Warning Signs a Neighbourhood May Not Be as Great as You Think

When you’re in the process of house hunting, there are a number of different features that are often top on your list of preferences with your dream home. From the floor layout to location, there are several factors to take notice of when visiting different properties. For those who want to feel at home after relocating, there are several warning signs to look for when viewing the neighbourhood of a home. From noisy neighbours to neglected yards, there are a few red flags to look for when moving onto the block. Read more

The Top 5 Calgary School Districts & Their Outlying Neighbourhoods

With its breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies, mild winter climate and low crime rate, sunny Calgary is a safe and picturesque place, which is why you chose to live here! But it also has some amazing schools, perfect for your child’s educational career to blossom. It happens to be home to many of Alberta’s most dynamic and highly respected educational facilities for students of all ages, the majority of which are all-inclusive K-12 schools. Compiled below are the 5 top-ranked schools in Calgary, both private and public. Read more

Buying a Home is not like Buying Red Shoes

Photo by Catherine Breslin on Flickr

When women need a new pair of shoes, they go to the mall to find it. When they found a fabulous one and try them on. They’re going to be so excited that they fit perfectly and it looks so glamorous on them. It’s not that pricey either. So it seems perfect!

Do they buy them? The answer is no. Not yet.

They will go to every other store first in the mall, finding for other pairs of red shoes and will try them all until they get exhausted and give up. Then that’s the time they will return to the first store and buy those fancy red shoes.

Is this how you should shop for a home?

Please not. When you find the perfect home, we got two words of advice for you… BUY IT.

Beyond Calgary: The Canadian Rocky Mountains

Living in Calgary is a great privilege. Going beyond the boundaries of Calgary is an amazing treat! Calgary is itself an awesome vacation place, for this is where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Canada meet the Great Plains. In fact, the city is the closest international gateway to both the Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park.

Photo by Frank Wicker on Flickr

Can you imagine what you can do if you’re living in great city which is close to the wonders of the world? Sounds like an adventure right? Well it is. Prepare yourself for a ride of a lifetime because the Canadian Rockies will absolutely make your hearts melt with wonders, your eyes feast with beauty and your mind blow with amazement!

The Rocky Mountains of Canada a.k.a the Canadian Rockies, are a vast land filled with inspiring sceneries. Comprising the Canadian segment of the North American Rocky Mountains range, Canadian Rockies are bounded on the east by the Canadian Prairies (which includes the city of Calgary, Alberta), on the west by the Rocky Mountain Trench and on the north by the Liard River. This great natural composition brings wonderful opportunities for people to experience.

Wildlife wonders, multitude of recreational activities for all ages, gorgeous sceneries await the visitors and travellers of the Rockies. From Calgary to Banff, to Jasper and Canmore, to Waterton – there are of lot of things to do in these places that will make you jump for excitement.

Banff National Park and Jasper National Park boasts with the spectacular lakes and views of the majestic Canadian Rockies. It will make you feel that there’s no other place in the world. The trip to Canmore will let you experience the Columbia Icefield Discovery and Glacier Adventure. Lake Louise brings the spectacular journey along the Icefields Parkway. Rolling prairies, lofty mountain peaks and a magnificent variety of plant and animal life await you at the Waterton. The wonderful Waterton National Park is part of the world’s first international Peace Park together with the neighboring Glacier National Park.

You’ll never run out of things to do in the Canadian Rockies. It’s magnificence and beauty goes beyond your imagination. The adventure that’s waiting for you to experience is extraordinary. It’s an exhilarating exploration of the wonder of this world that happens to be just a little beyond Calgary.

For more updates and great information, like our Living in Calgary page on Facebook. Considering to move to Calgary someday? Subscribe to our Calgary Market Trends Report to get updates on what’s happening in the Calgary Real Estate Market.

Your GyPSy Tour Guide to Canada

Have you ever imagined having a tour guide that could fit inside your pocket? Weird it may sound, but that’s already possible! The GyPSy technology has made it possible to have a personal tour guide through a small PDA device that can ride along with you in your car and could even play commentaries through your car’s stereo. GyPSy is the world’s most advanced Tour Guide for travelers like you who prefer to drive yourself on sightseeing trips.

