Overall Crime and Safety Situation
U.S. Consulate General Calgary does not assume responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the persons or firms appearing in this report. The ACS Unit cannot recommend a particular individual or location and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED CALGARY AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR CRIME DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.
Please review OSAC’s Canada-specific webpage for proprietary analytic reports, Consular Messages, and contact information.
For the average resident or visitor, Calgary and the entire consular district (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Northwest Territories) continues to be considered quite safe.
Calgary (pop: 1,235,171 *2016) continues to have a relatively low crime rate, when compared to similar-sized cities in the U.S. The overwhelming numbers of crimes in Calgary continue to be committed against property. Reports of thefts, robberies, and stolen vehicles were up 30%, marking the largest increase in the country and putting Calgary at its highest levels since 2009. There were 28 homicides in Calgary in 2016.
2016 also saw an increase in domestic violence connected to the downturn in the economy and rise in unemployment.
Safety and Road Conditions
There has been no change in Calgary’s road conditions. They continue to be similar to comparable cities in the U.S. and pose no unusual hazards. However, poor road conditions are possible, particularly in the winter when snow, ice and other weather-generated hazards can shut down highways and cause numerous accidents. Rocky Mountain passes are particularly susceptible to closures and accidents.
Calgary has strict anti-jaywalking regulations and corresponding fines, making road accidents involving pedestrians less common than in other Canadian cities.
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED CALGARY AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR TERRORIST ACTIVITY DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.
Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns
There are no known, specific terrorist threats directed against official or private U.S. citizens in Alberta. However, groups exist in Canada that have ties to or are sympathetic toward various well-known international terrorist organizations. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) states there are more international terrorist organizations active in Canada than any other nation except the U.S. Since 2014, individuals from the Calgary area have gone overseas to fight with the Islamic State (ISIS). Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and local law enforcement agencies continue to place a high priority on investigations and proactive intervention with lone wolves identified as the greatest threat.
Organized crime continues to be targeted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team with great success in 2016. A majority of the groups targeted were involved in the drug trade.
Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence
THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE HAS ASSESSED CALGARY AS BEING A LOW-THREAT LOCATION FOR POLITICAL VIOLENCE DIRECTED AT OR AFFECTING OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT INTERESTS.
The RCMP and Calgary Police Service (CPS) provide coverage during demonstrations in the city. Past demonstrations have been held on a wide range of issues including local and global concerns. Protests are typically smaller than those held in other cities across Canada and generally peaceful. A permit from the city is required to legally hold a protest or demonstration. The RCMP and CPS actively monitor and control civil unrest. However, demonstrations in Calgary are typically nonviolent.
Two rivers (Elbow and Bow Rivers) intersect Calgary, and flooding is a concern in low-lying areas. In June 2013, a catastrophic flood forced the evacuation of 75,000 residents and the temporary relocation of U.S. Consulate Calgary.
Forest fires in northern Alberta forced the evacuation of some 90,000 residents from Fort McMurray in spring 2016.
Avalanches can occur in the Rocky Mountains and backcountry areas of Alberta. Visitors are highly encouraged to check avalanche conditions and forecasts prior to undertaking recreational activities including skiing and snowmobiling.
For the last decade, Alberta has consistently had the highest worker fatality rates in the country, spiking at 166 deaths five years ago. The province revamped its workplace safety enforcement system during 2010, including hiring more inspectors, posting company safety records online, and targeting specific industries that are more prone to accidents.
Personal Identity Concerns
Hate crimes continue to take place at a high rate relative to other Canadian cities. Police established a dedicated unit to deal with the spike in reports.
During 2016, Calgary continued to see a high volume of drug activity relating to fentanyl, with the majority of homicides and gang violence related to drug activities. Drug use and sales are key issue in Calgary’s downtown core. Due to the re-development of the city’s East Village, drug activity in 2015 migrated to the downtown area, particularly around City Hall and vicinity of U.S. Consulate Calgary. Though gang violence has increased in recent years, narco-terrorism is not a dominant concern. CPS has identified this as a priority and continues to target those involved with noticeable success.
CPS and RCMP handle local, provincial and federal law enforcement issues in Alberta. These services are professional and responsive when addressing criminal activity. In previous years, CPS added several hundred officers to combat drug and gang violence.
Calgary has modern Emergency Services along with a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center. The Operations Center greatly assisted in an organized response from city, provincial, and federal emergency services during the 2013 flood.
How to Handle Incidents of Police Detention or Harassment
Police detention of an American citizen can be directed to the Consulate’s American Citizen Services (ACS) unit during regular business hours. After hours, calls should be directed to the on-call Duty Officer (403-266-8962 x0). Issues of police harassment will be documented by the ACS unit and addressed, as appropriate, in conjunction with the Regional Security Officer.
Crime Victim Assistance
In an emergency, dial 911. To report a crime to CPS, call (403) 266-1234 or local RCMP Detachment.
For immediate assistance in medical or other emergency situations, dial 911.
Contact Information for Available Medical Services
The Foothills Medical Center (FMC) is the largest hospital in Alberta. In addition to 24-hour emergency care, it is the largest regional trauma center in southern Alberta. FMC is located at:
1403 29 Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 2T9
Available Air Ambulance Services
Established in 1985, the Alberta Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS) is a non-profit organization that provides emergency medical care and air transport to critically ill or injured individuals. The STARS fleet consists of five helicopters covering all of Alberta’s population and portions of eastern British Columbia from bases in Calgary, Edmonton, and Grande Prairie. STARS services are typically deployed based on assessment and recommendation of first responders.
Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance
The CDC offers additional information on vaccines and health guidance for Canada.
OSAC Country Council Information
There is currently no active Country Council in Calgary. Please contact OSAC’s Western Hemisphere team if you are interested in private-sector engagement in Calgary or have questions about OSAC’s Country Council programs.
U.S. Consulate Location and Contact Information
Consulate Address and Hours of Operation
615 MacLeod Trail S.E.
Rocky Mountain Plaza Building
Consulate Contact Numbers
Main Line: (403) 266-8962
Post Security Officer: (403) 618-8787
Regional Security Officer (coverage provided by Vancouver): (604) 642-6670
Marine Post One (Ottawa): (613) 688-5249
Consular Duty Officer (available after business hours, weekends and holidays for emergencies relating to the death, arrest or serious injury of an American citizen only): (403) 266-8962 x0
Embassy Ottawa: http://canada.usembassy.gov/
Consulate Halifax: http://halifax.usconsulate.gov/
Consulate Montreal: http://montreal.usconsulate.gov/
Consulate Quebec: http://quebec.usconsulate.gov/
Consulate Toronto: http://toronto.usconsulate.gov/
Consulate Vancouver: http://vancouver.usconsulate.gov/
Consulate Winnipeg: http://winnipeg.usconsulate.gov/
Canada Country Information Sheet