Having Fish Creek Provincial Park and the Bow River right in their backyard was a major selling point for many Deer Run residents when they moved to the community. Andrea Cox / For CREB®Now

Southeast community of Deer Run is an emerald gem on the shores of the Bow River

A quiet and peaceful community nestled into the bend of the rushing Bow River, Deer Run in southeast Calgary offers something for everyone. The community cradles Fish Creek Provincial Park, with many of its homes backing onto verdant, tree-lined park spaces.

“We absolutely love it here,” said longtime resident Brenna Rutt.

She and her husband built a bi-level home in the area in 1987, at a time when the community would have been labelled “new” and was in its final stages of development.

“We had both just graduated from university and we wanted to find a home that had easy access to Deerfoot Trail and was close to Fish Creek Park and Sikome Lake,” she said.

They looked at various neighbourhoods around Calgary and settled on Deer Run as the hands-down winner.

“It’s just such a great location for outdoor recreation,” she said, adding that the park entrance is just steps from her home.

Deer Run is sprawled across almost two square kilometres of land and can be accessed from Bow Bottom Trail and Canyon Meadows Drive. Tall, whispering poplars and swaying pine trees pepper the meandering streets, painting a pleasant and inviting streetscape. The community features a variety of home styles, from townhomes and estate homes that back on to Fish Creek Park to duplex, split-level, bungalow, ranch, and two-storey designs.

The community was designed in circles, or pods, of homes like the spokes on a wheel.

“We purchased in the last section of Deer Run to be developed – there were 20 lots left,” said Rutt, who notes that because of the design, she has always felt very safe.

“It’s a great place for kids. The community association is really strong and they offer so many programs – baseball, soccer, little-league football, skating. Plus the park is just a great place for the kids to play.” – Brenna Rutt, Deer Run resident

“It’s very quiet down here. Bow Bottom Trail ends at the park, so there is no through traffic or loud vehicles or big trucks. It’s easy to get out of, but there are not many people coming in.” Rutt raised her children in the community and can’t sing its praises enough when it comes to the child-friendly ambiance.

“It’s a great place for kids,” she said. “The community association is really strong and they offer so many programs – baseball, soccer, little-league football, skating. Plus the park is just a great place for the kids to play.”

She adds that the schools are also excellent, so much so that she once had to line up in the early morning to ensure her son had a spot in the local kindergarten class.

Now that her children are grown, Rutt still uses the park every day. Her husband and his friends play disc golf and Rutt walks her dog daily, rain or shine, often joined by friend Susan Ortt, who lives in the adjacent community of Parkland. Ortt’s home also backs onto Fish Creek Park, where she can hit the bike trails to reach any locale in the city.

“It’s really magical here,” said Ortt.

Proximity to the park is the main reason that the Rutts chose to stay in the community through their retirement. They toyed with the idea of moving to a new community and purchasing a brand new home with all of the latest finishings, but when push came to shove, they just couldn’t do it.

“Where else in the city can you walk from your home into such a special place as Fish Creek Park,” said Rutt, adding that they would also not be able to duplicate the size of their lot in a new community. “We have a really big backyard and we wouldn’t have that.”

So, instead of moving, they renovated their home from top to bottom – inside and out. It’s a renovation trend that seems to slowly be working its way through the community. One doesn’t see too many teardowns or new builds in this neighbourhood. Buyers and long-time homeowners are working within the bones of the existing home designs to freshen up the spaces.

Deer Run also offers a variety of housing options, allowing people to purchase a starter home and progressively move up all the way to the estate level.

“It’s kind of nice, because you don’t have to leave the neighbourhood to upsize or downsize,” said Rutt.