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5 Reasons to NOT Move to Alberta

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Depending on where you’re moving from, and where you end up in Alberta, there could be less open water and lakes than you’re used to. When comparing Alberta to other provinces, we definitely don't have as much water as places like BC, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and even Saskatchewan. I know in a lot of places, being 5-10 minutes from a lake is something that people have become accustomed to, but there’s a good chance you’ll be a bit further from you’re closest lake here in Alberta. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, we do have some of the most beautiful lakes on the planet in the Rocky Mountains. Places like Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Rawson Lake, and Peyto Lake often make lists of the most beautiful lakes in the world, but there just isn’t as many of them here as you’ll find in other places. 

So, if being very close to water is very important to you, then that will be something to consider before you make the move to Alberta. There are plenty of options here in the province that will put you on, or close to a lake, but you’ll just want to be mindful of that when you’re deciding on where you want to live. 


Of course you already know, we get cold here in Alberta. If you’re coming from anywhere in Canada, you’re already well aware of the cold temperatures, and honestly, with our lack of humidity, the cold doesn’t hit quite as hard here. You can expect 1-2 cold snaps each winter that will put us in the -30-40 degree range for a week or two at a time though. 

There’s a few other weather things to consider here in Alberta. One is the wind! The further south you go here in Alberta, the more wind you’re going to get. There’s a reason that Lethbridge gets the name Canada’s Windy City. Next to St. Johns on the east coast, Lethbridge gets the second most wind of anywhere in Canada and Calgary is the windiest big city in Canada. 

Which transitions us perfectly to our next weather event to discuss, and that is the chinooks. Chinooks are a warm gusty wind that blows down from the Rocky Mountains to the West. These are most noticeable in the winter as it brings relief from the cold weather and helps melt the snow, but the negative side of these chinooks is that many people get pressure headaches from them.

So, if you get headaches frequently or easily, then that could be something you experience here in Alberta. Though there’s no way of knowing until you experience it!

The last weather here in Alberta that we gotta touch on, of course is hail. Again in the southern part of Alberta is where you’re going to see most of this. We have been know to have some pretty intense hail storms here, with hail getting golf ball sized or bigger. 

Now the thing with these hail storms, is that they usually come through in a narrow band, and they hit hard and fast, but there’s no way of knowing where will get hit the hardest on any given year. Airdrie was hit bad in 2014, NE Calgary had a bad one a few years ago, and last year the worst one was up closer to Red Deer. Biggest thing to make sure is that your auto and home insurance covers hail damage, which it should! 

Long story short, we have some interesting weather here that you may  have to deal with, but on the bright side, we’re the sunniest place in Canada with about 330 day of sun per year!

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It’s no secret that the reason a LOT of people have moved to Alberta was the affordable cost of living, and a bit portion of that was due to housing. Nowadays it’s not quite at drastic of a price difference depending on where you’re coming from. 

If you’re coming from Ontario or BC, you’re probably going to still look at our housing prices and think “wow thats great value in Alberta”, but if you’re coming from other places such as the east coast, or Saskatchewan, things could be starting to look a little pricey around here. 

Since our last low point in our market in 2019, Calgary for example is up about 37% for their overall benchmark price. So we’ve seen some dramatic price increases in the past few years, but the reality is, is that it looks like we’re going to continue seeing price increased here for a little while, just due to the amount of people moving to our province right now. 

So yes, our prices have gone up quite a lot, but theres a good chance that a home bought here in 2024, is likely going to be worth more in 2025, and so on from there. 


This one has become more noticeable with the fires in the recent years, and that’s the smoke that we tend to get in the spring and summer months. Now of course, this isn’t an Alberta only problem, and I’d much rather deal with the smoke, than having forest fires around our towns, but this is once that I’ve been asked about, and will probably continue to be asked about if we keep seeing a lot of fires to the west of us. 

We’ve had plenty of days in the last few years where there has been an air quality advisory due to the smoke, and I’m sure we’ll see more again this year, but the bad smoke typically doesn’t last more than a day or two, before wind blows it somewhere else. If the fires are still burning, it’s likely to come back again, so ultimately it just becomes something that you deal with if fires are bad that year. 


We dont have the HST here, so you only pay a 5% sales tax, and you also don’t pay a huge land transfer tax like most provinces, but for a portion of the population, you might be paying more provincial income taxes.

This will negatively affect anyone who’s earning around $50,000 or less per year here in Alberta. See the lowest provincial  tax rate here is 10%, and that applies to ALL income up to $142,000. So if we compare that to other provinces, which start at lower percentages and lower incomes, the tipping point seems to be around $50,000. 

For example, if you make $41,000 per year, in Albereta you’ll pay that 10% provincial tax. In nunavut you’ll only pay 4%, in BC it’ll be just 5.06% and in Ontario it would be 5.5%.

Now on the flip side of that, as I mentioned around $50,000 is the tipping point, so once you’ve exceeded that, then you’ll start to pay less in taxes than other provinces. Ultimately our tax rates here do benefit the higher earners, as compared to other provinces. Love it or hate it, that’s the way they’re set up right now. 


Check out my YouTube video below where I go over everything in this blog post and subscribe to my channel if you want to see more Airdrie related content!

- Brad Walker


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