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CONTENTS decemBer 2013 | voLume 9 issue 168

65 FOCUS ON 10 Toy story Spread joy this holiday season with toys for the kids and kids-at-heart COvER FEATURE 14 Inglewood life SoBow flows with the easy riverside lifestyle of Inglewood CONDO pROFILES 20 Marda love The Alexander brings convenience and style to Marda Loop 27 Old World glam Vogue strikes a pose for stylish, comfortable true downtown living 32 Pioneering spirit Avi Urban’s The Post opens new opportunities in Calgary’s north

14 COMMUNITY pROFILES 49 Vision accomplished Walden is the eco-friendly, all-ages community it was always envisioned to be LIFESTYLE 54 The call of Cranston Cranston Place is more than just an empty-nester’s home ON TREND 59 Oh Christmas tree design trees like the pros SHOppING 65 2013 Christmas wish list Our top picks for gift shopping this holiday

38 A personalized fit Streetside’s Kintalla townhomes built to fit every lifestyle

NEWS 72 Crunch time Land development crisis not just an election issue

44 Avenue of life Newest West End condo brings fresh sense of energy and style

FEATURES 94 Tales from the condo zone Merry condo Christmas

s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : c e L e B r aT i N g i T s 10 T h Y e a r

COLUMNS 79 Condoscapes by Richard White 81 Ask Maria by Maria Bartolotti 83 Hope at Large by Marty Hope 85 Around Town by Pepper Rodriguez ITEMS 8 Editor’s Message 88 Maps 92 Ad Index

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EDITOR’S MESSAGE | 

Looking back 2013

PUBLISHER

With Christmas fast approaching, and the New Year right behind it, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to contemplate the year that was. It’s fulfilling for me (hopefully, for you the reader, as well) to look back and see the various covers and features we’ve had over those past 12 months and it gives me a sense of satisfaction to see the growth of residential developments in the city charted this way. The past year’s condo profiles attest to remarkable growth everywhere in the city — from fancy downtown high-rises to comfy and attainable townhomes in the suburbs. Growth for the multifamily development industry is all over the map, and the map itself is growing. It is this growth and how to manage it that has actually marked the year, with the intense (often heated) discussions between the City and the industry on just how to go about it. In this final issue for 2013, Jim Zang tries to explain how we got to this point and how things will likely unfold in the coming year(s). It’s difficult to foresee how the tugof-war for Calgary’s growth will play out, but one thing for sure we will be there at the frontlines covering the issue. Our cover this issue illustrates the will of Calgarians in getting back up from June’s devastating floods. SoBow by M2i Developments in Inglewood shows how this inner-city neighbourhood — one of the hardest hit areas in Calgary — fought its way back and has now reclaimed its standing as one of the most liveable neighbourhoods in the city. All six condo profiles compiled in this issue — both inner-city and suburban developments — attest that demand remains strong in the multi-family market. The Post by Avi Urban in Nolan Hill and Kintalla by Streetside in Redstone, present the new face of suburban north Calgary with innovative and attainable townhome designs. While Avenue West by Grosvenor and Cressey development groups, The Alexander by Assured Communities, Vogue by La Caille, and SoBow, all offer the finest inner-city suites. Whether in high-rise tower Next month: complexes or innovative city homes or townhomes, high-density Watch for our homes are in huge demand. The community of Walden in the cover feature on southeast is a microcosm of this growth, and Jessica Patterson Battistella’s explains why. newest offering: Of course, a Christmas issue isn’t a Christmas issue without LIDO. our design tips on setting up your Christmas tree or finding the finest gifts from the hometown shops, we have it all lined up in Jessica Patterson’s On Trend feature and Kathy McCormick’s Shopping story. Aaliya Essa gets in the act with her own line-up of best toys in Focus On. Calgary really is an amazing city, and the range of multi-family options available is nothing short of astounding. I can’t wait to see what other developments are coming down the line.

Source Media Group info@sourcemediagroup.ca ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Jim Zang jim.zang@sourcemediagroup.ca Editor

Pepper Rodriguez pepper.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca ART director

Jean Faye Rodriguez jean.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca graphic designers

Lama Azhari lama.azhari@sourcemediagroup.ca Dave Macaulay dave.macaulay@sourcemediagroup.ca Megan Sereda megan.sereda@sourcemediagroup.ca PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR

Colleen Leier colleen.leier@sourcemediagroup.ca EDITORIAL

Maria Bartolotti, Karen Durrie, Aaliya Essa, Marty Hope, Kathy McCormick, Jessica Patterson, Richard White, Janine Workman, Portia Yip, Jim Zang Photography

Kathy McCormick, Don Molyneaux, Janine Workman ADVERTISING SALES

Al Donegan al.donegan@sourcemediagroup.ca accounting

Donna Roberts accounting@sourcemediagroup.ca DISTRIBUTED BY

Gallant Distribution Services, Media Classified, Source Media Group Issue 168 • ISSN 1918-4409 Copyright 2013 by Source Media Group Corp. Material cannot be reprinted in whole or in part without the expressed written permission of the publishers. Source Media Group agrees to advertise on behalf of the advertiser without responsibility for claims or misinformation made by the advertiser and acts only as an advertising medium. Source Media Group reserves the right to refuse any advertising at its sole discretion. Condo Living® is published 12 times per annum with copies available for distribution at more than 1,500 locations every month. Condo Living® accepts editorial submissions by electronic mail only. Please forward any submissions including all personal information to: cleditor@sourcemediagroup.ca. Unsolicited submissions will not be returned. Advertising information available only by request.

Pepper Rodriguez

Editor pepper.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca

@CondoLivingYYC 8 |

Condo Living® is a registered Trademark the property of Source Media Group Corp. Reg. USPTO 3,584,683 & 3,584,583. Contact: Source Media Group Corp., 207, 5809 Macleod Trail S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2H 0J9; Tel 403.532.3101 Toll free 1.888.932.3101; www.sourcemediagroup.ca

CondoLivingCalgary

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FOCUS ON | By Aaliya Essa

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Toy story Spread joy this holiday season with toys for the kids and kids-at-heart

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| FOCUS ON

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The best part of Christmas Day is seeing the joy in kids’ eyes when they see Santa’s gifts — and by kids we mean kids of all ages. This year find toys they’ll love forever, from superheroes, to trucks, to everybody’s favourite Disney mice. Any of these toys could make anyone believe in Santa. CL

[1] Tribute Kendama 5-hole pink, $34.99 at The Discovery Hut. [2] Ronnie Rocket Wow, $44.95 at Livingstone & Cavell Extraordinary Toys. [3] Beanballz Disney Mickey and Minnie Mouse, $11.99 each at The Discovery Hut. [4] Lego Star Wars-Jabba’s Sail Barge, $149.99 at The Discovery Hut. [5] Lady Bug Tea Set in a Basket, $36.95 at Livingstone & Cavell Extraordinary Toys. [6] The Dark Knight Rises from ARTFX, $150 at Comic-Kazi. [7] Mini red piano, $84.95 at Livingstone & Cavell Extraordinary Toys. [8] Bruder Scania R-Series Liebherr Crane, $127.99 at Castle Toys. [9] Yasira fairy from Schleich, $22.49 at Castle Toys

