Calgary’s Best Neighbourhoods 2019: Top 10 Lists

The best neighbourhoods in Calgary for parks, access to restaurants, walkability and more.

When we asked Calgarians to tell us what makes a neighbourhood a great place to live in our 2019 Best Neighbourhoods survey, they told us these six characteristics were the most important. The scores for each characteriestic were used to determine the best overall neighbourhood rankings and here are the top 10 neighbourhoods in Calgary for park space and pathways, access to supermarkets, grocery stores and food markets, Walk Score, access to restaurants, coffee shops and bars, community engagement and public recreation facilities.

Best Neighbourhoods for Park Space and Pathways

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger.

A high proportion of park space and pathways was identified in the 2019 Best Neighbourhoods survey as the most important characteristic in a great neighbourhood. For pathways, we scored neighbourhoods on access to regional pathways (part of City-wide network), local pathways (secondary route within communities) and trails (unpaved pathways recognized by the City). That data was collected from Open Calgary. For parks access, we considered the size of parks, the number of smaller green spaces that the City does not provide size data on and the parks adjacent to communities. Data was collected from City of Calgary Parks. Based on our survey, the weighting of importance in the Best Neighbourhoods survey results is 15.3.

1. Huntington Hills 66

2. Varsity 63

3. Riverbend 62

4. Collingwood 58

5. Beddington Heights 57

6. Mckenzie Lake 56

7. Scenic Acres 55

7. Woodbine 55

9. Cambrian Heights 54

9. Canyon Meadows 54


Best Neighbourhoods for Access to Supermarkets, Grocery Stores and Food Markets

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger.

Using the City of Calgary’s business license data, found on Open Calgary, we gave varying points based on the number of supermarkets, grocery stores, food markets and convenience stores within a neighbourhood. The weighting of importance for access to supermarkets, grocery stores and food markets in the 2019 Best Neighbourhoods survey is 14.8.


1. Beltline 92

2. Arbour Lake 79

3. Mckenzie Towne 74

3. Shawnessy 74

3. Signal Hill 74

6. Brentwood 62

7. Haysboro 58

8. Deer Ridge 53

8. Manchester 53

10. Thorncliffe 50

10 Neighbourhoods with the Highest Walk Score

Walk Score measures the walkability of a neighbourhood based on the percentage of daily errands that can be accomplished on foot in the area. Walk Score is a private company based in Seattle, Washington, and it provides a complete list of both Walk Scores and Transit Scores for Calgary neighbourhoods on its website. A score of 90 to 100 means daily errands don’t require a car and a score between 70 and 89 means most errands can be done on foot. The weighting of importance for walkability in the 2019 Best Neighbourhoods survey is 13.6.

1. Chinatown 95

2. Downtown Commercial Core 93

3. Cliff Bungalow 92

4. Eau Claire 91

5. Beltline 90

5. Downtown West End 90

7. Lower Mount Royal 86

7. Downtown East Village 86

9. Sunnyside 85

9. Hillhurst 85

Best Neighbourhoods for Access to Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Bars and Pubs

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger.

Using the City of Calgary’s business license data, found on Open Calgary, we gave points based on the number of full service restaurants, cafes and bars within a neighbourhood. Neighbourhoods with 30 or more restaurants were considered a “dining district” and 1/3 of their total point value was also given to each adjacent neighbourhood. We also asked respondents what was the ideal number of restaurants in a neighbourhood for it to be considered a great neighbourhood — the answer was between 8 and 46. The weighting of importance for restaurants, cafes and bars in the 2019 Best Neighbourhoods survey is 10.5.

1. Downtown Commercial Core 462

2. Beltline 418

3. Downtown East Village 287

4. Downtown West End 226

5. Sunnyside 206

6. Crescent Heights 180

7. Chinatown 160

7. Eau Claire 160

9. Inglewood 140

10. Lower Mount Royal 139

Best Neighbourhoods for Strong Community Engagement

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger.

We created a point system focusing on the idea that a neighbourhood where neighbours run into each other more often is more engaged. Points were calculated using percentage of households with a dog, percentage of bike and walking commuters and percentage of owner-occupied dwellings, all collected from the 2016 and 2017 Civic Census. We also added access to pathways, number of playgrounds and libraries, all using data from Open Calgary. Data on community association membership levels and the activities of the community association were collected from the Federation of Calgary Communities and was also used in our point system. The weighting of importance for community engagement in the overall survey results is 9.3.

1. Huntington Hills 195.85

2. Mckenzie Lake 181.88

3. Lake Bonavista 169.79

4. Hillhurst 169.08

5. Pineridge 162.98

6. New Brighton 150.42

7. Woodbine 148.90

8. Scenic Acres 143.93

9. Altadore 143.35

10. Brentwood 141.97

Best Neighbourhoods for Public Recreation Facilities

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger.

We included public leisure centres, art centres, aquatic and fitness centres, outdoor pools and rinks, athletic parks, multi-sport facilities, tennis courts and lakes. A point system was created so larger, more diverse facilities received more points. We evaluated neighbourhoods based on the facilities inside its borders and in adjacent neighbourhoods. Recreation facilities within neighbourhood borders received more points than recreation facilities adjacent to a neighbourhood. Data was collected from Open Calgary and the Federation of Calgary Communities. (Private lakes were considered recreational facilities for the home community but not for adjacent neighbourhoods.) The weighting of importance for recreation facilities in the overall survey results is 7.7.

1. Montgomery 132

2. Varsity 126

3. University of Calgary 124

4. University Heights 119

5. Mayland Heights 106

6. Acadia 104

7. Hillhurst 98

7. Pineridge 98

9. Brentwood 97

9. Silver Springs 97

Illustration by Raymond Biesinger.

More 2019 Best Neighbourhoods


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This article appears in the August 2019 issue of Avenue Calgary.

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