Many aspiring Canadian immigrants are leaning towards migrating to Alberta, primarily due to the lower requirements than that of the express entry program. Having work in an eligible occupation or possessing a PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit), a PR can be easily achieved with a score as low as 300 and a language test score of a low CLB level 4. Only a high school level education or grade 12 will be needed for this program. The primary reason choose Alberta is the low cost of living and amazing scenic beauty as people receive more sunlight than any other province in Canada. Alberta is actuality top in the list of the sunniest places in Canada with 2405 hours and a total of 333 days of sunshine in the year.
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The most sought after cities to migrate to in Alberta are Edmonton and Calgary. Edmonton is the capital of Alberta. Previously according to he Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Edmonton was named among the best cities to live in Canada and Calgary was named as the fifth most livable city. Calgary has a well-deserved reputation as the cleanest city in the planet. The rankings recently have only gone down due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and other related factors. In this blog various factors such as weather, job opportunities, cost of living, things to do, key requirements for the AINP and some other factors will be mentioned in this blog. You will then be able to decide which city works best for you and take a decision based on these factors.
Population and total area
Although Edmonton is the capital city of the province, Calgary is the larger of the two cities in regards to the total area. The total land mass of Calgary is 825.3 square kilometres and a total population of 1.6 million inhabitants whereas Edmonton has a total population of 1.5 million in a total of 684 square kilometres. In terms of the topography, Calgary is more varied with hills to the North and to the west. Edmonton has a large river valley system but is mostly flat in its layout. The greenery and tree count in Edmonton is more than that of Calgary. The route to national parks such as Jasper, Banff and Waterton is quicker in Calgary than in Edmonton, which are all around a two hour drive from Calgary. Calgary has a total of 160 kilometres of trails and 460 parks which is accessed by people from Edmonton too.
Although both the cities have harsh winter conditions, the winters in Calgary are shorter due to the Chinook winds that blow across the city. The winters in Calgary are not as harsh as they are in Edmonton. In terms of snowfall, Edmonton has snow for 88 days in the entire year whereas Calgary has a total of 65 days of snow. Calgary is a very grassy land along with trees and this is evident in the topography. The inhabitants of Calgary have the luxury of a bright weather with moderate rainfall in summer. Calgary also has a very breezy climate. On the other hand, Edmonton has cool temperatures even in the summer season. Edmonton overall has low humidity, dry climate and a few summer days.
There are certain jobs in high demand in both the cities. Calgary has more of the oil and gas firms and hence more number of jobs than Edmonton in that field. Education and Medicine (Dentists, Doctors and Pharmacists) are the two fields with similar opportunities in both the cities. However there are more Engineering, Tech, IT, Business, Finance and consulting jobs in Calgary as compared to Edmonton. Amongst both the cities Edmonton is a more industrial city and hence more jobs are available in the industrial sector. Generally when layoffs occur, the employees from Calgary are usually the first to be laid off.
Cost of Living
The Calgary residents make more money or family than those in Edmonton. The cost of living in both the cities is roughly the same but houses are more expensive in Calgary as compared to Edmonton. Around $5355 would be required to maintain the similar quality of living in Edmonton as compared to $5500 in the city of Calgary, these figures includes the rent in both the cities. The cost for renting a 1 bedroom apartment in Calgary is around $1300 in the city centre as compared to $1,152 in Edmonton depending on the location, size and type of property.
The cost of the home outside the city centre will be cheaper by around $200 per month. For utilities (Sanitization, cooling, heating, water and electricity) the residents in Calgary pay around $194 in total for an 85 square meter apartment, whereas the residents of Edmonton on the other hand will pay $229 CAD in total. The cost of a minute of prepaid mobile is usually $0.26 cents whereas in Edmonton the cost is $0.38 cad. The cost of internet with speeds of 60 MBPS and unlimited data is $84 Cad, whereas the cost for the same in Edmonton is $87.
