Calgary named one of world’s most livable cities

It’s a proud moment for Calgary.

A new ranking of the world’s most livable cities, from the Economist Intelligence Unit, puts Calgary in a third-place tie with Zurich near the top of the standings.


Only the European jewels of Copenhagen and Vienna get better scores of more livable cities on Earth. Better yet, Calgary is the best in Canada and eked out fifth-place Vancouver and eighth-place Toronto in the top ten.

Calgary got high marks for education, healthcare, infrastructure, culture and environment, and stability in the rankings.

It’s something that doesn’t come as much of a shock to those whose jobs are to hype up the city to visitors.

“I’m not surprised,” said Tourism Calgary CEO Cindy Ady. “I think sometimes because we live here we take it for granted, and (tourists) come and they say this is so good.”

Related Article: Three Canadian cities crack top 10 most livable list in the world

As we prepare for an influx of visitors for Stampede and the summer festival season, Ady said this is a very timely reminder of the kind of city we do live in and maybe it could entice more people to stay for longer.

“You spend so much time marketing your city in so many ways, trying to tell people the story of why it’s a great place to live, why it’s a great place to visit, and to have this kind of an international lift, it’s hard to buy that. We’re thrilled,” she said.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek also joined in on the excitement, releasing a statement as she is on the way back to the city after a visit in Toronto to attend a tech conference.

“More Calgarians are telling the story of their city, and people are taking notice. Our climb in the rankings for Most Livable City reflects the welcoming nature of our city, its affordability, and the opportunity offered to entrepreneurs. We are exuding optimism and inviting people to join us in shaping our future,” she said.

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“The fact that we’re tied with Zurich is incredible,” said Calgary Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Deborah Yedlin. “Zurich is a very nice place to be, way more expensive mind you, but it really is quite a feather in our cap and it really speaks to what we already know as Calgarians in terms of the advantages that we have as a city.”

Yedlin said they will also use this as validation when trying to encourage more companies to come and set up shop in the city.

Many Calgarians CityNews spoke with also agree that Calgary is a pretty sweet place to live, although there is still some room for improvement.

“Beating out Vancouver is a no-brainer for me,” said one person. “Why not? It’s a great city, it’s a beautiful city.”

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“It sort of makes sense considering that our housing prices and general cost of living are lower here than in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver and Montreal across Canada,” said another.

“Calgary is very livable, but I think livable is kind of a small standard. I think if you are trying to have fun while you are young, I don’t think Calgary is the place to go,” someone else added.

“We can do so much better with this city,” said another person who didn’t quite believe the ranking. “It is not number three, I can guarantee that for sure. I love this city, that’s why I’m saying that.”

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