Calgary

Real Calgarian or just fakin' it? Here's what you had to say

Calgary, it can get into your bones — but not everyone is convinced. Here is a look at what some folks had to say when we asked, "Are you a Calgarian — or do you just live here?"

Whether you grew up here, or moved to the city, some remember saying, 'Dang! I am a real Calgarian'

We heard from many people who call Calgary home, and others who will never think of their current address as their final destination. (CBC)

As part of our special Calgary at a Crossroads project, we asked if you had an "A-ha!" moment when you realized you didn't just live here, but it was a part of who you are.  

Here's what some folks had to say.

I was raised in Calgary, but my moment of truly identifying as a Calgarian came when I was travelling in Israel when I was 25. I was going through a security checkpoint in Jerusalem when a friendly security guard first assumed I was Israeli and then asked where I was from. As a Canadian travelling, I always answered "Canada" because rarely had people heard of Calgary. He pressed me for what city I was from. I said "Calgary" to which he smiled and nodded his head and said "Ahhh... Bret 'The Hitman' Hart" in complete understanding. In that moment, it was cool that I was a Calgarian and I've never looked back. — JennW

I thought I was a Calgarian until I had to relocate for a few years and then returned to this mess of bad politics and violence. Not sure what happened here but this glorious city has tarnished into something horrifying. — Nikolas Copernicus

A cyclist rides through Calgary's Peace Bridge in downtown. (wwspi_yyc/Instagram)

I've lived here for 11 years and I have many "A-ha" moments. Like when I was laid off in 2009 and my boss assumed I'd be moving back to Winnipeg. My answer was, "But I live in Calgary and chose to move here for varying reasons. I'm not moving back." Another is the joy I feel every time I drive down Memorial from the N.E. and round the bend at Franklin Station to see downtown with the mountains as the backdrop and realize that is the best sight ever! And finally, there was a time while flying back from Winnipeg, that I thought "I'm home" and that was the best defining moment! — Dawn Smith

I arrived here in 2009 and I had a two-year Visa, and I extended that Visa, but to reactivate that Visa I had to leave the country. And so I took a weekend flight to Seattle and spent some time there. I flew back in, and you could see the downtown core, and the mountains. And I just sat in the plane and went, "I'm home." And that was the moment I realized I was a Calgarian. I love this city and I love the beauty surrounding it."  — Anthony

A plane lands at the Calgary International Airport. (Submitted by Jim LeGuilloux)

I grew up just outside of Calgary, left for a while and came back 24 years ago to raise my children close to their grandparents. I have lived in my present house and neighbourhood for over 20 years and I don't think I will ever feel I belong here. It is a cold and lonely city. I know people, I am active in a community, but I still feel like an outsider. Family obligations keep me here. It saddens me, but I know I am not alone in my sentiments." — Joseph

Kolja Vainstein walks along a snowy street in Calgary in 2013. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

I was born and raised in Calgary and have lived here almost 50 years. The best part about Calgary is the decent wages that allow ample vacations so that I can see the skyline disappearing in the rear-view mirror (or plane window) as I depart to more friendlier destinations. — MonkeyBear

In retrospect the "A-ha" moment was probably during the 2013 floods. We were sitting dry and comfy at home, had just found out my uncle's place in Victoria Park was safe and feeling sick about those who weren't so lucky. We drove to Bowness in old clothes and just started mucking out. It was the most amazing, wrenching, uplifting and exhausting day. A month later on holiday out east we talked a lot about Calgary and the floods and had a real sense of pride of being from here. — Rose Ratliffe

Local residents show the results of cleaning up their homes following the severe flooding of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Calgary. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

I'm born and raised here, went to school and university here. So did both my parents. I haven't had an "A-ha!" moment about being Calgarian. I hate the Stampede, don't care for our sports teams and find the whole cowboy thing lol worthy. I do feel Calgarian. I love my city and my home, there's no place like it and I think that if you have deep family roots in this city you may not have an "A-ha" moment but you don't need one to be a Calgarian, you just have to like where you live. — S_Dub7

CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. It's called Calgary at a Crossroads.

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