Living in Calgary vs. Edmonton: Where Should You Live?

You’ve chosen to relocate to Alberta because of its low cost of living, magnificent scenery, and those lovely days when Albertans soak up more sunshine than any other province. If you have done some research, two cities may stand out in your mind. And you must be puzzled with the question living in Calgary vs. Edmonton: where should you live?

Calgary has been named the fifth most liveable city globally by The Economist Intelligence Unit and has a population of 1,392,609. While Edmonton was recently rated as the 60th best city to live in. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, Calgary is Canada’s cleanest city and has a population of 1,321,426.  You might ask yourself which city is the ideal place for you. Our comparison guide will help you make the right choice for you between living in Calgary vs. Edmonton. 

Calgary vs. Edmonton

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Public Transit in Calgary vs. Edmonton

In Calgary, the public transit is known as Light Rail Transit (LRT). Whereas in Edmonton, it is known as Edmonton Transit Service (ETS). 

LRT Fare Prices

Calgary’s public transit system comprises two LRT lines (Light Rail Transit) known as the C-Train and buses. Both accept cash, credit cards, and purchase tickets. For the buses, they also accept cash but you will not receive change. Additionally, you can also purchase passes and tickets from various grocery stores, drug shops, and convenience stores across the city.

A one-time fair is for 90 minutes, whereas a pass is good for the whole day. The Calgary Transit website has all of the information you’ll need. Airdrie Transit, ROAM Transit, and On-It Regional Transit are three important transit companies in the city.

Here are all the essential fares that you can consider while traveling in Calgary.

Rates for Fares 


Cash fares (90 minutes validity) 2022

Tickets (cash fares bought in books of 10) 2022

Adult (Ages 18 and older)



Youth (Ages 6 – 17) or students 18 to 21 attending high school full time. (School ID required)




Ages 5 and under



(*Calgary Transit)



Day Pass (Valid from the time of purchase until

the end of service that day) 2022

Monthly Pass (Valid for 1 calendar month) 2022

Adult (Ages 18 and older)



Youth (Ages 6 – 17)


$79.00 ($82.00 effective September 1, 2022)

(*Calgary Transit)

What Are the Public Transit Opening Hours in Calgary?


The Light Rail Transit operates between 4 am to 1 am. 

ETS Fare Prices

ETS is the city’s transportation authority in Edmonton, which runs public transportation. It maintains a fleet of over 900 buses, 90 light rail vehicles, and 100 DATS (Disabled Adult Transit Service) vehicles that operate as public transit.

According to the table below, the average cost of public transportation in Edmonton is $50 per month.

For Youth (24 and under)



Ticket (book of 10)


Monthly Pass




For Adults (25 and 64)



Tickets (book of 10)


Monthly Pass




For Seniors (65+)



Ticket (book of 10)


Monthly Pass


2021/2022 Annual Pass

(valid  February 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)


2021/2022 Annual Pass (Low Income, Tier 2; income between $29,069 and $33,033)

(valid February 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)


2021/2022 Annual Pass (Low Income, Tier 1; income below $29,069)

(valid February 1, 2021 – March 31, 2022)


(*Edmonton Transit Service)

What Are the Public Transit Opening Hours in Edmonton?


The Edmonton Transit Service operates until 3 am, on some extended services on five routes, seven days a week. 

If you’re comparing Calgary to Edmonton, remember to consider fares as well. Both cities are well-served by low-cost transit. The light rail (LRT) system in Edmonton expands and improves the city’s bus services. At the same time, Calgary’s CTrain covers a length of more than 118 kilometers.


Cost of Groceries in Calgary vs. Edmonton

Groceries include items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, and others. Here is the average cost of groceries in Calgary and the average cost of groceries in Edmonton for a few monitems.

