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May 24, 2019

Calgary’s Best Neighbourhoods 2016: The Numbers, Top 50 List, The Map

We found some interesting information about housing, people, walkability, parks and crime in the city while putting together our Best Neighbourhoods package. This is also where you’ll find our list and map of all the top 50 neighbourhoods.

The perfect home in the perfect neighbourhood depends on who you are. If you value a single detached home with a rising property value, chances are you’d be looking for a home in a different neighbourhood from someone looking to rent an apartment that’s close to restaurants and bars and boutiques.

We can’t tell you which neighbourhoods are the best when it comes to housing. You need to decide that on your own. But to give you a better idea of what housing in Calgary looks like, we took a closer look at some factors that are probably significant to you. We looked at where the most single-family homes and apartments are, where the owners are and where the renters are, changing property values and population density.

 

The 5 Calgary neighbourhoods with the most single-family homes

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue — Census Data by Community District for 2015.

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue – Census Data by Community District for 2015.

If apartments aren’t your thing, know that the two Calgary neighbourhoods with the most single family homes in 2015 were both in the city’s northwest quadrant: Tuscany and Panorama. Tuscany, Panorama and Evergreen also all make the list of the biggest communities population-wise in Calgary. In 2014, Panorama had a population of 25,130 (the biggest in Calgary), Evergreen had 21,386 (second biggest in Calgary that year) and Tuscany had 19,465 (the fourth biggest neighbourhood that year).

 

Percentage of single-family home owners in those neighbourhoods

In the neighbourhoods with the most single family houses, owners like to stay put. In Tuscany, Panorama and Evergreen, significantly more than half of the owners live in the single-family homes they’ve purchased. In Tuscany, for example, a whopping 84 per cent of that neighbourhood’s owners live in their homes.

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue — Census Data by Community District for 2015.

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue – Census Data by Community District for 2015.

 

The 5 Calgary neighbourhoods with the most apartments

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue — Census Data by Community District for 2015.

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue – Census Data by Community District for 2015.

When it comes to apartments, it’s a different story. It turns out, Calgary has a lot more apartments than single-family homes. And it makes sense that the majority of the apartments are in the Beltline, close to the hustle and bustle of downtown. If you look at who’s living in these apartments, you’d see that the median age of Calgarians in this neighbourhood is 33 years old, 87 per cent of the whole Beltline population is ages 20 to 64, and 76 per cent of couple families don’t have kids at home.

The Beltline has about three times as many apartments as the neighbourhood with the next most – the Downtown Commercial Core.

 

Percentage of owner-occupied apartments in those 5 neighbourhoods

Of the five neighbourhoods with the most apartments in Calgary, significantly less than 50 per cent of owners live in the apartments they own. In these neighbourhoods, you’ll find that between 70 per cent and 90 per cent of residents are renters.

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue — Census Data by Community District for 2015.

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue – Census Data by Community District for 2015.

 

Calgary neighbourhood property value shifts from 2015 to 2016

It’s been a good year for Christie Park and Altadore. But for Bayview, Kelvin Grove and Scarboro/Sunalta West? Things weren’t as rosy for people looking to sell.

Source: City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2015 and City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2016.

Source: City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2015 and City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2016.

 

The 5 neighbourhoods with the most expensive homes

Source: City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2015 and City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2016.

Source: City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2015 and City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2016.

For the priciest homes (based on median assessed property value in 2015), look in the city’s southwest quadrant. In fact, of the 50 most expensive ‘hoods in Calgary, 36 are located in Calgary’s southwest. (14 of the 50 most expensive are in the northwest, 2 are in the southeast and 0 are in the northeast.)

Bel-Aire, the neighbourhood with the highest homes (based on median assessed property value in 2015), is a very different looking community to the Beltline, the neighbourhood with the most apartments. In Bel-Aire, the median age is 51, 64 per cent of the Bel-Aire population is ages 20 to 64 and 16 per cent of the population is aged 65 or higher.

 

The most expensive average home prices in Calgary’s four quadrants

When it comes to price (based on median assessed property value in 2015), things aren’t even across Calgary’s quadrants. There’s a difference of $1,310,00 between the most expensive ‘hood on average in 2015 in the southwest and the most expensive ‘hood on average in 2015 in the northeast.

Source: City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2015 and City of Calgary Property Assessment and Market Report 2016.


What makes the perfect neighbourhood to you will likely shift as you go through different stages of life. What you need in a neighbourhood will be different when you’re a young, single professional, to when you have a young family, to when you’re an empty nester. Different amenities in neighbourhoods will appeal at different times, depending on the needs of your family.

