Main-street makeover

City of Calgary Main Streets initiative aims to revitalize streetscapes and bring communities together

In late September, a throng of Bridgeland residents turned out for the first annual community-organized passeggiata, visiting cultural and business stops along the neighbourhood’s main thoroughfare, ending in celebration at the street’s General Square.

This passeggiata — a leisurely promenade or stroll in the Italian tradition — and other activities like it are exactly what the City of Calgary’s Main Streets initiative is designed to encourage across 24 different city streets.

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In the fast lane

Could a laneway home be up your alley?

For some Calgarians, a laneway house is a realistic way to achieve the elusive dream of home ownership.

Laneway houses are fully independent, small-scale dwellings that face onto an alley, typically found in the backyards of existing homes. Often referred to as “urban cabins,” they are an alternative way to add density to established inner-city neighbourhoods.

While the buzz around laneway homes might be new, the concept is not.

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Stuck in the middle

Calgary’s aging sandwich communities seek their place in shifting housing landscape

What’s old is new again. It’s an apt description of homebuyers’ newfound interest in Calgary’s sandwich communities – those not-quite-inner-city neighbourhoods that long outgrown their suburban roots.

Built along what was then the city’s outskirts starting in the late 1950s, these detached-heavy communities such as Thorncliffe, Huntington Hills, Ogden, Winston Heights, Albert Park, Fairview and Kingsland represented optimism and prosperity synonymous with the post-Second World War era.

Fast-forward several generations later and upwardly mobile generation-Xers and millennials are returning to their birth places, attracted by location, ample amenities and familiarity.

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55 Years of Real Estate: 1997 CREB® President Patti Beaudry

Former CREB® president Patti Beaudry recalls city’s fast pace in 1997

Former CREB® president Patti Beaudry recalls 1997 as a bright spot in Calgary’s real estate history, in which resale housing activity and prices hit then peak levels and the city’s population experienced a newfound surge.

The economy was vibrant, with new jobs bringing newcomers to the city by planes, trains and automobiles, recalled the 35-year real estate veteran, who guided the organization’s board of directors through its boom year. By year’s end, the city’s population gained 3.3 per cent to 934,300 compared to 2.4 per cent growth the year prior. Three years later, it hit the once-mythical one-million mark.

Calgary’s housing market at the time illustrated the impact of this new wave of new residents. Sales in the resale residential sector jumped more than 20 per cent to 18,423, while prices surged by more than six per cent to $146,788, according to CREB®.

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Story in the making

Over the past five decades, Calgary’s real estate industry has been bare to it all – from double-digit interest rates to densification. Starting today, CREB®Now will weave together an incredible narrative of how the local housing industry has evolved through the unique perspectives of CREB®’s 30 remaining past presidents.

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Change can be hard.

It can be messy.

It can be painful.

But it can also be necessary.

And with perspective, it can be the best thing that ever happens.

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