(Photo of 6431 33 Ave NW: More photos at http://www.calgaryrealestate.pro/listing/c4123915-6431-33-av-nw-calgary-alberta-t3b-1k9/ )
Sitting in the western part of the city of Calgary is a neighbourhood that is very small town in its appeal and approach to life. This could very well be that old habits die hard, as Bowness was once a little town all its own. Today, it is a very diverse area of town, boasting both condominiums and $4 million mansions sometimes down or across the street from each other, but the area has earned its eccentricities as it has a rich and varied history.
The area we know as Bowness was first settled by various First Nations tribes and then, with land deals and the like was mostly owned by a rancher. It became a village back in 1948 and a town in 1951 and by 1964 Calgary was growing at such a pace that a vote happened to see if the folks who called Bowness home would like to become a part of the city proper or stay a small town. The votes came in, and the majority of the people wanted to become a part of the bigger picture so the town of Bowness was no more.
Today, Bowness is a neighbourhood in Calgary, and although it is part of the city of Calgary it still sees itself very much as a small town. It has a main street with quaint little boutiques, family run businesses and restaurants, and it has its very own festivals and annual events. Each Stampede they host a Lions Club Stampede Parade and Breakfast, each July is the Tour de Bowness and the second week in September it is home to the Harvest Fair.
Bowness is bordered by the Bow River to the north and east, 16th Avenue to the south and Stoney Trail to the west. It is home to one of Calgary’s most loved parks in Bowness Park and it is a short ten minute commute to downtown. It has its own schools (High schools, Jr. High schools, elementary schools on the public side and a K-9 Catholic school as well) its own places of worship and, because it is a mature neighbourhood it has its share of infills.
Infills are popular in the older neighbourhoods of big cities as they bring new buildings into existing lots. Because homes were built smaller generations ago, sometimes there is a big piece of land with a tiny house on it. In other cases, lots were large but get cut into smaller pieces and some pieces of land get transferred from owner to owner. To regenerate these neighbourhoods, people purchase a small house and then knock it down and start over. While you may think all infills are tall and skinny houses, they aren’t all in that style, as it all depends on the lot size they have to work with. What you get with an infill is a custom inner city home that is unique to the area and to you, with all the advantages of living in an older community.
Infill houses offer the residents a great walkable neighbourhood in close proximity to downtown, great access to the pathway system and the greenspaces, mature trees and landscaping on the streets, a higher population density, amenities aplenty already in place and both work and entertainment a stone’s throw away. Gone are the long commutes and back is the time with the family. Infill homes can be attached or semi-detached and come with amazing floor plans and custom details that some find hard to pass up.
Amenities in Bowness include several restaurants like Spoonful, a Chinese and Thai restaurant, the White Rose Vegetarian Kitchen, Seasons of Bowness Park which offers both a sit down restaurant and a fresh market takeout in the heart of the natural beauty of Bowness Park and Notable, named one of the Ten Best in the city.
Notable is at 4611 Bowness Road and is a 125 seat restaurant that has menus that cover brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, and gluten aware. They also have a Gourmet 2 Go feature where you can take great quality food home with you and group dining capacities for families or business meetings. Local growers and suppliers make sure that the food is as fresh as it can be when it reaches your plate.
Bowness’s gem however may just be Bowness Park, a 30 hectare nature reserve that is located at 8900 48th Avenue. It is open from 5am-11pm daily and has not only the aforementioned restaurant but also a tea house, pathways, shelters, Bow River access, fire pits, a wading pool, a boat house and skate shop and a lagoon which is great for splashing and boating in the summer and ice skating come winter. There are also trails for cross country skiing, hiking and biking depending on the season. People come from all over the city to picnic, hike and get back to nature, all within the city proper.
Bowness is a community that has it all. Older homes and infills, small town feel in the big city, walkability and amenities galore, and while she may be an older community she is a great one too; one that may be the perfect fit for your family.