The inexact science of naming Calgary communities

When it comes to the names of Calgary communities, some honour early pioneers, others are named after the surrounding landscape and some simply sound like a nice place to live.

Pleasant Heights, Scenic Acres and Sunalta (a mash up of sunny and Alberta) sound like they could have come out of a real estate subdivision name generator. But how do developers actually come up with the names for new communities?

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Renovate to Stay

Calgary couple renovates instead of moving and loves the result

Fifteen years ago, Glen and Janet Belbeck moved into their brand new spec home in McKenzie Towne’s Inverness area. Back then, the community sat at the extreme end of the city, with coyotes, deer and rabbits frolicking in the fields nearby.

More than a dozen years later, the couple, with two kids grown up and moved out, decided to purchase a McKenzie Lake home with their dream view of the mountains, overlooking the Bow River.

But when the economy went sideways, and their Inverness home’s outdated country kitchen failed to impress buyers who had showhomes to choose from in newer neighbourhoods, the Belbecks decided to stay put and invest in a large-scale renovation.

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The why of walkability

Experts tout prevalence in today’s homebuying decisions

Walkability has evolved from a buzzword to an influential part of home purchasing decisions in Calgary, say real estate experts.

And to meet growing demand for improved accessibility, developers and planners need to start now by designing communities of tomorrow through a more pedestrian-friendly lens.

“(Walkability) is important to our customers,” said Brookfield Residential development manager Tara Steell. “We’re hearing from them and using best practices to create communities with master-planned communities. We have the ability to influence that and try to get people out of their cars.”

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Tried and true

Small-town experiment pays off for McKenzie Towne residents

Clifford Koss and Janice Conley have called the southeast community of McKenzie Towne home for 15 years. They moved there in 2000, after renting in McKenzie Lake across Deerfoot Trail.

“We like the area so much we named our business after it,” says Koss, referring to the couple’s home-based distribution company, Prestwick Resources. (Prestwick is one of four areas that make up McKenzie Towne, the other three being Inverness, Elgin and High Street, a 120,000 square-foot commercial strip.)

In fact, these days Conley and Koss say they rarely have occasion to venture outside of the community.

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