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Edmonton Real Estate Market

David A

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I imagine that a lot of people who live in Vancouver this year are re-examining their choices because of heavy rainfall. And (as happened with Los Angeles after the Northridge quake in 1994) when the next BIG one hits the lower mainland of B.C. -- a 30% chance of one registering higher than 9.0 on the Richter Scale within the next 50 years -- there will be a mass exodus out of that City for the survivors. The Richter scale is logarithmic so a 9.0 earthquake in Vancouver would have nearly 100 times the energy of the Northridge quake in Los Angeles that caused a lot of people and companies to move to Phoenix and Las Vegas. And since the next expected one will be a thrust quake from subduction form of tectonic plate action it will cause a tremendous amount of damage. There is evidence of 20 such quakes in the last 10,000 years in the Vancouver coastal area or roughly one every 500 years or so (a return interval of 400 to 600 years and as the oceans rise due to global warming the tectonic pressure increases -- the last one occurred in 1700).
Now one of the things that I have been noticing re Toronto is the common incidence of high winds often with gusts exceeding 50kph -- near Gale-force winds on the Beaufort Scale -- that combined with high humidity leads to an icy cold condition in winter that is far more unpleasant weather-wise than what Edmonton has. So, if climate is a factor, it is time to move to Edmonton or Calgary all you misinformed Canadians.
Very good points. As I have said for years to people, every place has its pluses and minuses. For instance, beautiful Florida can often have unpleasant hurricanes for several months in the late summer and fall . They have had to evacuate much of the state in recent years because of them. Lest we forget with climate change, very low level areas will be prone to severe or catastrophic flooding as sea levels are steadily rising. If I was in Vancouver, I would in particular avoid Richmond, that is another disaster that will happen, regardless of when the big one earthquake happens. A few chilly days can be managed, being submerged under water is much less pleasant.
 

tkoe_

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I had to think about this a bit, but in a way actually you are both right. The climate myth about Edmonton is incredibly strong, I suspect there are people elsewhere in Canada who really believe we get 4 to 6 months of sold minus 40 here, just because they heard it was that cold here one day in the winter. Seldom do you read an article from someone from somewhere else about Edmonton that does not include either the words cold or frigid or something similar in it, regardless of when they come here. The cynic in me thinks maybe they get a bonus from Calgary tourism for that.

In reality, I would describe our weather as quite variable. We seem to have spells of colder days, broken up by much milder days in the winter. Our actual winters temperate averages are similar to Ottawa and Quebec City. Our growing season is longer than many other places in Alberta and many other places in western Canada. However, in so far as people from elsewhere continue to believe or perpetuate this myth, yes it can be a detriment to us.

I do think at this time, the last few years of languishing or low oil prices have more of an impact than the climate myth. We had the same climate in 2008 to 2014 when things were buzzing here.
I think there is also a tendency sometimes to magnify small differences to improve one's self-perception. "It's only -20c here, not a frigid -25c like those guys up the road." Do some places in Canada have milder winters than Edmonton? Of course! But is Montreal a more interesting city because it's weather is marginally better or is it something else?
 

David A

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Good point about Montreal. On that note, is one of Toronto's main selling points that its weather is not as cold or snowy as Montreal? No!

I agree it is a small difference magnified to make another place portray the image of it being more tropical than it is. Unfortunately, that other place gets a lot more media coverage than we do and sets or controls the conversation more than we do, so the myth persists to our detriment.
 

Rapperswill

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I have to agree with some of the comments in this thread. You don't have to look very hard to see where the majority of Canadians want to live (Vancouver and GTA). Everything else is too cold and uninhabitable. But to each their own though; I mean I'll gladly plug my truck in when it's -20 outside and I'll take those longer winters in exchange for a soon to be paid off house, a career and the ability to financially provide for my kids.
 

David A

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I have to agree with some of the comments in this thread. You don't have to look very hard to see where the majority of Canadians want to live (Vancouver and GTA). Everything else is too cold and uninhabitable. But to each their own though; I mean I'll gladly plug my truck in when it's -20 outside and I'll take those longer winters in exchange for a soon to be paid off house, a career and the ability to financially provide for my kids.
... yet over 90% of Canadians don't live in Vancouver despite it being a supposed tropical paradise (by Canadian standards) and no Toronto's climate is not the same as Vancouver's.

