The economy of Calgary includes activity in the energy, financial services, film and television, transportation and logistics, technology, manufacturing, aerospace, health and wellness, retail, and tourism sectors. The Calgary CMA is home to the second-most corporate head offices in Canada among the country's 800 largest corporations.
The Calgary area was inhabited by pre-Clovis people whose presence has been traced back at least 11,000 years. Before the arrival of Europeans, the area was inhabited by the Blackfoot, Blood, Peigan and the Tsuu T'ina First Nations peoples, all of which were part of the Blackfoot Confederacy. In 1787, cartographerDavid Thompson spent the winter with a band of Peigan encamped along the Bow River. He was a Hudson's Bay Company trader and the first recorded European to visit the area. John Glenn was the first documented European settler in the Calgary area, in 1873.
When the Canadian Pacific Railway reached the area in 1883, and a rail station was constructed, Calgary began to grow into an important commercial and agricultural centre. The Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters moved to Calgary from Montreal in 1996. Calgary was officially incorporated as a town in 1884, and elected its first mayor, George Murdoch. In 1894, it was incorporated as "The City of Calgary" in what was then the North-West Territories.
The Calgary Fire of 1886 occurred on November 7, 1886. Fourteen buildings were destroyed with losses estimated at $103,200. Although no one was killed or injured, city officials drafted a law requiring all large downtown buildings to be built with Paskapoosandstone, to prevent this from happening again.
After the arrival of the railway, the Dominion Government started leasing grazing land at minimal cost (up to 100,000 acres (400 km2) for one cent per acre per year). As a result of this policy, large ranching operations were established in the outlying country near Calgary. Already a transportation and distribution hub, Calgary quickly became the centre of Canada's cattle marketing and meatpacking industries.
By the late 19th century, the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) expanded into the interior and established posts along rivers that later developed into the modern cities of Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton. In 1884, the HBC established a sales shop in Calgary. The HBC also built the first of the grand "original six" department stores in Calgary in 1913, the others that followed are Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.
Between 1896 and 1914 settlers from all over the world poured into the area in response to the offer of free "homestead" land. Agriculture and ranching became key components of the local economy, shaping the future of Calgary for years to come. The world famous Calgary Stampede, still held annually in July, was started by four wealthy ranchers as a small agricultural show in 1912. It now known as the "greatest outdoor show on earth".
Oil was first discovered in Alberta in 1902, but it did not become a significant industry in the province until 1947 when reserves of it were discovered near Leduc, Calgary quickly found itself at the centre of the ensuing oil boom. The city's economy grew when oil prices increased with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. The population increased by 272,000 in the eighteen years between 1971 (403,000) and 1989 (675,000) and another 345,000 in the next eighteen years (to 1,020,000 in 2007). During these boom years, skyscraperswere constructed and the relatively low-rise downtown quickly became dense with tall buildings, a trend that continues to this day.
Calgary's economy was so closely tied to the oil industry that the city's boom peaked with the average annual price of oil in 1981. The subsequent drops in oil prices were cited by industry as reasons for a collapse in the oil industry and consequently the overall Calgary economy. Low oil prices prevented a full recovery until the 1990s.
With the energy sector employing a huge number of Calgarians, the fallout from the economic slump of the early 1980s was understandably significant, and the unemployment rate soared. By the end of the decade, however, the economy was in recovery. Calgary quickly realized that it could not afford to put so much emphasis on oil and gas, and the city has since become much more diverse, both economically and culturally. The period during this recession marked Calgary's transition from a mid-sized and relatively nondescript prairie city into a major cosmopolitan and diverse centre. This transition culminated in the city hosting Canada's first Winter Olympics in 1988. The success of these Games essentially put the city on the world stage.
Thanks in part to escalating oil prices, the economy in Calgary and Alberta was booming until the end of 2009, and the region of nearly 1.1 million people was home to the fastest growing economy in the country.While the oil and gas industry comprise an important part of the economy, the city has invested a great deal into other areas such as tourism and high-tech manufacturing. Over 3.1 million people now visit the city annually for its many festivals and attractions, especially the Calgary Stampede. The nearby mountain resort towns of Banff, Lake Louise, and Canmore are also becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and are bringing people into Calgary as a result. Other modern industries include light manufacturing, high-tech, film, e-commerce, transportation, and services.
