Calgary is located at the transition zone between the Canadian Rockies foothills and the Canadian Prairies. Calgary's elevation is approximately 1,048m (3,438 ft) above sea level within downtown, and 1,083m (3,553 ft) at the airport. The city proper covers a land area of 726.5 km2 (280.5 sq mi) (as of 2006) and as such exceeds the land area of the City of Toronto.
There are two major rivers that run through the city. The Bow River is the largest and flows from the west to the south. The Elbow River flows northwards from the south until it converges with the Bow River 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.
The city is large in physical area, consisting of an inner city surrounded by communities of various density. Unlike most cities with a sizeable metropolitan area, most of Calgary's suburbs are incorporated into the city proper, with the notable exceptions of the City of Airdrie to the north, Cochrane to the northwest, Strathmore to the east, and the Springbank and Bearspaw acreages to the west. Though it is not technically within Calgary's metropolitan area, the Town of Okotoks is only a short distance to the south and is considered a suburb as well. The Calgary Economic Region includes slightly more area than the CMA and has a population of 1,251,600 in 2008.
Calgary Live Cam
The city has undertaken numerous land annexation procedures over the years to keep up with growth; the most recent was completed in July 2007 and saw the city annex the neighbouring hamlet of Shepard, and place its boundaries adjacent to the hamlet of Balzac and within very short distances of the City of Airdrie and Town of Chestermere. Despite this proximity, there are presently no plans for Calgary to annex either Airdrie or Chestermere, and in fact Chestermere's administration has a growth plan in the works that calls for it annexing the intervening land between the town and Calgary.
The City of Calgary is immediately surrounded by two municipal districts, Rocky View County to the North, West and East; and Foothills No. 31 to the South.
Northern lights over the City of Calgary experiences a dry humid continental climate with long, cold, dry, but highly variable winters and short, moderately warm summers. The climate is greatly influenced by the city's elevation and proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Calgary's winters can be uncomfortably cold; but warm, dry Chinook winds routinely blow into the city from over the mountains during the winter months, giving Calgarians a break from the cold. These winds have been known to raise the winter temperature by up to 15 °C (27 °F) in just a few hours, and may last several days. The chinooks are such a common feature of Calgary's winters that only one month (January 1950) has failed to witness a thaw over more than 100 years of weather observations. More than one half of all winter days see the daily maximum rise above 0 °C (32 °F)
Calgary is a city of extremes, and temperatures have ranged anywhere from a record low of 45 °C in 1893 to a record high of 36 °C (97 °F) in 1919. Temperatures fall below 30 °C° on about five days per year, though extreme cold spells usually do not last very long. According to Environment Canada, the average temperature in Calgary ranges from a January daily average 9 °C (16 °F) to a July daily average of 16 °C (61 °F).
CHINOOK OVER CALGARY
As a consequence of Calgary's high elevation and aridity, summer evenings can be very cool. The average summer minimum temperature drops to 8°C (46°F). Calgary may experience summer daytime temperatures exceeding 29°C (84°F) anytime in June, July, & August, and occasionally as late as September or as early as May. With an average relative humidity of 55% in the winter and 45% in the summer, 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.
The city is among the sunniest in Canada, with 2,400 hours of annual sunshine, on average. Calgary International Airport in the northeastern section of the city receives an average of 412.6 mm (16.24 in) of precipitation annually, with 320.6 mm (12.62 in) of that occurring in the form of rain, and 126.7 cm (49.9 in) as snow. Most of the precipitation occurs from May to August, with June averaging the most monthly rainfall. In June 2005, Calgary received 248 mm (9.76 in) of precipitation, making it the wettest month in the city's recorded history. Droughts are not uncommon and may occur at any time of the year, lasting sometimes for months or even several years. Precipitation decreases somewhat from west to east; consequently, groves of trees on the western outskirts largely give way to treeless grassland around the eastern city limit.
Located in southern Alberta, Calgary can endure several very cold spells in most winters (although they are punctuated by warm spells). Snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 88 days each year in Calgary, compared with about 74 days in Toronto. However, snowfall (and temperatures) can vary considerably throughout the Calgary region – mostly due to the elevation changes, and proximity to the mountains. The Town of High River (south of Calgary) receives on average 14–15cm less snow a year than at the Calgary Airport in North-East Calgary (based on 1971–2000 Environment Canada averages), and less than the Toronto area. Temperatures tend to be slightly warmer in the southern areas of Calgary as well.
SPORT IN CALGARY
Canada Olympic Park in large part due to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Calgary has traditionally been a popular destination for winter sports. Since hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, the city has also been home to a number of major winter sporting facilities such as Canada Olympic Park (luge, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and some summer sports) and the Olympic Oval (speed skating and hockey). These facilities serve as the primary training venues for a number of competitive athletes. Also, Canada Olympic Park serves as a mountain biking trail in the summer months.
In the summer, the Bow River is very popular among fly-fishermen. Golfing is also an extremely popular activity for Calgarians and the region has a large number of courses.
Calgary hosted the 2009 World Water Ski Championship Festival in August, at the Predator Bay Water Ski Club which is situated approximately 40 km south of the city.
The Scotiabank Saddledome is a major part of the wider Battle of Alberta, the city's sports teams enjoy a popular rivalry with their Edmonton counterparts, most notably the rivalries between the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers..Go Flames Go !, and the Canadian Football League's Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos.
The city also has a large number of urban parks including Fish Creek Provincial Park, Nose Hill Park, Bowness Park, Edworthy Park, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Confederation Park, and Prince's Island Park. Nose Hill Park is the largest municipal park in Canada. Connecting these parks and most of the city's neighborhoods is one of the most extensive multi-use (walking, bike, rollerblading, etc.) path systems in North America.
There is a vast amount of information on Calgary Schools. Listed below are the main separate links: