Focus is break on lifestyle allure of Southwest Calgary
December 13, 2022
The southwest has always been the preferred sector for building family homes in Calgary for the longest time, that’s where everyone wanted to buy a home to settle down. Who can blame them? The southwest was one of the earliest residential areas to be developed in the city, so it’s an established, amenity-rich area with all the benefits of urban living as well as plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature’s beauty.
The southwest does include much of Calgary’s downtown and it stands to reason that people want to live close to work here. It’s a straight shot down Bow Trail to the downtown from the most popular residential areas of the southwest, such as West Springs and Aspen Woods.
Communities here are also the closest to the Rockies, so a mountain getaway is that much easier.
The southwest also has the most varied terrain in the prairie landscape that makes up most of the city. It is where the land begins to climb as it makes the progression west toward the Foothills and the Rockies. The city views available from Strathcona Park’s lookout point are some of the most beautiful anywhere – and that’s saying a lot as the elevated land of the southwest have some of the best vantage points for scenic views.
The problem was that most of the residential areas in the southwest had long been developed and built out, there’s not much options for buying a new, single-family home to cope with the high demand.
The recent success of the West Grove Estates by Bri-mor Developments that is now sold out just shows how much people want to live in this area.
There are still plenty of multi-family options available, such as Truman’s West District. But new-built, single-family homes are harder to come by. And if they are available, they tend to not be on the affordable side.
That is until the western part of the ring road opened up. The expansion of the Stoney Trail/ Tsuut’ina Trail was the key in developing new residential land along the southern edges of the city.
First, the areas west of Macleod Trail in the south opened up starting in 2019 with the introduction of a host of new communities including Belmont, Pine Creek and Sirocco at Pine Creek by Anthem. Followed by Hudson at Creekstone by Highfield Land Management, and Creekstone by Apex Developments.
Now, the areas closer to Spruce Grove are also seeing a lot of activity with the opening of Alpine Park by Dream last year, and Vermilion Hill by Qualico Communities just last month. All these certainly open up this amenity-rich, close-to-nature quadrant for more varied and affordable housing.
Dream launched Alpine Park in October 2021 and it has been an absolute hit with residents already enjoying its promised lifestyle of a connected community on the cusp of nature.
Dream is doubling down on Alpine Parks’ park-like setting with the release of Phase 2 this past September. This phase will include two of Alpine’s largest green courts – Orchard Green and Sanctuary Green. Orchard Green offers linearly planted hardy apple, cherry, plum, and pear trees, a larger community garden with southern exposure, and a harvest space featuring tables and seating. “It will be a must-see green space during spring blooms!” says Jennifer McDonald, Marketing Specialist at Dream.
Sanctuary Green is an intentionally naturalistic aspen grove with a relaxed gathering deck on one end and a meandering path through the trees leading to quiet seating spaces. Inspired by the sounds of nature, visitors can listen to the breeze through the leaves and the songs of birds making homes in the Alpine Park birdhouses strung throughout the space.
“Our Green Courts are incredible and unique opportunities to directly front a park – your front door is literally on the doorstep of community green space. Additional street-oriented lots are also included in Phase 2 and offer the convenience of street access while being adjacent to or across the street from even more publicly-accessible amenities – like the upcoming and highly anticipated Central Park.”
2023 is going to be a wonderful year of growth and development for Alpine Park, she adds. “Dream continues to invest in our parks early for the use and enjoyment of residents upon the first day they move in. We’re looking forward to a fun and engaging year with events and activations for homeowners and visitors while showcasing our exceptional public spaces and people focused porch-front streetscapes.”
Alpine Park is on 476 acres of land adjacent to the western boundaries of Fish Creek Provincial Park –one of the largest urban parks in the country. Alpine’s initial four product types (Towns, Laned, Court, and Vintage) all feature high-quality, high-calibre materials designed to stand the test of time. Builders include Calbridge Homes, Cardel Homes, Genesis Builders, and Homes by Dream, offering numerous never-before-seen home designs.
The opening of Vermilion Hill by Qualico Communities was one of the best attended community launches of the fall homebuying season. More than 130 groups came by to partake in the opening festivities and no one came out disappointed with what they saw.
“Vermilion Hill brings a fresh new vibe to Calgary’s southwest side,” says Nina Wulder, Communications & Marketing Coordinator at Qualico Communities.
Located just west of Tsuut’ina Trail and north of Highway 22x. The community offers some of the most spectacular views of both the city and the Rocky Mountains. “That’s one of the biggest observations from our visitors,” she adds. With a wide range of product types to choose from, the community appeals to many buyers looking for a brand-new home in this much sought-after area.
“What makes the location great is its proximity to many amenities,” Wulder says. “It’s only a five-minute drive to the new Taza (commercial and cultural) complex, the Costco, and the 7 Chiefs Sportsplex. It is also just a 10-minute drive to Shawnessy Shopping Centre, which has ample dining, grocery, and entertainment amenities.”
But its enviable amenity-rich location is only second to its appeal as an enclave for those looking to live closer to nature.
Vermilion Hill is surrounded by nature, its own enchanted forest, to coin a phrase. It is mere steps away from Fish Creek Park, the largest urban park in the city that’s home to wildlife, paved and gravel pathways, picnic areas, riverside trails, fishing spots and so much more.
Vermilion Hill will offer a wide range of home types that appeal to a variety of homebuyers and lifestyles. Front-garage single family home builders are Genesis Builder Group, Homes by Avi, and Sterling Homes. Shane Homes and NuVista Homes will offer laned and duplex homes, while Broadview Homes will have laned homes. Affordability is likewise key, with prices starting from the low $500,000s.
Connection to nature, and urban lifestyle
Weaselhead Flats and the Glenmore Reservoir are also just moments away via Tsuut’ina Trail from these two new communities, where residents are not only thrilled by the picturesque views of the Rocky Mountains, but also have easy access to Bragg Creek and Kananaskis for mountain adventures.
Both are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, the recreationally minded, joggers, hikers, and bikers of all stripes, and anyone longing for a deeper connection with nature. Nearby is the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area, which is perfect for hiking. And for stargazers, the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is a 15-minute drive away.
Being close to downtown gives residents in the southwest a plethora of choices for dining and entertainment. But there are certainly other pockets of commercial hubs that are found in the sector, like Aspen Landing, the West 85th corridor, even the massive, new Township commercial centre further south. The southwest seems like it will retain its title as the most sought-after residential area for a long time.
About Pepper Rodriguez
Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.