Relocating from Edmonton to Calgary can be a monumental task, filled with excitement and a bit of trepidation. This comprehensive guide will ease your transition by providing crucial information and insights. As you embark on this 300-kilometre journey southward, there are several factors to consider, such as the cultural shift, finding the right neighbourhood to call home, and adjusting to Calgary’s unique lifestyle. Whether you’re making this move for work, study, or a change of scenery, we aim to ensure you have all the necessary information for a smooth and successful transition. Welcome aboard as we embark on this journey together, exploring everything you must know when moving from Edmonton to Calgary!
Understanding the Basics
Distance and Travel Considerations
The distance between Edmonton and Calgary is approximately 300 kilometres, roughly a 3-4 hour drive on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (Highway 2). This manageable distance makes driving popular, especially if you want to transport your belongings. If you prefer public transport, several bus services offer a cost-effective and relatively stress-free journey. Moving services can be a great option if you wish to delegate the task of packing, hauling, and delivering your items safely to your new home in Calgary.
While Edmonton and Calgary are known for their cold, snowy winters, Calgary’s climate can be notably milder due to the warming Chinook winds. This phenomenon can cause rapid temperature shifts, which may take some time. Edmonton’s weather tends to be more stable if colder. In contrast, Calgary enjoys more sunny days, even in winter. To adapt comfortably to Calgary’s weather, it’s recommended to have a versatile wardrobe that can accommodate sudden temperature changes. Layered clothing and moisture-wicking materials are your friends here. Invest in good quality winter gear to prepare for the colder months.
Legal and Administrative Considerations
Upon moving to Calgary, updating the address on your personal documents is essential. This includes your driver’s license, health card, and other identification documents. You must legally inform the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) of your new address within ten days of moving. Additionally, you’ll need to change your address with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Service Canada to ensure smooth communication regarding tax-related matters or federal programs like EI and CPP. The process can be done in person, online, or via mail. Updating your address ensures you can vote in municipal, provincial, and federal elections in your new district. Adjusting your legal and administrative documents is critical in making Calgary your new home.
Packing and Preparing for the Move
Tips for Efficient Packing
- Start Early: Begin the packing process a few weeks in advance to avoid last-minute rushing.
- Create an Inventory: List all items you plan to move. This will help you keep track of your belongings and make unpacking easier.
- Pack Room by Room: Tackle one room at a time to stay organized and prevent mix-ups.
- Use Quality Materials: Invest in sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape to ensure the safe transportation of your belongings.
- Label Boxes: Mark each box with its contents and the room it belongs to for easy unpacking.
Managing Fragile Items
When packing fragile items, take extra precautions to ensure they arrive in one piece. Wrap each item individually using bubble wrap or newspaper. Place them in small boxes and cushion the base, sides, and top with soft material like towels or packing peanuts. Label these boxes as ‘Fragile’ and ‘This Side Up’ to ensure careful handling.
Recommendations for Downsizing and Decluttering Before the Move
Before packing, go through your belongings and decide what to keep, donate, sell, or discard.
- Keep: Items you use regularly or have high sentimental value.
- Donate: Good-condition items that are no longer needed but could be helpful to others.
- Sell: Items in good condition that are valuable but you no longer require.
- Discard: Anything broken, outdated, or unusable.
This decluttering process will help you start fresh in your new home and significantly reduce moving costs.
Average Costs of Moving from Edmonton to Calgary
The cost of moving can vary significantly, depending on the volume of items to be moved, the moving services chosen, and the specifics of your situation. You can expect to spend between $2,000 and $10,000 on average for a professional moving service. Renting a moving truck can be more cost-effective, typically from $200 to $600. Yet remember, additional costs may be incurred if you require packing materials or additional services like furniture disassembly or storage.
Hidden Costs to be Aware of
While the major moving costs are usually obvious, hidden expenses can creep up on you. These may include insurance for your belongings during the move, the cost of meals and accommodation if the move takes longer than a day, and cleaning costs for your old residence. Consider the cost of setting up utilities and services in your new home, especially if connection fees are involved. Lastly, remember potential repairs or updates your new home might need.
Tips for Budgeting and Saving on Moving Expenses
Planning and budgeting ahead of time is essential to save on moving expenses. Start by getting quotations from different moving companies to compare prices and services. Opt for off-peak times for your move, such as weekdays or mid-month, when rates are often lower. You can also save by doing work, such as packing or disassembling furniture. Downsizing your belongings before the move not only simplifies the moving process but also reduces the volume of items to be moved, thus saving on moving costs. Moreover, keep a close eye on those hidden costs and try to minimize them where possible. By planning ahead and staying organized, you can keep your moving costs to a minimum.
Settling into Calgary
Adjusting to Life in Calgary
Adapting to life in Calgary involves acclimatizing to its climate, culture, and pace of life. Calgarians enjoy outdoor activities, and the city has parks and recreation areas. The culture blends traditional Western roots and a modern, progressive ethos. In terms of climate, while winters can be harsh with heavy snowfall, the Chinook winds provide periodic respite, resulting in milder winters than in other Canadian cities. Embrace layering your clothes to deal with the frequently changing temperatures.
