With lush ravines, lengthy pathways and spectacular mountain views, the community of Tuscany in northwest Calgary has grown to become one of the city’s most sought after neighbourhoods.

With access to Nose Hill Drive, Stoney Trail, 12 Mile Coulee and Crowchild Trail, Tuscany has plenty of access, access that’s about to become that much easier with the completion of both a new CTrain station and Nose Hill Drive/Stoney Trail overpass.

The CTrain station, which saw construction start up in July 2012, sits along Crowchild Trail between Tuscany and Rocky Ridge. As well as the CTrain station, the project will include the construction of two Park & Ride lots accommodating about 550 vehicles, a pedestrian bridge linking the bus terminal and parking lots with the CTrain station, two CTrain bridges at the Stoney Trail interchange and two electrical substation buildings at Rocky Ridge and Arbour Lake. The project has an expected completion date of 2014.

Keeping residents busy with yearly events is the Tuscany Community Association (TCA). Formed in 2000, the volunteerdriven association is “committed to addressing community issues, planning community events and recreation activities and providing effective representation in civic matters,” states the TCA website.

The TCA provides residents access to community events such as book swaps and community garden updates; development plans concerning the community and municipal and government matters affecting the city, such as new schools.

Residents of the community could be looking forward to the construction of a new school joining Tuscany School, Twelve Mile Coulee School and St. Basil Elementary/Junior High School. CBC reported the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) released a wish list with its draft capital plan, ranking projects it wants the provincial government to build over the next three years, with new schools in Tuscany and Panorama Hills second on the list.

“The ranking criteria includes community growth patterns, travel and bussing times and then other factors such as existing schools or already approved projects,” Megan Geyer, CBE told the CBC.

A report released by the University of Alberta showed the numbers of Albertans physically active enough to receive health benefits increased from 54.5 to 59 per cent between 2011 and 2012.

“The challenge to those of us working to increase physical activity is to create environments that support and encourage all Albertans to be more active, so they will gain health and other benefits,” said Judith Down, director of the Alberta Centre for Active Living.

For those living in Tuscany there’s lots of opportunity to get up and go. Aside from its meandering pathways the community has a slo-pitch league, outdoor soccer, baseball, hockey, basketball and more.

Since 2008, the population of the community has increased 10.5 per cent to 19,013 residents according to the City of Calgary 2012 Civic Census. As far as the housing market, the community saw 46 single-family sales in the month of May for an average of $532,473, six more than the 40 single-family homes sold in April.

Tuscany Community Garden
An initiative of the Tuscany Green Team, the Tuscany Community Garden, according to its mission statement, “allows neighbours to grow together to reduce our impact on the environment, help educate our children about where food comes from and further enhance a sense of community in Tuscany.” New gardeners are welcome to register for plots at tuscanygarden.wordpress.com where they can fill out a rental agreement. One-time garden memberships are $75 with garden plots rentals $55, or $30 if you’re a Tuscany Community Association member.

West Soccer Centre
With a convenient location for Tuscany residents and their families, the Calgary West Soccer Centre has all the amenities necessary to hit the pitch with three indoor soccer fields and one turf field for year round rental. Associations utilizing the fields include the Calgary Minor Soccer Association, Alberta Soccer Association and Calgary West Soccer Centre Leagues. Bookings can be made by calling 403-208-6268.

The Last Straw Ale House
With a central location in the community, The Last Straw Ale House is a bustling hub for Tuscany residents gathering for dinner, sports events and a pint or two. While enjoying some playoff hockey, patrons can enjoy one of The Last Straw’s weekly specials or indulge from menu regulars such as their Famous Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Potato Nachos, Steak and Mushroom Pie or The Ultimate Burger. “Always a great time. Service is fast and friendly. Great patio for the summer. Awesome homemade burgers,” said one review on Urbanspoon.

St. Basil Elementary/Jr.High School
Located on Tuscany Drive, St. Basil caters to elementary and junior high aged children. The core curriculum includes science, math, language arts, social studies and religious education — supplementary curriculum includes career and technology studies, fine arts, physical education, health and French. St. Basil’s career and technology studies have 22 strands including community health, construction, financial management, legal studies and tourism studies.