It seems fitting that over the last year Airdrie has grown by roughly one sizeable family every day. Home to just over 17,500 people in 1998, the city has welcomed plenty of new additions over the last 25 years, nearly tripling in size according to the most recent census.

Growing by such leaps and bounds, Airdire has had to adapt from being a small town on the outskirts of Calgary to a full-fledged city with more than enough attractions and amenities to keep the 45,711 residents happy. Over the last year, Airdrie’s population grew by 2,556, or seven new residents per day.

Commenting on Airdrie’s expansion, which was down from the 3,333 new residents that moved to the city in the last census, Mayor Peter Brown said the rate of growth gives the city plenty of room to progress.

“This growth rate gives us some breathing room. Opportunities and challenges come with a steady growth rate, for example, our new fire stations and the police building were built to serve a larger future community so a manageable growth rate is good news.”

In 2012, 1,097 new homes were built in Airdrie, an increase of 6.82 per cent for a total of 17,174 – this includes single family and multifamily residential options. Windsong, Williamstown and King’s Heights are relatively new neighbourhoods that experienced the greatest growth.

In order to accommodate the growing number of people clamouring to call Airdrie home, the city annexed approximately 12,640 acres of land to the west, north and east of the current city limits. The land, annexed from Rocky View County, will meet the city’s land supply demands for the next 50 years.

The appetite for property transfers is hardly confined to town council, as year-to-date September 2012, Airdrie sales totaled 933, a 31 per cent increase over figures last year.

According to CREB® economist Ann-Marie Lurie, the demand, at least in part, is due to the relative level of affordability in Airdrie when compared to Calgary.

“Improved demand in Airdrie has been in part due to the availability of affordable single-family homes relative to single family homes within the city of Calgary,” she said. “The unadjusted single-family benchmark home prices leveled off at $338,600 in September 2012, a four per cent rise over last year, but still seven per cent below the highs recorded five years ago.”

The Avenue Cakery & Bakeshop With the cupcake craze hitting a rolling boil as of late, Airdrie residents are lucky to have their very own baked goods bodega, serving up some of the finest (and most imaginative) treats this side of Saskatchewan. Since opening their doors in September of 2009, the shop has developed a reputation for making delicious, homemade baked goods, breads and desserts – all prepared from scratch. Run on “love and passion” by pastry chef and owner Debi Macleod, The Avenue is the spot to soothe those sweet tooth cravings.

Nose Creek Park Named for the creek meandering through its boundaries, Nose Creek Park is nestled in the heart of Airdrie. With a pond and fountain, paved walkways, picnic shelters, skate park and play areas, the park is a go-to for residents seeking some fresh air. Overlooking the park are six handcrafted totem poles located on the eastern boundary. The totem poles were donated to the city from Gwacheon, Korea to commemorate a 10-year sister city relationship. Every December, the park is home to the city’s very popular Festival of Lights.

Genesis Place Fitness Centre With six pools, a water slide, gym, fitness centre, two indoor fields, gymnastics facility and indoor running track and dance studios to name a few, Airdrie’s Genesis place is a go-to for the city’s active residents. Planning is underway for the addition of two ice surfaces. The centre also offers various programs such as day camps, preschool and children’s programs and multi-purpose meeting rooms for various events.

Do you live in Airdrie? Did you move there from Calgary? What do you like about living in Airdrie?