 

The 6 neighbourhoods with the most schools

While Coral Springs and McKenzie Lake have the most kids at home, these aren’t the neighbourhoods with the most schools. The neighbourhood with the most elementary, junior and high schools is Huntington Hills. In this ‘hood, the average number of people per family (according to the City of Calgary 2011 census) is 2.8, 50 per cent of couple families have kids at home and 20 per cent of the population is ages 0 to 19.

Source: Calgary Board of Education 2015.

 

The 5 neighbourhoods with the most nursing homes

Source: City of Calgary Open Data Catalogue — Census Data by Community District for 2015.

Evanston, Midnapore and Bridgeland/Riverside are the neighbourhoods with the most nursing homes in Calgary. All three of these neighbourhoods have four nursing homes. According to City of Calgary census data collected in 2014, in Evanston 4 per cent of the population was aged 65 or more, in Midnapore 17 per cent was aged 65 or more and in Bridgeland/Riverside 21 per cent of the population was aged 65 or more.

 

The neighbourhoods with the most engaged citizens

For the purposes of Avenue’s survey, engagement is based on voter turnout in the 2013 municipal election, weighted per capita. In Panorama Hills according to the City of Calgary 2014 census, the median age of residents here is 32 and 63 per cent of the population is aged 20 to 64.

Source: 2013 City of Calgary voter turnout, weighted per capita.


Calgary is often thought of as a car-centric city, but that doesn’t serve as an excuse to give up those walking shoes. We looked at which Calgary neighbourhoods are the most and least walkable based on Walk Score. Neighbourhoods with a high Walk Score (meaning 90 to 100) are ones where daily errands can be run without a car. Neighbourhoods with a low Walk Score (0 to 24) means that running daily errands would most likely require that you have a vehicle.

 

The 5 most walkable neighbourhoods in Calgary based on Walk Score

Source: Rankings determined by Walk Score, a private company that measures walkability by calculating the distance to amenities.

It’s probably no surprise that the most walkable neighbourhoods in Calgary are all inner city ‘hoods.

 

The 5 least walkable neighbourhoods in Calgary based on Walk Score

Source: Rankings determined by Walk Score, a private company that measures walkability by calculating the distance to amenities.

These neighbourhoods are all on the outskirts of the city.


Calgary is a city with nearly 800 kilometres of pathways and plenty of green spaces and parks — one of which is more three times as big as Stanley Park in Vancouver. (That’s Fish Creek Provincial Park.)

 

The 5 best neighbourhoods for access to parks and pathways

Source: Because there are so many parks in Calgary, Avenue created a point system to determine this. Looking at a City of Calgary map, the major parks and pathways in Calgary were identified. Neighbourhoods were then allocated points based on their proximity to these major parks and pathways.

Live in Scenic Acres and you’re within walking distance of Baker Park, Bowmont Park, Bowness Park and the river pathway system — ride your bike and you’ll reach Edworthy Park and Shouldice Park in no time at all.

 

5 Calgary parks you should check out

Bowmont Park

Size: 164 hectares

Park highlights: This is a destination park for trail runners and mountain bikers. You’ll also get great views of WinSport from the top of the cliff face, and if you know where to find it, you’ll get a waterfall view, too.

 

Bowness Park

Size: 30 hectares

Park highlights: Spend a day at this park walking the pathways, enjoying a picnic and renting a boat from the Boat House, operated by the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre. You’ll also find Seasons of Bowness, the park’s new teahouse.

 

Fish Creek Park

Size: 1,350 hectares

Park highlights: After walking, hiking, biking or bird watching in this park, take a dip at the Sikome Aquatic Facility, enjoy a snack from Annie’s Bakery or have dinner at the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant.

 

North and South Glenmore Park

Size: 84 hectares (North Glemore Park); 347 hectares (South Glenmore Park)

Park highlights: Stick to the paved pathways or explore the trails in the Weaselhead. You’ll get some great views of the Glenmore Reservoir, and if it’s a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Rocky Mountains too.

 

Nose Hill Park

Size: 1,129 hectares

Park highlights: There are plenty of designated off-leash areas, single-track trails for the trail running or mountain biking enthusiasts, and paved pathways. You’ll also find a sacred aboriginal landmark in the southeast corner of the park.

