Swimming upstream

Bragg Creek forges its own identity in Calgary’s shadow

For more than 100 years, Bragg Creek has existed in the shadow of the ever-expanding city of Calgary.

Yet the hamlet, located a 45-kilometre drive west of the city, has managed to maintain its enviable lifestyle in a beautiful location along the edge of the Rocky Mountains.

Resident and local business owner Mark Kamachi says he and his wife moved to Alberta from Vancouver 20 years ago to work at a Calgary advertising agency, and they chose to live in the city at first.

However, they found themselves spending many weekends hiking and biking in the mountains near Bragg Creek. Fifteen years ago, they decided to make it their new home.

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Driving development

Southwest ring road is poised to usher in new era of growth in Calgary’s south end

It’s been a long time coming, but the southwest section of Calgary’s ring road is finally being built, and the city’s developer community is among those most thrilled to see construction going ahead.

“It’s really going to open up growth in the area, and provide not just opportunities for new communities, but also existing ones,” said Steve LePan, director of sales and marketing with Anthem United.

“We’re certainly happy to see it moving forward, because it would have had a negative impact (on our development in the area) if it had not been approved.”

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The sunny south

Gardening is easier in the southwest, where the climate is mellow

Are you a north-side person in Calgary or a south-side holdout? I have lived all over the city and surrounding areas, including Airdrie, Riverbend, Ramsay, Valley Ridge, Rideau Park and Spruce Cliff, and I make it to many more communities around the city during my travels for work.

During all this moving, there is one thing that I’ve noticed. If you are a gardener, life in the south is simpler: less wind, less frost, less killer hail and more heat, as elevations drop and the climate gradually mellows. In the southwest, the climate is softer and the garden living is easy.

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Communities with character

Mature and distinctive communities are a point of pride for Calgary’s southwest residents

Lawyer Chris Davis is no stranger to Calgary’s southwest, a sprawling quadrant of the city roughly bordered by the Bow River to the north, Macleod Trail to the east, and the city limits to the south and west.

“My family has long roots in the southwest, going back to the early 1920s,” he said, adding he spent his early years growing up in Lower Mount Royal and is also running for city council in Ward 8 in this fall’s municipal election.

“Historically, there seemed to be a big divide as to whether your family chose to live north or south of the Bow River.”

Because of his familial connection, Davis found himself gravitating toward an adult life in the southwest, residing in Bankview, Elbow Park, Garrison Woods, Parkhill and Richmond-Knob Hill at various times.

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Coming home

Marina and Gavin Reeves returned to the core to recapture their inner-city lifestyle

Marina and Gavin Reeves are busy, young professionals – she’s an engineer and he’s an accountant. Four years ago, they sold their condo in Connaught and moved to the northeast area of Highland Park, where they purchased a larger home, but they soon realized it wasn’t the lifestyle fit that they were looking for. The couple ended up coming full-circle, as their lifestyle epiphany spurred a search for a townhome in the city’s core. They wanted a home with outdoor space for their two dogs that was also close to transit, coffee shops and the inner-city action. Plus, it had to be big enough to grow into, as the couple plans to start a family in the near future. They found what they were looking for at Grosvenor Americas’ Avenue project, located in Calgary’s Downtown West End. (more…)

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