In the dry Alberta climate, open water is at a premium, and the residents of Lake Bonavista have their own little oasis in southeast Calgary. With two man-made lakes just steps away – Lake Bonavista and Lake Bonaventure – residents enjoy exclusive access to swimming, fishing, boating and beach lounging in the summer and skating and shinny games in the winter.
Developed by Keith Construction in the late 1960s, Lake Bonavista’s community-focused waters set the precedent for future lakeside developments in Calgary. More than 40 years later, the suburban neighbourhood has settled and matured. Streets lined with leafy trees shelter well-aged bungalows and there’s an abundance of shops and services to match. From the speciality stores in the Avenida Shopping Centre to Lake Bonavista Promenade in its heart, this neighbourhood has a lot to offer.
Where to Shop
Expressions Ladies Consignment
Expressions’ fashions cater to a wide age range, from teenagers and businesswomen to seniors. With new clothes arriving daily, it’s worth a repeat visit.
(115, 12100 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-278-0966)
From fishing rods and waders to hundreds of fishing flies, Fish Tales supplies avid fishers with the gear they need to catch the next big one.
(626, 12100 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-640-1273)
Find fun, kitschy giftware, including sassy cocktail napkins, and pick up a fresh or frozen meal, such as chicken pot pie or lasagna, as well as pre-made appetizers and desserts.
(111, 755 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-271-4287)
Where to Eat
Brewsters’ small-batch, handcrafted brews make this neighbourhood pub unique. Brunch, lunch and dinner include pub staples such as burgers, steak, pizza and nachos.
(176, 755 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-225-2739)
Find casual surf and turf at this restaurant and lounge in the big blue house. Enjoy lobster dinner, filet mignon or a simple bison burger by the cozy fireplace.
(13226 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-271-4111)
For more than 20 years, La Piccola has served up hearty, traditional Italian fare for lunch and dinner, like handmade gnocchi and veal parmigiana.
(105, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., 403-278-2282)
With a patio on the lake and floor-to-ceiling windows, Newport Grill offers lovely year-round lakeside dining, including beef tenderloin, braised lamb shanks and chicken supreme.
(205, 747 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-271-6711)
This cozy caf specializes in pies of all kinds. Sit and enjoy a slice or take home a whole pie from a rotating list of 100 flavours, including apple, cherry, berry and peach.
(611, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., 403-271-6616)
Things to Do
Learn to kick, throw and karate chop. With classes for adults, kids and families, 5 Elements will help everyone in your household get into fighting shape.
(428, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., 403-201-8825)
Sign up for jewellery-making classes for all skill levels and shop an extensive selection of beads, clasps, tools and how-to books.
(169, 755 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-278-5056)
With a variety of class styles, from energizing flow to relaxing restorative, Breathe is a hot yoga studio for all levels.
(321, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., 403-264-9642)
Afternoon and evening shows for $5. You won’t find 3-D here, but it’s an inexpensive opportunity to see second-run shows on the big screen.
(110, 13226 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-670-5444)
This paint-your-own ceramic studio has no studio fees, which means you can come back as many times as you like to finish your hand-painted work of art for free.
(226, 12100 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-225-2056)
Enjoy a spa service solo, including the aromatherapy massage or glacial mud wrap, or bring someone special for a side-by-side couples treatment, such as the aroma wrap for two.
(234, 755 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-815-8660)
This spa offers five categories of treatments to balance the mind, body, spirit and emotions, including the Deep Peace aromatherapy massage, Face of an Angel facial and the Perfect Balance whole-body treatment.
(206, 12445 Lake Fraser Dr. S.E., 403-271-2237)
Close to the shores of Lake Bonavista, Yoga for Health offers Iyengar-style yoga, rooted in precise alignment, in an airy space full of natural light.
(111, 747 Lake Bonavista Dr. S.E., 403-457-4070)