 

Where to walk in Calgary

Exploring Calgary doesn’t have to mean sticking to the parks. (And it certainly doesn’t need to be done from inside your car.) We spoke with Lori Beattie, the author of Calgary’s Best Walks, the owner and guide of Fit Frog Adventures and the host of CTV Mornings Walking Wednesdays, to learn a little more about her favourite walks in the city. Her advice: “Don’t think about your ‘hood as not walkable. Just get out there, connect with your city and approach it like you would travelling in a new city.”

Here are just six walks she loves. (The maps below are made to represent the walks in Beattie’s book as accurately as possible. For details of the exact walks Beattie suggests, see Calgary’s Best Walks.)

Lori Beattie’s favourite destination walks

According to Beattie, a great destination walk is one that has a lot of variety — variety in the topography you’re walking and variety in the architecture you’re passing by. When you’re purposely heading somewhere for a walk, it won’t be a place that’s uniform, but rather one that has a few surprises.

 

Sandy Beach — Elbow Park — Britannia

Calgary neighbourhoods you’ll walk through: Britannia, Elbow Park, Mount Royal, Riverdale

Distance: 8 km

Estimated walking time: 1.5 hours

You have to stop here:
Stop and admire the view of the city and of the natural areas surrounding the Elbow River from the viewpoint at River Park.

Grab a snack here: Grab an ice cream cone from Village Ice Cream in Britannia Plaza.

Just one reason why Beattie loves this walk: 
“This walk is a great combination of natural and urban spaces. You’ll walk through trails and up a hidden staircase, but can also make a stop at Britannia Plaza to shop at Owl’s Nest Books.”

 

Riley Park — Kensington — McHugh Bluff

Calgary neighbourhoods you’ll walk through: Hillhurst, Eau Claire, Chinatown, Crescent Heights, Sunnyside

Distance: 7 km

Estimated walking time: 1.5 hours

You have to stop here: Take a rest at McHugh Bluff and take in the views.

Grab a snack here:
Grab a coffee or a snack at Vendome Café. Or take a longer break and have lunch. (Beattie’s must-have dish from Vendome when she’s on this walk is the duck Panini.)

Just one reason why Beattie loves this walk: 
“You walk through some green spaces and off-leash areas and you see some quirky art and houses. With the nature, the shopping, the coffee shops and restaurants, there’s just so much variety.”

 

Inglewood — East Village RiverWalk — Bridgeland

Keep in mind that the Zoo Bridge is under construction, so you will probably need to stray from Beattie’s exact walk. 

Calgary neighbourhoods you’ll walk through: Inglewood, Ramsay, Bridgeland, East Village

Distance: 7 km

Estimated walking time: 1.5 hours

You have to stop here:
St. Patrick’s Island. Spend some time exploring the new park, whether that means having a picnic on The Rise or taking the kids to the playground.

Grab a snack here:
You’re spoiled for choice if you stop into the Simmons Building. You can get a baked treat from Sidewalk Citizen, a coffee from Phil & Sebastian or have lunch at Charbar.

Just one reason why Beattie loves this walk: 
“There are lots of people along this route so there’s a really good energy.”

 

Lori Beattie’s favourite under-the-radar walks

Just because a neighbourhood doesn’t rank highly in terms of walkability doesn’t mean there’s nowhere to walk to — you’ll still find some gems by foot even if you can’t walk to get your groceries or walk to the movie theatre. According to Beattie, the edge of a neighbourhood can have some phenomenal finds if you know where to look (and where to walk to).

Fish Creek and Douglasdale Escarpment

Calgary neighbourhoods you’ll walk by: Douglasdale

Distance: 10 km

Estimated walking time: 2 hours

You have to stop here: On a clear day, you’ll get fantastic views of the Rockies from the escarpment. And in the spring and summer, you can see pelicans on the Bow River.

Grab a snack here:
Continue onto the Bow Valley Ranche route and you’ll reach Annie’s Café, a cute spot for a coffee, a sandwich or an ice cream cone.

Just one reason why Beattie loves this walk: 
“This is a long but simple walk. It’s a great walk for getting into nature and just relaxing with your own thoughts.”

 

Twelve Mile Coulee Natural Environment Park

Start this walk in the parking lot just off of Tuscany Boulevard. You’ll begin on high ground before descending to the shaded coulee trail. There are many trails out of the coulee so the length of this nature walk can be adjusted. For a detailed map of this route, see Calgary’s Best Walks

Calgary neighbourhoods you’ll walk by: Tuscany

Distance: 6 km

Estimated walking time: 1 hour but this walk can easily be extended

You have to stop here:
Take some time to graze on Saskatoon berries and let the kids creek hop.

