Calgary has long been considered a car-dependent city, and in most neighbourhoods this still rings true. But a new renewed effort to promote walkability has taken the downtown communities by storm.
What these three neighbourhoods have in common is their proclivity for a walkable lifestyle and continued development in that direction.
Legend: WS=Walk Score & TS=Transit Score
Eau Claire (WS 91 & TS 81)
Many Calgarians have been making trips to Eau Claire market since they were kids, exploring the boutiques, eating treats, and watching IMAX movies. Eau Claire residents chose the convenient proximity to shopping and work, which is how the area merited its high walkcore.
Prince’s Island Park is quite literally a stone’s throw away. Here, Eau Claire residents and visitors alike enjoy the wide green fields and annual events, including Folkfest. Just west of the island is the Peace Bridge, which connects Eau Claire to Kensington.
Over the next few years, Eau Claire will see a dramatic redevelopment, with new mixed-use planning coming into place. The revitalization of one of Calgary’s favourite shopping areas will be comprised of condo development, new commercial spaces, and a greater draw for economic activity.
Downtown East Village (WS 90 & TS 83)
This inner-city Calgary community was constructed with walkability in mind, sky rocketing it to the top walkscore communities in the city in just a few short years. The project broke ground in 2007, and some $180 million has already been invested into the existing infrastructure. Since last year, the WS has increased by 4 points, and we’re willing to bet that it will continue to grow.
What makes this community so walkable? Smart planning for mixed-use development has created a village within a bustling city. The developers wisely reinvest into the community, and the project isn’t even close to completion, leading us to believe that new endeavours and increased popularity will continue to boost the walk score.
RiverWalk, one of the walkable lifestyle initiatives, is an in-progress four kilometer walking and biking path along the Bow River. This project plays into the overall goals of sustainability, with the first phase seeing a major river clean up.
Hillhurst/Sunnyside (WS 85/85 & TS 71/72)
Another stalwart staple to the city’s list of trendy communities, Kensington has been a walkable community since its inaugural days as a working-class community. This heritage has continued to influence its development, maintaining a relaxed lifestyle for residents near the BRZ. Today, Kensington is a popular shopping district that comprises the communities of Hillhurst and Sunnyside.
A number of new condo developments are underway, each of which is lauding the walk scores of these two communities. This increase in high-density residential space will spur economic activity, and the Kensington BRZ is fully prepared to embrace these new condos yet preserve the small-town feel of the area. In fact, this September they were awarded with the Downtown Merit Award for the redevelopment planned aimed at walkability in a bustling downtown community.
Not only is the community easily accessible by foot, but it’s also a central point for accessing the LRT. Sunnyside Station connects residents to the core, as well as to the NW line. From there they can easily transfer to other lines and communities. Whether commuting for work or play, Hillhurst and Sunnyside residents are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from their final destination.
To see homes for sale in these walkable Calgary communities, browse the links below.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®