Calgary’s housing future

Trends shaping the city’s short- and long-term development

Absent a crystal ball, the future of housing in Calgary is very much up in the air. At the same time, there are some notable trends that offer clues to what’s on the horizon for the curious, the concerned and those who just like to plan ahead.

“I think the findings from the 2016 census highlight changes in the Calgary housing market,” said Rylan Graham, a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary.

“We saw significant growth in many of the inner-city neighborhoods developed pre-World War II, and at the periphery of the city through new greenfield development. These areas are where most of the population growth occurred from 2011-2016.”

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SHIFT conference promises opportunity to “experience the future of Calgary”

“It is time to SHIFT or get off the pot!” That’s the call to action Pathways 2 Sustainability – Alberta’s Sustainable Communities Initiative – has issued in advance of its upcoming conference, SHIFT, which takes place June 15-17 at the St. Louis Hotel in Calgary’s East Village.

SHIFT promises attendees an opportunity to “Experience the Future of Calgary – the SHIFT to a resilient society and new economy and what it means for our city.”

“We have a changing political landscape in Alberta and Canada that’s moving to adopt climate resilience in the ways in which we build, design and manage communities and community systems, including food systems, energy systems and transportation systems,” said SHIFT co-ordinator and Pathways 2 Sustainability executive director, Lisa Fox.

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New life for community associations

City looking at ways to keep Calgarians engaged

When Dave McCarrel moved to the northwest community of Valley Ridge, he became involved in the local community association to meet people.

That was 20 years ago, and McCarrel has been active ever since.

He helped lead efforts in 2008 to build an outdoor ice rink now recognized as one of the best in the city, and also a recent project to construct an outdoor fitness park equipped with a variety of exercise stations that opened in September.

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The future of infills

City revisiting inner-city development

Almost 15 years ago, Naz Virani made the shift from chef to homebuilder and developer. Since then, he has been one of a handful of builders at the fore of Calgary’s gentrification.

In the early 2000s, Virani founded Sarina Homes, and began what he describes as a journey to transform the inner-city, one infill home at a time.

“A lot has changed since we started the business,” he recalled. “We started out building single-family homes, then moved into semi-detached and then fourplex designs.”

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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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