In the dozen or so years since becoming a Calgary neighbourhood, McKenzie Towne has established itself as a bustling community with a family friendly atmosphere.
“I love the neighbourhood we live in, we live in a cul-de-sac and there’s a lot of kids the same age as my children,” said Angelina Wong, who along with her family of four has called McKenzie Towne home for the last nine years.
McKenzie Towne is centred by the community’s High Street. Mirroring similar streets found in towns and cities across Great Britain and Europe, High Street provides a great hub of amenities and walkability. Bigger box stores are available a stone’s throw away on 130th Ave. SE.
“I love the fact that everything’s close,” said Wong. “I can get to Walmart and Superstore, but there’s also High Street here. I also like the fact (McKenzie Towne has) a lot of community events.”
Community events featured in McKenzie Towne include everything from used toy and clothing sales to job fairs to wine tastings. The community is full of green spaces and parks including Prestwick Common and Elgin Hill encouraging outdoor activity no matter what the season. The community is recognized by the Urban Land Institute as one of 26 exceptionally planned communities worldwide.
The Brookfield Residential development is home to the McKenzie Towne Residents Association, which owns, maintains and manages amenities and features such as the McKenzie Towne Hall and Prestwick Common. The private, not-for-profit organization’s mandate is to ensure community residents continually enjoy their local amenities.
The McKenzie Towne Hall, located in the heart of the community offers up 15,600 sq. ft. of space for various events as well as recreational activities such as basketball, floor hockey, yoga and aerobics. Once the warmer weather hits, the Towne Hall also has patio and deck space with views of the community and the mountains to the west.
As far as residential opportunities, McKenzie Towne offers a mix of town, single-family and estate homes allowing for a mix of first time buyers, families moving up and empty nesters looking to downsize.
In February 2013, there were 24 homes sold in McKenzie Towne averaging $404,575 — an attractive number when compared to the city’s average price for the month of $457,239.
McKenzie Towne Hall
The McKenzie Towne Hall is centrally located on the east side of the McKenzie Towne traffic circle. The hall includes a 125-seat banquet room as well as gymnasium and multi-purpose rooms. Various social groups also meet at the hall including toddler playgroups, bridge groups and book clubs. The hall offers several summer camps for kids aged five to 12 with residents of the community receiving a discount.
Sea. Fish n’ Chips
While McKenzie Towne’s High Street echoes streets of the same name across Great Britain, the community’s British influence is further captured with Sea. Fish N’ Chips. The restaurant includes traditional favourites halibut, haddock and cod dinners served with homemade tartar sauce as well as mushy peas and curry sauce but also caters to land lubbers with burgers and salads. Sea’s produce is locally sourced and the chippy includes beers from Calgary’s own microbrewery Wildrose.
McKenzie Towne offers up plenty of green space for its residents. Elgin Hill in Elgin Village is a hectare of outdoor activities throughout the year. In the summer there are picnic tables and park space and in the winter families can enjoy toboganning on a 90-metre toboggan run. Like a silent sentry, Elgin Hill is topped by three hand-carved tindlestone arches further adding to the community’s European feel.
Ralph Klein Park
Just east of McKenzie Town, residents can spend a day at Calgary’s newest major park named for former Mayor and Premier Ralph Klein. Open seven days a week, the park features a manmade wetland that uses natural vegetation to treat stormwater. The park is also home to the Wetland Education Centre as well as several events and programs including What Bird is That?, Geocaching and Wetland Bug Safari.