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| Advertising cover Feature |

Inglewood life SoBow flows with the easy riverside lifestyle of Inglewood

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et by the picturesque banks of the Bow River, bounded by a lush natural environment, it’s easy to see life in Inglewood as an oasis of tranquility in the inner-city. But it’s the combination of these sedate surroundings with its bohemian soul and artistic roots that truly sets this historic, one-of-a-kind community apart. A thriving entertainment scene — replete with boutique stores, live music venues, fine dining establishments and unique art galleries — contributes to make Inglewood an urbane — rather than an urban — centre. Add to that the strong bonds of community that binds everyone that calls this home, and you have all the ingredients for a modern, fulfilling residential environment that nourishes the needs of the body as well as the soul. At the centre of the ebb and flow of life in Inglewood is SoBow, the newest and only multi-family project in the area. Developed by M2i Development Corp., the commmunity is designed to reflect Inglewood’s rich heritage and culture and be a part of the fabric of life found here. SoBow (standing for “South of the Bow”) is in East Inglewood, on a 15-acre parcel of land just off 17 Avenue S.E., nestled between Pearce Estate Park and the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery, and just down the road from the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Aside from its natural setting, Inglewood also has the distinction of being Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood, springing up next to Fort Calgary in 1875. The commercial melting pot of 9th Avenue S.E., formerly Atlantic Avenue, was the city’s first main street, and it retains that Old World flavour today. “We are an organic extension of the community,” says M2i President Iain McCorkindale. “We are very much a lifestyle-oriented development with all the parks and pathways surround-

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ing us, as well as the entertainment and amenities nearby.” David Frid, M2i’s Director of Sales who has called Inglewood home for six years, says the neighbourhood is gaining a reputation as a hotbed for live musical acts. “For me, the best part of living here is the live music — the Ironwood Stage and Grill, the Blues Can to name a few — there are always great bands performing.” “I haven’t found any other neighbourhood that has what Inglewood has in abundance. We are here for the long run and with Colonel Walker School nearby, young families will continue to be attracted to this great neighbourhood.” But it’s not just the young professionals like Frid who are finding a home here. Empty nester couples like John and Cheryl Edmondson, tired of the vanilla suburban lifestyle they had been living, relish the lively, eclectic vibe Inglewood offers. “It’s a ten-minute walk (from SoBow) to Inglewood’s main strip with all its shops and restaurants,” John says. “It’s like being in a small town but having all the amenities of the big city.” They also like the lock-and-leave convenience that SoBow affords. Another big part of the appeal is the strong bonds of community, where everyone knows everyone. The historic floods of June, 2013 brought out the selfless traits of Inglewood

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| Advertising cover Feature |

businesses and residents, as they came together and helped each other overcome their challenges. SoBow — like most of Inglewood — survived relatively intact and, as a whole, fared very well, especially in comparison to other inner city areas that were affected. McCorkindale says that if it hadn’t been for the temporary construction excavation at the S.E. corner of the site creating a narrow breach funnel condition, SoBow would not have been affected at all. “We believe in being proactive and facing challenges head on, so we quickly commissioned a very well respected environmental and engineering consulting group to assess the original site design configuration and take into account the June, 2013 flood impacts. Overall, the assessment was very positive and in an ironic way the flood was a good test for SoBow and verified the resilience of the actual site itself. However, the temporary construction excavation at the S.E. corner will need to be addressed and we will be upgrading and future-proofing this small area with a berm. The most interesting conclusion we took from the assessment is the realization that distance or proximity to the river does not directly translate to true flood risk; rather it’s largely a function of the surrounding area and many other complex factors.

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At the centre of the ebb and flow of life in Inglewood is SoBow, the newest multifamily project in the area. Fa s t Fa c t s Community: Inglewood Project:

SoBow

Developer:

M2i Development Corp.

Style:

Apartment-style condominiums, lofts and townhomes

Size:

Starts from 694 sq. ft.

Price:

Starts at $297,000

Sales Centre: 1640 17A St. S.E. Website:

www.sobowcondos.com

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| Advertising cover Feature |

SoBow has been warmly welcomed as part of the Inglewood neighbourhood, and they have hosted events, promoted the local businesses and even helped raise funds for a new community playground at the Colonel Walker School. “In fact, most of what we do here in the development of SoBow, wherever possible, involves the local business community and the great amenities and services they offer. ” McCorkindale adds. Even for design, Calgary’s own Ce De Ce led by Connie Young, who lives in Inglewood as well, created the interiors. It seems SoBow is made for Inglewood by Inglewood. Currently, SoBow is selling their 1912Cross six-storey concrete building, and sales have been very upbeat, particularly since construction is fully underway. “In the last few months, we have sold 16 homes, are at 35 per cent sold out, and our conversion rate for prospects that visit us is around one in four — which is clearly a demonstration of our value proposition,” Frid says. 1912Cross is comprised of 120 units with a wide variety of housing options — from 694-square-foot studios, to 1,414-square-foot two-storey lofts or garden townhomes, and 1,632-square-foot three bedroom homes. There are 10 different groupings of floor plans available and pricing starts at $297,000 plus GST. “All of the homes in 1912Cross have a very contemporary look and finish with an open floor plan that accentuates that modern loft feel, but flexible enough to be personalized with the style of furnishings that truly make it home,” McCorkindale says. Every suite contains engineered hardwood flooring throughout, high-end stainless steel appliances, large kitchen islands and nine-foot ceilings. “All of these features speak to the stylish, flexible lifestyle we offer our buyers,” he adds. “We’re also a BuiltGreen™ HD certified building and are on track to meet their standards.” 1912Cross takes its name from A.E. Cross — one of the city’s founding fathers and part of the Big Four that started the annual Calgary Stampede that has become a hundredyear-old institution. “We wanted a name that reflects the heritage and history of the Inglewood area, and the community we are trying to build here,” McCorkindale says.  n 16 |

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“All of the homes in 1912Cross have a very contemporary look and finish…”

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condo profile | By Pepper Rodriguez

Marda love

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| condo profile

The Alexander brings convenience and style to Marda Loop

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t may have been a quiet fall afternoon outside, but inside the sales centre for The Alexander executive townhome development, things were definitely buzzing. There were plenty of interested visitors inquiring about this latest development from Assured Communities that just opened without much fanfare in October. “People seem to be genuinely excited about The Alexander and we already have several holds for the 17 stacked townhomes we offer,” says Assured Communities sales and marketing manager, Clark Hogan. Key to its appeal is its prime location in South Calgary, near the thriving and trendy Marda Loop district. “It’s an inner-city location that has great accessibility, we’re 10 minutes from the downtown, and our proximity to Crowchild Trail makes it easy for residents to go to north or south of the city.” He says that one of their prospective buyers loved the spot because she only has to spend $16 on a Car-2-Go rental to get her to and from work in the downtown. “That’s a lot cheaper than having to pay parking there,” Hogan adds. Another appealing aspect for The Alexander is its fresh take on the stacked townhome design. The development is comprised of 17 two-storey townhomes available in eight floor plans. They include one 1,770-square-foot three-bedroom model, three 1,100 square-foot one-bedroom plus den plans, and 13 two-bedroom homes at approximately 1,100 square-feet. Instead of individual garages, units get a stall in a covered, heated and secure parkade where extra storage units are available for purchase. Each townhome has an exterior entrance and generous outdoor terrace/living area.  The site slopes from the south to the north affording partial downtown skyline views from the upper floors of the north facing townhomes.  The main entrance and 11 townhomes face 28th Avenue while six townhomes face an inner landscaped courtyard and large terraces facing south at the rear.  Interiors are brilliantly designed, several of the two bedroom models offer a second level floor plan option, giving home purchasers the choice of a Jack-and-Jill bathroom shared by both s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR

Fa s t Fac ts Community: South Calgary Project:

The Alexander

Developer: Assured Communities in partnership with Jenkins Architecture Style:

Stacked townhomes

Size:

Starts at around 1,100 sq. ft.