Widespread flooding throughout southern Alberta, including on the Bow and Elbow rivers, forced the evacuation of over 75,000 city residents on June 21, 2013 and left large areas of the city, including downtown, without power.
Downtown Calgary in 2010.==Geography==
Map of Calgary: Purple indicates industrial zones
Calgary is located at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies. The city lies within the foothills of the Parkland Natural Region and the Grasslands Natural Region.Downtown Calgary is about 1,045 m (3,428 ft) above sea level, and the airport is 1,076 m (3,531 ft). In 2011, the city covered a land area of 825.29 km2 (318.65 sq mi).
Two rivers run through the city. The Bow River is the larger and it flows from the west to the south. TheElbow River flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow River at the historic site ofFort Calgary near downtown. Since the climate of the region is generally dry, dense vegetation occurs naturally only in the river valleys, on some north-facing slopes, and within Fish Creek Provincial Park.
Over the years, the city has made many land annexations to facilitate growth. In the most recent annexation of lands from Rocky View County, completed in July 2007, the city annexed Shepard, a former hamlet, and placed its boundaries adjacent to the Hamlet of Balzac and City of Chestermere, and very close to the City of Airdrie.
According to Environment Canada, average daytime high temperatures in Calgary range from 24 °C (75 °F) in late July to −3 °C (27 °F) in mid-January.
Calgary has the warmest winters of all the major prairie cities, based on the average nighttime temperatures from December to February. The climate is greatly influenced by the city's elevation and proximity to the Rocky Mountains.
Ice fog is common over ice-free currents of the Bow River when temperatures drop to −17 °C (1 °F). Hoar frost forms on vegetation. January 9, 2015 −20 °C (−4 °F), 10:00 am
Calgary's winters are broken up by warm, dry Chinook winds that routinely blow into the city from over the mountains during the winter months. These winds are known to raise the winter temperature by 20 °C (36 °F), and as much as 30 °C (54 °F) in just a few hours, and may last several days. In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 29 °C (84 °F) anytime in June, July and August, and occasionally as late as September or as early as May. As a consequence of Calgary's high elevation and aridity, summer evenings tend to cool off.
Calgary has the most sunny days year round of Canada's 100 largest cities, with just over 332 days of sun; it has on average 2,396 hours of sunshine annually.
With an average relative humidity of 55% in the winter and 45% in the summer (15:00 MST), Calgary has a dry climate similar to other cities in the western Great Plains and Canadian Prairies. Unlike cities further east such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa or even Winnipeg, humidity is rarely a factor during the Calgary summer.
Calgary International Airport in the northeastern section of the city receives an average of 418.8 mm (16.49 in) ofprecipitation annually, with 326.4 mm (12.85 in) of that occurring in the form of rain, and 129 cm (51 in) as snow.The most rainfall occurs in June and the most snowfall in March.
Calgary averages more than 22 days a year with thunderstorms, with most all of them occurring in the summer months. Calgary lies within Alberta's Hailstorm Alley and is prone to damaging hailstorms every few years. A hailstorm that struck Calgary on September 7, 1991, was one of the most destructive natural disasters in Canadian history, with over $400 million in damage. Being west of the dry line on most occasions, tornadoes are rare in the region.
The downtown region of the city consists of five neighbourhoods: Eau Claire (including the Festival District), the Downtown West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, Chinatown, and the Downtown East Village (also part of the Rivers District). The commercial core is itself divided into a number of districts including the Stephen Avenue Retail Core, the Entertainment District, the Arts District and the Government District. Distinct from downtown and south of 9th Avenue is Calgary's densest neighbourhood, the Beltline. The area includes a number of communities such as Connaught, Victoria Crossing and a portion of the Rivers District. The Beltline is the focus of major planning and rejuvenation initiatives on the part of the municipal government to increase the density and liveliness of Calgary's centre.
In the 2011 Census, the City of Calgary had a population of 1,096,833 living in 423,417 of its 445,848 total dwellings, a 10.9% change from its 2006 adjusted population of 988,812. With a land area of 825.29 km2 (318.65 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,329.0/km2 (3,442.2/sq mi) in 2011. According to the 2011 Statistics Canada Census, persons aged 14 years and under made up 17.9% of the population, and those aged 65 and older made up 9.95%. The median age was 36.4 years. In 2011, the city's gender population was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.
The Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA) is the fifth-largest CMA in Canada and largest in Alberta. It had a population of 1,214,839 in the 2011 Census compared to its 2006 population of 1,079,310. Its five-year population change of 12.6 percent was the highest among all CMAs in Canada between 2006 and 2011. With a land area of 5,107.55 km2 (1,972.04 sq mi), the Calgary CMA had a population density of 237.9/km2 (616.0/sq mi) in 2011. Statistics Canada's latest estimate of the Calgary CMA population, as of July 1, 2013, is 1,364,827.
Between 2001 and 2006, Calgary's population grew by 12.4%. During the same time period, the population of Alberta increased by 10.6%, while that of Canada grew by 5.4%. The population density of the city averaged 1,360.2/km2 (3,523/sq mi), compared with an average of 5.1/km2 (13/sq mi) for the province.
A city-administered census, conducted annually to assist in negotiating financial agreements with the provincial and federal governments, showed a population of just over 991,000 in 2006. The population of the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area was just over 1.1 million, and the Calgary Economic Region posted a population of just under 1.17 million in 2006. On July 25, 2006, the municipal government officially acknowledged the birth of the city's one millionth resident, with the census indicating that the population was increasing by approximately 98 people per day at that time. This date was arrived at only by means of assumption and statistical approximation and only took into account children born to Calgarian parents. A net migration of 25,794 persons/year was recorded in 2006, a significant increase from 12,117 in 2005.
As of 2011, 30.1% of the population belong to a visible minority group. Of the largest Canadian cities, Calgary ranked third in proportion of visible minorities, behind Toronto and Vancouver. Among the immigrants arriving in Calgary between 2001 and 2006, 78% belonged to a visible minority group. South Asians (mainly from India or Pakistan) make up the largest group (7.5%), followed by Chinese (6.8%). There were more than 200 different ethnic origins in Calgary, the most frequently reported were English, Scottish, Canadian, German and Irish.
Christians make up 54.9% of the population, while 32.3% have no religious affiliation. Other religions in the city are Muslims (5.2%), Sikhs (2.6%), and Buddhists (2.1%).
Calgary is recognized as a Canadian leader in the oil and gas industry as well as for being a leader in economic expansion. Its high personal and family incomes, low unemployment and high GDP per capita have all benefited from increased sales and prices due to a resource boom, and increasing economic diversification. The Conference Board of Canada forecasts Calgary to lead the country in GDP growth through to 2016.
Calgary benefits from a relatively strong job market in Alberta, is part of the Calgary–Edmonton Corridor, one of the fastest growing regions in the country. It is the head office for many major oil and gas related companies, and many financial service business have grown up around them. Small business and self-employment levels also rank amongst the highest in Canada. It is also a distribution and transportation hub with high retail sales.
As of 2010, the city had a labour force of 618,000 (a 74.6% participation rate) and 7.0% unemployment rate. In 2006, the unemployment rate was amongst the lowest of the major cities in Canada at 3.2%,causing a shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers.
In 2010 the "Professional, Technical and Management" Industry accounted for over 14% of employment and the areas of "Architectural, Engineering and Design Services" and "Management, Scientific and Technical Services" employment levels far exceed Canadian levels. Though Trade employs 14.7% of the work force, its percentage of total employment is not higher than the Canadian average. Levels of employment in Construction are both fairly high, exceed Canadian averages, and have grown 16% between 2006 and 2010. Health and Welfare services, which account for 10% of employment, have grown 20% in that period.
In 2006, the top three private sector employers in Calgary were Shaw Communications (7,500 employees), Nova Chemicals (4,945) and Telus (4,517). Companies rounding out the top ten were Mark's Work Wearhouse, theCalgary Co-op, Nexen, Canadian Pacific Railway, CNRL, Shell Canada and Dow Chemical Canada. The top public sector employers in 2006 were the Calgary Zone of the Alberta Health Services (22,000), the City of Calgary (12,296) and the Calgary Board of Education (8,000). Public sector employers rounding out the top five were the University of Calgary and the Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School Division.