Essential Services and Amenities in Calgary
Calgary is well-equipped with all essential amenities and services. The city’s public schooling system is robust, with several highly rated schools peppered across different neighbourhoods. For healthcare, there are numerous hospitals and clinics providing quality services. The city’s public transportation system involves a network of buses and a light rail system, the C-Train, which is efficient and covers significant parts of the city. Various utility services such as water, electricity, internet, and waste management are easily accessible. Calgary has many recreational amenities, including parks, sports complexes, and cultural venues.
After successfully moving to Calgary, you should take a few crucial steps without delay. These steps will ensure your transition into your new home is as smooth as possible.
Steps to take immediately after moving
- Document the Condition of Your Home: Before moving in your belongings, take photos of the state of your new home, particularly if you’re renting. These photos can be helpful in disputes over security deposits.
- Check all Boxes and Furniture: Ensure all your belongings have arrived and are undamaged. Contact your movers immediately if something is missing or damaged.
- Set Up Utilities: If you still need to do so, ensure all utilities like water, gas, electricity, and internet are working.
- Update Your Address: Notify important institutions, such as your bank, workplace, and post office, about your new address.
- Meet the Neighbors: Introducing yourself to your neighbours can make your transition into the community smoother.
How to efficiently unpack and organize in your new home
Unpacking might seem overwhelming, but it can be manageable and even satisfying with a systematic approach.
- Create a Plan: Unpack room by room, starting with the kitchen and bathrooms, as these are essential for daily living.
- Prioritize: Unpack essential items first. Only necessary items can be settled in.
- Organize as You Unpack: Don’t just empty boxes. Arrange your belongings in their new spots as you unpack.
- Recycle Packing Materials: As you unpack, break down boxes for recycling. This keeps your space clear and makes the process more manageable.
- Decorate: Once the essentials are unpacked, you can arrange decorative items to make your new place feel like home.
Getting to Know Your New City
Calgary boasts a vibrant blend of cultural, recreational, and educational resources to ease your transition as a new resident. The City of Calgary’s official website offers a wealth of information, from local events and attractions to public transportation schedules. Calgary Public Library provides free access to books, digital media, and community programs. Connect with local communities through cultural and recreational centers like Telus Spark and Calgary Zoo. The city offers many parks and trails for outdoor enthusiasts, including the beautiful Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Utilities and Services Setup
With careful planning, setting up utilities and services in your new Calgary home can be a breeze. Start by contacting your service providers well before your move, ideally a few weeks before. This includes electricity, gas, water, waste management services, and telecommunication services like internet and cable. When setting up these services, having your new address and move-in date on hand can be helpful. Remember, some services may require installation appointments, so schedule these early to avoid any inconvenience.
How the Moving Company Can Assist with the Transition
Hiring a reputable moving company can significantly ease relocating to Calgary. Experienced movers are well-acquainted with the intricacies of the moving process and can provide valuable assistance in multiple ways.
- Packing Services: Moving companies offer professional packing services, ensuring your belongings are securely packed for the journey. They have expertise in packing different items, including fragile and valuable ones, reducing the risk of damage during the move.
- Loading and Transport: Movers are skilled at efficiently loading your belongings onto the moving truck, maximizing space and ensuring safe transit. They also have the proper equipment and vehicles to transport your goods safely to your new home.
- Unloading and Set-up: Upon arrival at your new home in Calgary, the moving company can help unload and set up your items per your instructions. This can be particularly helpful with heavy furniture and appliances.
- Storage Facilities: If you need to store some items temporarily, many moving companies offer storage facilities. This can be beneficial if your new home is still being prepared for move-in or needs decluttering.
By taking advantage of these services, you can make your transition to Calgary smoother and less stressful. Book your moving company well in advance and discuss all your requirements and expectations to ensure a seamless move.
Relocating to Calgary is an exciting journey filled with new opportunities and experiences. Key points to remember while making your move include documenting the condition of your new home, timely setup of utilities, and efficient unpacking and organization. It’s also crucial to become acquainted with your new city using resources like the City of Calgary’s official website and the many Calgary Public services and communities. Furthermore, hiring a reputable moving company can greatly assist in the transition, offering services like packing, transport, and storage. Remember, careful planning and organization are vital components of a successful move. Embrace the process and look forward to making your new home in Calgary’s vibrant city. Here’s wishing you a smooth and stress-free relocation!
Don’t hesitate to take the next step in your moving journey. The experts at Matco are ready to guide you every step of the way. We encourage you to contact us for more information or get a personalized quote tailored to your specific needs. Just visit our Contact Us page or fill out our quote request form to start your seamless moving experience with Matco. Let us make your move to Calgary a smooth and stress-free process!