Royal Oak & Rocky Ridge

Natural beauty, and a state-of-the-art recreation facility, on the city’s northwest edge

Nestled side by side, the northwest communities of Royal Oak and Rocky Ridge share an abundance of amenities, including grocery stores, community green spaces and walking trails. But two features that make these communities stand out are the jaw-dropping views of the Rocky Mountains and the brand-new Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge, a 284,000-square-foot health and wellness centre that opened its doors in January.

“The hunger and desire for this type of community space has been long anticipated,” said Ken Lima-Coelho, vice-president of community engagement for YMCA Calgary.

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Middle-ring mindset

A new look at old neighbourhoods

In addition to the Twist and Woodstock, a lot of great neighbourhoods were created in the 1960s. Today, Calgary’s middle-ring suburbs – those developed between 1950 and the early 1970s – face some serious challenges, but, at the same time, some unique opportunities.

“These neighbourhoods are in a good location, fairly close to downtown, and feature large lots with single-family, detached bungalows and split levels,” said Francisco Alaniz Uribe, an assistant professor in the faculty of environmental design at the University of Calgary. Uribe co-authored a study on the city’s middle-ring communities with his colleague Beverly A. Sandalack, professor and associate dean with the faculty of environmental design.

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Aging gracefully

Leaders in middle-ring suburbs grapple with current challenges, while looking to the future

Calgary is a city that is continuing to grow and expand, with new suburbs and surrounding areas showing marked growth this year, yielding new infrastructure and amenities for residents. However, while Calgary’s newer communities expand, older communities are experiencing unique challenges.

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The forgotten option

Middle-ring neighbourhoods offer perfect balance of suburban charm and inner-city convenience

Between the inner city and the burgeoning suburbs lie Calgary’s so-called “middle-ring neighbourhoods,” a concept explored in a 2010 study by the University of Calgary’s faculty of environmental design.

As the study describes, Calgary’s 80 middle-ring neighbourhoods – which include communities like Acadia, Glamorgan and Huntington Hills – are those developed between the 1950s and 1970s and “poised to undergo redevelopment.”

Canyon Meadows, established in 1963, is one such community. When Gurmit Bhachu, the current president of the Canyon Meadows Community Association, moved to Calgary in 2004, he and his wife looked for a home.

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Edgemont

Beautiful views and sprawling green spaces mark this northwest-Calgary gem

Until last year, when the community hit the number-three spot on Avenue Magazine’s 2017 best neighbourhoods list, Edgemont was one of Calgary’s best-kept secrets.

“We were really excited by the recent ranking,” said Paul Clark, president of the Edgemont Community Association. He’s been living in the neighbourhood for 24 years and can’t say enough about the location.

“It’s the green spaces within the community that make this such an amazing place,” he said. “And we are right next door to Nose Hill Park, which is literally a five-minute walk from my doorstep.”

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