Hole in one

Golf course communities offer homeowners space, privacy and a slice of the action

David Roberts and his wife moved to the northwest community of Valley Ridge in search of open spaces. “We liked the idea of backing on to green space, one way or another,” he said.

Valley Ridge, which borders the western edge of Calgary, is one of many communities in the city that features a golf course within its boundaries. That course now provides the green space Roberts and his family were seeking – they live behind the course’s first green.

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Golf course connections

For residents of Valley Ridge, all paths lead to the links

The soft summer breeze rustles through the tall stands of mature Aspen trees and prairie grasses in the lush valley on the northwest edge of the city. Here nature sits untouched, a picture perfect backdrop for the homes that grace the ridge above. Nearby, the voices of happy children ring out, as they ride their bikes in the cul-de-sacs connecting the homes. And anchoring it all is a beautiful 18-hole golf course. This is Valley Ridge, home to almost 6,000 residents. Most live in single-family homes (93 per cent) and the area is almost entirely owner-occupied, leading to a connected community with a vibrant and engaged feel.

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Peace and quiet

Springbank offers tranquil lifestyle and stunning views on Calgary’s western outskirts

As the summer sun rises in the bold, blue Alberta sky, Lisa Neiles revels in the quiet, as she sips her coffee on the deck of her home on Calgary’s western perimeter in Springbank Hill. She says that the peacefulness, along with the easy access to the city, attracted her and her husband to the area.

“I love how we can sit on our deck and hear nothing but the birds chirping,” said Neiles. “It is rare you can live in the city and drive down a country road with a view of the meadows with horses and mountain range, turn a corner and drive into your neighbourhood of approximately 40 homes. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Although Neiles’s home technically sits within Calgary’s city limits, a two-minute ride down the road leads to the rural community of Springbank in Rocky View County. Known for its sweeping mountain vistas and wide-open rolling lands peppered with country residential acreages and estate homes, Springbank’s borders are being slowly absorbed into Calgary proper – Springbank Hill, Aspen Woods, West Springs, Cougar Ridge, Crestmont and Valley Ridge have all been annexed.

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City-limits bliss

Amy Shafer found her own private oasis in Watermark at Bearspaw

Amy Shafer grew up on a farm, so when it came to building her dream home, being immersed in nature on the doorstep of wide-open park space was a top priority. She and her husband, and their three children, had been living in Valley Ridge, but just didn’t feel connected. Their search for the perfect lot brought them to Watermark in Bearspaw, where they purchased a 1.33-acre home site that backs on to an Aspen grove, a freshwater pond and walking trails. The community features 46 acres of parkland and 16 ponds, and brushes up against the Haskayne Legacy Park, with trails connecting to Calgary and Cochrane. (more…)

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