People live in Toronto because more because of economic activity and it is the hub for the very populated southern Ontario region, which is also close to major US markets, not so much because of the climate.
 

thommyjo

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... yet over 90% of Canadians don't live in Vancouver despite it being a supposed tropical paradise (by Canadian standards) and no Toronto's climate is not the same as Vancouver's.

People live in Toronto because more because of economic activity and it is the hub for the very populated southern Ontario region, which is also close to major US markets, not so much because of the climate.
Yeah, I think Edmonton's remoteness is more the challenge. There's lots of cities with bad weather that excel and good weather that struggle.

Its a small factor, but I think us just being far from everywhere else is hard economically. Van, Tor, Cal are all more convenient if theres American ties to the business.
 

ChazYEG

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Yeah, I think Edmonton's remoteness is more the challenge. There's lots of cities with bad weather that excel and good weather that struggle.

Its a small factor, but I think us just being far from everywhere else is hard economically. Van, Tor, Cal are all more convenient if theres American ties to the business.
I'd buy it for Vancouver and Toronto, but Calgary is really close to the great State of Montana em all of its cattle ranches. The flight from YEG to any major American city is a whole half an hour longer, so that is a very poor excuse for us.
 

Stevey_G

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This is my own anecdotal sentiment:

I work in Oil and Gas. I do pipeline inspection/planning and design work. Why would I return to Alberta? I am in a strong union supporting province and I work 35 hours a week with a flexible schedule. If I moved to Alberta, I could own a home, but I would likely have higher blood pressure, lose a pension, go into a non union environment, work nights, and work 60 hours a week most likely. Then when the economy turns to crap, my assets would devalue (as they did) and I would be picking bottles to pay for food (which I had to).

This isn’t to shit on a province I love, but most people I know out west are turned off by the culture in Alberta of working to an early grave. I came out here as a temporary measure, but I wouldn’t move back.
 

Stevey_G

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Good that you have found something good in BC

There are union jobs here in AB as well, but maybe not as many in total proportion.
For sure. It’s an admittedly smug comment I made but it’s the truth, people out here aren’t willing to move there because they like getting off work at 3 and the work culture is generally more relaxed - even at the expense of some of Alberta’s strategic advantages.
 

David A

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Is the weather here really much worse than other places, or have we just bought into the myth that keeps on being perpetuated?

Days with temperatures at or below -30 C each year​



City Average number of days
Edmonton3.3
Calgary3.7
Regina12.0
Saskatoon14.3

CBC NEWS

Source: Environment Canada
 

thommyjo

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I'd buy it for Vancouver and Toronto, but Calgary is really close to the great State of Montana em all of its cattle ranches. The flight from YEG to any major American city is a whole half an hour longer, so that is a very poor excuse for us.
But I think that's part of the challenge. When Calgary is a bit closer, why not just choose it?

When everything else is held equal, if Calgary is a bit closer to the border and the mountains, that becomes a sell. People don't see edmonton as better than Calgary as a city, AND we have some geographical disadvantages for some businesses/people.
 

ChazYEG

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But I think that's part of the challenge. When Calgary is a bit closer, why not just choose it?

When everything else is held equal, if Calgary is a bit closer to the border and the mountains, that becomes a sell. People don't see edmonton as better than Calgary as a city, AND we have some geographical disadvantages for some businesses/people.
Don't disagree that this is the perception today. My point is: if we work on the first point (how people view Edmonton, especially relative to Calgary), the second is rather irrelevant.

Personally, I don't like Calgary nearly as much. Compared to Edmonton, it lacks a more organic cultural life. I've got several friends in the arts industry that regularly point that out. We're particularly strong in the theatre and music, compared to other cities the same size in Canada. Edmonton also has more and better museums and art galleries (a symptom of the government and university presences), as well as a food scene that is at least as interesting as Calgary's (some connoisseurs would even say it's slightly more interesting). Plus the cinema festival, which is highly regarded as one of the most relevant in Canada.

The more conservative general mindset is a big deal breaker for me (maybe the biggest) and I nurture a deep hatred for the tons of freeways crossing the city.

Personally, I could care less for being close to the mountains or to the US. I'm not an outdoor person, so you'll never see me skiing, snowboarding, hiking, camping, etc. And I'm not the only one, so Edmonton could very well pitch itself for people who value cultural life more than nature bonding, for example.

The point is that neither Calgary or Edmonton are clearly better or worse than the other, but would easily cater to different publics. Edmonton just happens to be EXTREMELY incompetent in selling itself as an attractive place.
 

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