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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Post-secondary appeal

Residents of Calgary’s dynamic campus communities benefit from youthful energy and added amenities

Bob Benson fondly recalls many a Bermuda Shorts Day – the University of Calgary’s annual end-of-academic-year celebration – at the Benson home in the northwest community of Varsity.

“We’d host a Bermuda Shorts Day breakfast with ham and pancakes. Kids would congregate at our place at 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. and then head over to the university,” said Benson, adding he and his wife moved to Varsity in 1988 with the hope that the community’s proximity to the university would make it easier for his four children to attend. Apparently, it worked – three of Benson’s children studied there.

Varsity is one of several Calgary communities that borders a post-secondary institution. That proximity comes with all the pros, and the occasional con, of living near a large body of students.

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Urban oasis

Calgary’s urban parks offer nearby residents a slice of the great outdoors in the heart of the city

At the beginning of July last year, John and Ildi Arlette took their first-ever walk through Confederation Park.

By the end of that month, they had bought a home in Mount Pleasant sitting near the crescent-shaped green space that stretches across 162 hectares – including eight hectares of wetlands – in northwest Calgary.

“We were on a date night and someone had told me about Confederation Park,” said John Arlette. “Ildi is from Ontario and I realized I hadn’t shown her much of Calgary – I hadn’t even been to the park myself.”

After that visit, the Arlettes sold their home in Signal Hill, becoming both inner-city – and park-side living – devotees.

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