Photo by CompleteNorthAmerica.com

Isn’t it nice to have someone guiding you and giving you helpful travel tips but still keeping your independence? And the tour guides you can get are not just ordinary ones but a team of professional tour guides who have comprehensively created tours of your favorite destinations in Canada for you to enjoy as you drive. What’s more interesting is that as you drive through an area of interest, the device automatically plays an commentary specific to that location. Awesome, right?

The GyPSy’s commentaries are so entertaining that you can even hear great stories, facts and figures about the place you are travelling to. It also includes history, geography and directions and Canadiana! These commentaries know when to start and stop because the amazing GyPSy device knows where you are exactly! Leave it on your vehicle and go for a hike or take a break, it will again start automatically at your next point.

The tours on GyPSy have an excellent variety of information that are designed to help you enjoy and get the most out of your vacation. It’s a device that you can rent for a day or two or for as long as you plan to travel. You can simply pick up the device from one of the GyPSy’s downtown or airport locations, attach it to your car and off you go. You’re free to travel wherever you want – no fixed time schedule to follow, no limited itinerary, and no need to remember to turn it on when you get somewhere! What’s more awesome about GyPSY, there’s already an iPhone and iPad app available for you!

Now you can take that Canadian Rockies trip that you like without worrying about who’s going to guide you. You can just simply enjoy and seize the day!

See The GyPSy Guide in Action

[youtube width=”510″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT1i0-Q6x7k&feature=share&list=ULGT1i0-Q6x7k[/youtube]

Top 5 Shopping Places in Calgary

Shopping is a favorite activity of many people – especially the women. Calgary is not being left behind in having the best shopping destinations in Canada. In fact, we have the most exciting, most unique and most loved shopping places here! Living in Calgary has collected the Top 5 Shopping Places in Calgary based from the community reviews from TripAdvisor.ca.

1. Calgary’s Farmers’ Market

It’s a trip to the market that you will enjoy. Located at the 77th Avenue of SE Calgary, Calgary’s Farmers’ Market is built as a dynamic, family-friendly place for community engagement with over 80 vendors providing the customers with whatever they need. The market offers different products like fresh local produce, art, meat, poultry, international food, organic goods, jewelry and many more. It’s a market of diversity indeed. The market also features a stunning glass atrium, a large and very dynamic food court, free standing fireplaces, an interactive children’s play area, stroller parking, large aisle and extensive free parking all around the building. Calgary’s Farmers’ Market has been gaining recognition year after year making it a true world-class market venue in Calgary.

 Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

2. Stephen Avenue Walk

A walk down the history. Stephen Avenue Walk is a pedestrian mall in the historic downtown area which is one of the few remaining National Historic Districts within Canada. It would be a wonderful treat to go shopping in this district because you don’t only see shops and restaurants, but you also enjoy the sights of the many well-preserved buildings in the area dating from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. The Calgarians have been enjoying buying goods on the 8th Avenue for over 100 years already. Stephen Avenue Walk has become the heart of the financial Calgary seeing all the Bankers Hall located in it. The buildings in the avenue are accessible through the Calgary’s ‘Plus 15’ walkway system. Stephen Avenue Walk is the experience of Calgary’s best having all the best restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars lining in the street where you can catch live performances too! That’s the kind of walk you’ll never get tired of for sure!

Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

3. Market Mall

Market Mall is a mall to love. Located in the Shaganappi Trail in NW Calgary in the community of Varsity, Market Mall is one of the largest malls in the city. This mall is jointly owned by two of the largest real estate property managers and developers in Canada, the Cadillac Fairview and Ivanhoe Cambridge. Market Mall is the shopping palace of everything and anything you need with stores laid out very efficiently. It is simply a wonderful place to shop and also a pleasant experience for the non-shoppers who were just dragged in the mall, like husbands and boyfriends. They have lots of comfy seats in the center aisle where the men can rest while the women shop. Food places are awesome inside the mall. A good variety of restaurants can be seen here, from Chinese to Greek to Mediterranean to Latin and more. Market Mall is definitely a one shopping destination you will surely love.

Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

4. Alberta Boot Company

Alberta Boot Company is the shopping place for the boots and everything else that comes with it. It is about the joy of finding the perfect pair of cowboy boots that fits you. The Alberta’s only western-boot maker is proud of their boots and enjoy a solid reputation built on quality products and excellent service. What makes them different from the competition is that they actually manufacture the boots right on the premises at their Calgary manufacturing and retail location. Their unique way of handcrafting boots that will fit your taste and foot has amazed a lot of people and has given them a wonderful boot-buying experience. They have an on-site workshop where they showcase a variety of top-quality materials to choose from. They have a staff of craftspeople who know boots who gives the excellent service we all deserve. Alberta Boot Company (ABC) stores also carries a selection of western garments and accessories, with hats jeans and belt buckles too. Alberta Boots has made itself the ultimate and most-desired brand of boots of the Royalty, movie stars, entertainers, celebrities, athletes, public figures, religious leaders and of course – the ordinary people from all over the world, from all walks of life.

Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

5. Forzani’s Tech Shop

It’s Alberta’s original running and walking store and it’s none other than The TechShop by Forzani’s. The first retail location of the store was first known as ‘Forzani’s Locker Room’ was opened in 1974 by John Forzani along with three Calgary Stampeder teammates. It started with a 1,200 square foot store and later on grew steadily allowing the Company to expand with its initial athletic footwear business to include clothing, licensed apparels and sports equipment. The TechShop has been known since then for their commitment to customer service, product knowledge and extensive product assortment. That has made them the community’s long time consumer favorite. What’s more unique about them is that their stores are staffed by athletes that are customer-oriented and knowledgeable and they take the time to understand their customer’s footwear and apparel needs. While each store is focused on running and walking, the store also specialized on unique sports and fitness needs – especially for those who have hard-to-fit feet. That makes Forzani’s TechShop an awesome Calgarian shoe-shopping experience!

 Photo by Yelp.ca

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Top 5 Amusement and Theme Parks in Calgary

Looking for fun and exciting things to do in Calgary? Calgary has a lot of things to offer for its residents and visitors. It’s a city where great things never stop to happen. Where the beauty of the natural environment meets the modern urban city – making a great Canadian city of sights and wonders. Living in Calgary has collected the the Top 5 Amusement and Theme Parks in Calgary based from the community reviews at TripAdvisor.ca.

1. Heritage Park

Heritage Park has always been and will forever be a favorite attraction in Calgary. It is a place where the new meets the old. A memorable trip that will take you to the memories of the past. You will always find it fascinating to see old structures recreated in life and decorated with genuine artifacts. The whole historical village comes in full blast with its staff in historic costumes, antique automobiles and horse-driven services are in the site. And there’s the steam locomotive and train too that takes the passengers around the park. Calgary must be proud of having the Canada’s largest living history museum in the city. And this must be taken good care of to be enjoyed by the next generations.

Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

2. Calaway Park

If some thrilling rides are what you are looking for, Calgary will never disappoint you with the amusing experiences it can offer. The Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest amusement park with attractions that includes the all-time-favorite roller-coaster, train ride, log ride, Ferris wheel and other classic rides you will always look forward to in riding with your friends. It’s a ride-all-you-can treat at one price for the entrance tickets! Calgarians usually buy the season’s pass before the mid-May opening of the park to get some huge discounts. If you’re thinking that you’re too old or too young for the amusement park, there are rides at Calaway Park that are suitable for kids of all ages, from 1 to 99. Summers are extra fun in Calaway because of the daily live shows offered. Calaway Park is an awesome experience you will always look forward to in Calgary.

Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

3. Calgary Corn Maze

It’s a maze experience you will never forget! The Calgary Corn Maze & Fun Farm is an exciting destination in Alberta and has become one of the favorite places for agri-fun! There will never be a moment of boredom in the farm for there are a lot of activities that awaits the kids and even the kids-at-heart. From petting zoo to jumping pillows, mini golf to grain train, banyard chicken show to hop-a-long horse races, corn canons and of course the corn maze itself. The Calgary Corn Maze creates fun and excitement in getting lost! It’s not just about wandering around the maze aimlessly but the activities inside the maze – the finger find stations, maze trivia, games and hidden image picture stations will help you find your way out. And that’s from the inside of the largest and most interactive puzzle in Southern Alberta. The Calgary Corn Maze is truly one of the amazing places in Calgary.

The Chamberlain Group will be having their Corn Maze Event 2012 for the 3rd Annual Calgary’s Cutest Kid and Pet Contest at The Calgary Corn Maze on September 29th, 2012. Check on the links to see more details about the said events.

