Small towns, big hopes: new home opportunities abound outside Calgary

By Pepper Rodriguez
February 05, 2024

Old-timers called them “bedroom communities,” referring to those municipalities where residents make their homes but work, play, shop in the big city nearby. But that was then, today many of these small towns and cities surrounding Calgary are more than just a bedroom.

It used to be that if you live outside the city and forgot to get milk on the way home, you’d have to decide whether to face a long drive back or eat your cereals dry in the morning. Not so much today, as the explosive growth of municipalities like Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere and Okotoks have made them far more convenient for families.

Most now have their own shopping centres, cinemas, recreation complex and, increasingly, more places of work that makes a true life-work balance easier to find. It’s also good to note that all offer a wide range of new home opportunities from single- to multi-family homes.
Land prices are also generally lower in those towns and cities, so homes tend to be less expensive. Although that gap is closing steadily.

The Calgary region saw several new communities launch in 2023, and more are coming this year. Here’s a snapshot of what are available out there.


Courtesy City of Airdrie


Airdrie has a lot going for it these days, as it continues to grow out from under the shadow of its big sister city to the south. With an eye firmly fixed on the future and continued growth, Airdrie has become a first option for young families to live in.

There are several new communities in various stages of development that are sprouting in all sectors of Airdrie, a number of them coming in less than a decade ago, and more are opening. Already underway are Lanark and Cobblestone Creek by Melcor Developments; Bayside and Bayview by Genesis Land Development; Cooper’s Crossing by Westmark Holdings; Southpoint by Vesta Properties; Southwinds by Mattamy; and Chinook Gate by Brookfield Residential. Midtown by Shane Homes is close to wrapping up.

New ones are coming up to take its place, including Vantage Rise by Qualico Communities, and Key Ranch by Lamont Land. Wildflower by Minto Communities just opened showhomes last year, as did Vesta with their new multi-family development: Elevate in Coppers’ Crossing. Melcor is also prepping for the new estate community of Goldwyn in Balzac just on the southern border of Airdrie.

Courtesy City of Chestermere


If you haven’t been to this lakeside city just east of Calgary in the past few years, you will certainly be in for a surprise. Growth is evident everywhere, from the rising number of new residential neighbourhoods to the bustling commercial centres in town and just on its outskirts.

Its call to fame remains Chestermere Lake, as the 750-acre lake and the four-season recreational fun it offers remains a big draw. But it is so much more than that today. More people are finding Chestermere an appealing community to set roots in with several new developments offering a varied range of housing options.

Young communities getting the most attention are Chelsea by Anthem Properties and Dawson’s Landing by Qualico Communities, both on the western border of Chestermere close to Calgary. South Shore that is being developed by GDS on behalf of Edgewater Communities Inc.; as well as Waterford by Douglas Developments are among the newest. And coming up is Bridgeport from Qualico Communities that is aiming to break ground in spring this year.


Courtesy Town of Cochrane


Cochrane’s growth is on the fast track, as the new communities continue to sprout, and new infrastructure investments are being put in place try to keep pace with the needs the quick pace of growth brings.

Housing is trying to keep pace even as more residential communities come on, including Southbow Landing by Qualico Communities which just broke ground last year and will open its first showhomes in the fall. There’s also Greystone by Burnswest Properties just on the south edge of downtown that’s opened its first showhomes last September.

Even the more established communities continue to grow. Calbridge Development’s Fireside just released its latest phase with new laned and front-drive homes, and unveiled its Central Park. Heartland, now being developed by Rohit Land Development, is chugging right along; Rivercrest from Qualico and Slokker Communities released its latest phase with new showhomes; while Precedence, Sunset Ridge and Heritage Hills are that much closer to build out.



Just as the Rockies are as clear on the horizon of Okotoks, so is its future growth for the town just 20 minutes south of Calgary.
The town of about 31,000 residents is indeed blessed with majestic mountain sceneries and a rare connection to nature. This is underlined by the rolling grasslands of southern Alberta stretching out in all its splendour, the white-capped peaks of the Rockies that look close enough to touch, and the cool waters of the gently flowing Sheep River runs right through the heart of it all. All these make it prime land for recreational opportunities.

Anthem Properties is the most active developer currently with D’Arcy and Wedderburn communities on the north side of town. Partners Development Group is building multi-family homes in both communities, including Lawrie Park in Wedderburn, their first apartment condo development and the first that the town itself has seen in years.

Coming up fast is Tillotson by Tristar Communities which will be on the corner of Big Rock Trail and Westland Street on the southwest side of Okotoks. It promises a wide range of new home owning opportunities and is expected to open their first showhomes in 2024.

Harmony in Springbank


Recreation is a big part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, and if we learned anything from last year, it is that there can never be enough recreational opportunities close to home. And in this regard, Harmony is king. Located in Springbank just west of Calgary, the lake community of Harmony has won six straight BILD Calgary Region Community of the Year awards and is outclassing any and all competition with the number of recreational opportunities it offers within the community itself or just outside its borders.

Its long-awaited Adventure Park is now open giving residents a four-season playground that it had always promised for kids of any age. The tobogganing hill and ice-skating ribbon saw much use already during the past winter, and now the pump track, skate park, climbing wall and dog park components are ready to be enjoyed.

Its magnificent estate homes are a big draw but starter homes, including townhomes are also available.

About Pepper Rodriguez

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

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