Getting started in Calgary
Arriving in a new city can be overwhelming. In Calgary, there are many resources and services to assist newcomers, community and immigrant serving organizations to help you settle.
Our newcomers guide to Calgary also provides important information for new residents in an easy to download and print format.
If you are an organization serving newcomers, you may also be interested in the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership Newcomer Guide for Service Providers. This guide is a directory of service available to newcomers throughout Calgary.
Important phone numbers
For City information or to request a service within Calgary city limits. 311 also offers language translation services in more than 200 languages. If you state the name of your language in English, a translator will be provided.
For emergencies related to health, safety and property. This includes medical distress, fires, crimes in progress, motor vehicle accidents where an ambulance/tow truck is necessary. Translation services are available.
Learn how to access community or social resources in Calgary. This includes financial, social, food and mental health support. This service is free and confidential and translation services are available.
Health Link: For health advice and health information services provided by a registered nurse. The nurse may not be able to diagnose your illness but will tell you if you should seek medical treatment or treatment at home. Translation services available.
How to get around Calgary
Use Calgary Transit to get around the city in two ways:
- By train: The City of Calgary offers CTrain (LRT) service with two main lines - a red line running north to south and a blue line running east to west. The CTrain is free downtown – simply hop on at any stop along Seventh Avenue. As long as you get off the train before leaving downtown, no fare is required.
- By bus: Bus service is available throughout the city and connects with the CTrain line. To find your route, visit Calgary Transit or download the Calgary Transit app and you can select your origin and destination to find where you are going. You can also pick up a printed schedule from any convenience store or find the schedule online.
Travelling by taxi or ridesharing in Calgary
Calgary’s taxi, limousine and ridesharing companies are regulated by The City of Calgary. Plan ahead and consider busy periods. Other tips:
- Look for a taxi plate on the rear bumper to ensure you are taking a licensed taxi.
- Be aware of the company, vehicle colour and phone number in case you need to track down lost items or share a compliment or concern about your ride.
- You can pay your taxi fare by cash, credit or debit cards.
- Taxis can accept rides that are street hailed or booked ahead of time (by phone, website or app). Taxis charge a rate that is capped at a maximum regulated amount. Ridesharing companies can arrange rides with passengers or customers through an app (not through street hails). Ridesharing companies charge unregulated rates not subject to a maximum amount.
Services and resources
Access subsidized City services and programs in one application
Fair Entry enables you to apply for City-subsidized programs and services including transit and recreation through one application process.
Know your rights, the Canadian legal system, and how police operate
The Calgary Police Service provides educational programs to foster strong relationships between the Service and Calgary’s diverse communities.
- “You and the Law” is a Calgary Police Service 90-minute workshop aimed at helping new immigrants learn about the Canadian legal system, how police here operate and the rights they enjoy as residents of Canada.
- The Newcomer's Guide to the Calgary Police Service provides information for new Canadians about the role of the Calgary Police Service, how to recognize police officers and how to reach out if they need help
Good neighbour practices
If you are new to the city, a long-term Calgarian, homeowner or tenant looking for more information about your responsibilities within your neighbourhood, this quick reference will get you started.
Getting prepared for emergencies
Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Learn the basic actions you can take to prepare and protect yourself, your family and your home.
Fire safety and prevention
Knowing how to prevent and escape from fires is important. You should keep fire safety on your mind while you are at home, work, or out enjoying Calgary's attractions. Combining safety knowledge with working fire safety equipment will help you to escape safely if there is a fire.
Free resources and services from your local library
The Calgary Public Library has 21 library locations in Calgary. There are many books to help adults and children learn English as well as free ESL conversation circles and writing club, settlement desks and citizenship classes. All locations offer free computers and internet.
Participate in family-friendly free programs and events
We offer various free programs and events across our city to keep you and your family active all year long. We also offer various paid and low-cost recreation drop-in fitness opportunities and registered programs.