 Photo by Living in Calgary

4. Shakers Family Fun Centre

All-out-all-fun is what Shakers offers! From the all-time favorite go-karting to a new thrilling laser tagging, you will surely have a lot of fun. There’s rock climbing that the brave and the strong will enjoy! The kids will love the mini-golf outdoors and the fantastic arcade games indoors. Shakers Family Fun Centre is Calgary’s year-round fun centre that accommodates people of all ages. It’s a destination you need to be if you want to have fun for few hours or even an unlimited fun for one whole day for one great price. Shakers is a perfect place to bond with the family!

Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

5. Kart World Family Fun Centre

Calgary_Alberta.htmlKart World is an epic place to be in Calgary. This family fun centre offers a variety of activities and entertainment for the whole family – from the young ones to the young once! Go-karting here is definitely an exciting experience – giving you the adrenalin rush you’ve been looking for. Kart World is boasting with the fastest karting track in Calgary having over 100 karts to choose from. They have high-speed karts for adults, family fun karts for ages 8 and up, kids karts for 4 to 8 years old and two-seater karts for adults and kids. Kart World also features mini-golf, laser tag. bumper boats and games room. Epic fun never stops at Kart World!

 Photo by TripAdvisor.ca

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Top 5 Best Value Hotels in Calgary

Travelling to Calgary and looking for the best and affordable hotels to stay in to for a day or two? Here’s the list we got from TripAdvisor.ca for the Top 5 Best Value Hotels in Calgary.

1. Canadas Best Value Inn

Canada’s Best Value Inn Calgary is at number 1 spot for the best value hotels in Calgary for its surprisingly great rooms, services and location. It is located within the 5-minute walk of McMahon Stadium football venue. Popular Calgary attractions are nearby, like Calgary Tower, EPCOR Center for the Performing Arts, Calgary Zoo and Saddledome. The hotel offers a great home stay away from home at very affordable rates. This hotel offers a seasonal outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi in every room. If you are looking for an affordable and convenient place to stay in Calgary, this hotel will never disappoint you and won’t hurt your pockets either.

Rate: CAD72 and up per night

Photo by Hotels.com

2. Lakeview Signature Inn Calgary Airport

It’s a fabulous hotel boasting with spacious studios and providing you with all the comforts of home. Lakeview Signature Inn is situated on the corner of Barlow Trail and 39th Avenue, only 10 kilometers from the Calgary International Airport. Aside from its bright, clean and spacious rooms, Lakeview Signature Inn also features an indoor saltwater pool and a whirpool as well. If you are into working out or playing sports, there’s a 24-hour fitness center here and a tennis court. Since they’re promoting the comfort of a real home feel of the hotel, they actually have full kitchen with cookware and place settings for 4 guests. Guests can also take advantage of free grocery delivery and a free hot breakfast buffet in the morning. That’s almost everything you need to give you a relaxing treat after a day of travel.

Rate: CAD139 and up per night

Photo by LakeviewSignatureInn.com

3. Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton – Calgary Airport

If you want to get a hotel that is close to a lot of great attractions in Calgary but not spending too much, check the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Calgary – Airport. The hotel is close to attractions like the Calgary Tower, The Calgary Zoo, The Scotiabank Saddledome, Stampede Park, Fort Calgary and Olympic Plaza. The hotel is ideally situated in the thriving Northeast/Airport business community and is just fourteen minutes away from the terminal. Their friendly staff and nice and comfortable hotel rooms with HD TV are definitely something that you will enjoy. They have other amenities like a well-equipped fitness center and a boardroom for business meetings. It’s a wonderful hotel that will definitely give you a wonderful experience. Everything you’d expect from a Hilton, that is.

Rate: CAD139 and up per night

Photo by HamptonInn3.Hilton.com

4. Best Western Premier Freeport Inn & Suites

It’s just a stone away from Calgary’s most popular attractions and just few minutes away from Calgary International Airport. Best Western Premier Freeport Inn & Suites is an elegant yet an affordable lodging for travelers with all kinds of needs and budget. They offer great accommodations that are comfortable, spacious and stocked with top amenities like an on-site bar & grill, a new-heated indoor pool and waterside and a state-of-the-art fitness centre. They are boasting with wonderful service experience by provided by their friendly staff. Best Western Premier Freeport Inn & Suites has so much more to offer that will make the most out of your Calgary vacation.

