When looking for a good place to raise a family, it’s tough to argue with the medley of character and convenience offered up by the Northwest communities of Capitol Hill and Mount Pleasant.
Sitting on the northern side of 16 Ave. and bordered by Second and 19 streets N.W., the two historic communities have long provided Calgarians with an idyllic place to raise a family.
Kathleen Howell and Terry Irwin are one couple who chose to raise a family in the area. Having since welcomed their first child, the couple has seen plenty of other young families moving into the area since they first arrived six years ago.
“There seems to be lots of families lately and it is also very diverse,” said Howell. “The streets are lined with beautiful old trees and hidden gems like a local library built by a homeowner where people are invited to take a book or leave a book.”
Living in an established community, Howell says the diversity of the area has served as a good learning environment for their four-year-old son Ben.
“I like that Ben is exposed to all types of homes, from the little purple house on the corner to the modern eco-friendly green home. There arealso lots of parks, playgrounds and great places to ride a bike or take a walk. Once he is ready to go to school, there is a good selection of high quality schools to choose from.”
Another key attribute of the area that has proved to be crucial for Howell and her family is the area’s close proximity to downtown. Sitting just a few minutes from Calgary’s city centre, residents in Capitol Hill and Mount Pleasant can be shopping in the CORE or picnicking at a local park in no time at all.
“We love living close to downtown. You can walk, bike or drive to almost anywhere you want to be. It also has easy access to public transit,” said Howell. “We are within walking distance to great parks [such as] Confederation Park, Prince’s Island Park and McHugh Bluff.”
Formerly known as the North Hill Coulee and home to the Confederation Park Golf Course and the annual Lions Festival of Lights, Confederation Park runs between 14 St. N.W. and 30 Ave. N.W. Created in 1967 to mark the centennial of Canadian Confederation, the 160- hectare park contains plenty of pathways along with tennis courts, baseball diamonds and eight hectares of wetlands.
North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre
In fitting with the historic feel of the community itself, the North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre offers fine arts classes and studio space in a heritage property originally constructed in 1913. Giving area residents the opportunity to draw, paint or try their hand on the potter’s wheel, the centre’s ceramics and visual arts classes are varied and will appeal to all levels of expertise.
Since first opening in 1994, Weeds has become the go-to spot for area java addicts. The offbeat surroundings attract students from nearby University of Calgary and SAIT, as well as area residents eager to take in some of the local art and artists (both visual and musical) that are hosted at the café. In addition to a fine cup of coffee, the café also serves up food, beer and wine.
A little piece of Europe tucked away in Northwest Calgary, Edelweiss Imports sells plenty of German, Dutch, Polish and Scandinavian favourites. For those who can’t wait to get home, the store’s café, Kafee Stube, serves up tasty dishes and treats found overseas like schnitzel with sauerkraut and bratwurst with a vast selection of tortes for desert.