1. Blog
  2. Real Estate
  3. Battle of Alberta: Calgary vs Edmonton

Battle of Alberta: Calgary vs Edmonton

Battle of Alberta - Calgary vs Edmonton from Calgary Mortgage Broker

Contemplating a move to Alberta? Traditionally the “Battle of Alberta” has been about Hockey, but more recently. it has been a story of growth of our two major cities! Differences in the housing market might have you weighing the options between both Calgary and Edmonton. Pondering which one aligns with your aspirations? Let’s look into an exploration of the benefits and drawbacks of both cities to assist you in making your best decision about your future in Alberta!

We’ll assess everything from the cost of living, employment prospects, cultural richness, social ambiance, to the state of the real estate market to determine whether a Calgary Mortgage Broker or an Edmonton Mortgage Broker would be your go-to! Our team has both!

I also want to give a shoutout to Sterling Homes in Edmonton who wrote an article on this very same topic. Thank you for the inspiration!

Diversity in Population and Weather

Calgary and Edmonton are Alberta’s crowning jewels, each with its unique scenery and aesthetic. However, their climates diverge; Edmonton experiences more extended winters and shorter summers due to its northern location, while Calgary enjoys milder winters and warm summers but the weather is more erratic due to the Chinook which brings in warm Pacific air over the mountains.

Calgary has the larger population of the two, being home to over 1.6 million people, but Edmonton follows closely with a population of slightly over 1.5 million. Both cities are economic powerhouses, flourishing in sectors like oil and gas, agriculture, and technology. Each city provides a distinctive experience against a backdrop of natural allure.

Real Estate Dynamics

Navigating through the real estate landscapes of Calgary and Edmonton reveals diverse options. Edmonton edges out in affordability, with lower median house prices about 30% lower at around $368,576, compared to Calgary’s approximate $490,134. Rent in Edmonton is generally more budget-friendly than in Calgary at about the same 30% discount.

The robust real estate markets in both cities present a spectrum of properties, from entry-level homes to luxurious residences. While Edmonton offers more economical options, both cities present lucrative investment avenues, thanks to their vibrant economies and employment sectors.

Balancing the Cost of Living

City living can be enchanting but often comes with a substantial cost. Numerous factors influence the cost of living, including housing, transportation, taxation, and food prices. These elements shape the overall affordability of each city, vital to contemplate when deciding your new home.

To gain insights into your personalized cost of living in either Edmonton or Calgary, utilizing a Cost of Living Calculator could be beneficial.

Employment Landscape

Both cities boast abundant employment opportunities, but the nature of available jobs varies considerably. Edmonton, Alberta’s capital, offers numerous positions in government services, retail, and healthcare, thanks to the presence of government institutions, large shopping centers, and advanced medical facilities. You will also find a lot more “Blue-Collar” work because it is closer to a lot of the Oil and Gas fieldwork.

Calgary, known as the heart of the oil and gas industry, provides ample jobs despite the sector’s fluctuations. Its picturesque location near the Rockies and a variety of recreational activities make it a tourism hotspot, resulting in a thriving hospitality sector. Additionally, Calgary’s push for diversification has led to a surge in technology and renewable energy jobs.

Your preferences and career objectives might align more with the governmental and retail opportunities in Edmonton or the diverse industries in Calgary, influencing your city choice.

Educational Excellence

Both cities prioritize education, offering a variety of high-caliber institutions. Edmonton hosts the renowned University of Alberta, known for its diverse programs, along with MacEwan University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), which offer specialized programs in various fields.

Calgary is home to the innovative University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and SAIT Polytechnic, each catering to the evolving needs of the workforce. Both cities have reputable primary and secondary schools, providing strong academic foundations.

Battle of Alberta - University of Calgary Mortgage Broker

Your educational and career aspirations will play a significant role in deciding between the educational richness of Edmonton and Calgary.

Lifestyle and Amenities

Edmonton, dubbed Canada’s Festival City, is a cultural hub with events like the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival. The iconic West Edmonton Mall serves as an entertainment mecca, while the city’s river valley is a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts. Edmonton’s commendable public transit, including the light rail transit (LRT) system, buses, and bike paths, contribute to the city’s allure.

Battle of Alberta - West Edmonton Mortgage Broker Mall

Calgary, renowned for hosting the Calgary Stampede, offers a high-quality life with easy access to the Rockies and a myriad of recreational activities. The city’s expansive urban pathways and bikeway networks, world-class facilities like the Calgary Zoo and Telus Spark Science Centre, enrich the living experience.

Both cities also host professional sports teams, contributing to the vibrant local culture. Edmonton has the Oilers (NHL) and the Elks (CFL) while Calgary has the Flames (NHL) and the Stampeders (CFL).

Navigating Public Transportation and Traffic

Efficient public transportation systems are a hallmark of both cities. Edmonton boasts a comprehensive network through the Edmonton Transit Service (ETS), which includes buses and the LRT. Calgary’s public transit, operated by Calgary Transit, features the extensive CTrain light rail system and a complementary bus service.

Both cities manage traffic effectively, offering well-planned road networks and multiple park-and-ride facilities, promoting public transit use.

In the grand scheme of things, both Edmonton and Calgary promise fulfilling lifestyles, rich in education, culture, amenities, and efficient public transportation. Each city has a unique charm and a plethora of opportunities tailored to diverse preferences.



Josh Tagg has been the owner of Mortgages For Less since 2006. During that time Josh has developed a reputation for being an industry leader and advocate for client education.



  1. Edmonton is Canada's Most Affordable | Mortgages for Less - […] country. Potential buyers, especially those feeling the pinch of high borrowing costs, might find Edmonton’s market a silver lining…

You May Also Like