Rate: CAD140 and up per night

Photo by BestWesternCalgary.com

5. Acclaim Hotel Calgary Airport

If you want to experience an impressive stay in Calgary, go to Acclaim Hotel Calgary Airport. They have the nicest modern rooms. They’re clean, spacious and definitely comfortable. Beds come in premium beddings that makes it real comfortable. The rooms have wired high-speed and wireless internet access plus iPod docking stations and laptop-compatible safes. The hotel has a restaurant that serves delicious food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A bar and lounge is available for some few drinks you can enjoy. A business center is available for those who’d like to host small meetings and conferences. Acclaim Hotel is a place you would want to return to again and again.

Rate: CAD131 and up per night

Photo by BestWesternCalgary.com

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Top 5 Places to Eat in Calgary

Calgary is not just a great place to travel to but also a wonderful place to eat and dine. And while Calgarians are becoming more and more discerning and food-savvy, many restaurants and food markets are growing in all directions of the city. Though there are a lot to taste and try, there are just really some that stands-out in the hearts of the people. Living in Calgary has collected the Top 5 Places to Eat in Calgary based on the reviews of the people on TripAdvisor.ca.

1. La Brezza Ristorante

Great food. Great service. Great location. Calgarians believe that almost everything is great in La Brezza Ristorante! With 250+ excellent ratings of almost 300 community reviews, it must be really true! La Brezza, the ocean breeze in Italian, is said to be one of the Calgary’s finest Italian restaurants. They offer an elegant yet simple Italian cuisine with the emphasis to the traditional and well-loved home-cooked goodness.

Photo by LaBrezza.ca
Visit their website at www.labrezza.ca

2. La Cas d’Italia Ristorante

La Cas d’Italia Ristorante is one of those few restaurants that can make you feel at home. With an excellent, quiet and comfortable atmosphere of the restaurant, it gives you the total feel of home and comfort where your mind can relax and have a moment to enjoy what you are eating. The food is wonderful definitely! A delicious treat you will always come back to…

Photo by Yelp.ca
Visit their website at www.lacasaditalia.com

3. Calypso’s Taverna

The best Greek restaurant in Calgary is worth a visit. With its delicious food from appetizers to desserts, it will surely be an impressive and enjoyable experience for you. The Calgarians’ love for this restaurant doesn’t end on the food alone but also for its exceptional service and great staff who are well-experienced and knowledgeable – and some sense of humor sometimes.
Calypso’s Taverna is an authentic and enjoyable experience and is worth a visit.

Photo by CalypsosTaverna.com
Visit their website at www.calypsostaverna.com

4. Rouge

‘The foundation of our food begins with the best ingredients.”, that’s what Rouge says. That’s the kind of philosophy that manifest not only on their delicious dishes but also on how they serve them. Rouge partners with local food growers and utilizes their onsite garden and their own homegrown produce. These kind of preparations gives their unique cuisine a regional flavour that you can almost taste the terroir. That’s why it’s not surprising how much people love this restaurant. With it’s unimaginable flavour, exquisite and tasty dishes, perfect wine pairings, warm and friendly servers, and a terrific place to spend a relaxing time with. Though some says the food here is a bit expensive, it’s still a win for Calgary’s taste overall.

Photo by Kalev.com
Visit their website at www.rougecalgary.com

5. Alloy

It’s an escape to a unique dining experience you’ve never had in Calgary before – literally and figuratively. Located in a former city library building nestled away in an inauspicious neighborhood off of the downtown area, Alloy has a perfect dining atmosphere worth searching out in an out-of-ordinary location. The Mediterranean and Latin influences of the two chef/owners, Uri and Rogelio, has brought asian flavours and sensibilities to the Alloy’s menu and has created an overall atmosphere that represents a harmonious culinary adventure that leaves a lasting impression. No wonder that a lot of Calgarians find this restaurant as something they will always come back. Excellent service, perfect and eclectic food, aesthetically attractive interiors, awesome patio dining area, stunning decorations and a whole lot more of guest-centric experience.

Photo by AlloyDining.com
Visit their website at