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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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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Making the switch

Gas stoves offer more control to home cooks

If your trusty old stove is on its last legs, it might be time to consider a switch to a range powered by natural gas.

“All your chefs use gas ranges. It’s so easy to control your heat for cooking. It’s instant on and instant off,” said Peter Voelk, owner of Lone Star Plumbing and Heating. He explains that over time there are also cost savings from using natural gas for cooking instead of electricity.

“We’ve had a gas stove for years in our home and we just love it. I wouldn’t know what to do with an electric stove anymore,” he said.

Voelk adds many styles of ranges are available that exclusively use gas for all cooking functions. There are also dual-fuel ranges with gas stovetop burners but a traditional electric element oven.

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Family fun

Granary Road will offer more than the traditional farmers-market experience

A new farmers market set to open just south of Calgary city limits is reimagining the traditional market as a family entertainment venue.

Granary Road will have a variety of shops in its public market, but also an active learning park that is a mash-up of a children’s playground and an interpretive centre.

“Parents are always looking for something to do with their children and while we have some amazing attractions in Calgary, there aren’t enough,” said Jane Walter-Lockwood, director of business development for Granary Road.

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Saving space

Determining the best RV storage solution for you and your family

Having a recreational vehicle (RV) is a great way to enjoy a weekend retreat with family and friends, but storing an RV during the offseason can be a challenge for owners.

“The number one thing is you need to look at the bylaws of the community you live in,” said Chris Swift, sales manager at Woody’s RV World in Calgary, adding the rules pertaining to parking and storing RVs vary by city.

Most strictly limit or prohibit storing a vehicle on a city street, but there are exceptions. For example, Swift says, in Airdrie you can park an RV on your driveway provided it does not extend past the property line.

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