Life in southern Alberta

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Lady tehMa
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Life in southern Alberta

Post by Lady tehMa »

So, our kids and my best friend's kids have been talking about moving to Alberta. Southern Alberta, specifically. They're thinking of the outskirts of Calgary or Lethbridge. While poking around on MLS I found a house kind of between the two in a smaller community - and I have to admit it's really attractive. But I have never been to Alberta outside a hop to Calgary and a road trip to Lloydminster from there (sister's wedding 24 years ago, don't recall much except STRESS while travelling with first child - who was 6 weeks old at the time), in mid-October. Son is planning on going to university (Edmonton is where he wants to take his specific courses when he specializes, but I think he could do the basic ones in Lethbridge).

So, houses/land are cheaper. Rural means quieter (the towns we looked at appear to be around 4000 people, either holding steading or slightly increasing) but there still appears to be amenities (an hour to Calgary/Lethbridge; ish). I once lived in Clearwater (1980-1986) and there seems to be much more in the areas we're looking at than was in Clearwater when I lived there (and it was over an hour to Kamloops).

Politically we are of a conservative bent (so that appeals). We don't go out much - as long as we have good internet we could live in most places.

What I'd like to know is the low-down on what it is actually like to live there. The weather charts show more snow, the heat not as bad as here, with colder periods in the winter. I'd like to live close enough to the mountains to actually see them. The one house we really like isn't quite that close but the lot is treed so I wouldn't see just flat plains.

I'm getting older, I would like to be close enough to the kids for them to drop in. All this is currently just speculation, no actual plans from anyone yet.

But I'd still like to know. So, what can y'all tell me?
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Catsumi
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by Catsumi »

I seriously considered Okotoks at one time. Chickened out.

Good luck with the responses; there should be a pile of them as many here came from Alta.
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alanjh595
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

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I spent a year in Grande Prairie and yes it gets COLD there ( -40). Tires get frozen and it makes for a rough ride to work. I really did miss the mountains though. Be cautious of deer and moose on the roads, you hit a moose at 80km/h and it can be deadly for both the moose and occupants. (I hade more than a few near misses.)

The people are friendly, but they are rather Cliquey. Southern Alberta has hills, (they call them mountains). Heating a small house can be very expensive in the winter time. They better like C&W music. :smt045

I am seriously considering Nova Scotia/PEI/NB for my next move. I can buy a well maintained and beautiful church there for less than $200K and for another $200K could modify it to a beautiful home. (It would be much bigger than what I need for my purposes.)
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

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Catsumi wrote: Dec 18th, 2022, 9:52 am I seriously considered Okotoks at one time. Chickened out.

Good luck with the responses; there should be a pile of them as many here came from Alta.
Okotoks, Lundbreck, Canmore, Pincher Creek, Twin Butte, Fort MacLeod, Claresholm, Nanton, High River (and of course, for any Trekkie :admin: ) Vulcan. Poking around - getting ideas.

Why did you chicken out?
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alanjh595
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by alanjh595 »

Depends on what you want, I liked Whitecourt.

I suggest that you spend some time and personally research each township, and as many as you can over a 2 week trip.

I am going to do the same when I go East, but over 2 months before deciding.
Last edited by alanjh595 on Dec 18th, 2022, 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MAPearce
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by MAPearce »

Spent a month or two in Lethbridge a while back .. While not a bad town , the highlights for me were winning 800 bucks on a VLT with a 20 and watching a tornado decimate some farm structures on the way back from work in Raymond ..Which had one of the last remaining Burger Barons on the planet .. But it's a dry town ..

So , there is "that" ....
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normaM
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by normaM »

born and raised, lived in AB most of my Life
Lethbridge is windy, seriously windy which makes it even colder in the Winter
The smaller the City the less jobs, things to do
Most places surrounding Calgary are as expensive as Calgary
There are some ok places outside Edmonton proper
Places like Drayton Valley have cheap housing, hospital, not a miserable drive into Edmonton because of the highway
If you have lived in Kelowna or BC most of your life prolly not going to be delighted..last week Edmonton was minus 35 then the wind chill

Short short Summer season in AB. Both Edmonton and Calgary have wayyyyyyyy more things to see and do
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

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Except for gardening, I spend most of my time indoors. Although, a more considerable lot would be nice. I'm feeling crowded even now, out in Rutland on a .2 acre lot. I'd like a bit larger house, with room for people to visit (as it is, we're crammed in). For $500,000 we could get twice the house we have here (and our eValue is around $650,000 - small house).

I'm finding what garden I have here, rather too much for me now so something smaller would be ideal. A fast internet connection is a must for us. If the place has a public library, that's mainly what I'm looking for. A grocery store, dog groomer (though we could travel for one). Not too far from a Costco (around an hour or less), I like the idea of being near the foothills of the Rockies. My inlaws live out in Carmi and travel into town around once a week. That kind of transit (about an hour) could be doable. We may build up there (in Carmi) as there is plenty of room. But that would still leave us with the current government and I really don't trust them. Federal or Provincial. I'm preferring the political climate in Alberta, to be honest. :135:

I'd have less of a growing season, more wind and cold (which with a larger house, could be manageable). And on the plus side, I'd have more sun in the winter (I have Seasonal Affective Disorder). And the summers wouldn't be as hot. I've emailed one librarian in a town we're looking at so far, and am getting some good info back (zone 4, more wind, less heat). I will be emailing a few more librarians (they are wonderful!) to get the low-down on local info.

