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26 Cool Facts About Calgary You Should Know

26 Cool Facts About Calgary You Should Know

Whether you’re from Calgary, planning to move there, or a tourist curious about the city, check out this comprehensive list of fun facts about Calgary! 

1. Calgary has been named the 3rd most livable city in the world! 

The Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU has named Calgary as the 3rd most livable city in the world- tied with Zurich. Calgary has an index of 96.3, which is based on its stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education, and infrastructure.

See the index for the top 5 cities below: 

CityRankIndex
Vienna199.1
Copenhagen298
Zurich396.3
Calgary396.3
Vancouver596.1

2. Calgary has the sunniest days all year round in Canada.

Calgary has the sunniest days all year round in Canada

Statistics Canada logs the duration of bright sunshine every day by using the Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder.

From 1981 to 2010, Statistics Canada has recorded 332.6 days or 2396.3 hours of bright sunshine in Calgary. Pretty neat, huh? 

3. The late Cory Monteith was a Calgarian.

The late Cory Monteith was a Calgarian
Image from NY Times

Fans of the Fox television series Glee, which premiered in 2009, know and remember the lovable jock, Finn Hudson. He was played by Cory Monteith, a Canadian actor and musician hailing from Calgary. 

Unfortunately, Cory died at the very young age of 31 in 2013. As sad as we are with his passing, his legacy as an actor lives on and will be remembered by people from all over. 

4. Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city.

Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city

According to Calgary Economic Development, over 240 different nationalities call Calgary their home. This makes Calgary third in diversity rankings in Canada. 

Listed below are the top 5 population categories by selected ethnic origin:

Ethnic Origin GroupPopulationPercentage
English298,86521.7
Canadian275,95020.1
Scottish240,77517.5
German201,65014.7
Irish197,19014.3

Furthermore, more than 120 languages are spoken in the city as first languages. We have listed below the top 5 mother tongue language of Calgarians:

LanguagePopulationPercentage
English937,05567.8
French20,7151.5
Tagalog (Filipino)40,9603
Punjabi38,8402.8
Cantonese34,2352.5

5. Calgary was ranked the cleanest city in the world in 2014!

Mercer Global Financial crowned Calgary as the cleanest city in the world back in 2014. Mercer Global based it on five important factors: availability of drinking water, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution, and traffic congestion.

Do know that Calgary has sky-high fines for dropping cigarette butts or littering out of a car window, which is one of the reasons for the city’s litter-free streets. 

Calgary also boasts a lot of green initiatives such as Alberta’s “Too Good to Waste” program that aims to decrease the waste that goes into the city’s landfills.

6. Our citizens are young!  The median age of Calgarians is only 36 years old.

Our citizens are young! The median age of Calgarians is only 36 years old

According to Statistics Canada, Calgary’s median age is 36.7 overall, which is significantly lower than the country’s median age of 41.2. The median age for males is 36.7 while the median age for females is 37.1. 

70% of the population in Calgary is within the age range of 15 to 64 years old. This means that Calgarians are very young!

7. The Calgary Stampede features the largest rodeo in the world.

The Calgary Stampede features the largest rodeo in the world

Calgary is home to “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” which is the Calgary Stampede. This event lasts for 10 days and consists of the world’s largest rodeo, concerts, a midway, some exhibits, racing, competitions, shows, and parades!

Be prepared though if you’re planning to visit since accommodation would probably be expensive during this time as it attracts over a million visitors. 

8. Fish Creek Park is the second-largest urban park in Canada

This park is one of the largest urban parks in North America. It is even considered the second-largest in Canada. 

Best of all, admission is free aside from the Sikome Lake area which requires a fee. 

There are a lot of different activities that you can do in this park such as picnics, hiking, walking, bird watching, and more. Camping, however, is not available in this park as there are no areas allotted for it.

9. Sikome Lake is one of Calgary’s only public beaches and is only open during the summer months. 

It is considered a man-made beach and has a treatment plant to ensure its water quality.

9. Calgary is also a very diverse city.

Calgary is also a very diverse city.

Nearly 28% of Calgarians are foreign-born. In 2011, The City of Calgary provided a snapshot of the state of immigrants and recorded that around 28% were immigrants.

The top 5 immigrants by country are listed below:

CountryNumberPercentage
Philippines33,06011%
India30,12010%
China29,49510%
United Kingdom21,9057%
Vietnam14,0305%

10. You can walk 18km downtown without ever going outside via the Plus 15 network!

The Plus 15 network opened in 1970 and has expanded to 62 bridges to connect a lot of downtown Calgary buildings. These bridges combined make up to 18 kilometers or 11 miles.

The name Plus 15 comes from the fact that the bridges are suspended about 15 feet above the streets of Calgary. Some of the skywalks are multi-level which are referred to as Plus 30 and Plus 45.

11. Calgary has a famous world-class public library.

Calgary has a famous world-class public library

Calgary Public Library is a library system that is the second most used library system in Canada and 6th most used library system in North America. 5 million visits were recorded last 2011.

In 2019. The New York Times listed Calgary’s New Central Library as one of the “52 Places To Go”. This architecturally stunning public library was number 20 on the list.