Average Cost of Groceries in Calgary

Average Cost of Groceries in Edmonton

Items (1 kg)


Items (1 kg)


Milk (1 Liter)


Milk (1 Liter)


Loaf of bread


Loaf of bread






Dozen Eggs


Dozen Eggs


Local Cheese


Local Cheese






Beef round


Beef round


























Head of Lettuce


Head of Lettuce


Water Bottle 1.5L


Water Bottle 1.5L



Grocery for 1 person

$214 per month.

Grocery for 1 person

$257.18 per month.

(*Cost of Living Calgary & Edmonton)

So, the difference between the costs of groceries of both cities is quite clearly visible now. Calgary is less expensive as compared to Edmonton. If you are looking to save money, then you know your pick. 

What to Do in Calgary vs. Edmonton

It would take a little time for you to grasp what to do in Calgary and Edmonton. And it’s helpful to have a wide variety of leisure activities available in these two cities.

Entertainment in Calgary

If you live in Calgary, you might enjoy a trip to the Calgary Zoo. The majority of tourists enjoy doing this day excursion with their children and families. You could also enjoy taking pictures of the Calgary Statue, Canada’s Hall of Fame, and Heritage Historical Park, among other exciting sights.

The town’s nightlife is also a significant point of debate. Cowboys Nightclub in Calgary is one-of-a-kind. On top of the list, visiting the Calgary Tower is definitely a must. The tower stands at the height of 1228 meters above sea level. It provides you with a panoramic view of Calgary city.

Entertainment in Edmonton

If you love nature, the River Valley Parks in Edmonton is, without a doubt, the best. These lovely parks provide an excellent location to enjoy some fresh air and take a walk. The West Northlands Park and Elk Island National Park are other examples of parks you might enjoy while living in Edmonton.

If you’re interested in art, you will definitely be impressed by The Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. This is the perfect opportunity to explore and appreciate the fantastic artwork on offer. 

Cost of Entertainment in Calgary vs. Edmonton

Cost of Entertainment in Calgary 

Cost of Entertainment in Edmonton

The cost of entertainment in Calgary, taking only the essentials into consideration, is as follows:

  • Inexpensive Restaurant Meal: $10-$17.
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $3.
  • A business day trip of 8 km on a taxi has a basic cost: $24.
  • 3- course meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant: $75
  • 2 tickets to the cinema: $32.
  • Cocktail drink in the pub: $14.

If you assume a monthly average of $187 for four beers, one lunch with friends, two cinema visits, and four everyday restaurant dinners, that will set you back approximately: $187.

Compared to many other cities in Canada, Edmonton is not particularly inexpensive. Still, it does not make it the most expensive place. The following are some examples of basic costs in and around Edmonton:

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $20
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $6
  • 2 tickets to the cinema: $32
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course: $80
  • Cocktail drink in the pub: $11
  • Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught): $6
  • Taxi trip on a business day, basic cost, 8 km: $19

Based on a nationwide average, if you have had 4 beers, a dinner out with friends, 2 film visits, and four regular restaurant meals each month for a year, it will cost you around $216.

So, we can see that you can do more for less in Calgary. Whereas Edmonton is more on the expensive side, and you will have to pick and choose between entertainment activities to stay on budget.


Edmonton - Long Distance moving companies

Housing in Calgary vs. Edmonton

When comparing the cost of renting a home in one of Edmonton’s more expensive neighborhoods to the cost of renting a similar house in Calgary, it is found that rental rates are roughly 23% lower. With the cost of internet, TVs, and utilities declining in Edmonton, the difference between living in Calgary or Edmonton amounts to a significant amount each month.

Cost of Housing in Calgary

The following table displays the cost of living in Calgary showing various apartment types, their rents, and their expenses in Calgary.

City District


1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Downtown Calgary



















Mount Royal





South Calgary









(*Cost of Living Calgary)

How Much Is a House in Calgary?


The average price of a house in Calgary is $446,300.

(*Canada Immigrants

Cost of Housing in Edmonton

The following is a table that displays the average costs of living in Edmonton with various types of apartments and their rents in the city of Edmonton.

