Bridgeland: Calgary’s bridge to the past and the future

By Pepper Rodriguez
May 05, 2022

If Calgary’s downtown is its Manhattan, then across the bridge is its own Brooklyn: Bridgeland. With its bohemian vibe, rich social and cultural diversity and multifaceted history, Bridgeland is a local destination hotspot. There is a myriad of multi-cultural diners and restaurants, hipster hangouts and family fun options. It offers a wide range of residential options as well.

Bridgeland is one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods, settled in the 1800s by Russian-German immigrants, but by the 20th Century was home to a large Italian population. Ukrainian immigrants have also found a home here, as Bridgeland is home to Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption as well as St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Cultural Centre.

Today, it is still described as having a “village feel” and residents of this northeast Calgary community love living here. It is a diverse community full of history, vibrant street life, locally owned businesses and restaurants, pet enthusiasts, and old established trees, Bridgeland-Riverside is a great place to call home, and with many new developments in the area, it’s easy to get a brand-new home in this established community.

Historic community

Before Europeans settled in the area, the land along the Bow River was commonly used by First Nations Peoples. The area became known as Germantown in the 1880s during Calgary’s first population boom as many German immigrants sought out a welcoming working-class community just outside the city. In the early 20th century, another influx of new immigrants brought Ukrainians and Italians into the community.

An area in lower Bridgeland became known as Little Italy, a name that locals still affectionally use to refer to 1st Avenue NE. The area was renamed Bridgeland as the Dominion Bridge Company operating nearby and in 1907, Calgary annexed Bridgeland, in 1908 the Bridgeland-Riverside community association was founded, and Riverside was officially annexed in 1910.

 

 

Eats and more

Well known as a community where old meets new and trendy meets traditional, the exciting fusion of this area is undeniable. Drawn by vibrant street life, especially along the vibrant 1st Avenue NE, there is a diverse range of eateries, diners, and cafes that have made Bridgeland foodie central. There is OEB Breakfast Co. and Blue Star Café for a fantastic breakfast to start the day. Or Sushi Bar Zipang and IKUSA Izakaya & Tokyo Market for some memorable Japanese dishes, La Brezza brings Italian flavour to the scene and UNA Pizza and Wine for some delectable thin-crust.

There are amazing locally owned businesses worth mentioning: Bridgeland Market, Luke’s Drug Mart, Doodle Dogs, and Bike and Brew have become Calgary icons but at the core of their business they cater to the needs of the local community for shopping local, spoiling pets, and making use of the bike paths.

A modern place to live

As one of Calgary’s older neighbourhoods, Bridgeland-Riverside offers inner-city conveniences. Only a 20-minute drive to the airport, and less than a 10-minute drive into downtown Calgary, this community is ideally situated for convenient commuting. Driving is not your only option to get around as the Bridgeland Memorial C-Train station and Bow River Pathway are located within easy walking or cycling distance from the neighbourhood. Living in Bridgeland-Riverside also puts you near some of Calgary’s best family-friendly and entertainment hubs. It’s a short walk to St. Patrick’s Island, Tom Campbell’s Hill, the Calgary Zoo, TELUS Spark, Fort Calgary, and further along the Bow River Pathway you can get to Prince’s Island Park or Stampede Park for events.

There’s plenty of new housing development in the Bridgeland-Riverside community. The Bridges masterplan brought over thirty acres of new housing where the Calgary General Hospital once stood. Home-seekers can still purchase brand new condos here or explore infill projects throughout the community. Here’s our shortlist for new homes in Bridgeland-Riverside:

Radius by Bucci

One- and two-bedroom condos in the heart of Bridgeland at 9th Street and Centre Ave N.E. now available for quick possession. Private balconies, underground parking, fitness studios and rooftop terraces make this building a great addition to the neighbourhood: http://bucci.com/radius/

Alvaro by Cruz Custom Homes

Condos and three-story townhomes with developed basements, underground parking, gourmet kitchens and 2020 possessions. Located at Edmonton Trail and Third Avenue N.E. (technically in Crescent Heights but close to all the action in Bridgeland). Learn more at https://alvaroyyc.com/

About Pepper Rodriguez

Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.

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