Price:

Starts from $464,000 plus GST

Sales Centre: 2719 14th Street S.W. Hours:

Monday to Thursday 2 to 7 p.m.

Website: www.thealexandercalgary.com

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bedrooms or separate ensuite bathrooms for the master and guest bedroom. The homes come with standard features such as quartz counter tops, engineered hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, and stainless steel appliances, including a gas stove. There are six professionally designed interior colour pallets and upgrade options to choose from, as well as some custom upgrade options, such as: custom fireplace units and living room cabinets and custom built-in closet wardrobes in the bedrooms with a flat screen TV mount. The building itself is “timeless,” says Hogan, using cut limestone for the base with stucco above. The main lobby is announced with an art glass illuminated column at the street level. The space between the two buildings features a shared central courtyard with front door access to the laned townhouses and patio access to the 3rd floor, north-facing townhomes. “And this is true lock-and-leave lifestyle that fits the lifestyles of young professionals and downsizers,” he adds. Prices are very budget-friendly too. “The two-bedroom townhomes start from $464,000 plus GST,” Hogan notes. 22 |

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There are six professionally designed interior colour pallets and upgrade options to choose from, as well as some custom upgrade options, such as: custom fireplace units and living room cabinets... The project is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy by early 2015. The Alexander is a joint venture project with Jenkins Architecture and Assured Communities. The architect for the project is Jenkins Architecture — a well-respected Calgary-based firm known for projects such as the Kensington Pointe and the Garrison Woods community. Assured Communities has been developing projects in Calgary for 25 years, and past developments include the Galleries Series in Marda Loop, Altadore and most recently The Galleries Renfrew. CL s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR


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By Portia Yip | condo profile

Old World glam Vogue strikes a pose for stylish, comfortable true downtown living

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ook past the art deco-façade of Vogue’s exteriors and Calgarians will find all the essentials of chic, urban living tailored to anyone’s definition of style and sophistication. Located on the coveted west side of downtown on 6th Avenue S.W., this highly-anticipated development from the prestigious LaCaille Group is over 65 per cent sold, and buyers should act quickly to ensure the best selection of suite choices. “Vogue represents true downtown living,” says LaCaille Group Vice–President Al Schmidt. “You’re one block away from the 8th Street LRT station in the downtown free-fare zone, and within easy walking distance to the Plus-15 walkway system.” Downtown living makes the work-life balance effortless and leaves more time to enjoy the abundance of amenities, culture and entertainment surrounding the 36-storey tower. “Our great location not only provides easy access to all of downtown, but also puts us a block away from the Bow River pathway and the trendy Kensington district across the bridge,” says Schmidt. Vogue is the first large-scale residential development to move into the true downtown as Schmidt describes. “Because of this, no new development even comes close to the accessibility that our location offers.”

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The building itself is a statement piece as Vogue was designed to capture the elegance and glamour of Chicago or New York during the roaring vintage era of the 1920s and ‘30s. A podium finished in intricate Arriscraft detail alludes to Calgary’s signature sandstone buildings of the past, while the glass-arched entryway makes an incredible first impression. “It gives you a sense of arrival like no other building,” says Schmidt. The main lobby will offer a warm and inviting gathering spot similar to that of a classy boutique hotel. Designed for meeting or lounging with friends, it will feature plenty of seating areas and free wi-fi. “We want the lobby to be a community place and we’re looking

to bring complimentary food and beverage options to the adjoining commercial spaces like a coffee and wine bar or a restaurant and sports bar.” Vogue has 10 floor plans in a mix of one and two-bedroom units with three distinct design schemes — all aptly named after the world fashion capitals of Milan, Paris and New York. Purchasers can customize the look of their suite by mixing and matching from the three schemes to suit their individual tastes and styles. LaCaille especially wanted to create a spectacular interior design for each unit while paying special attention to the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchens sparkle with clean, contemporary looks featuring high-gloss cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and quartz or granite counter-tops. Distressed hardwood flooring and floor-to-ceiling windows will also add to the feeling of lofty, air-conditioned comfort. “The bathroom walls will have the option of a wallpaper feature, which is a first for LaCaille,” Schmidt says. “And with vintage hexagonal floor tiles, it’s all a part of our retro take on a contemporary downtown style.” LaCaille is always seeking ways to improve their projects and Vogue is no exception. The opportunity arose to incorporate a rooftop amenity open to all residents. The area will feature a fitness centre, yoga studio and a large meeting or party room that overlooks the city, river and mountains on

Downtown living makes the work-life balance effortless and leaves more time to enjoy the abundance of amenities, culture and entertainment surrounding the 36-storey tower.

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| condo profile

LaCaille especially wanted to create a spectacular interior design for each unit while paying special attention to the kitchen and bathroom. the 36th floor. This additional design feature gives all existing and potential Vogue buyers a brand new lifestyle accessory, which also adds substantial value to all units in the future. Vogue will have a total of 232 units ranging in size from approximately 550 to 700 square-feet for one-bedroom units; and 850 to 1,060 square-feet for the two-bedroom models. The penthouses are lavishly in the 1,400-square-foot range. Prices in Vogue cover a wide range of price points, and most buyers can find multiple units in their desired range. “Our price list has something for everyone starting from the low $300,000’s and providing plenty of choices all the way up to our penthouses,” Schmidt adds. Vogue has been attracting single professionals and couples working downtown, as well as those looking to downsize. But Schmidt says since the building will be ready for possession in the spring of 2016, it’s getting a fair share of investors. “We’re getting buyers who look at Vogue as an investment, either parents looking ahead to secure a home for their kids, or those looking to rent it out and bank on the units’ considerable value.” Vogue will join the legacy of LaCaille Group’s high-rise condos dotting the city’s west side, an area already influenced by the Calgary-based developer. LaCaille’s commitment to quality is reflected in LaCaille Park Place, Solaire, Chateau LaCaille and the twin Five West Towers — all of which are representative of the city’s thriving prosperity and growth. Vogue’s iconic design is an exciting new landmark for downtown Calgary, but the lifestyle it will provide for its residents is even more significant. As Calgary’s first truly downtown condominium tower, Vogue delivers style and opportunity in a memorable feat. CL s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR

Fa s t Fac ts Community: Downtown Project: Vogue Developer: LaCaille Group Style:

Luxury apartment-style condos and penthouses

Size:

From 550 to 1,400 sq. ft.

