Top 12 reasons a Brit will feel at home living in Calgary

By: Forest Foothills

Dear fellow British person, here are dozen reasons, carefully researched on the web-a-net, that explain why you might feel right at home here:-
  1. You’ll like the weather. “Surely some mistake”, I hear you say, “Isn’t Calgary a frozen wasteland?”. Not really, not even in winter. Sure, the temperature can dip below -30C for a few days, but then we’ll get a Chinook wind and the temperature will rise well above zero. The big draw here is that it’s dry, and sunny. No more gloomy days hunched under that umbrella, this is the sunniest place in Canada. And in the summer, it’s warmer and drier during the day than the UK ever is. Just like being on holiday. Without the flights. And the food poisoning.

  2. You’ll like our food. The most popular meal in the UK is curry. The most popular meal in Canada is poutine; a layer of French fries, covered with cheese curds, topped with hot chicken gravy to melt it all together. Sounds fairly disgusting, but it’s pretty good when the outside temperature is below freezing. Actually poutine is probably the most popular meal in Quebec. In Calgary, the most popular meal is probably butter chicken, aka Murgh Makhani – which is a sort of curry. Be warned though, during Stampede the most popular meal in Calgary is jalapeno corn dogs with a side-order of deep-fried mini donuts.

  3. You don’t like rats. Who does? You’re never more that eight metres from a rat in the UK, they say. According to some estimates, there are around 60 million. That’s one per person. Number of rats in Alberta? Zero. According to the government, Alberta luxuriates in a rat-free status. Unfortunately a small rat infestation was discovered in a Medicine Hat landfill a few months ago. The provincial government instigated “Operation Haystack” to try and get rid of the critters. Here’s a quote from the Calgary Herald; “An additional 30 city workers completed basic training on rat identification Thursday, bringing the total task force up to more than 50.” In Alberta, we’re so rat-free, we don’t even know what they look like.

  4. You don’t like crowds. In the UK, the average number of people living in a square kilometre is 256. Average number of people living in a square kilometre in Canada? 9.

  5. You want to drive a big truck. What does the previous point mean? Logically you would think it means your average Canadian has much more room in which to swing a beaver, but that’s not the way our species works. Most Canadians cluster in cities within 200 kilometres of the US border. It really means two things; firstly, urban Canadians get to drive big trucks to travel the big distances between big cities, and secondly, if you live in a rural area, you’ll need a big truck just to visit your closest neighbour.

  6. You speak the same language. But, be careful, some words and phrases are different. For instance, in Canada the structure that houses a public payphone is called a telephone booth. In the UK the structure that houses a public payphone is called a urinal. Or, more formally, a telephone box.

  7. You’ll like the TV. Most popular soap in the UK? Coronation Street. Most popular soap in Canada? Coronation Street. Strange, but true. The CBC broadcasts Corrie five times a week. It holds a prime evening spot except during the NHL playoffs when Weatherfield is shifted to the afternoons.

  8. You’ll feel right at home with the politics. Just like back home, not every region is happy about being a part of the country. England is divided into two administrative areas; Greater London and the Scilly Isles, and 83 counties – the largest and most rebellious of which, Yorkshire, is constantly banging on about independence. Canada is divided into three territories; Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon, and 10 provinces – the largest and most rebellious of which, Quebec, is constantly banging on about independence.

  9. Oil. In the Eighties the UK grew rich on taxes from North Sea oil, but now it’s nearly run out, and the economy has slumped. Alberta is enriched by enormous reserves of oil that won’t run out in your lifetime, and when they do, your grandchildren, or your grandchildren’s children can move next door to Saskatchewan, which has even more in reserve.

  10. Gas. See above.

  11. You want to play outside. Do you take a winter skiing holiday in the Alps? By that I mean humping your skis and boots and your kids’ skis and boots to the airport, paying exorbitant baggage fees as a result, to spend a week queuing at the lifts with the rest of Europe. Calgary actually has a ski lift in the city itself. The nearest proper ski hill is a 45 minute drive away and has the 1988 Olympic downhill run. Want variety? There are over a dozen ski resorts within three and a bit hours drive. And the queues? See item 4. There’s nobody here.

  12. You want to play outdoors some more. No problem; hiking, climbing, ski doo-ing, atv-ing, cross-country skiing, mtb-ing, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, mountaineering. They’re just a few of the activities the area around Calgary is perfect for.

So there you have it, an enlightening and balanced list explaining why you might want to move from the cradle of modern industrialisation, to the birth-nation of pocket-sized rocker, Bryan Adams. From the home of all-round entertainer Bruce Forsyth, to the largest country in the western hemisphere.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingForest Foothills is a British expat living in Canada. Blog description: From ponies and donkeys in the English New Forest, to bears and cougars in rural Alberta.
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Contest Comments » There are 4 comments

Emma wrote 9 years ago:

Great post! Makes me want to up-sticks-and-leave right now! :)

Penny wrote 9 years ago:

That was great! Informative, yet humorous!

Holly Nelson wrote 9 years ago:

Lovely blogpost, I particularly enjoyed the bit about Corrie :) very true! My boyfriend and I enjoy nothing more than sitting round watching it in the evening with our dinner!

Jerry - Calgary Homes wrote 8 years ago:

You are right the British will feel at home in Calgary. They should think about relocating soon. Housing property sales are good this year. Currently, condos are especially hot to buyers.

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