 2022, and about 80% of them live in urban areas, especially the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor. Lethbridge, Red Deer, St.Albert, Medicine Hat, and Grande Prairie round up the list of Alberta’s urban centers.

What Does Alberta Offer?

Alberta is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country and offers many outdoor activities, such as skiing, hiking, and camping. Calgary and Edmonton are two of the major cities in Canada. They have all the significant advantages of a big city, including entertainment facilities, a vibrant community, and a strong economy.

If you prefer life in the suburbs, many small towns with tight-knit communities assure a family-friendly neighbourhood. Alberta’s vast rural areas can be your peaceful haven from the bustling cities if that is your idea of Utopia.

Lowest Taxes in Canada

In addition, Alberta’s residents and businesses also pay the lowest overall taxes compared to other provinces in Canada. This translates into affordable housing and a lower cost of living compared to Ontario and British Columbia while still offering the advantages of big cities.

Generally speaking, Albertans have more money left over from their paycheques since the government does not collect sales tax, payroll tax, or health premiums. Moreover, Alberta has the lowest gasoline and diesel prices in Canada. With the cost of living rising across the country, Alberta’s affordable real estate attracts many interprovincial migrants.

Which are the Best Places to Live in Alberta?

Alberta has something to offer everybody, from big cities to small towns, suburbs, or the urban jungle. Let’s look at some of the best places to live in Alberta, and you can decide where you would like to migrate.

Let’s start with one of the province’s best cities, once called the “Oil Capital of Canada.”

  • Edmonton

Edmonton is the capital city of the Alberta Province and the fifth largest city in Canada, with a population of just over a million. It is a significant hub for the Canadian oil and gas industry. The other economic sectors in Edmonton are finance, insurance, high technology, software development, and tourism.

Sometimes called “Canada’s Festival City,” Edmonton hosts many annual festivals and events, including the K-Days, the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival, the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, and the Silver Skate Festival.

The Attractions of Edmonton

Edmonton is a vibrant city with all the amenities of a significant urban center yet still retains a small-town charm. Best described as urban parkland, this populous city has more parks compared to other cities in Canada. It is also home to North America’s second-largest mall – the West Edmonton Mall. Many migrant workers are attracted to the affordable town due to its robust economy and many job opportunities. The Edmonton population also boasts one of the highest national average household incomes. The fact that it is one of Canada’s sunniest cities is also a significant factor, as is the multicultural community. The Edmonton real estate market is among the country’s top three most undervalued cities and is a safe bet for investing in an affordable property.

  • Calgary

As Alberta’s largest city, Calgary is a great place to call home if you’re looking for a vibrant and dynamic community.

Calgary Population and Economy

Calgary is the biggest city in the Alberta Province, with a population of over 1.2 million in 2021. Traditionally, the oil and gas sector was the most significant contributor to the city’s GDP. However, other major economic sectors, such as film and television, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, and tourism, are growing steadily.

Most Liveable City

Calgary is one of the best places to live in Alberta, if not the country. It is spotless and environmentally friendly, with a relatively low cost of living. Calgary and Zurich share the third position of the most liveable cities in the world, according to The Global Liveability Index 2022. The big city is often the first choice of “second movers,” who immigrated to Canada and settled elsewhere (Toronto or Vancouver) before deciding to relocate again.

Culture and Leisure

Downtown Calgary features an eclectic mix of social amenities such as restaurants and bars, cultural venues, public squares, and shopping. In addition, the city hosts many annual festivals and events, including the Calgary Stampede, International Film Festival, Folk Music Festival, and the Calgary Fringe Festival.

The city offers many biking, hiking, and walking trails. If you don’t mind a 90-minute drive, you can visit the oldest national park in Canada, the Banff National Park. Calgary boasts mild weather all year round and is considered Canada’s sunniest city. But interestingly, the city is a popular destination for winter sports, with its world-class Olympic Oval and the Canada Olympic Park. Aside from the two big cities, Alberta has many smaller cities and towns worth adding to the list of best places to live. Let’s introduce you to some of our favourite sites that deserve their position in the list of best cities.

  • Red Deer

Red Deer is a flourishing city located midway on the Calgary-Edmonton Corridor. With over 100,000 people in 2021, Red Deer is one of the best cities to live in Alberta.

