When it comes to housing, the northeast riverside community of Bridgeland and its under-the-radar neighbour Renfrew offer loads of diversity. Both communities feature everything from wartime bungalows and mid-century character homes to modern infills and innovative condo projects.
“There are some real gems on the market right now. We are really seeing a mix of the old with the new,” said Todd Klewchuk, a REALTOR® with Royal LePage Solutions and the sales and marketing lead for Brio Bridgeland, a 15-unit luxury condo project in the works on McDougall Road in Bridgeland.
As of February 2019, the benchmark price for a single-family home in Calgary’s City Centre district, which includes the communities of Bridgeland and Renfrew, was $647,400 (down almost seven per cent from February 2018), while the benchmark price for a condo hovered at $280,100.
“There is a really good opportunity for people to get into inner-city living right now,” said Klewchuk. “Homes are priced well and there is lots of incentive to get into the market.”
Both Bridgeland and Renfrew are in the midst of transition. Rising from the ashes of the old General Hospital is the master-planned, three-phase, transit-oriented Bridges condo development, which will be home to almost 2,500 people at completion.
“There is a really good opportunity for people to get into inner-city living right now. Homes are priced well and there is lots of incentive to get into the market.” – Todd Klewchuk, Royal LePage Solutions
“It will bring some new commercial and new public spaces into the area down by Ninth Street by the CTrain station, which will add a lot of vibrancy and will also interface with Murdoch Park, which is the central park for our community,” said Ali McMillan, planning director for the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Association.
She notes that the community association is a strong connector for residents, as are the array of quirky shops, restaurants and cafés along both First Avenue and Edmonton Trail. Bridgeland and Renfrew are home to some of the city’s coolest hangouts – from Cannibale, where you can get a shave or haircut by day and one heck of a cocktail at night, to Luke’s Drug Mart, where you can enjoy some of the best ice cream in town, mail a letter, flip through the vinyl collection to find your favourite artist or tick off the must-haves on your weekly grocery list. Other grocers in the neighbourhood include Bridgeland Market and Blush Lane Organic Market.
“We are really seeing families coming back to the inner city. Over the past two years, we have had a 200 per cent increase in kids’ soccer registrations,” said McMillan, attributing the area’s popularity to its location near several attractions, including the Calgary Zoo, Telus Spark and St. Patrick’s Island.
- The interactive Telus Spark science centre and the Calgary Zoo are both located in Bridgeland, upping the family-friendly neighbourhood fun quotient.
- Dog owners rave about 18-hectare Tom Campbell’s Hill Park, with its gorgeous river views and ample off-leash space.
- A bustling year-round farmers market runs the first Thursday of every month from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Bridgeland-Riverside Community Hall.
Fun Fact Calgary’s first airport was located in Renfrew circa 1929-1938 at the intersection of 13th Avenue and Sixth Street N.E. At the time, the area was on the fringes of Calgary’s city limits.
Statistics Quadrant: N.E. Established: 1908 (Bridgeland), 1950 (Renfrew) Population: 6,529 (Bridgeland), 6,524 (Renfrew) Dwellings: 3,933 (Bridgeland), 3,492 (Renfrew) Median age: 42 (Bridgeland), 36 (Renfrew) Median pre-tax household income: $50,481 (Bridgeland), $72,343 (Renfrew) Number of residential sales (2019 YTD): 10 (Bridgeland), 10 (Renfrew) Residential average price (2019 YTD): $491,450 (Bridgeland), $484,250 (Renfrew) Residential benchmark price (2019 YTD): $467,700 (Bridgeland), $409,350 (Renfrew) SOURCE: 2018 Calgary Civic Census, 2011 National Household Survey & CREB®