Moving from Vancouver to Calgary does not need to be a strenuous process, and with this guide updated in 2020, we’ll help you get to Calgary without the hassle.

The Moving Process From Vancouver to Calgary

How Far is Vancouver from Calgary?

The driving distance between Vancouver and Calgary is roughly 971 kilometres, or a 10 hour drive.

This is the distance and drive time when using the Trans Canada highway, BC 3-E, and BC 5-E. When you drive from Vancouver to Calgary, the only border that you run into is the BC/Alberta border, which makes for an easier drive as you do not cross the US border anywhere.

Moving From Vancouver to Calgary Average Cost

If you have your move performed with a reputable moving company, moving from Vancouver to Calgary will cost $5,500-$9,500+ from start to finish.

The cost to move will of course depend on a wide variety of factors—how much stuff do you need to be moved, speaking about the size of items as well as the weight. Do you need a hand with any packing services? Are there any elevators involved, both at your old place in Vancouver, or your new place in Calgary? Along with a host of other factors.

Average Cost to Move a Studio

If you live in a studio, the move will cost roughly $5,500.

Average Cost to Move a 2 Bedroom

If you live in a 2 bedroom home, you can expect this move to cost $7,200-8,000.

Average Cost to Move a 4 Bedroom

And lastly, a 4 bedroom home will cost $9,500+ on average.

Doesn’t That Seem a Little High? I Just Got a Quote for $2,000-$3,000

This may seem to be a little bit expensive compared to other moving quotes you’ve gotten, I get it.

However, this is one of the well known moving company “scams”. You get a quote for an absolute steal of a price, “Just $2,000 to move to Calgary? I’ll take it.”

Then moving day rolls around, and you come to find out that this quote was based on 1,000 pounds worth of stuff.

Any additional cargo is, you guessed it, an additional charge.

For some reference, each room in your house will have roughly 1,000 pounds worth of stuff… so unless if you live in one of those tiny homes, you will quickly see your moving bill rack up to $10,000+ for a smaller home, and even higher for larger homes.

With our above ballpark quotes, this is what you will pay when all is said and done, and you’re sitting in your new home in Calgary.

Is it a Smart idea to Move From Vancouver to Calgary?

Living Costs Compared

One great advantage of living in Calgary is their low cost of living. According to costof.live, the cost of living in Vancouver is actually 25% higher than Calgary’s. You must keep this in mind when you consider if a job offer is worth you moving to Calgary for. 

Crime Rates

Here’s another category that is being taken by Calgary. Because of Calgary’s 65.97 safety scale  rating, they are roughly 4% safer than Vancouver’s 63.36 safety scale rating. These numbers come from the Numbeo database of ratings. 

Although Calgary is technically safer, it is not by a make or break factor, and what will matter more is the crime level of each individual neighbourhood.


Public Transportation

Vancouver and Calgary’s transportation systems are both great in their own ways, but Vancouver’s annual ridership is almost 50% more than Calgary’s every year, so it makes for a much more difficult system requirements.

While Vancouver’s public transportation is incredibly efficient, it’s what we would expect considering the lower mainland has a much larger population than Calgary.

Calgary’s public transportation system consists of 45 LRT stations, and 160 light rail vehicles. 

Vancouver’s “TransLink” skytrain is state of the art, with a system that consists of 3 lines, which total 79.6km of skytrain rail. There are 53 stations in the Lower Mainland.

Overall, both Calgary and Vancouver’s transit systems are fantastic in their own ways. If you are requiring the use of public transportation often, you need to look into your specific requirements to determine whether it is doable or not.

Weather

There are pros as well as cons to the weather in both Vancouver and Calgary. In order to make a decision on which city’s weather is “better” you would need to define what “better” means to you.

Living in Vancouver you experience constant (seemingly never-ending) rain, which you may find annoying. But you also experience a more mild winter, with temperatures not dropping much lower than negative single digits celsius. 

This is the reason why Vancouver will typically see a lot of rain, but not a lot of snow. It does not usually get cold enough for there to be extreme snow fall (very often).

However, if you plan on moving to Calgary you should expect much colder winters. Like, 10-20+ degrees difference on the downside. 

Speaking about summers, Calgary and Vancouver actually have very comparable summers. They both experience extremely similar temperatures, but Calgary has a little bit more precipitation in the summer months.