The major economic sectors in Red Deer are mining, manufacturing, quarrying, and agriculture. In addition, the city has been a center for oil and gas extraction and is home to several major oil companies. Known for growing oil grains, the area is famous for its livestock rearing. Nicknamed “Cultural Capital of Canada,” Red Deer hosts many annual festivals and events, including the Alberta Cultural Day, Red Deer Oktoberfest, the Red Deer County Fall Festival, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

The Red Deer Regional Airport provides air services to tourists visiting the city’s ski resorts. Known for being one of Canada’s most entrepreneurial cities, Red Deer is increasingly popular with people who want to move to Alberta with its urban facilities, such as a metro bus system, and social amenities like education, health, and entertainment.

  • Sylvan Lake

A small town with a lovely environment and incredible natural beauty, Sylvan Lake is very close to Red Deer. A lively, fun-loving community on the shores of Sylvan Lake, this place is known for its beaches, swimming, boating, and fishing. People who enjoy a fast-paced life or expect a metropolis will be disappointed with this quaint town, though all the basic amenities are available.

With an average income of about 100000, the overall quality of life here is excellent. Though Sylvan Lake has a small population of about 16,000 people, it explodes during the holidays. For nearly 1.5 million people from all over Canada, Sylvan Lake is the place for ice fishing, beach volleyball, and winter skating.

  • Camrose

Camrose is a lovely city located in central Alberta. Less than 100 km from Edmonton, the capital city of the Province, Camrose is a family-friendly place with over 300 acres of beautiful parklands and plenty of recreational, arts, and cultural opportunities. The small city is in the middle of the prairie’s rich farming land and is a major economic center for many small farming communities in east-central Alberta.

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Camrose (also called “Rose City”) had over 18,000 residents. With an average household income slightly higher than the national average, and a low unemployment rate, the affordable city also offers cheaper housing options than the larger urban centers.

  • Canmore

A picturesque small town about 50 miles from Calgary, Canmore has a population of about 15000. Bordering the Banff National Park, this “best city” has rich scenic beauty and offers panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. Canmore’s residents appreciate the many outdoor activities, such as ice climbing, caving, and trekking.

Originally dependent on its coal mines for employment, Canmore is now an environment-friendly tourist town with all the amenities of other major cities. The 1988 Winter Olympics revived the city’s economy, and Canmore is now a popular outdoor getaway with a picturesque environment. With an appealing mix of social activities, a close-knit community, and a healthy lifestyle, Canmore is a great, affordable place to start a family. However, property inventory levels are low, and a scramble exists to meet the growing housing demand.

  • Medicine Hat 

The quaintly named Medicine Hat is Alberta’s sixth-largest city and is a small town along the South Saskatchewan River. It is also sometimes called “The Gas City” due to the natural gas resources in the area, which hold up the local economy. Starting as a railway town, Medicine Hat has a population of over 63,000 in 2021, with over 80% of them speaking English. Medicine Hat has distinct small-town vibes with an affordable cost of living. In addition, its diverse community has access to the advantages of a city-owned gas utility and power generation plant.

Canada’s only cross-border park, the Cypress Hills Inter-provincial Park, is close to the city. In addition to Medicine Hat, another medium-sized town in southern Alberta, Lethbridge is a financial and industrial center.

  • Grande Prairie

Historically known as the Buffalo Plains, Grande Prairie is a lovely city in Northwest Alberta and Peace River Country. Agriculture, Oil & Gas, and Forestry are the major economic sectors in Grande Prairie, with employment available in transportation, retail, and hospitality.

Grande Prairie has a population of nearly 70,000, with an average income of just over 100,000. The unemployment rate is over 9%, though the city is a significant economic and transportation hub. A fascinating mix of urban facilities and rural environment, Grande Prairie has many fertile lands suitable for farming and agriculture if that is what you prefer. In addition, it has well-developed transportation services, including airports, major highways, and a metro bus system.

  • St Albert

The second-largest city in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, St Albert is a small town located a few miles from Edmonton. The city provides its population of about 78000 with a rich culture, artistic heritage, and a family-friendly environment. St Albert boasts a low unemployment rate, good schools, quality healthcare, parks, and trails. The quality of healthcare, abundant multi-use trails, designated parkland, and low crime rates are a few reasons why St Albert is also considered among the healthiest cities in Canada.

St Albert hosts Western Canada’s largest outdoor farmers’ market and an annual Harvest Festival at the St Albert Grain Elevator Park. As St Albert continues to grow, its residents enjoy a high-quality lifestyle with many recreational opportunities.

Courtesy: Save Max