As an older, established Calgary community, Dalhousie is packed with mature trees, large yards and beautiful green spaces. Courtesy Dalhousie Community Association
March 05, 2021 | Andrea Cox
Best of both worlds: Aspen Woods captures inner-city energy on Calgary's western edgeNestled on the west side of the city, the upscale community of Aspen Woods has it all – a bevy of amenities, pockets of Aspen groves, picturesque ponds, stunning mountain views and a selection of home designs.
Jeannie Sturdy, interior designer and owner of Sturdy Design Co., lives just steps away from Aspen in Signal Hill. Her son goes to school in Aspen and many of her design clients are either in the process of renovating or building a home in this coveted west-Calgary community.
"I spend a great deal of time in Aspen and there is just so much here – workout studios, awesome grocery shops like Blush Lane and Cobs Bread, and a ton of restaurants," she said. "On a Friday night we just zip up to Mercato West for a great dinner. It's so convenient. We rarely go downtown anymore."
Aspen Landing, located at the confluence of 17th Avenue and 85th Street S.W., offers an array of shopping and dining options, including boutique clothing stores, organic food retailers, specialty wine shops, a multitude of restaurants, medical facilities, gas stations, a Starbucks and a Safeway. And just down the road, on 85th Street past Bow Trail, West Springs features even more places to shop and eat, including Mercato West, Vin Room and Co-op.
The area also includes a selection of schools, including several public elementary and middle schools, the new Ernest Manning High School, and a collection of private schools – Rundle College, Webber Academy and Calgary Academy.
Beyond the amenities in the West Springs and Aspen area, residents are also only 10 kilometres from downtown Calgary, putting an inner-city lifestyle well within reach.
"We moved here from the inner city and my husband was hesitant because he thought it was suburbia and so far from downtown where he works, but after a month of living here, he was like, 'wow, it is so close – only ten minutes to work and so convenient.' Everything is here," said Sturdy. "I thought it was quite funny because the perception is that it is suburbia, but it is so close to the core."
We moved here from the inner city and my husband was hesitant because he thought it was suburbia and so far from downtown where he works, but after a month of living here, he was like, 'wow, it is so close – only ten minutes to work and so convenient.' Everything is here.
Sturdy says that most of her Aspen clients are young, growing families that were drawn to the community because of the large homes, nearby schools and overall convenience.
Jana Masters purchased a home in Wentworth for many of those reasons. "We were living in Cougar Ridge, and as our kids got older, we needed more space, and we moved for schooling," she said. Her children can now walk to both the elementary and middle school.
But schools are not the only amenity within walking distance. "We will go downtown if there is a new restaurant that we want to check out, but we are within walking distance of three great places to grab a drink and something to eat. We can walk to get groceries and to take our boys for ice cream – we really value that," said Masters, adding that the "walkability" of the community lends itself to healthy living and connecting with neighbours.
For those who enjoy the mountains, Aspen is a hop, skip and a jump from Highway 1 and the road to the Rockies. It is also close to Canada Olympic Park and the Westside Recreation Centre, which has something for every member of the family between its swimming pools, skating rinks, climbing wall and workout facilities.
Aspen's location is also handy for those who work downtown. Masters and her husband both commute to offices in the core – her husband drives and she takes the CTrain. "It's stress free," she said. "I get to hop on the train and head into work. It's a very easy commute."