Finding Your Place to Call Home in Calgary

These are some of the top neighbourhoods in Calgary to live in, according to Avenue Calgary.

Brentwood


Brentwood is a fantastic neighbourhood to raise a family in, with its many schools in the neighbourhood. It is also well served to transit, with its “Brentwood Station”. It also has a lot of public recreation centres, as compared to many other neighbourhoods in Calgary. The average house price in Brentwood is about $540,000, so quite a steep discount from Vancouver real estate.

Varsity

Varsity is near to the major highways of Calgary, as well as a train station, so you won’t have trouble getting around the city from Varsity. Varsity has a great mix of families, young people, and seniors, who are welcoming and friendly. If you’re looking to purchase a home in the Varsity neighbourhood, the average price is about $522,000. Again, quite a discount from the Vancouver housing market. 

Beltline

Beltline is a neighbourhood that attracts many young people, for their “hipster” vibe. Beltline is mainly composed of apartments, so the average house cost in the Beltline neighbourhood is about $385,000. If you’re going to be raising a larger family, Beltline may not be the neighbourhood for you.


Selling Your Property in BC


If you’re moving to Calgary, selling your real estate in BC will be easiest if you work with a realtor. Look no further than working with Josh Kepkay. You can get ahold of him at (604) 313-9805. He can help you with getting the most money for your home, condo, apartment, or even acreage! If you’d like to get as much money for your property as you can, working with Josh is a great idea.

Josh Kepkay Real Estate

Can You Find and Land a Job in Calgary, Before Getting There?

One of the best parts about the internet, in terms of moving, is that we can get a large portion of the job search process done before even getting to Calgary. Maybe even all of it! There are many websites that you can use in order to search and apply for jobs in Calgary. Here are some of the best ones.

City of Calgary Jobs

The city of Calgary is routinely hiring for positions of many different types. If you are not a specialized worker, consider checking out their website here.

Indeed

Indeed is the king of job posting sites in Canada. As of September 2020, there are nearly 8,000 open positions in Calgary on the Indeed website alone. If you are in the job search for a job in a specific industry, make sure that you are not neglecting Indeed. There will be companies that do their recruiting exclusively through this website, so do not overlook it.

jobs in calgary

Word of Mouth

If you’re in a specialized field, you should consider reaching out to your current contacts in Calgary and in Vancouver to see if they know of any open positions in Calgary. If nothing else, calling them up and letting them know that you are moving from Vancouver to Calgary will keep you fresh in their mind if anything comes up. It could also be as simple as a quick LinkedIn post.

Full Checklist for Moving From Vancouver to Calgary

Figure out exactly what your moving budget will be. If you don’t plan your budget ahead of time, you’ll end up having to figure out some last minute details, and potentially blowing a lot more money than you really need to. Figure out roughly how much the entire move should cost for your entire moving process, before you’ve even booked anything.

Try to find a reputable moving company that can help you with your move from Vancouver to Calgary for a competitive price and high quality service, while staying within your budget. If this turns out to be an impossible task, look into cheaper alternatives such as a portable moving container or U-Haul. Although these will be much more work, if your budget will not allow a moving company, these can be okay alternatives.

Make sure that you line up your housing situation before you move to Calgary. This is going to be especially important if you have a family. If you find yourself in a situation, with small kids (or any kids for that matter), where you cannot find housing this can cause problems.

If you need assistance buying a property in Calgary, make sure you reach out to Mrs. Donna L Abbott, who is heavily connected in the city of Calgary and can help you find the home of your dreams! You can reach her at (403) 828-5115.

Figure out your school situation before you go to Calgary. Notify your current schools of your kids’ upcoming move, and look into and contact the schools that your kids will be attending in Calgary. Here is a database of public schools in Calgary.

Alternatively, here is a great resource for researching the best private schools in Calgary. Obviously the school that your kids will go to will depend on the neighbourhood you will be moving into.

Use this Government of Canada website for your guide to changing your moving address for most of your required address changes. Remember that this is only the beginning, and you will likely need to change your address in other spots, but this is a good start. For example, you will also need to change your address for many of your financial products.

Talk to the people in Vancouver that mean a lot to you, and ensure that you have enough time to visit all of them before you go start your new life in Calgary! 

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