The monthly transit passes for transportation can be purchased in both cities, in Calgary is it $109 CAD (unlimited trips on all transit routes) and a day pass is $11 and in Edmonton it is $100 while the adult day pass is $10.25.
Things to do in both cities
Both the cities happen to be top tourist destinations in Canada. The Calgary Tower and the Calgary Zoo are two of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The archaeological site of the head-smashed in Buffalo jump is recognised for preserving plain and people culture. This is also one of UNESCO’s most important global heritage sites. The heritage park in Calgary has over 200 exhibits spread out over 127 acres of exquisite land. The notable exhibits here are the First Nations encampment from the year 1880, giving a glimpse into the lives of pre-railway settlers.
The Calgary stampede is a very popular rodeo held in July of every year, which include chuck wagon races, cattle auctions, rides, games and a wide array of food types. The restaurant options in Calgary are endless and Calgary is home to 6 of the top 50 restaurants in Canada. The lake Moraine in Banff national park is a famous destination to visit and no trip to Calgary is considered complete without visiting this place. The Alberta town of Banff is known as the “Gateway to the Rockies.” Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park and a UNESCO world heritage site. Things to do at national parks usually includes camping, trekking, cycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, photography ,fishing in addition to many more.
Edmonton known as the gateway to the north has a variety of things to do and placed to see. The famous symphony under the sky, dragon boat festival, various culinary festivals, or the largest mall in North America, Edmonton is a great place to live in overall. More than 800 retailers are located at the west Edmonton mall, which also boasts Canada’s largest parking lot. The Largest indoor water park in North America, largest amusement park in North America coupled with an aquarium, a movie theatre and a full sized replica of the Santa Maria, the ship used by Christopher Columbus to sail to America in 1492, a full sized skating ring, mini golf, bars and many more attractions are present throughout the mall.
Edmonton also contains North America’s largest urban park. The river valley has more than 160 kilometres of pathways spread over an area of 7284 hectares. There are 11 lakes, 22 ravines along with a many more attractions such as the Fort Edmonton park, Edmonton valley Zoo, golf course, skiing opportunities, skating and many more attractions. Edmonton is regarded as the “city of festivals” since it hosts over 50 festivals each year. The popular ones includes the Edmonton International fringe festival, ‘K-days’ previously known as the ‘’Edmonton Exhibition’’ is a 10 day exhibition that has attracted more than 700,000 to 800,000 visitors each year. This exhibition includes street parties, parades, live entertainment and gold panning. The most popular street in Edmonton is Whyte Avenue located in the old Strathcona neighborhood of Edmonton. This area is full of art galleries, music shops, historic buildings, restaurants and cafes. Is it considered one of the trendiest parts of Edmonton.
Calgary is a place to reside if you like the nature, adventure, mountains and snow. If you happen to be a history buff then Calgary will certainly fascinate you as it has some of the best museums in the world with an array of unique artifacts and collections of art. Edmonton on the other hand is known for its picturesque beauty and the river valley situated in Edmonton contains the longest stretch of urban parkland in the entire North American region. There is happiness in each city and there something to do for everyone as each one has unique tastes and choices.
Main requirements for the AINP (Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program)
- A low CLB level of 4 in the speaking, reading, writing and listening for the (IELTS/CELPIP) although a CLB level of 7 will allow you to apply faster through the Alberta Express Entry Stream (AINP).
- The Alberta oppurtunity stream requires you to have a job offer from an employer in Alberta.
- For the Alberta PNP a low CRS score of only 300 will be required
- Need enough proof of funds/settlement funds need to be mentioned even if they are not accompanying you to Canada
- The NOC/jobs in Alberta are very subjective and tend to change on a regular basis.
The rules and regulations for immigration keep on changing and this is the best time to apply by evaluation your best possible options. Contact one of our consultants to learn more about how and which areas you may be eligible for.Give us a call now and evaluate your best options. Alberta is a highly sought after province and the detailed description mentioned in this blog will help you get city specific and sound knowledge on living in Alberta.
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