Calgary or Edmonton?

  1. Hi everyone,I'm planning to move sometime next fall. Based on my research, it seems as though Edmonton is less expensive than Calgary, when you're comparing cost of living. In terms of nursing jobs, I don't know that this would make a difference. I realize it's competitive, but I'll have enough experience, and I'm also open to travel nursing, and I'm currently with AHS. I don't know very much about either city, so any ideas are welcome. Thanks!
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    About joanna73

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 5,489; Likes: 11,526
    from US
    Specialty: geriatrics


  3. by   Fiona59
    Well, Jan and I are in Edmonton!!

    Honestly, I've lived in both cities. Calgary has better weather but I found it a very isolating city to live in. The people just weren't as friendly. Tried it all, walked the dogs, went to playgroups with the children when they were small, tried volunteering. It's a hard city to crack.

    Edmonton, has a longer winter, property taxes rise every year with no rise in services. But I find the people easier to meet and get to know. There are winter and summer festivals.

    It sucks flying out of Edmonton, most international flights involve a detour through Calgary or various US hubs. Thanks to living in Edmonton, I've visited Denver, Minneapolis, Houston, and San Franscico to get anywhere. lol.

    It depends on what you want to do with your career. Acute care? Edmonton has RAH, the UofA and the Stollery (if you want to work with children). The Hole Women's centre is beautiful and the heart centres are state of the Art.

    Come to us, we have cookies.....
  4. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    But on the other hand, Calgary has their shiny new multi-billion-dollar largest-hospital-in-the-province state-of-the-art South Health Campus that is only about 30% staffed. They also have Alberta Children's Hospital, even though Edmonton is the capital city. (ACH sends patients to us all the time. Their PICU is allowed to close to admissions and ours isn't...)

    When I moved to Alberta 10 years ago, I could just as easily have gone to Calgary - if you don't factor in the cost of living and real estate. The money we got for our very nice, medium-sized home in a great Winnipeg neighbourhood wouldn't have bought us a bus shack in Calgary. It bought us a glorified shoebox in one of the suburbs here. But in those same 10 years, I've paid off all of our debt, saved a lot of money for retirement, renovated the shoebox so that it's more like an Aldo than a Payless and have 3 years left on the mortgage. We never could have done that in either Winnipeg or Calgary. We have a good support network here and we love our little city on the hill.
  5. by   joanna73
    Thanks ladies I forgot actually about the new hospital in Calgary. I think my money will go farther in Edmonton. I'm not really sure what I want to do with my nursing career, to be honest, but I'm flexible. Ultimately, I want to live in a city again. I miss the action, and as long as I'm closer to an airport, I can go home to Toronto more often. I'm too isolated where I am now.
  6. by   MPKH
    I got offers for both the Royal Alexandra and the new hospital in Calgary recently. I turned Calgary down (shocking, I know. Who would turn down a new shiny hospital for an older hospital!?) because I personally find Edmonton to be much more friendly in general. Cost of living is lower and other than the weather, there isn't anything that Calgary has that Edmonton doesn't. How far are you from either cities? Take a mini vacation in both cities and see what you like the best!
  7. by   Fiona59
    Just admit it, the on site WhiteSpot and Timmies, sealed the deal for you. It certainly wasn't the three year wait for a parking pass!
  8. by   joanna73
    I'm closer to Edmonton than Calgary. I also wouldn't mind working even a casual position at Cross Cancer, which is in Edmonton. I just wanted some opinions while I weigh my options. You have all been very helpful. I don't even know that I want hospital based nursing. Depends on the unit. Given that Calgary is more expensive, I guess it makes more sense to move to Edmonton.
  9. by   itsmejuli
    I lived in Edmonton 3 different times and never lasted there longer than 2 years. Maybe it was the weather, one year I remember Halloween being 25 below.
    I also found the traffic and congestion to just suck in Edmonton.

    I'm living now in Calgary and really like it. I'm single, my kids are grown and I live close to downtown. I have easy access to the endless bike trail system and love urban living. I also like the topography of Calgary with all the hills and pop-up views of the mountains.

    But Calgary is expensive. My one bedroom apartment is a deal at $850 a month but my son in Edmonton is renting a 3 bedroom duplex for $950. Calgary's rental market is very tight so rents are higher and there's little choice right now.

    There are plenty of nursing opportunities for LPNs here, I don't know how the market is for RNs. I work as a community care supervisor in a large lodge. I really like my job and its a quick 6km commute.

    I joined a few Meetup groups to socialize and make new friends.
  10. by   joanna73
    Since I've lived downtown Toronto most of my life (and enjoyed it), I think I would probably prefer Calgary over Edmonton. -25 sucks but Nothern AB is even worse, and I've survived a small town for 2 years. I'm actually very adaptable. I was paying 1150 for a one bedroom downtown TO. I have job and apartment alerts set up for Calgary and Ed, so when the time comes I'll decide. I was set on moving to Calgary before, but now I'm not sure....
  11. by   lilaclover
    I moved to Calgary from BC about a year and a half ago and I absolutely love it here! I am single and had absolutely no problem meeting friends. I actually find the people of Calgary to be very friendly. I have only been to Edmonton a handfull of times but I found it very dull. Calgary has a lot more to do in my opinion. The night life is fun, lots of awesome biking trails, tons of festivals, stampede, concerts, and Banff is only a short drive away! Its really great to be able to get out to the mountains on the weekends. There are several major hospitals here and all of them very nice in my opinion. There are a lot of postings for both LPN's and RN's, especially now with the new hospital opening. Maybe you could visit both cities and make a decision? I think if you did so you would choose Calgary for sure Especially if you are from Toronto. I lived in Vancouver the past 3 years before moving here and so I enjoy the urban lifestyle and to choosing Calgary over Edmonton was a easy choice once I had seen both cities. Calgary won hands down.
  12. by   joanna73
    Thanks! I have been to Edmonton a few times, and I'm not crazy about it. But, I'm currently living in a small town, so anything will be a vast improvement. By the time I'm ready to move, I'll have just under 3 years RN experience. I also have a post RN cert in geriatrics, so I'm sure I will be able to find a job. Even if it takes a few months, I have savings, and a casual position somewhere isn't usually hard to get. I'm really grateful for all the advice, since it gives me things to ponder. Many people have pretty much said this to me...."If you're from Toronto, Calgary might be more for you..."
  13. by   Fiona59
    I grew up in Vancouver and lived across Europe with the military. Loathed Calgary. It was incredibly hung up on the Stampede and the 1988 Olympics.

    It's a very strange town. Hung up on cattle and oil, at times I felt like I'd met characters from Dynasty.

    The best thing about Calgary was the Chinooks. I was initially reluctant to leave Calgary (the husband's job moved) but found it to be one of the best moves we'd ever made.

    Next time you're in Edmonton, PM either myself or Jan and one of us will buy you Dim Sum, Coffee, or ....
  14. by   joanna73
    Ok that sounds great I have a couple of friends here now, but I am lonely sometimes and homesick. All my good buddies are in TO. I could also go home to work, but ON is still a mess, and AB has better working question. So I go home for long visits.