In Canada, Calgary has the second-highest concentration of head offices in Canada (behind Toronto), the most head offices per capita, and the highest head office revenue per capita. Some large employers with Calgary head offices include Canada Safeway Limited, Westfair Foods Ltd., Suncor Energy, Agrium, Flint Energy Services Ltd., Shaw Communication, and Canadian Pacific Railway. CPR moved its head office from Montreal in 1996 and Imperial Oil moved from Toronto in 2005. EnCana's new 58-floor corporate headquarters, the Bow, became the tallest building in Canada outside of Toronto. In 2001, the city became the corporate headquarters of the TSX Venture Exchange.
WestJet is headquartered close to the Calgary International Airport, and Enerjet has its headquarters on the airport grounds. Prior to their dissolution, Canadian Airlines and Air Canada's subsidiary Zip were also headquartered near the city's airport. Although the main office is now based in Yellowknife,Canadian North, purchased from Canadian Airlines in September 1998, still maintain the operations and charter offices in Calgary.
Calgary has a number of multicultural areas. Forest Lawn is among the most diverse areas in the city and as such, the area around 17 Avenue SE within the neighbourhood is also known as International Avenue. The district is home to many ethnic restaurants and stores. Calgary was designated as one of the cultural capitals of Canada in 2012.
While many Calgarians continue to live in the city's suburbs, more central districts such as 17 Avenue, Kensington, Inglewood, Forest Lawn, Marda Loop and the Mission District have become more popular and density in those areas has increased. The nightlife and the availability of cultural venues in these areas has gradually begun to evolve as a result.
The Calgary Public Library is the city's public library network, with 17 branches loaning books, e-books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, audio books, and more. Based on borrowing, the library is the second largest in Canada, and sixth-largest municipal library system in North America. A 22,000-square-metre (240,000 sq ft) central library is under construction in Calgary East Village, and is expected to be completed in 2018.
Calgary is the site of the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium performing arts, culture and community facility. The auditorium is one of two "twin" facilities in the province, the other located in Edmonton, each being locally known as the "Jube". The 2,538-seat auditorium was opened in 1957 and has been host to hundreds of Broadway musical, theatrical, stage and local productions. The Calgary Jube is the resident home of the Alberta Ballet Company, the Calgary Opera, the Kiwanis Music Festival, and the annual civicRemembrance Day ceremonies. Both auditoriums operate 365 days a year, and are run by the provincial government. Both received major renovations as part of the province's centennial in 2005.
Alberta Ballet at the Nat Christie Centre
The Alberta Ballet is the third largest dance company in Canada. Under the artisticDIRECTION of Jean Grand-Maître, the Alberta Ballet is at the forefront both at home and internationally. The dance company has developed a distinctive repertoire and a high level of performance. Jean Grand-Maître has become well known for his successful collaborations with pop-artists like Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and Sarah McLachlan. The Alberta Ballet resides in the Nat Christie Centre.
Every three years, Calgary hosts the Honens International Piano Competition (formally known as the Esther Honens International Piano Competition). The finalists of the competition perform piano concerti with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; the laureate is awarded aCASH PRIZE (currently $100,000.00 CDN, the largest cash award of any international piano competition), and a three-year career development program. The Honens is an integral component of the classical music scene in Calgary.
Visual and conceptual artists like the art collective United Congress are active in the city. There are a number of art galleries in the downtown along Stephen Avenue; the SoDo (South of Downtown) Design District; the 17 Avenue corridor; and the neighbourhood of Inglewood, including the Esker Foundation.Calgary is also home to the Alberta College of Art and Design.
A number of marching bands are based in Calgary. They include the Calgary Round-Up Band, the Calgary Stetson Show Band, the Bishop Grandin Marching Ghosts, and the five-time World Association for Marching Show Bands champions, the Calgary Stampede Showband, as well as military bands including the Band of HMCS Tecumseh, the Regimental Band of the King's Own Calgary Regiment, and the Regimental Pipes and Drums of The Calgary Highlanders. There are many other civilian pipe bands in the city, notably the Calgary Police Service Pipe Band.