12. On the summer solstice, Calgary gets almost 17 hours of sunlight.

On June 21, when the summer solstice happens, Calgary gets 16.2 hours of bright sunshine! During this time also, the sun rises at 5:21 AM and sets at 9:55 PM. 

13. On the winter solstice, Calgary gets a little less than 8 hours of sunlight.

On December 21, when the winter solstice happens, Calgary gets 6.9 hours of bright sunshine! During this time also, the sun rises at 8:37 AM and sets at 4:31 PM.

14. The Chinook winds can increase the temperature by as much as 20 degrees in just a few hours. 

A weather phenomenon in Calgary that you should know about is the Chinooks. The Chinook winds can increase the overall temperature by around 20 degrees in a matter of hours. 

These are quite popular in the winter as they provide some relief from the chilly weather. 

15. Calgary can be windy too!

Calgary can be windy too

On average, 27 days of the year have winds with speeds greater than 52 km/h. The windiest days occur in December and January, which is why it can get as cold as -40°C on the extreme side.

16. Calgary has the greatest number of millionaires per capita of any city in Canada.

Calgary has the greatest number of millionaires per capita of any city in Canada

From the tax filers’ reports, Calgary had the highest concentration of millionaires in Canada in 2019 on a per-capita basis at 121.5 per 100,000 people. The millionaires have reported a median income of $1,475,950 which is the third-highest in Canada.

17. June tends to be the rainiest month, and January tends to be the coldest. 

According to the Canadian Climate Normals, June was recorded to have the most days of rainfall that could even reach greater than 25mm of rain. 

Then, 13.8 days of the year have greater than 0.2mm of rain, 5.1 days of rain greater than 0.5mm, 3.1 days of rain greater than 10mm, and 0.93 days of rain greater than 25mm.

18. In terms of temperature, January was recorded to have the lowest daily average of -7.1 degrees this could reach a daily minimum of -13.2 degrees.

In terms of temperature, January was recorded to have the lowest daily average of -7.1 degrees this could reach a daily minimum of -13.2 degrees

The coldest ever recorded was -44.4 degrees.

Calgary weather doesn’t abide by any rules and many locals will tell you that should you not  like the weather, just wait a few minutes. This is partly because of the strong winds and a mixture of a humid continental climate in the east and a subarctic climate in the west.

19. Calgary is the “highest” major city in Canada.

Technically, Airdrie is the highest city in Canada with an elevation of 1098 meters above sea level. However, Airdrie’s population is only about 70,000. This makes Calgary the highest major city in Canada.

Calgary is 1,045 m above sea level which is around 3,428 feet. 

20. Banff National Park, Canada’s most visited national park, is only 90 minutes west of Calgary. 

Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada which was established in 1885. It was formerly known as Rocky Mountains Park.

Banff has many glaciers and icefields, coniferous forests, and alpine landscapes. The park boasts more than three million tourists annually, making it the most visited national park in Canada.

This national park also contributes about 6 billion Canadian Dollars to the economy.

21. Drumheller is the dinosaur capital of the world and a great place to witness the Alberta badlands. It’s only 90 minutes east of Calgary.

Drumheller has a great history of paleontology and a rich history of dinosaur bone excavation. Also, the Drumheller is home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum which is a first-class institution of paleontology.

Drumheller’s Badlands are called “badlands” because of the dramatic landforms composed of a network of deep, narrow, and winding gullies and rocks. European explorers found the badlands difficult to go through which is the reason for its name.

22. The Bow River is one of the top three trout streams in the world.

The Bow River is one of the top three trout streams in the world

Serious anglers come from all over the world in the hopes of landing brown trout or rainbow trout. Some of these trout are longer than twenty inches. 

The Lower Bow River running through Calgary is reportedly host to 2,500 fish per mile and the average size of fish caught is about two feet.

23. There are over 700 km of bike paths, making it a great city for people who like to bike.

There are over 700 km of bike paths, making it a great city for people who like to bike

The official City of Calgary website offers tons of resources including maps of bike paths, current path closures, transportation options while taking transit, and more! If you want to take a scenic bike path in Calgary, ride up to Nose Hill Park north of the city.

24. Ginger Beef was created in Calgary. 

People say that Chef George Wong from northern China invented Ginger Beef at the Silver Inn Restaurant in the 1970s. This dish is a very common menu item in Canadian Chinese restaurants.

25. The temperature reaches 20°C or better 87 days of the year.

According to Canadian Climate, there are 87.2 days when the temperature reaches greater than 20 degrees. Again though, Calgary’s weather is ever-changing, plus the winds can subtract a few degrees so always be prepared for anything. 

26. Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, is the first Muslim to become a mayor in Canada. 

Naheed was born in Toronto and raised in Calgary. He was the first Muslim to become the mayor of any major North American city. 

He has won numerous awards, such as the 2017 Honorary Peace Patron from the Mosaic Institute for contributions to strengthening the fabric of Canada. He also won the 2014 World Mayor prize by the City Mayor’s Foundation and he was the first Canadian mayor to win it. 


That concludes our article on the cool and fun facts in Calgary. Did we miss out on any facts? 

Let us know! 

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