The good life by the lakeside

Snapshots of Calgary’s lake communities

Life at the water’s edge may not be the defining Calgary experience. But for thousands of Calgary homeowners, life by the lakeside was a key reason they chose to buy in one of the city’s many man-made lake communities. Here’s a look at each of the Calgary neighbourhoods with a blue jewel of H2O at its heart, making them among the most desirable communities in
the city. (more…)

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Calgary’s public lake

Sikome Aquatic Facility buoyed by upgrades

While Alberta is landlocked, and most of Calgary’s manmade lakes are private, Calgarians still like to spend a warm, summer day at the beach every now and then. Thankfully, there’s still one public body of water within the city where people can go for a swim or throw down a towel to catch some rays.

Nestled in Fish Creek Provincial Park, the Sikome Aquatic Facility has been one of Calgary’s most popular summer attractions since it opened in 1978.

The facility consists of an open-air swimming lake surrounded by a beach, lawn, children’s playground and change rooms. It currently draws an estimated 200,000 visitors over its three-month season and up to 15,000 per day on weekends. While those are impressive numbers, Sikome’s location in southeast Calgary is in one of the fastest growing sections of the city amd means traffic should continue to rise.

In part to accommodate the growing crowds, the facility recently underwent some upgrades.

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Breaking new ground

The fascinating history of Calgary’s first lake community

On a cold February day in 1968, a fleet of heavy equipment began stripping the prairie grass from a tract of land in southeast Calgary for a new community.

But any spectators to the activity might have been surprised when the machines started excavating deep into the ground.

It was the unlikely beginnings of Lake Bonavista, a new neighbourhood built by legendary builder and developer E.V. Keith that would become the first manmade lake community in Canada. Calgary now has almost a dozen lake communities, but back in the late 1960s it was a radical idea.

“Crazy,” is how Les Cosman recalled the reaction from most people to Keith’s plans, formed after he took an airplane flight over some early lake communities in Los Angeles.

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A lake of their own

Family on a “mini-vacation every day” at their new Auburn Bay home

The moment Jennifer and Justin Humphries drove through the entrance gates into Auburn Bay, one of Calgary’s newest lake communities, they were sold on the lake lifestyle. That was five years ago in 2012, when the couple was living in McKenzie Towne and had recently had their first child. They wanted more from their neighbourhood, and lake living was a top priority. Auburn Bay checked all of the couple’s boxes. (more…)

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Making a splash

Calgary’s new lake communities experience tremendous growth

Evan Spencer enjoys the benefits of lake community living every day.

Not only does his young family – which includes his wife Anna and their two kids, Sarah and Micah – take advantage of all the recreation opportunities around Mahogany’s lake, the 34-year-old doesn’t need to step outside his neighbourhood to go to work.

Spencer works in the not-for-profit sector, and has called Mahogany home – and home office – for three years. Since moving from northwest Calgary into the growing southeast community that will have more than 20,000 residents by final build-out, he has signed on as volunteer social committee chair for the Mahogany Homeowners Association.

“It is an inclusive place to live your life,” he said. “And the lake just draws people together. It is so important to have that ‘third’ place (outside home and business) where people can gather. I often say ‘do you want to meet up for coffee, or for a walk along the wetlands?’ ”

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