Sunnyside Calgary - More to Offer than You Think
So if I’ve heard this question once – I have heard it a million times. Ok, maybe not a million. Here it is: what’s the difference between the Calgary community of Kensington and Sunnyside. Actually, as it happens, not much. Kensington is a business district that crosses the communities of Hillhurst and Sunnyside. So when you hear someone say that they LOVE Kensington – they are really referring to four blocks that include shops, restaurants, pubs, and yes – even a cat café. But THAT is for another day. These four blocks are technically in Sunnyside (and Hillhurst). SO now that we have a basic understanding of what-is-what, let's dive into what makes Sunnyside one of the best communities to live in. And why you should live here. Are you ready?
Fun Fact: Sunnyside is considered to be an inner-city community and just a stone’s throw off the downtown core. So if you have been called back to work – and you work downtown – living in this community will shorten your commute. You can walk. You can bike. You will cross the STUNNING Peace Bridge (well, stunning, for a bridge) – and you might even forget that you are on your way to work. But don’t take my word for it….Avenue Magazine ranked Sunnyside as the 4th best overall neighbourhood in 2020. Not sure what happened in 2021…..
I could technically ramble on (and on) about all of the things to do in Sunnyside, but I don’t want to bore you. So I am narrowing the scope down to my fav places to go and socialize (with drink and food in hand) while taking in the culture and enjoying green space. If you are looking for the ultimate shopping and escape room guide - this blog isn’t for you 😊
I was JUST there! And with a little luck, I will be going back on Friday – fingers crossed that the patio will be open. Oh, Hayden Block – where do I start. MEAT and WHISKEY. Do I have your attention yet? This restaurant is considered one of the best barbecue spots in Calgary – and the feel of the place is second to none. Located right across from the Plaza Theatre, you have the choice of sitting in the back of the restaurant where the owners have crafted a unique dining (indoor patio) experience. An airy, open bright space that feels like you are outside – with the benefit of not being bothered by bugs. Or lathering on sunscreen. This is my fav place to sit and order turkey breast, brisket, roasted beet and broccoli salad, and cornbread. Oh, the cornbread! Before there is full judgement, note that I am sharing these sides with friends. Probably the toughest decision that is to be made here is what sauce to pour on the meat. Try the Expresso sauce – it will not disappoint. And of course, there are plenty of choices of whiskey and if you prefer a tall, cold one…well, you will be spoiled for choice. Be prepared to have leftovers – just don’t forget the takeaway when you leave.
Crave Cupcakes or Pie Junkie?
Cake or pie? How about both. Chances are you prefer one or the other, but I guarantee that you may not reach a consensus with your friends/family on this one– so best to pick up both. Crave Cookies and Cupcakes is the brainchild of two local sisters who know how to make a mean vegan, gluten-free and classic cupcake. But that’s not all – this flagship store also offers cake decorating classes and other favourite bakery items. No peanut allergies? Grab the ‘Nutty Over Chocolate’ cupcake – a granny’s chocolate cake recipe with peanut buttercream icing. I’m not salivating – you’re salivating. Decision time: big cupcakes or small? This isn’t a test. There is no right answer.
If you are in ‘need’ of savoury or sweet pies this is the only stop you will have to make in Sunnyside. Pie Junkie is a labour of love, created by Nancy and her dedicated friend, Jo-Anne. Although I love sweet treats, when I enter the little hole-in-the-wall shop just around the corner from Red’s Diner, I admit that I’m unable to resist the Steak & Mushroom and Chicken Pot pies. And when I cannot decide what I want, I pick up a couple of pies AND the Thai Carrot Ginger soup. Who doesn’t love leftovers?
So you may never have heard of this park which is CRAZY because it is considered to be one of Calgary’s best destination parks. What does it mean to be a ‘destination park’? It is basically a place where you NEED to go – and when you get there, you’ll love it so much you will want to linger. The park is just south of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Jubilee Auditorium. You cannot miss it. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you will find something to amuse yourself at Riley Park. It is home to the Calgary Cricket League – and if you don’t play, you can still watch. It. Is. Fascinating. Bring your cupcakes and pies with you and plant yourself close enough to learn the sport – and far enough to be safe. There is also plenty of green space to explore and if you are really lucky, you will be able to take in a free performance at the outdoor auditorium. If you head towards 10th Street NW and slightly up the hill you will discover the Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Gardens. An ideal place to stop and take some photos – if you can wait your turn with the abundance of newlyweds posing for their special day photos. Not sure if you have kiddos or not, but if you do, this place will be your go-to park during the summer months. Riley Park has a wading pool, spray park and outdoor pool. Opened from mid-June until the fall, you can bring the whole family and spend a lazy day in the water. Oh – and there are picnic tables and a playground. And washrooms. Cannot forget the washrooms.
No. This isn’t a typo. The ContainR Site in Sunnyside is innovation at its finest. It is an outdoor art park and performance venue with more than 7,000 square feet in what had previously been a pretty sad and empty city-owned lot. It is a pop-up art and cultural gathering space developed and designed by Springboard Performance. Haven’t heard of them? You are in for a treat. Springboard Performance curates local talent and makes art accessible to everyone. The Park features an Art Park, performance series, and community and mural installations. It is a gathering space for those who want to explore all things creative. You can find it at 1020-2 Avenue NW. Look for the shipping container. And a giant colourful mural on the side of it.
So what do you think? Is it worth a look? Sunnyside is for anyone (and everyone). Yes, there are schools. And grocery stores. And book stores. And a theatre. And liquor stores. And gyms. And a café with tons of cats in it. And I haven’t even mentioned the cannabis shops yet. So get off of your couch and find your way to Sunnyside – you will not be disappointed.
Sunnyside Calgary Real Estate and Homes for Sale
Do you think Sunnyside may be the place for you to live? Check out Sunnyside Homes for Sale to see what is available.