Price:

Starting from the low $300,000s

Sales Centre Address: 912 5th Ave. S.W. Hours:

Monday to Thursday noon to 5 p.m.,

weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m.

Website: www.liveinvogue.com

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Condo profile | By Janine Workman

Pioneering spirit Avi Urban’s The Post opens new opportunities in Calgary’s north

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hen it comes to staking a claim in the home real estate market, there are a lot of factors to consider, starting with size, location and affordability. First-time homebuyer Barbara DeLeon found all of this, and more, in The Post — an intimate collection of colonial-inspired townhomes by Avi Urban in the new, northwest community of Nolan Hill. “I am so excited,” DeLeon says. “It’s amazing how everything fell into place.” Now in pre-construction sales, The Post will feature 59 three-storey townhomes adorned in bright colours, framed with white trim and accented with flower boxes and classic brick details. “From first-time buyers to newlyweds, we know The Post will

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| Condo profile

appeal to tons of different homeowners because it’s young and fresh, while still being functional and affordable,” says Chris Pollen, sales and marketing manager with Avi Urban. Homes start in the $300,000s and six floor plans offer a variety of layouts, spanning 1,130 to 1,400 square-feet. Nine-foot ceilings in main living areas, oversized windows, balconies and private front patios are just a few of the features that come standard in The Post. All homes will feature two-car, tandem garages on the main floor, open living areas on the second floor and two-and three-bedroom options on the third. Now settled into her career path as a registered nurse, 27-year-old DeLeon knew it was time to set down some roots and choose her first home. “I looked at condos, and houses of course, and a townhome appealed to me the most,” she explains. “Size wise I think it is ideal.” After researching Avi Urban, and their reputation, she was impressed with the builder and first attempted to purchase a townhome in Avi’s Prospect Rise development in Kincora — just east of Nolan Hill. “It fell through and I was totally disappointed,” she says.

However, TaraLynn Green, sales associate at Prospect Rise, remembered DeLeon and contacted her last July when sales released on The Post. “When The Post came up, TaraLynn got a hold of me, I took a look at it and it was the exact layout that I wanted,” DeLeon explains. “I just feel like everything worked out for the better.” DeLeon chose the Jasmine E floor plan, which features a front living room and rear kitchen connected to a central dining area by an eating bar. “I love the plan,” she says. “It’s amazing how you don’t have to be secluded to just the kitchen; it opens up to the dining and living room.” A 108-square-foot patio will connect to her future kitchen, and dual master bedrooms provide DeLeon the perfect opportunity to have a roommate, should she ever want one. “If I ever want to or need to rent out the other bedroom, it’s really good in terms in privacy,” she explains.

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Barbara DeLeon

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Interiors come with Avi Urban’s mix-and-match finishing options and kitchens come standard with extended-height cabinetry, a five-piece appliance package and full-height glass tile backsplash. Bathrooms include rain showerheads, tiled showers and oval vessel sinks. And, from the major details like her two-car garage and 1,288 square-feet of living space, to the finer points of choosing the colour of her own front door, DeLeon is confident and happy with every facet of her new home. “I am so happy, that’s how it should be,” she says of her first homebuying experience.

Fa s t Fac ts Community: Nolan Hill Project:

The Post at Nolan Hill

Developer: Avi Urban Style:

Townhomes

Size:

Starts from 1,130 sq. ft.

Price:

Starting from the $300,000s

Address:

64 Nolan Hill Gate N.W.

Hours:

Monday to Thursday: 2 to 8 p.m.; Fridays by appointment only; weekends and holidays noon to 5 p.m.

Website:

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“I am just go, go, go and very career oriented. The fact that I don’t have to do lawn care or shovel snow is huge.” Busy balancing her time between both the Foothills and Peter Lougheed hospitals, DeLeon is also impressed by the maintenance free-living offered at The Post. “I am just go, go, go and very career oriented,” she explains. “The fact that I don`t have to do lawn care or shovel snow is huge.” According to Green, now the sales associate at The Post, the project has taken off with homebuyers, selling more than 50 per cent of its units since its release last July. “The public is responding very positively to what we are doing here,” she says. “It is really unique to the community.” Landscaping will be extensive, with homes surrounding a linear courtyard, which will feature lit pathways, benches, local foliage and an open green space for community barbecues or other outdoor activities. All homes in The Post will also feature a laned driveway in front of each home. Set among the rolling hills of north Calgary, the community Nolan Hill itself is minutes to the ring road of Stoney Tr., as well as the shopping amenities of Beacon Hill shopping centre. As the fourth of Avi Urban’s townhome developments in the north, following developments in Panorama, EvansRidge and Kincora, The Post earned its name as a marker for a next stage in life. “It speaks to starting new, or taking a journey, says Pollen. “The Post is about finding your way to your perfect home.”  CL

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condo profile | By Aaliya Essa

A personalized fit Streetside’s Kintalla townhomes built to fit every lifestyle

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intalla, Streetside Development’s new townhomes in Calgary’s northeast community of Redstone, breaks the mould of typical attached-home layouts, by offering buyers the option to have even more. More what, you ask? More everything. Starting with living space. Here at Kintalla, buyers can choose from a spacious two-bedroom layout that comes with two-and-a-half bathrooms, or family-sized three-bedroom layouts that also include two-and-a-half bathrooms — at least to start with. Because, for buyers who want more space, there are additional options to add on a third bedroom plus a half-bathroom to the two-bedroom option or a fourth bedroom with a full-bathroom to the three-bedroom option.

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The ability to add onto the standard layouts to customize living space is proving to be a great incentive for a variety of buyers; from first time homebuyers looking to rent out a room to help with their mortgage, to young families looking for a home to grow into, and empty nesters looking for a home that has more usable space. All this while also providing the conveniences of a lock-and-leave, maintenance-free lifestyle. “The two-bedroom plan is great for first time homebuyers and young couples,” says Lindsey Michalchuk, Kintalla’s lead sales consultant. “There is an additional room with an attached ensuite they can rent out to a friend. Our three-bedroom options are great for families. They all have the option of adding an extra bedroom from the entrance level, ideal for a growing family,” she adds. Kintalla is even a good fit for owners with four-legged friends, as residents are allowed two pets per townhome. Floor plans also feature an open concept design, which is perfect for entertaining (or keeping an eye on the kids) and preparing a meal at the same time. The kitchen standards include stainless steel appliances, Kohler fixtures throughout the home, and laminate countertops with the option to upgrade to granite. “The kitchen offers tons of counter space, there is a large island in the middle which is a nice workspace, and then of course there’s room for stools for a breakfast bar,” says Michalchuk. Another popular item, the ensuites, “will have ceramic tile flooring, a stand-up shower with glass doors, and a bench, creating a great spa like retreat right in your home.” The laundry is conveniently located on the upper level, making doing this chore a lot easier than having to haul clothes up and down to and from the main floor. Each townhome also includes a deck at both the front s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR


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entrance and at the back of the home, allowing for fun summer barbecues, and an inviting front curb appeal. Each townhome includes a tandem attached garage and almost all homes also include a driveway that provides additional space for parking. Kintalla is comprised of 73 units, which are presently 40 per cent sold, says Michalchuk. Right now, there is one two-bedroom layout and three different three-bedroom layouts to choose from. The two-bedroom layout starts at 1,249 square-feet in size and $283,087 (GST included), and the three-bedroom layouts start at 1,327 squarefeet and around $291,534 (GST included). Residents here also enjoy an abundance of space outside their home. “We are surrounded by green space,” says Michalchuk. “To the south of us we are backing onto a soccer field, to the north of us we have another green space and a playground for the kids. Streetside always develops our communities with a higher percentage of green space than required, and a lot more space with wider road ways.” Being located in Redstone, in Calgary’s ‘New North’, is another great thing about Kintalla. For example, the community will have a fitness circuit staggered along the pathway system that connects the entire community together.