City District


1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 + Bedroom

Downtown Edmonton










Queen Mary Park















Central McDougall





Queen Alexandra





(*Cost of Living Edmonton)

The cost of living is about the same in both cities, however the average housing costs are more expensive in Calgary compared to Edmonton.

How Much Is a House in Edmonton?


The average price of a house in Edmonton is $337,100.

(*Canada Immigrants

Job Opportunities in Calgary vs. Edmonton

Both cities shine in their own ways when it comes to employment and employees. Each city’s job market is beneficial for people at various career stages. Jobs in both Edmonton and Calgary are significantly influenced by the energy sector. Still, numerous sectors contribute to the employment of people living in Calgary and Edmonton.

In terms of employment, approximately 25% of individuals in Edmonton work in a public sector role. It can be a government position, an academic profession, or a job in health care, all of which are growing more frequent. In Calgary, meanwhile, the number of public sector employees is somewhat decreasing.The specialty sector of Calgary employment opportunities is professional and managerial. Still, many of these jobs have been dropping since the building began.

Salary Comparison Calgary vs. Edmonton

Here is a list of all the top professions and their average salary. 

Average salary









Software Engineer



Hardware Engineer






Sales Manager









Fashion Designer






(*Teleport Edmonton & Calgary)

Moving to Edmonton should be a more significant consideration for you if maintaining a particular profession is critical. With that in mind, the competition for the city with the best employment prospects and job markets goes to Edmonton!

Cost of Living in Calgary vs. Edmonton

Looking at the table below, you can see that the cost of living in Calgary and the cost of living in Edmonton are approximately the same. While housing utilities and insurance might be higher in Calgary, the cost of groceries is more expensive in Edmonton.






for a 1-bedroom apartment


For a 1-bedroom apartment

Housing Utilities and Insurance




$112 (Translink)

$100 (ETS Pass)

Car Insurance 






Grocery Cost for 1 Person



Communication (Phone and Internet)


Unlimited talk, text, and data included


Unlimited talk, text, and data included

Heath and Fitness

$65 for the membership

$55 for the membership

Provincial Taxes

About 5%

About 5%

FAQ - The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Calgary and Edmonton

What Is the Biggest Difference Between Calgary and Edmonton?

While Calgary has a wider variety of late-night activities, including more nightclubs and a different atmosphere, Edmonton is considerably more libertine. For example, Calgary Stampede, one of North America’s most well-known festivals, is held in the city.

Where to Live in Calgary?



Young Professionals 

Beltline and Downtown Calgary


Chinatown, Bridgeland and Inglewood


St. Andrews Heights and Sunnyside

Where to Live in Edmonton?



Young Professionals 

Old Strathcona and Downtown Edmonton


Glenora and Hazeldean



Is Tax Cheaper in Calgary vs. Edmonton?

In the province of Alberta, they have GST which is set at about 5%. They do not have a provincial taxe. 

  • Income tax rates in Alberta

Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 10% on the first $131,220 of taxable income, +.
  • 12% on the next $26,244, +.
  • 13% on the next $52,488, +.
  • 14% on the next $104,976, +.
  • 15% on the amount over $314,928


  • Federal tax rates

The federal tax rate is the same in both cities. Applicable tax on the taxable income includes:

  • 15% on the first $49,020 of taxable income, plus
  • 20.5% on the next $49,020 of the taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 49,020 up to $98,040), plus
  • 26% on the next $53,939 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $98,040 up to $151,978), plus
  • 29% on the next $64,533 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over 151,978 up to $216,511), plus 
  • 33% of taxable income over $216,511


Whatever place you choose to call home, you will be satisfied. You must select a city based on your own preferences and requirements. Both cities have similarities, and both provide a wealth of exciting things to do and experiences you may have there.  If you are planning to move soon, check out the 5 best moving companies in Calgary and the 5 best moving companies in Edmonton

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