Moving to Calgary
Are you moving to Calgary, Canada?
Let us help you plan your relocation and discover everything Calgary has to offer. Crown are an international relocations company, specialising in international removals, storage, overseas moving, movers insurance, relocation services and much more. We will even relocate your vehicle and pets!
Read more about Canada in our latest blog ‘Work & Play in Canada’.
Calgary is one of Canada’s most identifiable cities, with a stunning panoramic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains and its identity largely taken from its association with cattle ranching and oil exploration. Found on the Bow River in southern Alberta, some 220kms north of the American border, the city is located at the meeting point of the Western Prairies and Rocky Mountain foothills, the latter just 80kms east of the city.
The city owed its early prosperity to the fur trade which relocated the first Europeans to the area in the late 18th century, and it was the illicit-whisky traders who sold alcohol to the local people in return for bison skins that led, in part, to the formation of the world-famous North-West Mounted (Mounties) Police in 1873.
At the turn of the 20th century, the cattle ranching industry became the primary industry, with the coming of the railways making the city the major transport hub in Alberta. A second period of rapid development followed with the introduction of cash crop farming in the early 1900s, which led to the area’s population increasing over 1000 per-cent from 1901 to 1911. Then came the oil and natural gas industries, reserves of which were first discovered in the area during 1914 and which led to Calgary’s long-term future as a major centre of international oil and gas production.
Modern-day Calgary is a centre for the energy, financial services, transport, technology, manufacturing, aerospace and tourism sectors, the latter due to the city being the gateway to the Rockies and Banff National Park.
For more details of the city and its many attractions, including the annual Calgary Stampede and Calgary Zoo (the largest in Canada), a good place to start is the official tourist website at www.visitcalgary.com. Calgary features several major cultural attractions and festivals throughout the year, including the Afrikadey! (African festival), International Blues Festival, GlobalFest and the Calgary Folk Music Festival .
Visa / Permits
New Zealanders need an Immigrant Visa to live in Canada, and details of how to obtain one can be found on the Canadian Government’s Visa and Immigration website.
The official currency of Canada is the CAD Dollar, and shops and service providers will only accept the CAD Dollar. Coins come in denominations of 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, $1 and $2 and notes in $5, $10, $20, $25, $50 and $100 bills.
Many migrants who have relocated to Calgary have found it helpful to set up a Canadian bank account before moving to the country. This makes it easy for converted money to be transferred straight in to your account, as well as minimising the need to carry cash while travelling. There are many banks in Calgary who offer an on-line sign-up service.
The best way to convert large sums of money is through online transfer companies, who provide a much cheaper rate. Crown has entered into a partnership with OFX to provide an easy, reliable and cost effective solution for clients who are moving their funds internationally. The deals offered by OFX are at super competitive exchange rates and in most cases there’s no fee. The cost structure is so good that the saving you make may even pay for the entire cost of your relocation. To register and for more information visit OFX
Calgary has an excellent public transport system incorporating buses and trains (the C-Train light rail transit (LRT), details can be found at www.calgarytransit.com.
If you do choose to drive in Calgary the first point to bear in mind is that in Canada, they drive on the opposite side of the road to drivers in New Zealand.
You can drive in Canada on a NZ drivers licence for up to three months, but it is recommended that you apply for an International Driver Permit and if staying in Canada, you should apply for a Canadian driving licence.
Calgary International Airport www.yyc.com operates flights from some thirteen airlines to destinations not just within Canada, but around the world.
Calgary is home to five universities and many more centres of higher education. In terms of the local schooling system there are both private and public education services available for children in Calgary. The school year begins in September and ends in June. Students generally travel to school by car with their parents, or in some cases take the school bus, others will cycle or walk.
Crown Relocations can arrange an appointment with a Specialist Education consultant who can provide an in-depth explanation of local education systems, the curricula available and arranging interviews, as well as assist with enrolment requirements. Please contact us for information and rates.
Canada has an extensive public health-care system, called Medicare, but most people take out private insurance as well. If the insurance company you were with in New Zealand is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to Canada without penalty – at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details, or visit www.ifhp.com
When choosing where to live in Calgary, the deciding factor for expats is normally how close you need to be to your work or your children’s school. The cost of accommodation and commuting to work are also significant considerations.
When you first arrive in Calgary you may choose to rent. Looking for a home in Calgary can quite often be a daunting task, Crown can offer advice on rental accommodation and/or purchasing properties and we can also arrange for temporary accommodation.
Calgary’s diverse, multi-cultural population means that you are bound to meet people from all walks of life. Expatriates commonly assimilate into the community through the sports and hobbies they are interested in. Most Canadian cities offer a relaxed culture and Calgary is famous no different, an adventurous mentality will provide numerous opportunities to meet new people. Social media is also a great way to get to know like-minded people. The Calgary Business Professionals Group is one of the largest and longest running business networking clubs in Calgary, details can be found at www.meetup.com/businessincalgary
Crown Relocations has 50 years of international moving experience relocating individuals and families to Calgary and throughout Canada. To arrange a quotation call our office for an obligation FREE quote on: 0508 227 696 or you can use our online quote forms: Instant Quote, Quick Quote, Home Visit Request
To convert your money to CAD dollars the cheapest and most reliable way, check out our guide for Moving Your Money.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.