The ability to add onto the standard layouts to customize living space is proving to be a great incentive for a variety of buyers…

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condo profile | 

Fa s t Fac ts Developer: Streetside Development Corporation Area:

Redstone

Project:

Kintalla

Style:

Three-storey townhomes

Size:

From 1,249 sq. ft. to 1,327 sq. ft.

Price:

Starting at $283,087 including GST

Directions: From Deerfoot Tr., head east on Country Hills Blvd. N.E. Turn left onto Métis Tr. Turn right onto 128 Ave. Turn left into Redstone community and follow the signs Hours:

Monday to Thursday, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays, weekends and holidays, noon to 5 p.m.

Website:

www.kintalla.com or www.streetsidehomes.com

“You are going to find the best value in this part of town,” says Michalchuk. “The proximity to major roadways — residents here are right off Stoney Trail, Deerfoot Trail, Country Hills Boulevard — living here makes it very convenient to get in and out.” Buyers can also look forward to new schools and an extended LRT station to come in the future. Amenities in the area include a new shopping centre coming soon along Métis Trail and Country Boulevard, and a short drive just down Country Hills Boulevard, where there is a great assortment of shops, a theatre, and a grocery store. Even CrossIron Mills and the Calgary International Airport are both only minutes away.

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More value for your money, more space for your family, and more lifestyle options, all in one fantastic location… More value for your money, more space for your family, and more lifestyle options, all in a fantastic location that allows buyers the freedom to venture out into their community, while having a wonderful place to come home to — that’s Kintalla. Because, when your name is Streetside Developments, Calgary’s SAM Award Multi-Family Builder of the Year, and a brand people know they can trust, buyers expect just a little bit more. CL

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condo profile | By Pepper Rodriguez

AVENUE

OF LIFE

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s Calgary is the Heart of the New West, Avenue West End is at the heart of the vibrant young city’s most sought after multi-family location in the downtown. With its exciting blend of West Coast multi-family design innovation fitting in nicely with the fresh, exciting urban lifestyle offered in this popular part of town, its twin towers will be a shining landmark in Calgary condo living for years to come. The 319-home development is located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 10th Street S.W., and will be the newest development in this much-desired part of Calgary, which is already home to some of the city’s priciest condos. “Avenue is the first new residential development in downtown Calgary’s West End in nearly a decade — making it a rare and exciting asset,” says Michael Ward, Vice President of Development for Grosvenor Americas. “It brings together exceptional design, stunning views, and a quiet but accessible location.”

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Newest West End condo brings fresh sense of energy and style

There will be 195 units in the 24-storey East Tower and 124 in the 18-storey West Tower, featuring a mix of townhomes, smaller suites in the podium, larger homes in the towers and two level penthouse suites. Homes will range from 572 to 1,734 square-feet and are comprised of one-bedroom, one-bedroom-and-den, two-bedrooms, executive penthouses and two-storey townhomes. This wide array of homes is a key factor to its appeal. “Avenue’s broad range of home sizes and styles will appeal to everyone from first-time buyers, professional couples, or busy executives,” Ward tells Condo Living. Pricing starts from the low $300,000s. But it is its prime location — just off the Bow River and between trendy Kensington and the central business district — that is its most attractive feature. “The West End is a special riverside community offer-

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Fa s t Fac ts Community: West End Project:

Avenue West End

Developer: Grosvenor in partnership with Cressey Development Group Style:

Condos and townhomes

Size:

572 to 1,734 sq. ft.

Price:

Starts from the low $300,000s

Address:

1037 5th avenue S.W.

Hours:

12-6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday. 12-5 p.m. Monday – Thursday. Closed Friday

Website: www.avenuewestend.com ing two totally different living experiences. There is an unmistakable urban feel to the area, given its closeness to the nightlife, wine bars and boutiques of Kensington and the downtown core,” Ward says. “Yet the area also has a distinctly residential feel. With effortless access to the Bow River trail way and the greenery of Prince’s Island Park, you can find serenity while still enjoying big city life.” It is just steps from the Downtown West — Kerby C-train station to boot, within the no-fare zone. “The lifestyle of an Avenue buyer is designed for easy access to the best of Calgary — from entertainment, shopping and dining to all the river and mountain activities Calgarians enjoy,” he adds.

Given Calgary’s recent experience with flooding over the summer, it is natural to be wary of new riverside developments. Ward puts those concerns to rest, saying residents get all the benefits related to this relaxed riverfront lifestyle and none of the problems. “There are no flooding concerns. The site is not within any noted floodway/floodplain/overland flood area. During the recent floods, water never crested the bank in this area.” More than that, its stunning architectural design will add a new dimension to the city’s skyline. Renowned architect James Cheng and IBI/HB Architects designed Avenue as a striking architectural statement in the West End, an area scarce of new development in more than a decade. The concept behind the exterior architecture is described as “urban modernist”. Cheng designed Avenue into two slim towers, rather than one large building, so that the amount of light coming into both towers is maximized. This design also gives most units in the project a view of the Bow River, Ward points out. Avenue was also designed to create a sense of arrival as you enter, complete with a hotel-style porte-cochere drop-off driveway, grand double height lobby, and expansive windows to maximize views of the City, Bow River and mountains. The exterior will feature a skybridge walkway that connects both towers on levels two through five. A stone podium façade and extensive use of glass and metal panel marks Avenue’s appearance, while balconies or large entertaining terraces in all homes add a defining detail to the exteriors.

“The lifestyle of an Avenue buyer is designed for easy access to the best of Calgary — from entertainment, shopping and dining to all the river and mountainside activites Calgarians enjoy.”

