How Calgary’s Neighbourhood Count Compares to Other Cities

Calgary is currently home to more than 1.6 million residents and is divided into 206 distinct communities. Here’s how that stacks up in relation to other cities with similar populations, in Canada and beyond.

Illustration by Tyler Lemermeyer


Ottawa, Ontario

Population: 1.2 million

A 2001 amalgamation of “old” Ottawa with 11 regional municipalities, as well as the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, expanded Canada’s capital to its current size of 2,790 sq. km., an area that would encompass the combined cities of Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. The amalgamated Ottawa is home to around 360 distinct neighbourhoods.


Edmonton, Alberta

Population: 1.5 million

Calgary may be larger geographically than its northern neighbour by approximately 141 sq. km., but Edmonton has more neighbourhoods at 242 to Calgary’s 206.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Population: 1.5 million

Despite having a population that is comparable to Calgary’s, Philadelphia, Penn., is organized much differently, with just 46 distinct neighbourhoods, as per 2019 reporting by the city.


San Diego, California

Population: 1.4 million

The city of San Diego is divided up into 52 “community planning areas” with various neighbourhoods within those areas that are not statistically definable.


Dallas, Texas

Population: 1.3 million

The City of Dallas does not have official neighbourhood designations, however, it has mapped around 371 distinct neighbourhoods by defining boundaries for homeowner associations, as well as historical and modern neighbourhoods. That said, City officials acknowledge the actual number of neighbourhoods in Dallas is likely higher.


Auckland, New Zealand

Population: 1.6 million

New Zealand’s biggest city is divided into “suburbs,” with a count of 212 that is comparable to Calgary’s 206 communities. With a similar population of 1.6 million to Calgary’s 1.5 million, Auckland could arguably be Calgary’s twin city of the Southern Hemisphere.


Adelaide, Australia

Population: 1.4 million

Like Auckland, Greater Metropolitan Adelaide (an entity that includes the city of Adelaide) also defines its communities as “suburbs,” with a count of more than 400 suburbs that is well above its Kiwi counterpart.


Helsinki, Finland

Population: 1.5 million

The urban agglomeration of this Scandinavian city and its adjacent suburban areas (including the cities of Espoo and Vantaa) has a population similar to Calgary’s. The city of Helsinki is divided into 34 “basic districts” (with populations ranging from 4,000 to 44,000). The city is further divided into 148 “sub-districts” of 300 to 15,000 inhabitants.

This article appears in the July 2024 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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