From its borders to its centre, Calgary’s inner city is home to some of the city’s most storied historical sites and bustling neighbourhoods; and is continually sought out by an eclectic group of homeowners and renters alike.
Bankview resident Vanessa Vegter loves the fact her community is both affordable and conveniently located near 17th Avenue and several city bus routes.
“I was always under the impression that in the city of suburban sprawl, there were two options: live in a shoebox or stretch your legs miles away. Location or a real home,” she said. “Bankview is proof you can have it all. I live in a house, a real house, with a backyard and garage.
“When I look around I am not alone, Bankview is full of character homes with big trees and plenty of green space, familiar faces pushing strollers and walking their dogs.”
The inner city is full of thriving and established communities like Bankview including Renfrew, Altadore, Kensington, Hillhurst/ Sunnyside and Mission.
Historic communities such as Mission — which originated as the Catholic mission Notre Dame de la Paix before being annexed by the City in 1906 — sees heritage homes mingling with new condo projects such as The River. Currently under construction on 26th Avenue, The River is home to Calgary’s two record breaking condo sales in 2012.
The inner city is also seeing historic parts of the city resurging and rebuilding such as the East Village. Since 2007, plans have been in the works to turn the East Village into one of Calgary’s most vibrant and bustling communities. Ground has been broken for one of two mixeduse residential projects, three phases of RiverWalk — a pedestrian bike path along the Bow River — have opened and funding has been secured for construction of a National Music Centre around the site of the historic King Eddy hotel.
A third major land deal was inked for the community in May 2012 with Widewaters Group planning a 315- room dual branded Hilton Hotel along 4th Street SE.
“We’re pleased to welcome Widewaters Group to the team of developer partners who are transforming East Village into a complete inner-city neighbourhood,” said Michael Brown, president and CEO of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. “This project is a great compliment to the multi-family projects currently underway in East Village. Now visitors and travellers coming into Calgary will have the ability to stay in the district to take advantage of the many cultural, entertainment and recreational amenities being built here.”
In its core, Calgary’s centre city — a hustle and bustle of everyday activity generating more than 40 per cent of the city’s business and non-residential property tax and workplace for nearly 160,000 of the population.
Transportation-wise, the western edge of the inner city saw greater C-Train access with the completion of the West LRT including a raised station in the community of Sunalta.
The Sunalta station is close to local amenities such as Shaw Millenium Park, the Bow River pathway system and the 10th Avenue business corridor.”
Originally built in 1912 as a Simmons Factory Warehouse, the Simmons Building today has become a central cog in the wheels of the revitalizing East Village. The building was refurbished by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) in 2007. CMLC’s Susan Veres has said the building has a potential future as a pub, restaurant or something that hasn’t been thought of yet. “The important thing is that the building become a thriving and invigorating destination for everyone to enjoy,” she said. CMLC Heritage Buildings – Simmons Building
Chicken on the Way
A staple on the corner of 14th Street and Kensington Road, Chicken on the Way has been serving up deep fried goodness since 1958. According to FFWD Weekly, customers at the time could get half a fried chicken, two corn fritters and a dinner bun for $1. Today Chicken on the Way is served at several locations around the city, though these days you’ll pay a little more than a dollar for your meal.Chicken on the Way
Central Memorial Park
With grounds modeled after a formal Victorian garden, Central Memorial Park was opened to the Calgary public in 1912 and was considered a civic showcase. After falling into some disrepair, the park was redeveloped in 2009 and re-opened to the public in 2010. The park includes the sandstone Memorial Park Public Library, the Boer War Memorial statue, a cenotaph, pathways and the popular brunch destination Boxwood.Central Memorial Park – City of Calgary
Prince’s Island Park
Named for local lumberman Peter Prince, Prince’s Island Park was developed in the 1950s. An oasis away from the downtown buzz, Prince’s Island is frequented daily by walkers, joggers, picnickers and skaters in the winter. In 1999, the park was renovated with the inclusion of wetland construction and native plant restoration. The park is home to several of the city’s most popular festivals including the Calgary Folk Festival, Afrikadey Festival and Canada Day events. Prince’s Island Park – City of Calgary