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Avenue will be Calgary’s first residential development to offer the renowned CresseyKitchen™, which aims to strike a perfect balance between a dedicated culinary workspace and natural extension of your living space. The street oriented townhomes have been designed to emphasize the feeling of neighbourhood by way of having private terraces and a front door on 5th Avenue. Each homeowner will be able to leave their front door and immediately embrace the surrounding downtown West End, Bow River walkway or Kensington Village. Amenities to make residents’ lives here a breeze include a large, state-of-the-art fitness room in the East Tower, and a lounge with fully equipped kitchen for entertaining in the West Tower. Particular attention was given to the suites’ interiors as well. Avenue will be Calgary’s first residential development to offer the renowned CresseyKitchenTM which aims to strike a perfect balance between a dedicated culinary workspace and natural extension of your living space. The kitchen is as stylish as it is functional as it expands the traditional U-shaped kitchen, Ward says, featuring a premium appliance package that includes a two side by side fully integrated fridges surrounded by full-height, deep storage pantries, an integrated dishwasher, microwave, and wall oven. “The CresseyKitchenTM was designed to maximize every inch of the kitchen space, providing more storage and utility, such as the Chef’s Wall, which places the oven and microwave at eye level for ease of use.” Grosvenor is developing Avenue in partnership with Cressey De46 |

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velopment Group, and their sterling reputation and experience in urban condominium projects virtually assures the development’s success. Ward says their vision for an urbane condo lifestyle in the downtown is in sync with the City of Calgary’s initiative to develop inner-city living for more Calgarians. “Calgary like so many growing and dynamic cities around the world will continue to see rapidly growing demand for urban living,” he says. Avenue is celebrating its grand opening event now with limited time incentives on all homes. There is a Presentation Centre + Two Display Suites (a one bedroom and a two bedroom) located at the corner of 5th Avenue S.W. and 10th Street S.W. CL s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR


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By Jessica patterson | COMMUNITY pROFILE

VISION ACCOMPLISHEd WALDEN IS THE ECO-FRIENDLY, ALL-AGES COMMUNITY IT WAS ALWAYS ENvISIONED TO BE

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hen Genstar Development first broke ground on Walden in 2007, the first houses went up amid the economic downturn that had just begun. But there was never any doubt that it would be a community that appeals to all generations with its strong connection to nature. “We started Walden as the next community heading south to provide some future growth to the south side of the city,” says Patrick Briscoe, Development Manager at Genstar Developments. “It was the natural continuation of developing great communities heading down Macleod Trail.” Walden, spread over 620 acres at Macleod Trail and 192nd Avenue, will see approximately 3,000 homes at buildout. And recession or not, it was going to make a splash.

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“When Walden started, it was the first community in Calgary to hit the 11 sustainability principles set as targets by the city,” Briscoe says. “That involved saving a lot of the natural trees that were on the land, installing a lot of environmental features, such as bioswales which are landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water, and storm water features.” The original vision for Walden was to keep as many natural features of the property as possible, and build parks and other natural areas in the community. It is a vision that has been kept and realized; Walden has a lot of green space embedded into its design. Two new playgrounds have been built, one of which completes the Phase 11, and the other is in the 12th phase of development, Briscoe says.

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“They’re amazing parks, with mature trees,” he says. “Parks and pathways will continue throughout the development south, and will link the entire community from north to south, and eventually connect with the schools that are located in the south of the community.” For all homebuyers, there is something to find in Walden. There are all types of housing in the community, from starter homes, to semi-detached, townhomes, move-ups and semi-estate homes. “We’re building a sustainable community that will allow all types of people to live there,” Briscoe says. “Walden has been designed to attract the starter home buyer, all the way up to the move-up and semi-estate home buyer,” Briscoe

Edison townhomes by Avi Urban.

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says. “There are townhomes by Avi Urban, who are selling out a three-storey townhome with a garage underneath. It goes all the way up to Cardel and California Homes who are selling in our newest phase, Walden Park, which are larger 38-40-foot lots, backing onto the parks.” Walden’s aesthetic embraces modern architecture. “We pushed our home builders to come up with more modern-style houses, with flat lines and verticals, and different kinds of building materials,” Briscoe says. “It gives Walden a unique feel for a suburban community. It makes it feel a little more urban.” The modern fusion of houses gives Walden a different look than other communities in the south of Calgary. Home designs veer away from the traditional-style of houses. They give Walden a sleek character, for a brand new community. Also unique to Walden is the commercial area at the entrance to the community, The Gates of Walden. A glorious list of amenities is within walking distance. “Walden is one of the few communities in the city with a fully-built-out shopping district,” Briscoe says. “The Gates of Walden is within walking distance of all of the homes there now. There’s a Starbucks, a couple of banks

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| community profile

and a Shopper’s Drug Mart. Save-On Foods is opening.” “Residents can drive home, park their cars, and walk to get their groceries,” Briscoe says. “It’s a benefit for future residents, because everything is right there in the community.” From there, amenities line the sides of Macleod Trail heading north. Just to the north is Shawnessy, a commercial centre with stores and services including Home Depot, Safeway, Co-op, Real Canadian Superstore, Canadian Tire, Winners and more. Of all of the new areas in the city, Walden is probably the closest to the c-train and LRT (at Shawnessy). Walden’s proximity to the Macleod Trail corridor makes it the perfect location for your new home. Residents there already include a range of people in various stages of their lives.

The modern fusion of houses gives Walden a different look than other communities in the south of Calgary ... They give Walden a sleek character, for a brand new community.

“What we’re seeing is a lot of the people moving to Walden are professional working in south Calgary,” Briscoe says. “We’re seeing a lot of young professionals, a lot of young families and couples looking to start a family. A lot of people who can see the overall vision of Walden and are buying into a more mature, new community. Mature, because the first pioneering phases have been built-out and moving towards the larger development.” Prices of homes also reflect the width and breadth of the products offered. Townhomes at Avi Urban’s Edison start from the $270,000s, while move-up homes are from the $400,000s, and semi-estate homes are from the $500,000s. As your family grows, so can you in Walden. Starting with a starter home, there are housing types for everyone to stay and grow in the community. “We’re very proud of the community, proud to show what it has evolved to become,” Briscoe says. “Next year, we plan on releasing another 250 lots, which shows how popular Walden is in the area.” CL

Fa s t Fac ts Commmunity: Walden Developer: Genstar Development Co. Builders: Multi-family from Avi Urban Move-up homes from Cardel Homes, Centrex Homes and Homes by Avi Secondary suites from Excel Homes Semi-estate homes from Cardel Homes and California Homes Prices:

Check with particular show homes for prices

Directions: South on Macleod Tr. and left at 194 Ave. Website:

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lifestyles | Story by Karen Durrie | Photos by Don Molyneaux

The call of Cranston Cranston Place is more than just an empty-nester’s home

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hen forces conspire to tell Shari and Bill Karns that it’s time for a change of scenery, the couple throw themselves full bore into house hunting. A number of years back, the pair had built a modest home in a northeast community, intending for it to be their “empty nester house,” since their two children had grown up and out. Ten years later, the neighbourhood had changed drastically. The night that Bill was putting out the garbage, heard a car crash, and then watched two men tear through their backyard — robbers on the lam from pursuing police — they decided that was it, it was time to move. They purchased a 1,600 square-foot home in Copperfield six years ago, and loved the neighbourhood, but the pair — now both retired — decided it was really more house than they needed. “It got to be too big. We didn’t need to clean all that and have all that stuff,” Shari says. Once the decision was made on downsizing, they visited a number

