Situated on Calgary’s southern perimeter and named for the family that originally homesteaded the area, Cranston offers residents a lifestyle not easily equaled by many of the city’s neighbourhoods. With Downtown Calgary and the Rocky Mountains both easily accessible via Deerfoot Trail or Highway 22X, and with a bevy of amenities in and around the community itself, Cranston residents can take full advantage of both the natural and manmade attractions in the area.

“First off, I think that it’s a dynamic community,” said Cranston Community Association president Shane Byciuk. “There are a lot of young families, and I think that’s key. The amenities are there now and the community has evolved and started to grow into itself.”

Byciuk’s comments are reinforced by the latest Calgary Civic Census, which showed the community of Cranston had one of the biggest population increases in the city over the last year. Between 2011 and 2012, Cranston welcomed an additional 1,026 residents, ranking behind only Panorama Hills, Auburn Bay and Skyview Ranch for growth.

According to Byciuk, the reasons for Cranston’s dramatic population increase are obvious, given the number of amenities already in place or well on their way.

“What makes Cranston a great place to live? Where do I even start?” said Byciuk. “We’ve got two schools there, which most communities would die for – especially the newer areas. That’s key for young families. A lot of areas around us don’t have that.”

And residents in Cranston aren’t just getting amenities. According to CREB® economist Ann-Marie Lurie, the area also offers a good deal of value for homebuyers.

“Single-family home prices in Cranston are just below city figures,” said Lurie. “However, if we compare the typical home in Cranston to citywide averages, the typical Cranston single family home provides consumers with newer homes on larger lots with more above grade square footage.”

The benchmark single-family home price in Cranston for the month of June was $425,300, six per cent higher than last year levels, but still seven per cent below the highs recorded in 2007. As is the case for the entire city, Cranston has recorded strong growth in single family sales activity relative to supply levels, contributing to the price recovery.

Fishcreek Park Just a short stroll or ride away from Cranston, Fish Creek Provincial Park’s 1,355 hectares make it one of the largest urban parks in all of North America. Boasting more than 100 km of trails, several day-use picnic areas, a vast array of wildlife and even a world-class eatery – the award-winning Ranche Restaurant – Fish Creek Park is one of the best spots in Alberta to enjoy nature in an urban setting.

Century Hall A striking 22,000 sq. ft. grand community hall housing everything a community needs to enjoy being a community, Century Hall at Cranston is the central gathering place for residents. Here you will find meeting and banquet rooms, a skate-change area, multi-functional rooms and a gymnasium. The surrounding 2.8 hectacre private park site will provide families with year round recreation, including a splash park for those warm summer afternoons. In the winter, an outdoor hockey rink ensures residents can stay active.

South Health Campus Set to begin a phased opening later this summer, Calgary’s massive $1.31 billion South Health Campus will add 310 beds and 11 operating rooms to Calgary’s health services, capable of 200,000 outpatient visits a year, 2,500 births and 40,000 visits to the emergency department. The campus – which is roughly the same size as Calgary’s Chinook Centre Mall – will serve Calgary and surrounding rural areas as well as see patients from all over Southern Alberta.

Seton Aspiring to be become “Calgary’s true urban district outside of downtown,” the 2.5 million sq. ft. Seton development will eventually include 875,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Situated in Calgary’s fastest growing quadrant, the 365-acre mixed-use development also will include a 16-acre park, 1,300 residences, a rec centre and two LRT stations as part of the proposed southeast LRT line. With the area’s population expected to climb as high as 120,000 by 2030, Seton would be servicing the equivalent of Alberta’s third largest city.

What do you think of the new communities on the edges on Calgary? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.