Calgary is Canada’s third-best city for overall living in 2023, according to an annual ranking of the world’s top urban metropoles.
Globally, powerhouses London, Paris, and New York predictably captured the top three slots on the list.
Within Canada, Toronto won out, placing 24th overall. Montreal, at 57th overall, ranks second in Canada.
This year, Calgary (65th overall) ranked ahead of Vancouver (69th). While Vancouver often enjoys praise for its natural beauty and quality of life, severe cost-of-living concerns have dampened the coastal city’s formerly sterling reputation. The cheaper, oil-forged province of Alberta boasts the most Americans—and highest GDP—per capita in Canada.
“Although Toronto is Canada’s business heart, it’s Calgary—with one of the country’s youngest populations and home to its oil industry-forged entrepreneurialism—that’s always been the challenger,” the Best Cities report reads. “People here walk like New Yorkers and cut to the chase like Texans.”
Ranking #22 globally in the “GDP per Capita” subcategory—by far the highest in Canada—the city of Calgary is “slowly emerging from a spell of economic hardship not seen in decades.”
This sentiment is an echo from a report by national law firm Osler which earlier this year found Alberta’s financial markets in a tumultuous state, churning between post-pandemic recovery and an uncertain economy amid a backdrop of rising interest rates.
But Osler also uncovered “impressive signs of growth, renewal, and resilience in the ecosystem” in Alberta, who saw the highest growth for venture capital deals in Canada since 2020.
And this was reinforced by data from the Canadian Venture Capital Association, which found that “Alberta, for the fifth year in a row, attracted a record amount of investments in 2022.”
Much of Alberta’s momentum hails from tech.
In Calgary, there are now more than 50,000 tech occupations, accounting for nearly one-third of all employment opportunities in the region.
Other signals of strength in the region include major investments, both public snd private. In particular, Alberta Innovates is driving major economic change for the area through an array of impactful initiatives.
The Alberta Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, for example, was recently launched in order to accelerate technology and innovation across the hydrogen value chain, closing gaps to strengthen Alberta’s hydrogen economy and provide support across the entire hydrogen system, from production to end use.
There is also the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program, which represents a coalition of stakeholders including Prairies Economic Development Canada, the City of Edmonton via Edmonton Unlimited, and the City of Calgary’s Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund.
And whether accelerated or not, Alberta’s portfolio of startups to watch is a sterling example of a healthy and diverse innovation ecosystem.
All in all, there has “never been a more exciting time to be in tech in Alberta than today,” believes Nate Glubish, the Minister of Technology and Innovation for Alberta.
To back up his position, he cites a simple fact: “Alberta has more tech companies today than ever before.” He points to how “more and more early-stage companies are growing, maturing, and successfully commercializing their technologies in Alberta.”