Calgary is also home to a choral music community, including a variety of amateur, community, and semi-professional groups. Some of the mainstays include the Mount Royal Choirs from the Mount Royal University Conservatory, the Calgary Boys' Choir, the Calgary Girls Choir, the Youth Singers of Calgary, the Cantaré Children's Choir, and Spiritus Chamber Choir.
Numerous films have been shot in Calgary and area. Notable films shot in and around the city include: Assassination of Jesse James, Brokeback Mountain, Dances with Wolves, Doctor Zhivago, Inception, Legends of the Fall, and Unforgiven.
Downtown Calgary seen from Eau ClaireCalgary Tower, reflected in a nearby high rise
Downtown features an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars, cultural venues, public squares (includingOlympic Plaza) and shopping. Notable shopping areas include such as The Core Shopping Centre (formerly Calgary Eaton Centre/TD Square), Stephen Avenue and Eau Claire Market. Downtown tourist attractionsinclude the Calgary Zoo, the Telus Spark, the Telus Convention Centre, the Chinatown district, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC), Military Museum and the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts. At 2.5 acres (1.0 ha), the Devonian Gardens is one of the largest urban indoor gardens in the world, and it is located on the 4th floor of The Core Shopping Centre (above the shopping). The downtown region is also home to Prince's Island Park, an urban park located just north of the Eau Claire district. Directly to the south of downtown is Midtown and the Beltline. This area is quickly becoming one of the city's densest and most active mixed use areas. At the district's core is the popular 17 Avenue, known for its many bars and nightclubs, restaurants, and shopping venues. During the Calgary Flames' playoff run in 2004, 17 Avenue was frequented by over 50,000 fans and supporters per game night. The concentration of red jersey-wearing fans led to the street's playoff moniker, the "Red Mile". Downtown is easily accessed using the city's C-Train light rail (LRT) transit system.
Downtown can be recognized by its numerous skyscrapers. Some of these structures, such as the Calgary Tower and the Scotiabank Saddledome are unique enough to be symbols of Calgary. Office buildings tend to concentrate within the commercial core, while residential towers occur most frequently within the Downtown West End and the Beltline, south of downtown. These buildings are iconographic of the city's booms and busts, and it is easy to recognize the various phases of development that have shaped the image of downtown. The first skyscraper building boom occurred during the late 1950s and continued through to the 1970s. After 1980, during the recession, many high-rise construction projects were immediately halted. It was not until the late 1980s and through to the early 1990s that major construction began again, initiated by the 1988 Winter Olympics and stimulated by the growing economy.
In total, there are 14 office towers that are at least 150 m (490 ft) (usually around 40 floors) or higher. The tallest of these is The Bow (Encana headquarters), which is the tallest office tower in Canada outside Toronto. Calgary's Bankers Hall Towers are also the tallest twin towers in Canada. As of 2008, there were 264 completed high-rise buildings, with 42 more under construction, another 13 approved for construction and 63 more proposed.
To connect many of the downtown office buildings, the city also boasts the world's most extensive skyway network (elevated indoor pedestrian bridges), officially called the +15. The name derives from the fact that the bridges are usually 15 ft (4.6 m) above grade.
The city is a corporate power-centre, a high percentage of the workforce is employed in white-collar jobs. The high concentration of oil and gas corporations led to the rise of Peter Lougheed's Progressive Conservative Party in 1971. However, as Calgary's population has increased, so has the diversity of its politics.
Two school boards operate independently of each other in Calgary, the public and the separate systems. Both boards have 7 elected trustees each representing 2 of 14 wards. The School Boards are considered to be part of municipal politics in Calgary as they are elected at the same time as City Council.
The Calgary census metropolitan area (CMA) had a crime severity index of 60.4 in 2013, which is lower the national average of 68.7. A slight majority of the other CMAs in Canada had crime severity indexes greater than Calgary's 60.4. Calgary had the sixth-most homicides in 2013 at 24.
Much of Calgary's street network is on a grid where roads are numbered with avenues running east–west and streets running north–south. Until 1904 the streets were named; after that date, all streets were given numbers radiating outwards from the city centre. Roads in predominantly residential areas as well as freeways and expressways do not generally conform to the grid and are usually not numbered as a result. However, it is a developer and city convention in Calgary that non-numbered streets within a new community have the same name prefix as the community itself so that streets can more easily be located within the city.
