Edmonton vs. Calgary: The Battle of Alberta

We may be cut from the same cloth, but there's nothing wrong with a little sibling rivalry

By Emil Tiedemann

The "Battle of Alberta" has been around for as long as Alberta has been, back when they had to figure out which city would become the provincial capital and which would host the University of Alberta. Edmonton eventually came out on top in both facets, but even before that there's been a rivalry between our two cities' various sports teams dating all the way back to the 19th century. 

The "Battle of Alberta" has been going on for more than a century now.

Even today, that intrinsic rivalry between Edmonton and Calgary remains, whether it's over economic durability, athletic achievement, or simply which city has the tallest tower. It's silly, I know, but I think there can be benefits in some friendly competition. I mean, we're cut from the same cloth and we're there for each other when it comes down to it, but what's wrong with a little sibling rivalry!

Now, I understand that I am somewhat biased, considering I run a blog called "I Heart Edmonton," but I did my best to be as impartial as I possibly could, under the circumstances. Below, I came up with a number of categories that any city would be proud to brag about, and compared #YEG & #YYC by the numbers. 

There is no clear "winner" here, and in fact it only confirms that our two cities not only have a lot to be proud of, but also that we're actually pretty comparable. You be the judge...

P.S. The "winner" for each of the 50 categories will be highlighted in red, unless there is a tie. 
Edmontonians celebrating at a parade in 1920.

     Edmonton: 1795
     Calgary: 1875

Incorporated (as Town)/
     Edmonton: January 9, 1892
     Calgary: November 7, 1884

Incorporated (as City)/
     Edmonton: October 8, 1904
     Calgary: January 1, 1894

Population (City) (2016)/
     Edmonton: 932,546
     Calgary: 1,239,220

Population (Metro) (2016)/
     Edmonton: 1,321,426
     Calgary: 1,392,609

Area (Metro)/
     Edmonton: 9,438 km2
     Calgary: 5,110 km2

The Calgary International Airport, Canada's 4th busiest airport.

Median Income (2016)/
     Edmonton: $101,470 
     Calgary: $104,530

GDP (2013)/
     Edmonton: $88.2 billion
     Calgary: $97.9 billion

Unemployment Rates (Jan. 2018)/
     Edmonton: 7.2%
     Calgary: 7.6%

Lowest Taxes in Canada (2017)/ 
     Edmonton: 46th place
     Calgary: 43rd place 

Best Open Data Canadian Cities (2017)/
     Edmonton: 1st (98.3% score)
     Calgary: 4th (69.0% score) 

Best Places in Canada for Business (2016)/ 
     Edmonton: 2nd place
     Calgary: no placing (Top 25)  

Tallest Building/
     Edmonton: 250.8 m (Stantec Tower)
     Calgary: 247 m (Brookfield Place East)

Airport Passenger Traffic (2017)/
     Edmonton: 7.8 million (YEG)
     Calgary: 16.27 million (YYC)
The University of Alberta in Edmonton was founded in 1908.

World's Best Cities Ranking (2018)/
     Edmonton: 60th 
     Calgary: 34th

Canadian Living Standards (2017)/
     Edmonton: 96th
     Calgary: 75th

Best Places in Canada to Retire (2017)/
     Edmonton: 65th
     Calgary: 63rd 

Emergency Room Waiting Times (Average) (2017)/
     Edmonton: 3.6 hours
     Calgary: 3.0 hours  

Annual Hours of Sunshine/
     Edmonton: 2,299
     Calgary: 2,396

Average High (Year)/
     Edmonton: 9.3 Degrees Celsius
     Calgary: 10.8 Degrees Celsius

Top Universities Ranking (2016/17)/
     Edmonton: 4th (University of Alberta)
     Calgary: 8th (University of Calgary)

Hours Per Year Spent in Traffic (2016)/
     Edmonton: 17.2 hours
     Calgary: 15.7 hours

Distance to Banff/
     Edmonton: 413.4 km (4 hours, 8 minutes)
     Calgary: 126.6 km (1 hour, 26 minutes) 

Distance to Jasper/
     Edmonton: 365.4 km (3 hours, 54 minutes)
     Calgary: 412.5 km (4 hours, 56 minutes)
The Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989.

Stanley Cups/
     Edmonton: 5 (Oilers)
     Calgary: 1 (Flames)

Grey Cups/
     Edmonton: 14 (Eskimos)
     Calgary: 7 (Stampeders)

Memorial Cups/
     Edmonton: 3 (Oil Kings)
     Calgary: 1 (Canadians)

Vanier Cups/ 
     Edmonton: 3
     Calgary: 4

U Sports University Cups/
     Edmonton: 15
     Calgary: 0

CJFL Championships/
     Edmonton: 8
     Calgary: 2

Host of Olympics/
     Edmonton: 0
     Calgary: 1 (1988)

Host of Commonwealth Games/
     Edmonton: 1 (1978)
     Calgary: 0

Stadium Seating/ 
     Edmonton: 56,302 (Commonwealth)
     Calgary: 35,400 (McMahon)

Arena Seating/
     Edmonton: 18,347 (Rogers Place)
     Calgary: 19,289 (Scotiabank Saddledome)

Famous NHL Team Players/ 
     Edmonton: Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Mark Messier
     Calgary: Jarome Iginla, Theoren Fleury, Lanny McDonald 

The Edmonton Fringe Festival is the largest and oldest in North America.

Fringe Festival Founding/
     Edmonton: 1982
     Calgary: 2001

Pride Festival Founding/
     Edmonton: 1980
     Calgary: 1990

Folk Festival Founding/
     Edmonton: 1980
     Calgary: 1980

Hometown Celebrities/
     Edmonton: Michael J. Fox, k.d. lang, Tommy Chong 
     Calgary: Elisha Cuthbert, Paul Gross, Tegan & Sara

Orchestra Founding/
     Edmonton: 1920
     Calgary: 1910

Opera Founding/
     Edmonton: 1963
     Calgary: 1972 

Calgary's Pigeonhole Restaurant made the Top 10 of "best restaurants" in Canada in 2017.

Top 100 Restaurants (2017)/
     Edmonton: 6
     Calgary: 8

Top 10 Best New Restaurants (2017)/
     Edmonton: 3
     Calgary: 1

Food Bank Founding/
     Edmonton: 1981
     Calgary: 1982

The Edmonton Oilers have nearly 800,000 Twitter followers...that's 13th in the entire league.

Official City Twitter Followers/
     Edmonton: 198,000
     Calgary: 240,000

Mayor's Twitter Followers/
     Edmonton: 152,000 (Don Iveson)
     Calgary: 391,000 (Naheed Nenshi)

NHL Team Twitter Followers/
     Edmonton: 799,000 (Oilers)
     Calgary: 597,000 (Flames)

Official City Instagram Followers/
     Edmonton: 24,500
     Calgary: 36,600

Mayor's Instagram Followers/
     Edmonton: 25,600
     Calgary: 43,000

NHL Team Instagram Followers/
     Edmonton: 449,000
     Calgary: 283,000


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