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Allison James

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Posts Tagged ‘Boomtown’

The Story of Calgary Real Estate: From Quiet Town to Boomtown

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Image Courtesy of Abdallah

Image Courtesy of Abdallah


So Calgary real estate is red-hot (Best Place to Live in Canada and fifth in the world!); but it wasn’t always this hot. It used to be that when people had to move to Calgary, they’d feel dejected, thinking it was too quiet, too laid-back. Today, there’s no place they’d rather be.


Calgary’s modern history (its full history goes back 11,000 years to Canada’s aboriginal peoples) actually didn’t start out that quietly. It came with the railway trains in 1883 which soon made Calgary an important commercial and agricultural center, and a transportation and distribution hub. It became a town a year later and a city after a decade.

First the chugs of the trains, then the moos of the cows. The offer of free homestead land in the city drew hordes of migrants the world over. Ranching became big in Calgary, until it emerged as the center of Canada’s cattle marketing and meatpacking industries, from which it got its nickname, Cowtown. In 1912, the Calgary Stampede was born as a small agricultural roadshow and rodeo to showcase Calgary’s local products and cowboy culture, and it has since been held yearly with a big local and global following.


But the cows’ moos were all but drowned out by the oil boom in Calgary after the discovery of big oil reserves there in 1947 and the rise in oil prices with the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s. People the world over flocked to the city, driving its population up by 70% in 18 years and then by 50% in the next 18 years. Suddenly, high-rise buildings and skyscrapers lined the horizon and filled the downtown streets, and the city even became the first Canadian city to host the Winter Olympic Games, in 1988. But the drop in oil prices in the 1980s dragged Calgary’s economy along. Yet like a true cowboy, it rose from its fall a decade later by diversifying its economy from mainly oil and agriculture to include manufacturing, transportation, services, IT and e-commerce, and tourism, this last due to Calgary’s natural beauty and diversity from being lodged between the Canadian Rockies and the Canadian Prairies, and with two rivers running through it. Today, Calgary is a highly urbanized cosmopolitan town with an average household income that’s one of the highest in Canada and an unemployment rate that’s almost half the national average, but it has kept its cowboy’s down-to-earth and can-do spirit burning bright, which is what lifted it so quickly from the record flood in June last year.

I’ve proudly been calling Calgary my home since March, 1999 and have been a Calgary Realtor® for 14 years. I still get a high each time I tell people the story of Calgary’s rise from a quiet town to boomtown. Does anyone have other great stories to tell about Calgary? Let’s hear them!


Do you need to move to celebrate the changes that are happening in your life? Let me serve you in helping you make the move to the place or home that reflects where you are in life’s journey! I will listen to your needs and use my knowledge and expertise to make this a smooth transition to the right place for you to call home in Calgary. Contact me at 403-708-5873, , or and let’s get on with your journey!


About Allison James

has been a realtor® since 1999 with Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd. in the changing Calgary real estate market. A Century 21 Centurion Award 2007 recipient and a member of CREA and AREA, she specializes in residential real estate and has her designations as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Condominium Specialist. These designations testify that she has the expertise and resources to help her clients make a smooth transition to the next step in their life journey. She enjoys helping her clients as they move through many of the same stages of life that she, too, has experienced. The fact that the majority of her business comes from past clients and/or referrals from satisfied clients speaks volumes about her dedication to the high quality of service that she offers her clients to meet their Calgary and surrounding area real estate needs. She is a mother of four who are all on their own now, and a grandmother of eight. Besides helping people buy or sell real estate, she loves spending time with her family, being active outdoors, traveling and meeting new people, photography, playing the drums, reading, scuba diving, listening to music, learning new things, and nurturing her spiritual growth.

Allison James, Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.
1612 17 Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2T 0E3
Tel: 403-245-0773 Toll Free: 403-708-5873 Cell: 403-708-5873 Fax: 403-592-9187
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