Calgary Transit provides public transportation services throughout the city with buses and light rail. Calgary's light rail system, known as the C-Train, was one of the first such systems in North America(behind Edmonton LRT and San Diego Trolley). It consists of four lines (two routes) on 58.2 km (36.2 mi) of track. The Calgary LRT is one of the continent's busiest carrying 270,000 passengers per weekday and approximately half of Calgary downtown workers take the transit to work. The C-Train is also North America's first and only LRT to run on 100% renewable energy.
As an alternative to the over 260 km (160 mi) of shared bikeways on streets, the city has a network of multi-use (bicycle, walking, rollerblading, etc.) paths spanning over 635 km (395 mi). The Peace Bridge provides pedestrians and cyclists, access to the downtown core from the north side of the Bow river. The bridge ranked among the top 10 architectural projects in 2012 and among the top 10 public spaces of 2012.
In the 1960s, Calgary started to develop a series of pedestrian bridges, connecting many downtown buildings.
The publicly-funded University of Calgary (U of C) is Calgary's largest degree-granting facility with an enrolment of 28,464 students in 2011. Mount Royal University, with 13,000 students, grants degrees in a number of fields. SAIT Polytechnic, with over 14,000 students, provides polytechnic and apprentice education, granting certificates, diplomas and applied degrees. Athabasca University provides distance education programs.
Calgary's daily newspapers include the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Metro News. Like most other major Canadian cities, Calgary is served by cable television stations Global, CTV, CBC, and City. Network affiliate programming from the United States originates from Spokane, Washington. There are a wide range of radio stations, including a station for First Nations and the Asian Canadian community.
Calgary is one of nine Canadian cities, out of the total of 98 cities internationally, that is in the New York City Global Partners, Inc. organization, which was formed in 2006 from the former Sister City program of the City of New York, Inc.
This article is outdated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (February 2015)Condominiums in the Downtown West End
With the redevelopment of the Beltline and the Downtown East Village at the forefront, efforts are underway to vastly increase the density of the inner city, but this has not stopped the rate of sprawl. In 2012, the combined population of the downtown neighbourhoods (including the Downtown Commercial Core, the Downtown East Village, the Downtown West End, Eau Claire, Chinatown, and the Beltline) was 36,228. However, looking at all of the inner-city neighbourhoods, the combined population was 179,304.
Because of the growth of the city, its southwest borders are now immediately adjacent to the Tsuu T'ina reserve. Recent residential developments in the deep southwest of the city have created a demand for a major roadway heading into the interior of the city, the southwest portion of the CalgaryRING road project. An initial proposal that would allow the southwestRING road to be built through the Tsuu T'ina Nation lands was rejected by the Tsuu T'ina people in a referendum in 2009. A second referendum by the Tsuu T'ina, in late 2013, approved a new agreement to build the southwestRING road, but the construction has not yet begun.
Like most large cities, there are many socioeconomic issues including homelessness. According to the City of Calgary, "Beginning in 1992 with the first Biennial Count of Homeless Persons, The City focused its research efforts on issues of poverty and shelter. An Affordable Housing Strategy was prepared in 2002, which called for a greater understanding of housing need in Calgary. The Calgary Committee to End Homelessness was formed in 2007 consisting of government representatives as well as business and community leaders. The result was Calgary's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, which was released in 2008 and is being implemented by the Calgary Homeless Foundation."[dead link] Alberta and Calgary have been leaders within Canada in addressing homelessness. Calgary was the first among Canada's large cities to adopt a ten-year plan to address the issue. As a result, the city experienced an 11.4% decrease in homelessness between 2008 and 2012.
Although Calgary and Alberta have traditionally been affordable places to live, substantial growth (much of it due to the prosperous energy sector) has led to increasing demand on real-estate. As a result, house prices in Calgary have increased significantly in recent years, but have stagnated over the last half of 2007, and into 2008. As of November 2006, Calgary is the most expensive city in Canada for commercial/downtown office space, and the second most expensive city (second to Vancouver) for residential real-estate. The cost of living and inflation is now the highest in the country, recent figures show that inflation was running at six per cent in April 2007.