Just one reason why Beattie loves this walk: 
“I think this walk is a surprise. Many wouldn’t think you’d find a nature walk between Stoney Trail and Tuscany.”

 

Roxboro — Erlton — Ramsay

Calgary neighbourhoods you’ll walk through: Roxboro, Erlton, Ramsay, Mission

Distance: 8 km

Estimated walking time: 1.5 hours

You have to stop here:
Spend some time admiring the Reader Rock Garden.

Grab a snack here:
Café Rosso in Ramsay is the halfway point of this walk. Stop here to refuel.

Just one reason why Beattie loves this walk: 
“I think people are often surprised by how easy it is to walk between all these neighbourhoods, as we often think of Macleod Trail as dividing them.”

To find out about more of Lori Beattie’s favourite walks in the city, read Calgary’s Best Walks. Learn about all things walking by following Lori on facebook/calgarysbestwalks or learn about her guided urban walks and mountain hikes and custom treks at fitfrog.ca.


Here’s a quick look at what crime looked like in Calgary neighbourhoods in 2015.

 

The Calgary neighbourhoods with the lowest crime rate per capita in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

 

The 5 neighbourhoods with the highest crime rate per capita in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

The neighbourhood with the highest number of actual crimes in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

(Crimes counted include non-domestic assault, commercial robbery, street robbery, non-domestic violence, residential break and enter, commercial break and enter, theft of vehicle, theft from vehicle, social disorder and physical disorder.) When it comes to the number of actual crimes committed, the Beltline is way out front. The neighbourhood with the second highest number of total crimes committed in 2015 was the Downtown Commercial Core with 623, then Dover with 448.

 

The neighbourhood with the lowest number of actual crimes in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

(Crimes counted include non-domestic assault, commercial robbery, street robbery, non-domestic violence, residential break and enter, commercial break and enter, theft of vehicle, theft from vehicle, social disorder and physical disorder.) Compare Greenwood and the Beltline. Greenwood had less than 1 per cent of the total number of crimes committed in 2015 in the Beltline.

Other neighbourhoods with very low crime in 2015 include Bayview (7 total crimes in 2015), Bel-Aire (9) and Scarboro-Sunalta West (10).

 

Which neighbourhoods had the most residential break and enters in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

The mean average of residential break and enters across all Calgary neighbourhoods in 2015 was 22. The total number of residential break and enters across all neighbourhoods in 2015 was 5,013. A few of the neighbourhoods with the least break and enters that year include Alyth/Bonnybrook (1), Franklin (1) and Highfield (2).

 

Which neighbourhoods had the most street robberies in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

Street robberies in the Downtown Commercial Core and the Beltline together accounted for 14 per cent of the total number of street robberies in Calgary in 2015. The total number of street robberies in Calgary in 2015 was 457. The mean average across all neighbourhoods in 2015 was 2.7.

 

Which neighbourhoods had the most violent crime (non-domestic) in 2015

Source: Calgary Police statistical reports — 2015 Community Crime Statistics.

In 2015, the mean average of violent crimes (non-domestic) across all neighbourhoods was 4.


The 50 best neighbourhoods in Calgary in 2016.

1.    Beltline

2.    Brentwood

3.    Dalhousie

4.    Acadia

5.    Hillhurst

6.    Signal Hill

7.    Arbour Lake

8.    Riverbend

9.    Bridgeland/Riverside

10.    Scenic Acres

11.    Windsor Park

12.    Huntington Hills

13.    Upper Mount Royal

14.    Vista Heights

15.    Renfrew

16.    Ogden

17.    Banff Trail

18.    Hounsfield Heights/Briar Hill

19.    Sunnyside

20.    Haysboro

21.    Downtown Commercial Core

22.    Southwood

23.    Rundle

24.    Bowness

25.    Sunalta

26.    Downtown East Village

27.    Tuxedo Park

28.    Scarboro/Sunalta West

29.    Altadore

30.    Lake Bonavista

31.    Shawnessy

32.    Wildwood

33.    Albert Park/Radisson Heights

34.    Marlborough

35.    Inglewood

36.    Crescent Heights

37.    Silver Springs

38.    Pineridge

39.    Rosedale

40.    North Glenmore Park

41.    Montgomery

42.    McKenzie Towne

43.    Ranchlands

44.    Rosscarrock

45.    Mount Pleasant

46.    Glamorgan

47.    Varsity

48.    Downtown West End

49.    Lakeview

50. Christie Park

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