You might think of the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 when you think of Calgary, thus quickly associating the city with winter, snow and cold. And yes, it can get pretty cold, but snow also means excellent skiing conditions.
Calgary is a very green city, and you will find many parks suited for kids' and dogs' play. The city places great importance on keeping the streets and parks clean, and it is difficult not to like the calm and soothing atmosphere in downtown.
Downtown Calgary is visible from the outskirts of the city. Only in the city centre will you find buildings taller than three stories, and this layout lets you enjoy downtown - and not least the Calgary Tower - from all over the city.
Find more general information about Calgary or take a look at our gallery.
Calgary is notorious for the long winter that can last from November till May. Calgarians claim to have seen snow in every month of the year! However, Calgary also has the highest number of sunny days a year of any Canadian city. Winter often offers surprises weather-wise.
Calgary is subject to a phenomenon called the Chinook (shinook). The Chinook is a warm mountain wind that sweeps in from the Pacific coast. Chinooks have been known to cause temperatures to climb from as low as -20 to +20 degrees Celsius in an afternoon. Naturally, this offers certain challenges but it is definitely nice to feel the warmth in the middle of the winter.
In spite of the cold, there is no guarantee of a white Christmas in Calgary. However you will certainly get plenty of practice using a snow shovel. In Calgary, you are actually required by law to remove the snow from the sidewalk by your house within 24 hours of the last snowfall. If you fail to do so, the City may either fine you or clear your sidewalk and bill you. Luckily snow shoveling services are available for those who prefer to stay indoors!
Spring in Calgary is very short. In late May the flowers will start blooming; June brings rain and by late June summer arrives. July is usually sunny and warm while August offers a bit more unstable weather. From September the weather starts getting cooler, and slowly the leaves start changing colour. Fall is fairly short and nightly temperatures below zero are not uncommon. Soon you will see all the signs that winter is on its way back.
Take a look at the weather statistics to get a better idea of what to expect.