Prairie Post

Calgarians rate their quality of life

Calgary’s Vital Signs, an annual community check-up, measures the vitality of Calgary by identifying trends and assigning grades to factors that are important to a high quality of life.

The community check-up is run by The Calgary Foundation, a community foundation that is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of Calgarians. Established in 1955, The Calgary Foundation connects donors and community organizations to create long-term vitality within the city.

Highlights from the 2013 Vital Signs Report:

Citizen Engagement


Details: 94% of respondents indicated that it is every citizen’s duty to vote. There is a high rate of volunteerism within Calgary, a ‘can do’ attitude and spirit, as well as a willingness to engage. The survey also found that Calgary needs to improve the community involvement of marginalized groups as well as spread awareness of community engagement opportunities.

Health and Wellness

Grade: B

Details: The survey indicated that Calgarians are happy with the many available parks and green spaces. Respondents also indicated that access to excellent healthcare facilities (especially the Alberta Children’s Hospital) make for a high quality of life. Obesity rates in Calgary have declined and Alberta has the second lowest cancer incidence and mortality rates in Canada after British Columbia.

Living Standards

Grade: B

Details: Survey participants responded positively to Calgary’s abundance of opportunities and high standards of living, but the statistics show that the price for a single-family home is trending upwards. In April 2012 the average rent for an apartment was $1,004. In April 2013 the average rent had increased to $1,078. Three things that need to be improved are density issues to limit urban sprawl, affordability of rental housing and affordability of ownership housing.

With the civic election only 20 days away, Calgarians also indicated that they would like to see an increase in voter turnout.


You can take a look at the entire report HERE.

Krista Wiebe is a freelance writer and editor based in Calgary. Follow her on Twitter: @KristaWiebe

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