From the history of Inglewood to the dining and patio options of Kensington to the walkability of the East Village, Calgary’s inner city has a little something for everyone.
With a mix of single-family, condominium, apartment homes and more, those who hail from the inner city range from young professionals starting their careers, families taking advantage of the many schools and parks and retirees utilizing the handy pathway systems.
Living in the inner city community of Altadore for the past four years, Kelsey Riecken, 24, is a fan of the bustling nature of her neighbourhood.
“Whether … visiting the shops on 33rd (Avenue), taking their dogs out for a walk at River Park or spending the day at Sandy Beach — people are always out and about,” she said. “As a young person, it’s nice to live in a community that values a good social life as much as I do.”
Comprised of many communities, the inner city is also home to Calgary’s Centre City, which includes Downtown, East Village, Stampede Park, East Victoria Crossing Centre, Connaught Centre, West Connaught, West End, Eau Claire and Chinatown.
About three per cent (more than 35,000 people) call Centre City home with more than four times that many making the commute to work there. Centre City includes more than 6,000 businesses and generates more than 40 per cent of Calgary’s business and non-residential property tax revenue.
In the next 30 years, the area is expected to see 60,000 new employees and 40,000 new residents. Many of those new residents will take advantage of new residential developments popping up all over the city including Waterfront in Eau Claire, The River in Mission, SoBow in Inglewood and Evolution in the East Village.
A new community in a historical location, East Village is one of Calgary’s most talked about places to call home. Located on almost 20 hectares of land bordered by the Bow River to the north and Fort Calgary to the east, $150 million in infrastructure improvements have gone into the neighbourhood since 2007.
Coming to the inner city by 2018 is the construction of a new Central Library at a price tag of $245 million. According to the City, the need for a new central library was first recognized in April 2004, by 2011, council approved Block 127 in East Village as the library’s new home.
“This will be a critical community space that inspires thought, collaboration and conversation,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “I can’t wait to see it take shape.”
In 1875 the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) set up camp at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, a spot that would eventually lead to the more than a million strong city of Calgary today. Located on 16 hectares of parkland, the Fort acts as an interpretive centre of days gone by as well as a popular spot for various community events and festivals. The site includes the popular brunch destination Deane House, the restored home of NWMP Captain Richard Deane.
A departure from your average clothing store, Blame Betty on Uptown 17th has a little something for even the most discerning tastes. The store, named for fashion siren Betty Page, offers up designs from days gone by such as a Gery 50’s Polka Dot Dress or Billionaire Dress for the ladies as well as men’s and children’s fashions. The store also has accessories and home wares for kitschy home décor or gifts.
Phil & Sebastian
Phil & Sebastian is a name synonymous with good coffee and its Marda Loop location in Calgary is no exception. Started by two Calgary engineers, Phil & Sebastian made its start at the Calgary Farmer’s Market and since then, as well as Marda Loop, have expanded with another store in Chinook Centre. Phil & Sebastian’s coffee connoisseurs travel to coffee growing regions around the world seeking out unique coffees, their origins and developing relationships with the people who grow them.
Western Coffee Shop
Western Coffee Shop has been a mainstay in the community of Mission run by the capable hands of May Lui and William Wu for more than 20 years. Open from 7-4, Monday to Saturday, the shop has an old school diner feel made all the more welcome with Lui wandering from table to table chatting with patrons like an old friend. Diners can partake in all day breakfast, diner fare such as fish and chips or Chinese favourites like crispy lemon chicken and ginger beef.