Research tells us that ‘community’ is one of the most important considerations people have when shopping for a home. If you have a family, there are a variety of neighbourhood ‘qualities’ that you might want to look for – things such as amenities, schools, and proximity to hobbies could (and should) be on your house-shopping wish list.
Here is a list of 6 neighbourhoods I think are worth considering if you are searching for the perfect home, and community, for your family.
Auburn Bay is a family-oriented, four-season lake community in the southeast suburbs of Calgary. It is quite popular with families, who often search out homes specifically in this neighbourhood. I have many friends who have lived in Auburn Bay and have remained there as their families grew.
In addition to the beautiful lake, and all of the wonderful activities that come living in a lake community (think stand up paddle boarding in the summer and hockey in the winter), the Auburn Bay Residents Association is very active. They can be counted on to provide a regular line up of fun, family-oriented community events and programs. There is always something to do in Auburn Bay whether you’re an indoor, fair-weather person or an active lover of the great outdoors.
Schools are always an important consideration, when choosing a community for your family. Auburn Bay offers both a public and catholic option for elementary students. Auburn Bay School is public (kindergarten to grade 4) and Prince of Peace School is catholic (kindergarten to grade 9).
Directly to the south of Auburn Bay is the much anticipated SETON Urban District. This development offers everything you could want to fulfill your shopping, dining and entertainment needs. It has been affectionately referred to as ‘the downtown of the southeast’ and has a great line of up of shops and services already established.
If you’re a family, with a family dog, you will also love the close proximity to the Auburn Bay Off Leash Park!
Although this community is a little further into the southeast quadrant of the city, it borders both Deerfoot Trail, as well as the Stoney Trail Ring Road, giving you easy and quick access to other parts of the city.
The upside of considering a newer community, such as Auburn Bay, for your family is that the homes are relatively new so there is less time (and money) spent on maintenance and more time spent with family.
If you’re looking for an inner-city neighbourhood, that is also family-friendly, you’ll want to consider Bridgeland-Riverside. This community offers a variety of older homes, newly developed infills, and condominiums in a wide variety of price ranges.
Many Calgary families call this area ‘home’, not only because of it’s close proximity to downtown, but also because of its proximity to some other great family-oriented spots such as the Calgary Zoo, Telus Spark (science centre), St. Patrick’s Island, and of course the beautiful Bow River.
Culture is important to many of us! One thing that attracts folks to Bridgeland is the fact that it is a very ‘hip’ and pedestrian-friendly community. You will find a variety of restaurants, boutiques, shops, and café’s that can be easily explored just by taking a neighbourhood stroll.
Another great quality about this neighbourhood is there is a strong presence from the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association. There are several events organized for community members each month, so there is plenty to keep a family busy here!
There are several schools in the area, including Langevin School (a K-9 science school which is an alternative program offered by the Calgary Board of Education), St. Angela Workplace School (a Catholic kindergarten to grade 6 ‘workplace school’ supporting families with parents who work downtown – a great family perk is it offers before and after school programs). Delta West Academy, a private school for children from junior kindergarten to grade 12, is also located in Bridgeland.
The South Calgary Community is not only located close to the downtown core, it also has a thriving shopping/dining district (with over 130 shop, boutiques and restaurants), an off-leash park (with river and city views), a public library, museums, a golf course, several indoor & outdoor skating rinks, indoor & outdoor swimming pools, and even access to a beach volleyball court. There is plenty here to keep everyone in the family busy and entertained!
The Marda Loop Communities Association is very active offering programs, events, and other community-minded meetings.
There are several schools in this area including: Altadore School (kindergarten to grade 6), Central Memorial High School (grades 10-12), and Lycée Louis Pasteur (a private French school for students from preschool-age to grade 12)
Tuscany community is located in the rolling hills of the city’s northwest quadrant. It is a suburban community with beautiful mountain views and it’s situated within close proximity to shopping, restaurants, and two different YMCA’s.
It is also located near beautiful ravines, which are perfect for walking and exploring – check out the 12 Mile Coulee that hosts hiking trails and two different off-leash parks (perfect for your fur-family members). I love that it’s a very short drive west to leave the city and to be en route to the majestic Rocky Mountains (one of my favourite places to visit)!
This community has an extremely active residents association, known as the Tuscany Club. Some of the family-friendly amenities you’ll find there include a splash park, a skateboard park, a gymnasium, tennis courts, an outdoor rink, and more!
In addition to wonderful amenities, the community hosts a wide variety of events, programs, clubs and sports leagues (for the both children and adults!). There is even a community garden – the Tuscany Community Garden!
In Tuscany you will find a wide variety of home types, and price points, making it a diverse neighbourhood. This allows families to grow, or make changes, yet stay within their community and easily find a home that is suitable to their needs.
Despite it’s deep northwest location, it is easy to transport to and from this area because of its close proximity to the Tuscany-Rocky Ridge LRT Station (which is a Park & Ride location), Crowchild Trail, and the Stoney Trail Ring Road.
Varsity is a beautiful, and mature, centrally located community. The fact that is has so many schools within it, AND is walking distance to the University of Calgary, makes it a great fit for families with kids of all ages. You can start your family here and easily stay into your ‘empty nest’ years.
The central location makes it an easy drive for those downtown commuters. It has a beautiful, tree-lined pathway system that easily takes you to Market Mall or the Brentwood LRT station (which is also a Park & Ride station).
There are are great number of schools in Varsity including: Varsity Acres School (kindergarten to grade 6), Marion Carson School (kindergarten to grade 6 plus a Chinese Bilingual program – Mandarin), Christine Meikle School (a special needs junior/senior high school), F.E. Osborne School (grades 7 to 9), and St. Vincent De Paul School (Catholic kindergarten to grade 9).
Cranston is a diverse, master-planned community in the city’s southeast quadrant. It has a wide variety of home types available, from condominiums to starter homes to glorious estate homes overlooking the beautiful Bow River.
At the ‘centre’ of the community you will find Century Hall, a gated facility for residents (and their guests). The building has a full gymnasium where a wide variety of programs and events are held for community members. Tennis courts, a waterpark for children, basketball courts and a playground all also amenities found within the facility’s boundaries.
Cranston Market, the neighbourhood shopping area, has a variety of shops, restaurants, and services established (including a grocery store). In addition to this, the anticipated SETON Urban District is only one community over. If you’re wanting, or needing, to be near a hospital you will appreciated that the South Health Campus is also quite close by.
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the many pathways running through the community – especially those taking you to Fish Creek Park! I often head to Cranston, with my bike, when I need to practice my hill training for the Road to Conquer Cancer ride that I have been participating in annually. There is a killer hill coming up from Riverstone (the section of Cranston situated along the Bow River)…it is almost 1 km up hill!
Cranston has several community schools including Cranston School (kindergarten to grade 3), Dr. George Stanley School (grades 4 to 9), Christ The King School (Catholic kindergarten to grade 9), and Our Lady of the Rosary School (kindergarten to grade 6).
Quick access to, and from, Cranston is available via Deerfoot Trail or the newly built Stoney Trail Ring Road. Getting to even the far north can be done with relative ease.
Although there are many wonderful communities in our great city, these are some of my favourites for families to consider. If you would like more information on homes in any of these areas, or others for that matter, please feel free to reach out to me here!
Recently enjoying a stroll through beautiful Cranston!