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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Top of the charts

Abundant amenities and quiet streets make southeast community of Acadia one of Calgary’s best

Longtime Acadia resident Diane Darragh has been nurturing a colourful perennial garden in the backyard of her home for more than 20 years, adding plants, carving new beds and enjoying sunny days spent under shady flowing branches of Willow trees.

“I really love this neighbourhood,” she said, especially the mature trees and the sense of community. “It’s just so connected here.”

It could be said that until recently, this southeast community was flying under the radar. But Avenue Calgary put it on the charts in 2015, when the community ranked third overall on the magazine’s list of Calgary’s top neighbourhoods – it dropped one spot to fourth overall in the 2016 rankings. The area is peppered with 1960s bungalows, most of them original. Tall, mature trees line the quiet and scenic streets. And with an abundance of schools within its boundaries, including Lord Beaverbrook High School, plus a variety of pubs and restaurants, the area holds appeal for both families and singles alike.

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