Varsity and Brentwood

Established Calgary communities with a little something for everyone.

Built in the early 1960s, the communities of Varsity and Brentwood offer up established city living with easy traffic access and amenities for everyone ranging from university students, to young families to empty nesters.

According to the 2012 Calgary Civic Census, the Ward 7 community of Brentwood has a population of 6,059 in 2,595 dwellings. Just across Crowchild Trail, Varsity is the second largest community in Ward 1 with 12,200 residents in 5,547 dwellings. Single-family homes comprise the highest number of dwellings with townhouses taking second spot in Brentwood while apartments take second spot in Varsity.

Crystal Scriven worked in Brentwood and lived in the neighbouring Ward 7 community of Dalhousie for six years and had easy access to everything, including downtown.

“You can get everything there, you (don’t) have to leave the neighbourhood at all,” she said. “To get downtown it took, literally for me at that time, it was a four minute walk to the CTrain and then, Dalhousie’s a major bus terminal as well so if you’re taking a train you can get on any of the buses as well, really, really easily.”

The communities are a bustle of activity especially in the fall as students return to their studies at the University of Calgary. The university is also home to the Olympic Oval, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics where speed skating made its indoor Olympic debut. The oval includes three ice surfaces, one long track speed skating oval and two Olympic-size hockey rinks. The oval continues to attract athletes from around the world to train and compete at the facility while the ice surfaces are home to the University of Calgary Dinos hockey men’s
and women’s hockey teams.

For fans of shopping, as well as several strip-malls and box stores, there’s Market and Northland Village malls offering up retail names such as American Apparel, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Swarovski and Winners.

For taking advantage of the sunshine and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends, there are several parks in the area including Nose Hill Park, John Laurie Park, Varsity Estates Park and Bowmont Park Natural Area. For golfers, there’s the convenient Silver Springs Golf & Country Club located off 53rd Street NW. Sports fans have easy access to nearby McMahon Stadium and the Saddledome is just a short CTrain ride away.

For families with school-aged children there are plenty of schools within walking distance of the two communities. Brentwood has Brentwood School, Sir Winston Churchill High School and Saint Jean Brebeuf School while Varsity includes F.E Osborne School, Marion Carson School and St. Vincent De Paul School, while bookworms can get their fix at the Calgary Public Library located just off Northmount Drive in Brentwood.

University of Calgary
Ranked one of Canada’s top eight research universities, the University of Calgary was founded in 1966. The University has a history extending beyond its foundation including Calgarians unsuccessfully battling to have the University of Alberta moved to the city. Sod was turned for the current campus in 1958 with the first faculties of the university including fine arts, graduate studies, social work and medicine. The university is currently nearing the completion of its largest expansion ever including the Taylor Family Digital Library and the Energy, Environment and Experiential Learning building.

Alberta Children’s Hospital
The Alberta Children’s Hospital has gone through many incarnations including the Junior Red Cross Hospital and the Alberta Crippled Children’s Hospital. After staying in the same location for more than 80 years, the new Alberta Children’s Hospital was opened to the public at its current location along Shaganappi Drive in 2006. Today, the majority of the patients treated at the hospital are outpatients and the facility includes features such as heated, covered walkways, sleeping facilities in each of the inpatient rooms, a healthy cafeteria menu and gardens surrounding the building to allow for relaxation.

Nose Hill Park
Calgary’s Nose Hill Park is surrounded by 12 residential communities — including Brentwood on the southwest — and covers 11 square kilometres. The park was created in 1980 with it’s name, more than likely according to The City of Calgary, coming from the fact from certain locations the hill looks like a nose. The park has hiking trails, designated off-leash areas, native grassland, wildlife and public washrooms. The park contains archaeological sites including stone circles from First Nation’s teepee rings. Park hours are 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

British Pantry
For Great Britons looking for a taste of home or for Calgarians looking to try something a little different than the usual fare, the British Pantry has a little something for everyone from Marks and Spencers biscuits to mushy peas to sweet treats to cheese and meat pies. Open since 1997, the British Pantry is open seven days a week and offers extra services such as gift certificates and baskets, shipping of products to anywhere in Canada and special orders from Great Britain.

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