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of condo developments in the southeast, and Shari got down to business paring down their belongings, listing items for sale on Kijiji. They knew they wanted to stay in the same general area, because they love the feel of the community, and the quick access to so many amenities. The For Sale sign went up, and they began looking around. Many condos in the area were going up, but were at least a year away from possession, and the pair also worried about not selling their own home and ending up with two mortgages. “There were a couple of foreclosures on our street and they were letting them go for next to nothing. We pulled the house off the market in spring. Then we were looking around on the Internet. We came by here one day, and met Judy-Lynn (Lavelle, area manager for Cardel Lifestyles), and she was so good. She said ‘Do you think you can sell your house in 10 days?’ Houses were going like crazy right after the flood. So we put it up and it sold in seven days,” Shari says. The “here” Shari is referring to is Cranston Place by Cardel Lifestyles. The development, which is still under construction, includes three condo apartment buildings, and several rows of townhomes. There were a few places left in the second building, including a spacious corner unit with extra windows, and possession could be had quickly. It had everything the Karns wanted. It had been difficult to find a place that would accept their two dogs — French Bulldog Hank, and Boston, their Boston terrier. “Some places will accept one dog, but not two,” Shari says. “These guys are part of our family and we didn’t want to give them away.” And Bill’s beloved Douglasdale Golf Course is just a few minutes’ drive away. The building also has heated underground parking s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR


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Bill and shari Karns

with individual storage, tons of amenities within walking distance, and a community flavour that the couple noted was lacking in some condo developments they viewed. “You don’t feel like you’re in a complex where you don’t see anyone. It feels like a real neighbourhood. You see the kids going by on their way to school, and there’s a park across the street where the dogs can play,” Shari says. The 941-square-foot, two-bedroom unit they chose includes a large master bedroom and ensuite, a contemporary kitchen loaded with cupboards and drawers, and a cozy open-concept living room. Shari says the reduction in square-footage from their larger Copperfield home was surprisingly easy to adjust to. “When we lived in the house, we really just sat at the kitchen table, and watched TV in the flex room. Here it’s the same thing, but it’s all on one floor.” After selling loads of items on Kijiji, the pair purchased some new furniture for their condo, including French

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“You don’t feel like you’re in a complex where you don’t see anyone. It feels like a real neighbourhood. You see the kids going by on their way to school, and there’s a park across the street where the dogs can play.” s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : c e L e B r aT i N g i T s 10 T h Y e a r

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Hank and Boston

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country barstools for the island, and a matching dining set. Bill’s collection of railroad station prints from places he’s worked around the country is hung in the second bedroom, which he calls his “theatre room.” He worked for Canadian Pacific Railroad for 40 years, and lived and traveled across Canada. The “theatre room” includes a plush recliner sofa and big-screen TV, along with shelves featuring some of Shari’s miniature village collection. Shari retired from Loblaw last year where she’d worked as customer service manager for independent grocers across Alberta and B.C. The Karnses enjoy having their grandchildren visit, and the smallest ones love the oversized soaker tub in the master bath. “They call it a pool,” Shari laughs. “They say ‘Can we have a swim in the bathtub?’ when they sleep over.” The jovial couple is thrilled with their purchase and says they have a deep appreciation for the good service they’ve gotten from Cardel Lifestyles. “They are just awesome. Everybody in Cardel has been awesome. Any little issue has been looked after, and right away,” Bill says, adding that when he had trouble turning on the gas barbecue on the

balcony, he chatted with a plumber on site, and the man was happy to come up and fix the problem on the spot. With pathways nearby for walking, the new South Calgary Health Campus minutes away, and a planned rec centre and theatres on the horizon, Bill and Shari are thrilled with their new condo and the neighbourhood. “We just love this place. It’s beautiful out here and we’ve got everything we need,” Bill says. Including the peace of mind knowing that making a home at Cranston Place means no more moving. CL

The Karnses enjoy having their grandchildren visit, and the smallest ones love the oversized soaker tub in the master bath. 56 |

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By Jessica Patterson | ON TREND

h Christmas Tree Design trees like the pros

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ave you ever wanted one of those perfect Christmas trees? You know, the ones you see in the stores? Whether your conifer is fresh from the Christmas tree market, from the slopes of the foothills, or your closet, here’s how to start the perfection process. Find a tree. Whether your tree is fresh-cut or fake, is up to you. Live trees often have less-than-uniform branches, but this non-symmetric look — and its natural pine scent — is why some love them best. Artificial trees, on the other hand, offer an even spread of boughs. “It seems to be a personal preference,” says Meagan Lamont, a consultant for StyleMagic, Jayman’s interior selection centre. “For some condos, for fire hazard reasons, they can’t have real trees in the building. Fake trees are easier for maintenance and storage.” The pros for an artificial tree are that they are easy to store, and you never have to worry about sweeping up needles. But still want the atmosphere a real tree brings to a room, Lamont points out that there are evergreen candles available to mimic the smell of a real tree. Condo owners are often tight on space, which means table-top trees and bright colours may fit their Christmas requirements.

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“A quarter to a third of the ornaments are the colour I want to highlight, and add ribbon, or feathered flowers, depending on what I find.” Trends in colour for this holiday season include mixed metals, and incorporating gold, silver and bronze into your Christmas tree decorations. “We’re seeing a lot of mixed metals right now, mixing chrome and oiled bronze and brass,” Lamont says. Though, she says Jayman designers are also seeing a natural and rustic trend, bringing in barn board and a Scandinavian aesthetic, with burlap and faux furs and stag horns. “With emerald being the Pantone colour of 2013, jewel tones could be easily incorporated into your tree,” Lamont says. “For jewel tones, maybe a purple and teal with emerald would be really pretty.” Interior designer Monika Siebert, from Monika Inc., agrees. “I’ve often done homes for the holidays over the years,” she says. “What I do to make it different yet still traditional each year, I like to go with the theme colour of the year in interior design. This year, the colour is emerald and teal comes close.” Siebert has a collection of Christopher Radko ornaments she uses on all of her trees, high-end tin and glass ornaments produced in Europe, crafted by hand, using Renaissance-era carving, moulding, glass blowing and other techniques to create brilliant pieces. “They’re very traditional,” she explains. “They’re very colourful and they reflect light.” Beyond that, each year Siebert picks a colour to design her tree around. She finds ribbon or frosted balls in the same colour, to help define the theme of the tree. She doesn’t exclude her family’s precious collectables, but incorporates them into the tree with the colour. “A quarter to a third of the ornaments are the colour I want to highlight, and add ribbon, or feathered flowers, depending on what I find,” she says, adding that she matches her tree skirt with the colour of the ribbon. When decorating the tree, work in blocks or areas of the tree, and layer your ornaments and other decorations. When it comes to ornaments, think about the scale of your tree. If you have a small table-top tree, a large ornament for a 20-foot tree isn’t going to make the cut. Ornaments that reflect light also create depth to the tree. Primping your tree ‘til perfection doesn’t have to cost 60 |

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All photos on this spread courtesy Monika Siebert.

