Located in Calgary’s southeast and a quick 20-minute drive from downtown, the communities of McKenzie Towne and McKenzie Lake have a little something for everyone.
The younger of the two communities and located east of Deerfoot Trail, development on McKenzie Lake began in 1995. Divided into four sub-communities: Inverness, Elgin, Prestwick and High Street, McKenzie Towne with its European style High Street has all the amenities anyone could need without leaving the neighbourhood.
“It’s a pretty sweet set up, it really is, it’s a really unique community,” said McKenzie Towne general manager Christine Hemminger.
There’s plenty to see and do in the very walkable community including Prestwick Common; a year-round park with decorative fountain, Elgin Hill; including a limestone arch saved from demolition in downtown Calgary, Inverness Square; with a large gazebo and a hockey rink and skate park.
“If you’re a young family and you only have one car and mom is left home with the kids, she can walk to everything she needs to go shopping, banking, haircuts you name it,” Hemminger said. “Same thing if you’re a senior. The senior buildings are right at the end of High Street, they’ve got an amazing view of our pond and they can walk around the pond year-round, we remove snow year-round on all pathways.”
McKenzie Towne is very much about putting the “neighbour” in neighbourhood, especially where young families are concerned.
“You find there’s a lot of day homes here and a lot of nanny’s and a lot of neighbours will share those responsibilities with each other,” said Daniel Santiago, community and recreation co-ordinator. “If the moms are staying home they’ll share the caretaking.”
Hemminger explained the community is one where buyers can start with entrylevel housing before making their way into middle or high end and then into senior-level accommodations.
“It’s more of that small town (feel) where you don’t have to lose a demographic,” she said. “In 15 years the demographic shifts so you’re pretty equal right across and it will stay that way forever because there’ll always be this changing.”
With more than a decade on its younger neighbour, McKenzie Lake was built in 1982 south of the community of Stonegate and is situated on the west side of Deerfoot Trail from McKenzie Towne.
Originally dubbed McKenzie, named for John McKenzie — one of the area’s first settlers — the moniker was changed after a manmade lake was added to the area, providing lakeside amenities for the community such as row boating and other water sports.
A very community oriented neighbourhood, the McKenzie Lake Community Association is busy year-round with various fundraisers and events including a community clean-up, summer camps and the 55-plus club.
According to the McKenzie Lake Community Association, “several golf courses, Fish Creek Park and the popular McKenzie Lake are also in the area. The community offers excellent views of both the city and the mountains.”
The McKenzie Lake Residents Association serves 3,200 residences and over 11,000 members who have access to the lake, tennis courts, basketball courts, beach volleyball and a toboggan hill.
McKenzie Lake expanded in 1997 with the addition of the Legacy Ridge development.
McKenzie Towne Hall
The McKenzie Towne Hall is centrally located on the east side of the McKenzie Towne traffic circle. The hall includes a 125-seat banquet hall as well as gymnasium and multipurpose rooms. Various social groups also meet at the hall including toddler playgroups, bridge groups and book clubs. The hall offers several summer camps for kids aged five to 12 with residents of the community receiving a discount.
Garage Sale Wars
Starting in McKenzie Towne and since expanding into the communities of Copperfield, New Brighton and Mahogany, the community Garage Sale Wars has been organized by REALTORS® Kim and Doug Hayden for the last 13 years. The event is a fundraiser for Calgary’s Interfaith Food Bank and is set to take place on May 12. “The biggest thing for us is to raise awareness for the food bank and generate food for the food bank,” said Doug. For more information check out www.garagesalewars.ca.
Residents of the community have year-round access to McKenzie Lake. According to the McKenzie Lake Residence Association, members are provided with access to equipment such as rowboats, canoes, kayaks and pedal boats. The lake is stocked with Rainbow Trout for the fishing aficionados in the community and in the winter the lake has a 2.5 kilometre skating loop, as well as ice-skating and hockey rinks maintained by a Zamboni.
McKenzie Lake Community Park Rejuvenation Project
The community of McKenzie Lake is looking to rebuild its community parks through the McKenzie Lake Community Park Rejuvenation Project. Funds raised will help with the installation of new playground equipment and ground cover. The community has held successful fundraising events including bottle drives and bake sales raising $12,535 to date.