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Moving To Calgary In September!  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1637 posts, RR: 28
Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2463 times:

For those of you who know me, and have followed my educational/research saga since I was in London (2004-2007)...

I have been doing my PhD studies in craniofacial embryology at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) for the past 5 years. I have been doing some fascinating research in this field very dear to my heart, and have travelled all over the USA, Canada, and even New Zealand speaking about not only my research, but also my unique life story (having grown up with Treacher Collins syndrome, a rare craniofacial disorder).

Now, after 5 years of this, I will be completing my PhD at UCSF in August (that's the plan); I'm doing not only my dissertation but also two manuscripts. In the meantime, I am still writing my autobiography (with a publisher helping me), and hope to release that in a year or two.

I have a postdoctoral fellowship ready for me in Calgary (specifically the University of Calgary), and as soon as I get my degree here at UCSF, I need to move to Calgary for the next 3 years at least (the length of my fellowship).

I have lived outside the USA before (England, 2004-2007); that was my first move away from home. Still, it wasn't a huge move--I just took 2 huge suitcases with me, plus 2 carryon bags (one with my CPAP in it), and lived in halls during my studies at King's College London.

This upcoming move, to Canada, is taking a lot more planning. I'm working on renewing my passport, getting my work permit/visa, etc.

I am also looking for an apartment, preferably downtown Calgary or near the University of Calgary (which is NW of downtown). I have already sent enquiries and applications to several properties (mainly the tower blocks downtown and one near the university). I would prefer a studio apartment, but 1-bedroom units are just as good for me. I am single, and love living alone. (I have lived in a UCSF Mission Bay studio apartment the last 5 years.) Downtown or adjacent to the U of C would be preferable, to avoid the necessity of driving anywhere, due to proximity to the C-train routes (from downtown) or walking distance (if near the Foothills medical centre, where my lab will be).

So far all the studios/1BR apartments I have found are unfurnished. I would also like to find out if there are furnished apartments downtown. If you are familiar with, or live in Calgary, please give me some ideas for apartments furnished or not, and which would be better.

What I am also planning is to leave all my furniture behind (and maybe even my Clavinova piano), since I have no truck, nor can I afford to hire one (after all, I am a skint (means broke in the USA) graduate student). I am also getting rid of a lot of books and other stuff I have accumulated in San Francisco.

If I decide to take my car with me (a 1998 Pontiac Bonneville saloon), I want to carry just what can fit in the boot as well as in the cabin of the car, and maybe ship a few things up north. However, if I decide to sell my car (which I am tempted very much to do, considering my skint state), I would have to get rid of even more stuff (my housewares, etc).

Is it worth it to take my car with me? I hardly drive it now whilst I am living in San Francisco (I take UCSF shuttles or walk where I need to go, and sometimes take my chances with the atrocious SF Muni service). I am currently paying parking, as well as car insurance, and sometimes repairs when needed, for my car which sits parked most of the time. If I took it with me to Calgary, I would need to reregister it in Canada as well as transfer insurance, etc. Is it worth it?

What else should I do to make my move smoother?

SmithAir747


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1904 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2447 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
What else should I do to make my move smoother?

Buy warm clothes.


User currently offlineWrenchBender From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1779 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2440 times:

Furnished apartments in downtown start around $1200/month may or may not include parking (an extra $100/month or more), may or may not include utilities, will probably not include phone or cable.
I would suggest you use a service to find exactly what you want. You may be able to get some help from the Uni etc.
The vehicle may be an issue, Calgary is one of the most expensive places to park in the country, and parking is not included in most rental agreements. If you do find a place within the LRT corridor it is by far the best way to get to/from the Uni from downtown.
If you need any direct info PM me for my email address and I will do what I can to help.

WrenchBender



Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1637 posts, RR: 28
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2435 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 1):

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
What else should I do to make my move smoother?

Buy warm clothes.

I've got plenty of those! I grew up in Indiana whose winters get brutal, so I have jackets, boots, caps, and even "long johns" (what we Hoosiers called our thermal underwear). I'm glad I have this stuff already--I could not afford to get it now if I did not have it already.

I'm still wondering whether to take my car with me, or just sell it, use the money, and take what little I can with me, fly up there one way, and start anew.

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineVonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4634 posts, RR: 36
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2432 times:

First, as a Calgarian since 1982 let me be the first to say "Welcome to Cowtown" 
Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
So far all the studios/1BR apartments I have found are unfurnished. I would also like to find out if there are furnished apartments downtown. If you are familiar with, or live in Calgary, please give me some ideas for apartments furnished or not, and which would be better.

There are furnished apartments in Calgary, however they're usually catered to the long-term business traveler and are usually quite expensive. When I was a renter I usually found good places at www.rentfaster.ca

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Is it worth it to take my car with me?

Calgary is an odd city when it comes to transport. If you live in a good location, getting to/from work and or school can be easy. But our transit system is primarily focused on just that. Any other trips for just getting around, visiting friends etc can be a pretty big pain in the ass in Calgary. I know several people who live downtown and walk to work, but they still need a car for everything else. Calgary is very spread out, totally opposite of San Francisco.

Good luck!



Word
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1637 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2425 times:

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 4):
There are furnished apartments in Calgary, however they're usually catered to the long-term business traveler and are usually quite expensive. When I was a renter I usually found good places at www.rentfaster.ca

Thanks! I have been using www.rentfaster.ca , RentBoard.ca, as well as www.bwalk.com (Boardwalk manage a lot of properties too), and a few other such sites. Through these sites, I have been able to send enquiries to the properties of interest to me.

It appears that the unfurnished types, being more common and typical, would be more likely for me. Since I plan to leave all my bulky stuff behind in the USA (furniture, piano, etc), I have found out there is an IKEA store in Calgary and I can shop there reasonably. I have used IKEA to stock my current apartment in San Francisco. I cannot bring my furniture or anything else bulky with me because I cannot afford to hire a truck to move it all. So I am coming light. That is one reason I have wondered about furnished apartments.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 4):
Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Is it worth it to take my car with me?

Calgary is an odd city when it comes to transport. If you live in a good location, getting to/from work and or school can be easy. But our transit system is primarily focused on just that. Any other trips for just getting around, visiting friends etc can be a pretty big pain in the ass in Calgary. I know several people who live downtown and walk to work, but they still need a car for everything else. Calgary is very spread out, totally opposite of San Francisco.

I definitely prefer to live downtown (on or near the LRT corridor) in a tower block, or even the tower block called Boardwalk Heights (which is adjacent and walkable to the Foothills Medical Centre, site of my laboratory).

I hardly (maybe seldom) use my car now whilst I am living in San Francisco; I am paying parking for it to sit at my university apartment complex, as well as insurance for it, and other costs associated with car ownership (fortunately it was paid off long ago). So I question my need to continue owning a car, with how little I use it and how much it costs to maintain and insure. I imagine, if I brought up my car to Calgary, I would need to re-register it in Canada, get new plates for it, get new insurance for it, etc, not to mention the parking issues. Would I really use it enough to justify bringing it up with me? I am seeing in big cities here in the USA that there are springing up short-term car hire services with names like ZipCar.com, which rent out cars for short (hourly) use. Are there such outfits in Canada?

I was in Calgary for a month (October 2010), doing a sabbatical in the laboratory for my future postdoctoral supervisor. My initial impressions of Calgary were that it looks similar to the Midwestern US cities I grew up with (Indianapolis, etc) that are spread out with suburbs around a compact CBD. My hometown, Fort Wayne, Indiana, is just a smaller version of the typical Midwestern US spread-out-around-a-compact-downtown city.

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40030 posts, RR: 74
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2394 times:

Congrats on your move and continued success on your studies.  
I woulds suggest keeping your Bonneville unless an M-body Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country surfaces.  

I'm surprised that Calgary is that expensive. Those are closer to Toronto prices.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineweebie From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2375 times:

Been to Calgary twice. It's a shithole....enjoy

User currently offlineFerminios From Canada, joined Apr 2011, 107 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2364 times:

Welcome to beautiful YYC! Well, 6 weeks of the year   .

I've resided two years (2008-2010) in Calgary and I had a great time while being there. It's not the most beautiful city, it's however one with a lot of opportunities.

I have seen relatively little furnished appartments around during my stay, so don't expect a lot in that respect.

The CBD can be a deserted place during the weekends. While the City of Calgary is trying to make it more 'mixed' with for example the new East Village project, that's still quite a few years away. I don't know much about the Northwest (University) area given that I was located in the far south of the city.

Don't forget to get into the Rockies during your stay,it's beautiful!

Quoting weebie (Reply 7):
Been to Calgary twice. It's a shithole....enjoy

The weather can suck, for the rest it's quite a decent place. The Economist in fact ranks it as fifth best city to live in the world.  


User currently offlinejamincan From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 776 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2341 times:

You can take a look a padmapper.com as well. It aggregates rentals from a number of sites and maps it out on a google maps interface. You can filter by price and a variety of options.

http://www.padmapper.com/

I would actually encourage you to sell your car. You will likely need one on occasion, but you could sign up for Calgary Carshare. There is an initial $500 deposit, and then it costs $5/mo to be a member. You basically rent the car by the hour for a maximum of $40/day.

http://www.calgarycarshare.ca/about-carsharing/take-a-tour/

It doesn't look like there are many cheap options that are furnished, downtown and on transit; however, http://www.padmapper.com/show.php?type=5&id=118007392&src=main might be an option to consider.


