Downtown West End Calgary - An Ideal Place to Live for All Ages
A picture is worth a thousand words. Downtown West End is a community nestled on the western corner of Downtown Calgary. It is a high density community primarily composed of high-rise residential condominiums. It is bounded on the north by the Bow river - a playground for rafters and paddle boarders, and is bounded on the east by the Downtown Commercial Core - Calgary’s dense business district.
The typical West End resident would say it is situated in a perfect downtown location as it allows quick access to the Commercial Core as well as west to the mountains. Although these are great reasons to make the Downtown West End your home, there is so much more. I have compiled a list of my favourite things about this community. Take a look.
Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
Transit Oriented Development is defined as a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transport. It promotes a symbiotic relationship between dense, compact urban and public transportation.
The Downtown West End is like TOD on steroids. At its heart is the Downtown West - Kerby LRT Station. Every resident of the Downtown West End is literally 5 minutes by foot to the Kerby LRT Station. From there the world is their oyster, as they have access to all quadrants of the city. And there is a free downtown zone.
Don't have a car? This is the ideal community for you. And if you have one, you can just leave it in your condo underground parking because you will find little use for it.
Shaw Millenium Skate Park
I passed by the skate park the other day and it was bustling with youths of all ages demonstrating their skateboarding prowess. Shaw Millennium Park was established in 2000 - hence the name and is the largest skate park for skateboarders and in-line skaters in North America. That is impressive. It has 75,000 sq ft of concrete skate park and is broken down into sections based on skill level. To put this into perspective, 75,000 sq ft is 1.3 times the size of an American Football field. There are enough Full pipes, Hubba rails, Flat bars, Shallow bowls, Bathtub bowls and Clover bowls to keep the kids engaged for hours. Granted - I don't exactly know what these are, but your kids will.
The park is designed as a family activity park and additionally houses basketball courts, a beach volleyball court and a stage and amphitheatre. In the summer months, the amphitheatre hosts live outdoor concerts and is known for bringing in diverse performers.
Namsan Authentic Korean Cuisine
After a day of watching the kids in the skate park, you will definitely have the hankering for something good to eat. Why not try local at one of the neighbourhood eateries.
Namsan Authentic Korean Cuisine is just the place to satisfy your appetite for good eats. It has been rated as "by far the most authentic Korean restaurant in Calgary".
The restaurant is an old two-storey house conversion located just east of the Marquis condominium on the same block. The kitchen is on the main floor and the seating is on the second floor.
Namsan is known for its outstanding customer service, great tasting food, large portions and reasonable prices. It is more than just a Korean BBQ house as the menu offers up choices of noodles, stir-fried chicken, seafood, soup and stew. Yum, I am getting hungry just writing this. And did I mention the large portions?
Are you of a certain age? The Kerby Centre is a Not-For-Profit Organization whose mandate is to assist older people to live as well as possible for as long as possible as residents in the community by providing information, opportunities, programs and services. The Board of Directors is comprised entirely of seniors and is responsible for the operation of the Centre.
The programs provided include support services such as:
- Day Programs to assist older adults with health challenges who cannot stay on their own without support.
- A Kerby Shelter for men and women over 55 experiencing elder abuse.
- A grocery delivery program.
In addition, courses and events are offered on a weekly basis from playing the ukulele - to learning Zumba - to playing pickleball. Who doesn't love pickleball?
For more info please see Kerby Centre.
University of Calgary
You may be thinking, “post secondary education, that doesn’t sound like fun” but hear me out.
The University of Calgary was established in 1966 as a public research university. The University is based in Calgary and is comprised of 5 campuses. Four are located in the Calgary area and a fifth is in Doha Qatar. The main campus is located in the NW quadrant of the city with a smaller Downtown Campus situated in the Downtown Commercial Core.
Although technically in the Downtown Commercial Core, the Downtown Campus bookends the western boundaries of the Commercial Core and the eastern boundaries of the Downtown West End. An existing medical office building was adapted for use as the Downtown Campus as a collaboration between the U of C and a private owner.
The Campus offers select graduate level and executive education programming through the Haskayne School of Business and The School of Public Policy. Been there done that? Not necessarily. A full suite of Continuing Education courses is also offered which cater towards professional development and personal enrichment. And with over 30,000 ft sq of meeting rooms and a large Event Centre, it is an ideal venue to book meetings/events.
The Downtown West End is within walking distance to this hub for learning of the highest level and residents and businesses in the community are able to take full advantage of what the Campus has to offer.
Contemporary Calgary is a public art gallery housed in the repurposed Centennial Planetarium in the Downtown West End. Their vision is to provide a significant visual arts destination dedicated to modern and contemporary art. For those of you who have been around for a while, it is the "old science centre".
Contemporary Calgary was formed as a non-profit organization in 2013 with the joining of three arts groups - the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of Calgary.
Contemporary Calgary provides local, national and international contemporary art programming. Its hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 12 pm - 7 pm and Sundays from 12 pm - 5 pm. Starting June 23, 2022, daily guided tours of their current exhibitions resume and are FREE with admission. Additional special art events are provided. In fact just this June, Contemporary Calgary hosted "Andy Warhol: One Night Only".
Downtown West End Calgary Real Estate and Homes for Sale
Clearly - the west end of downtown is a gem of a community. See Calgary Downtown Condos for Sale for more information on homes available in the Downtown West End.