Courtesy Jennifer and Mike Elliott
Jan. 10, 2018 | Andrea Cox
Jennifer and Mike Elliott created their perfect home alongside nature in Woodbine
When Jennifer and Mike Elliott moved to Calgary from Regina with their two young children 20 years ago, they had several must-haves on their home wish list. Namely, the home had to be in an area that was child-friendly, and close to schools, parks and mature trees. They purchased a four-bedroom home in Woodbine with an old-world front porch, just minutes from Fish Creek Park. Now that their kids are grown, they have renovated their home top to bottom, including a new kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, lighting and furniture. The final stage was completed last year – a brand new art studio and gallery for Mike, who has shifted his career focus from the oil and gas industry to art.
How did you find your home and how did you know that it was the home for you?
We only had a weekend to buy, and there wasn't a lot on the market at the time. We loved this home from the outside. With its cheerful yellow exterior and welcoming front porch, it was different from all the homes on the street. We knew it would require work at some point, but was liveable for now.
Did you look at a variety of homes, in a selection of neighbourhoods?
As I mentioned, there wasn't too much on the market at that time, but we knew we liked the south part of the city. We looked at Lake Bonavista, but homes at the time were either too pricey or needed too much work. We also looked in Woodlands, Douglasdale and Canyon Meadows.
Your home is close to Fish Creek Park. How has that influenced your lives and your lifestyle?
Fish Creek has been amazing to live close to. We walk there almost every day. When the kids were young, we biked, hiked, sledded, picnicked, and had hot dog and marshmallow roasts.
We don't back directly onto the park, but we are close – about a three-minute walk. Fish Creek has been amazing to live close to. We walk there almost every day. When the kids were young, we biked, hiked, sledded, picnicked, and had hot dog and marshmallow roasts.
In just a couple of minutes, you feel like you are out of the city in a large forest. We have often walked over to the Bow Valley Ranche restaurant for dinner or Annie's Café for tea on the other side of the park. The view of the mountains from above the park is incredible. And our children grew up living close to tons of wildlife, such as deer, coyotes, moose, rabbits, bobcats and cougars, not to mention a large variety of birds.
Can you talk a little bit about winter activities in your area?
You can cross-country ski or snowshoe in the park or in any of the schoolyards. And there is a skating rink in the community. When the kids were younger, we would use it quite a bit. We used to toboggan down the hill in Fish Creek Park or at the schoolyard. But, we mostly just walk now.
Do you see yourselves staying in the home right through retirement?
We see ourselves staying here for several years, until we decide the stairs could be an issue. Most of the neighbours have lived here for years as well, so the neighbourhood is very comfortable, and we would especially miss Fish Creek Park if we were to leave.
The layout of the home is perfect for us at this time, with ample room to entertain, have company stay with us or have the kids come home for visits. The yard is a lovely spot to relax in, with lots of trees and beautiful flowers we have cultivated over the years.
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