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
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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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It’s always sunny

Mature community of Sundance holds lasting appeal for new and longtime residents

It’s early morning and the sun has just crested the horizon, casting a trail of sparkling rays across the still water. The shimmering lake ripples as a brook trout breaks the surface momentarily, before plunging back down into the depths. High in the sky, a bald eagle soars, gliding gracefully, while 100-foot-tall fir trees sway in the soft summer breeze. In the distance, a kayak quietly slices through the water like a hot knife through butter.

It’s a typical day at Lake Sundance.

“I love it here,” said longtime Sundance resident Anne Radic. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else.”

She’s lived in the community for almost 40 years and watched it evolve from raw land into a mature and established neighbourhood with stately homes, excellent schools and mature trees that create a pretty canopy along the quiet streets. “We moved here in 1986 and basically bought a plot of earth,” she said, laughing.

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Best of both worlds

Aspen Woods captures inner-city energy on Calgary’s western edge

Nestled on the west side of the city, the upscale community of Aspen Woods has it all – a bevy of amenities, pockets of Aspen groves, picturesque ponds, stunning mountain views and a selection of home designs.

Jeannie Sturdy, interior designer and owner of Sturdy Design Co., lives just steps away from Aspen in Signal Hill. Her son goes to school in Aspen and many of her design clients are either in the process of renovating or building a home in this coveted west-Calgary community.

“I spend a great deal of time in Aspen and there is just so much here – workout studios, awesome grocery shops like Blush Lane and Cobs Bread, and a ton of restaurants,” she said. “On a Friday night we just zip up to Mercato West for a great dinner. It’s so convenient. We rarely go downtown anymore.”

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How to have a successful yard or garage sale

A bit of preparation, and business savvy, can make a world of difference

Summer is rapidly approaching, and odds are you’ve still got some stuff lying around from spring cleaning that you’re not sure what to do with.

Gently used power tools, heirloom furniture, old DVDs and electronics, and all manner of items collecting dust in your basement are ripe for selling to neighbours, friends and passersby – why not have a garage sale?

These time-tested, often impromptu, community get-togethers are the perfect opportunity to score old treasures, get to know your neighbours or even make a bit of cash. Not only that, but with the ever-increasing focus on eco-friendliness and conscientious consumerism, garage sales are an excellent way to keep forgotten possessions out of the landfill.

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