City of the future: Calgary

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North America gained another city of over one million population this week, as Calgary, Alberta passed that magic milestone. Of course, many other metropolitan areas with extensive suburbs are far bigger in total, even if the core city has less than a million population. But nevertheless, Calgary's growth is very important to all of us.

Calgary is the headquarters of Canada's booming oil industry, and the exploitation of the Athabasca tar sands, larger in potential than Saudi Arabia's oil reserves, will bring the city much, much more wealth and growth. But Calgary's importance goes far beyond mere size and wealth. Calgary will play a vital role in helping Canada evolve into a more market—driven, American—friendly country.

Calgary's citizens are noted for their openness to change, their friendliness, and their pro—American leanings. The wealth of Alberta already subsidizes the rest of Canada to the extent of several thousand dollars a year for each Alberta family. That subsidy will only grow, and Canada's fate will increasingly depend on Alberta. Increased population, along with wealth, and the sheer force of its dynamism will make Calgary into a leading indicator for the rest of Canada. No doubt the swells and dandies in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver will continue to look down their noses at the Alberta upstarts. But their more flexible and ambitious neighbors will be packing up and moving to Calgary and the slightly smaller Alberta capital city Edmonton, and some of them will write back about the opportunities they have found.

Canada's wonderful Prime Minister Harper is from Calgary, and he has already made a huge difference in the conduct of Canada's government, healing the difficult relations we have had in the past, and taking a strong stance in the war on terror, modernizing Canada's military and standing tall. PM Harper is just one of the good things to come out of Calgary, and a harbinger of what is to come.

A glance at the impressive Calgary skyline reveals a city rich in white collar jobs and economic activity. Compare it to the skylines of slightly larger metro areas such as Birmingham, Al and Louisville, KY to get a sense of how dynamic Calgary is. And factor in the acute shortage of office space there, and the announced plans for various 60 story—plus projects which account for well over half the new office space planned in Canada, to realize that the future promises even more growth.

We are proud to number among our contributors the editor emeritus of the Calgary Sun, Paul Jackson. We hope to follow closely the progress of Calgary, and heartily congratulate all the residents of Calgary on their histroic milestone.

Thomas Lifson   7 28 06

North America gained another city of over one million population this week, as Calgary, Alberta passed that magic milestone. Of course, many other metropolitan areas with extensive suburbs are far bigger in total, even if the core city has less than a million population. But nevertheless, Calgary's growth is very important to all of us.

Calgary is the headquarters of Canada's booming oil industry, and the exploitation of the Athabasca tar sands, larger in potential than Saudi Arabia's oil reserves, will bring the city much, much more wealth and growth. But Calgary's importance goes far beyond mere size and wealth. Calgary will play a vital role in helping Canada evolve into a more market—driven, American—friendly country.

Calgary's citizens are noted for their openness to change, their friendliness, and their pro—American leanings. The wealth of Alberta already subsidizes the rest of Canada to the extent of several thousand dollars a year for each Alberta family. That subsidy will only grow, and Canada's fate will increasingly depend on Alberta. Increased population, along with wealth, and the sheer force of its dynamism will make Calgary into a leading indicator for the rest of Canada. No doubt the swells and dandies in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver will continue to look down their noses at the Alberta upstarts. But their more flexible and ambitious neighbors will be packing up and moving to Calgary and the slightly smaller Alberta capital city Edmonton, and some of them will write back about the opportunities they have found.

Canada's wonderful Prime Minister Harper is from Calgary, and he has already made a huge difference in the conduct of Canada's government, healing the difficult relations we have had in the past, and taking a strong stance in the war on terror, modernizing Canada's military and standing tall. PM Harper is just one of the good things to come out of Calgary, and a harbinger of what is to come.

A glance at the impressive Calgary skyline reveals a city rich in white collar jobs and economic activity. Compare it to the skylines of slightly larger metro areas such as Birmingham, Al and Louisville, KY to get a sense of how dynamic Calgary is. And factor in the acute shortage of office space there, and the announced plans for various 60 story—plus projects which account for well over half the new office space planned in Canada, to realize that the future promises even more growth.

We are proud to number among our contributors the editor emeritus of the Calgary Sun, Paul Jackson. We hope to follow closely the progress of Calgary, and heartily congratulate all the residents of Calgary on their histroic milestone.

Thomas Lifson   7 28 06