I'm really fed up with homeless camping near my house. With needles on my street and OD's happening around the corner. With a local government that hasn't been doing anything about it. Carjackings happening more often, near friends' houses now. Prices going up for everything. Food, etc. I can't even really go out anymore, things are getting too expensive. And a lot of the fun stuff has gone, with pricey trendy stuff taking its place. As pretty as it is, the Okanagan is starting to get a longer "Con" list than "Pro". And we had something happen to us personally (won't be sharing) that has moved us from "let's think about this" to "how do we make this happen". In a year (2, tops) we hope to be headed to a quieter place. A nice retirement place that doesn't look like a crime drama on tv.
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Glacier
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by Glacier »

alanjh595 wrote: Dec 18th, 2022, 9:57 am I spent a year in Grande Prairie and yes it gets COLD there ( -40). Tires get frozen and it makes for a rough ride to work. I really did miss the mountains though. Be cautious of deer and moose on the roads, you hit a moose at 80km/h and it can be deadly for both the moose and occupants. (I hade more than a few near misses.)
There's a massive difference between Lethbridge and Grand Prairie just as there is between Kelowna and Prince George, in terms of climate. The average daily maximum temperature in JANUARY in lethbridge is actually slightly HIGHER than Vernon! Daily lows are quite a bit colder, and there is the wind, but they actually get less snow than Vernon (though lots of snow drifts when they get it).

Summers are nice, but you're at 3000ft elevation, so cooler than Kelowna. But the truth is, if you live at 3000 ft in the Okanagan (say like Joe Rich), your summers are cooler than they are in Lethbridge!
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alanjh595
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by alanjh595 »

Here's a few for your consideration.

https://www.realtor.ca/map#ZoomLevel=8& ... rrency=CAD
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sobrohusfat
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by sobrohusfat »

Glacier wrote: Dec 20th, 2022, 2:27 pm...and there is the wind...
Yah!
Friend of mine who had a horse ranch near Okotoks said there is one area south of their place (can't remember what it's called) that has consistently crazy strong winds - where most of the trees have grown tilted and builders angle the houses so that the prevailing winds will flow around the corners of the house and not full on against the flat sides/windows.

Bizarre

Southern Alberta can have rough winters with the occasional pleasant break when a Shinook wind comes up. Going from -32° to +8° almost overnight sure is sweet for a few days mid winter ... until it passes and every surface in town turns to treacherous ice.

Lol - Good times in traffic those mornings.
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alanjh595
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by alanjh595 »

Every area of Canada has different weather systems and conditions. Those that grew up in these areas are used to these conditions just accept them. Take a look at those that were born in Fort Fraser and they still live there.

We can get used to those conditions.
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by Lady tehMa »

alanjh595 wrote: Dec 20th, 2022, 2:47 pm Here's a few for your consideration.

https://www.realtor.ca/map#ZoomLevel=8& ... rrency=CAD
Thanks, Alanjh :)

I will be poking away at that for a while no doubt :biggrin:
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Lady tehMa
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by Lady tehMa »

normaM wrote: Dec 20th, 2022, 6:00 am born and raised, lived in AB most of my Life
Lethbridge is windy, seriously windy which makes it even colder in the Winter
The smaller the City the less jobs, things to do
Most places surrounding Calgary are as expensive as Calgary
There are some ok places outside Edmonton proper
Places like Drayton Valley have cheap housing, hospital, not a miserable drive into Edmonton because of the highway
If you have lived in Kelowna or BC most of your life prolly not going to be delighted..last week Edmonton was minus 35 then the wind chill

Short short Summer season in AB. Both Edmonton and Calgary have wayyyyyyyy more things to see and do
For 6 years of my life I lived in Clearwater BC. It was okay, except for the mosquitos. I'd have been outdoors more if they weren't there. Winters were regularly -20 and occasionally colder; we'd just throw more wood on the fire and sit and read.

As for things to do, well, I'm not enjoying a lot of the "city" stuff. And if I really want some I can drive in from a bedroom community, without having to deal with the pain of living in a big city.

I was born in the Kootenays, raised in Penticton & Clearwater, moved to Kamloops for school then Kelowna for school, met my husband on a blind date 2nd day here and grew roots.
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normaM
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Re: Life in southern Alberta

Post by normaM »

AB has lots of skeeters. Why not rent out your place here for a years, rent a place there for a year and try it before making the committment
well you asked, I told you :) You can drive in, sure.... yesterday Edmonton was minus 32.... there have been times the cold we are having here lasts a month in AB
I didn't mean big city things, whatever that is - there are tons of events during the summer, the river is lovely in Edmonton, close to mountains if you are in Calgary or surrounding areas
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