User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2331 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
I have lived outside the USA before (England, 2004-2007); that was my first move away from home. Still, it wasn't a huge move--I just took 2 huge suitcases with me, plus 2 carryon bags (one with my CPAP in it), and lived in halls during my studies at King's College London.
Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Is it worth it to take my car with me?

First of all, congrats on your doctorate ! I got my master's at Kings in 1975.

As for getting the car over the border, not sure about the paperwork involved, then as Wrenchbender mentions, parking spots might be pricey. Do you NEED it ? If no, consider selling it, or, if you have a cooperative friend in the bay area, consider spotting it there and mounting on blocks.

Quoting EricR (Reply 1):
Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
What else should I do to make my move smoother?

Buy warm clothes.

Calgary's winters are not as long or as cold as, say, Winnipeg, where I am moving this summer. And you do get Chinook days.

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 2):
The vehicle may be an issue, Calgary is one of the most expensive places to park in the country, and parking is not included in most rental agreements. If you do find a place within the LRT corridor it is by far the best way to get to/from the Uni from downtown.

If you're within walking distance of Foothills & U of C then you're close to the LRT corridor. Use it. it's not a total panacea, but it's practical.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineStarAC17 From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 3401 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2165 times:

You can also give http://www.kijiji.ca a try its a Canadian classifieds website.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 6):
I'm surprised that Calgary is that expensive. Those are closer to Toronto prices.

Calgary is the business centre for the oil industry in the tar sands so demand is quite high for housing, same thing with Perth down here which is expensive also. Nothing close to Vancouver however which leaves both Calgary and Toronto in the dust.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 10):
Calgary's winters are not as long or as cold as, say, Winnipeg, where I am moving this summer. And you do get Chinook days.

No its not but they still get the -20 (or colder days) days on occasion. I have never been there but I have read that in the winter it is actually better than the milder cities like Toronto and Vancouver because Calgary actually gets sunshine in the winter, the other 2 cities is 6 months of grey.



Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2138 times:

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 11):
No its not but they still get the -20 (or colder days) days on occasion.

Leave Oz and come to Winnipeg for New Year's. Likely to be in the breath-taking -30 to -40 range. Truly exhilirating!



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineJean Leloup From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2116 posts, RR: 19
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2101 times:

Definitely ditch the car, it's not going to be worth keeping. Having said that, this is only the case if you move somewhere close to the C-Train. As mentioned above, the C-Train works really well, but this is less true of the secondary transit routes.

I would use the same logic as far as deciding where to live. As long as it's near the train, it almost doesn't matter how close you are to Foothills/U of C, because it'll be easy for you to get there - even if you were NE or SE of downtown... whereas you could get a place within a mile of the hospital and still find it a pain to get there.

If I were you, I might look at the area around SAIT,like Crescent Heights. It's pretty nice there, you're close to downtown, close to the train, and in an area where some cool things are open at night (unlike the downtown core, which, as mentioned, is not at all a lively place after 6 p.m.)

JL



Next flight.... who knows.
User currently offlineczbbflier From Canada, joined Jul 2006, 980 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2063 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Reply 5):
I imagine, if I brought up my car to Calgary, I would need to re-register it in Canada, get new plates for it, get new insurance for it, etc, not to mention the parking issues.

Calgary is one of the most car-dependent cities in Canada. But their rapid transit, namely the C-Train works quite well.

The reason I'm adding my vote to sell the car is that it is much more than a simple process of re-registering the car. Before it can be registered in Canada, it has to be imported. That means safety inspections, customs brokerage paperwork and certain modifications. Your car will be stuck at the border for about a week while the brokers work its way through the system.

You'll need to check what needs to be done for modifications. Daytime running lights are a certainty. All cars newer than 1986 must have them. A friend of mine imported a 2000 Taurus and had the running lights module installed in the US. It cost her about $50.00. A couple of years later it had to be replaced here in Canada: $400.00.

Gas is more expensive here. Even in Calgary.

For some reason, Kensington leaves a positive impression as a neighbourhood I'd live in if I were (forced) to move to Calgary.

Welcome to Calgary! My uncle is a prof-emeritus at U of C and my aunt was a physiotherapist at Foothills. Both institutions are first-rate.

And as has been mentioned before- take advantage of the Rockies just a little over an hour out of town.


User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1974 times:

Congratulations, Francis! I always love reading about your successes. Hope you enjoy Calgary.

We brought Mr. Harlot's car down to the US when we moved to Seattle in 1995 and it was a real pain. If you don't mind parting with your car, it would be much less of a hassle to find a shared car service in Calgary, or to buy a Canadian beater car.

Good luck!!



But that was when I ruled the world
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