Collect decorations over a couple years, and watch for colours that you like and will be complementary to the rest of your space. a fortune, not even a small fortune. Collect decorations over a couple years, and watch for colours that you like and will be complementary to the rest of your space. When decorating like a pro, wire and extension cords should be hidden in the tree, or under a tree skirt. Multiple trees are also in vogue this year, one in the family room, one in the living room and a small one in the kitchen or the bathroom. “I like it if you have the option of having several trees in the home, so you can do one real one, which are messy and you have to put it up a little late, whereas the fake ones you can pop up at the end of November,” Siebert says. “I have multiple trees, I even have a pink one I put in my office,” she says. “I have one in the family room and one in the living room. It’s just cause I love Christmas.” Siebert has a burgundy tree she simply puts lights on, it’s a statement on its own. She also has an upside down tree, which is a feature in her living room. “You need more ornaments for that one because they hang down, they’re not tucked into the branches,” she says. “It’s a whole different look, and I love it. It’s not that tall, only about 6-feet-tall.” If your designer Christmas tree colour works with the colour of your walls and furniture, try livening up the entire space with matching accents, throw pillows and whatnot. Lights are simple this season. White lights go with everything. CL s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : CE L E B RA T I N G i t s 1 0 t h Y EAR

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Story and photos by Kathy McCormick | SHOppING

2013 CHRiSTMAS WiSH LiST Our top picks for gift shopping this season

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ith today’s emphasis on home-grown everything, it just makes sense to extend that to your holiday shopping as well. Buying from the smaller, local shops means you will find one-of-a-kind treasures that are as individualistic as those people on your list. Of course, it goes even further than that. You’re supporting local businesses that help to make Calgary a vibrant, exciting city. So here’s our list of some of the city’s treasure-troves of gift ideas. The Top 10 spots to round out your festive season. reWorKs Located in the heart of Inglewood, this little shop is unique: Everything in it is repurposed to something else — and that something else is useful, beautiful and definitely a conversation piece. “We’ve been in business for two years,” says Solita Work, the owner of ReWorks. “Everything we have here is made from recycled things — and almost everything is from North America.” In fact, some of the items are local, including ornamental pillows made right in the store from discontinued upholstery samples. Look for unique items such as clocks framed in and bracelets made from recycled bicycle chains, bags made out of seatbelts, aluminum pull-tab purses, licence plate mailboxes, and more. Some of the Christmas items include beautiful harvested wood ornaments in snowflake designs.

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moderN couNTrY iNTeriors Also in trendy Inglewood, this store brings in its own custom-designed wood furniture from its manufacturing plant on Vancouver Island. “We’ve been here almost 12 years, and two-thirds of our product is made by us,” says owner Cindy Shockey. “We’re known for our design.” If anyone on your list is looking for that one-of-a-kind beautiful piece of furniture, this is the place. But it also has a selection of unique accessories, from candleholders, to decorative pillows, vases, and table lamps. “A big trend right now is beautiful glassware,” Shockey says. Large vases of different shapes “that become transitional, because you can change up what’s inside it.” For the holidays, for example, she has a selection of gorgeous Christmas balls inside one as a centrepiece for the table. The store has many, many holiday décor items that will inspire. oWL’s NesT BooKs Located in the Britannia Plaza shopping area, this little store has been delighting customers for close to 40 years. “I am one of the partners who bought it in 1996,” says Susan Hare. “We’ve continued to make our mark with unique, personalized customer service. We have a real connection with families and we carry the knowledge of what to carry, from infancy to seniors to fit our customer.” Indeed, books of every genre for children to adults and more fill the shelves. And everyone loves a book. The store also has a selection of specialized “beautiful things,” says Hare. “Our china mugs with art themes have done incredibly well for us.” Specialized educational toys for children, book club selections and more are found at Owl’s Nest Books. ”Our customers are great readers,” says Hare.

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BriTaNNia orNameNTaL hardWare & giFTs Also located in Britannia Plaza, this little gem is one of those stores packed with so many little interesting articles, you’ll want to spend time looking to be sure not to miss anything. “This is one of the original stores in this plaza,” says Heidi Krake, who has owned the store for close to 10 years. “It’s been here 60 years and its success is the unique items we have that you won’t find everywhere else, and our service.” Look for beautiful fine bone china pieces from Emma Bridgewater, Botanic Garden and Dunoon, for example — all made in England. Basic Spirit is a popular Nova Scotia pewter collection; Kitras Art Glass is another made-in-Canada item that’s popular. For the kitschy gift, why not a GurglePot, one of the store’s most popular items right now? They are fish-shaped pitchers in all kinds of bright colours and sizes that, yes, actually ‘gurgle’ when the liquid is poured out.

smiTTeN For FashioN aNd JeWeLLerY You know you’ll find unique in Kensington — it’s just one of the city’s most unique shopping areas. Smitten is just that — and it’s changed since owner Rory Zerbe first opened the shop 23 years ago. Originally named Joints, it was a picture framing store with other great giftware for the home — but it was so popular, “I realized after a while that I had filled my clients’ homes,” and there was nowhere to go with the same concept, so Zerbe transitioned over a twoyear period to today’s Smitten. You’ll still find a wonderful selection of unique jewelry — “artisan-made from Europe, U.S. and Canadian designers, including some hometown,” says Zerbe. But the women’s clothing has filled more than half of the large store. Here, too, Zerbe says the selection is unique. “We carry lines you won’t see in department stores.” Some examples include Sympli, a Canadian-made design that allows you to mix-andmatch, and Boo Radley, the most popular line in Australia right now.

chocoLaTerie BerNard caLLeBauT It’s a guarantee that everyone on your shopping list will be happy with chocolate — and why not pick from the best? Whether it’s the original chocolatier Bernard Callebaut at Papa Chocolat in Willow Park or the new Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut chain, it will be a hit. The new owners of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut now boast 11 locations in Calgary, including one in Kensington. The endless varieties of delectable treats will suit any palate and whether you buy a signature copper box or one of the many formed chocolates, such as white chocolate polar bears, those on your list will be happy.

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BUyING frOM THe sMaLLer, LOCaL sHOps MeaNs yOU WILL fIND ONe-Of-a-KIND TreasUres THaT are as INDIVIDUaLIsTIC as THOse peOpLe ON yOUr LIsT.

LiviNgsToNe & caveLL eXTraordiNarY ToYs A staple of the Kensington era for two decades, this unique toy store harkens back to another era of artistic excellence with retro, older toys — and even some new as long as they meet the high standards of the owners, Edward Cavell and Donna Livingstone. “While the emphasis is on older toys and good design, our toys also have an ecological bent,” says merchandiser Monica Sommerville. “We carry wooden or tin toys, rather than plastic.” Nostalgia is the word here. Look for tin soldiers, wooden wagons, steam engines, and other classics. And don’t forget to ask about the Stomp Rockets.

ruBaiYaT Located on vibrant 17th Avenue S.W. Rubaiyat has been the go-to place for all things different, from exotic jewelry, to hand-crafted wood, pewter, art glass, and ethnic ornaments and accessories since 1973. “We wanted to show Canadian and local art work ever since my husband, David, started out in art school,” says Pam Haight. “This was the perfect way — we followed what we would like to have in our own homes.” The purveyors of quality handicrafts carry everything from the traditional limited edition, hand-painted Old World ornaments by Christopher Radko, to the modern wooden vases by Colin Schleeh. And Christmas is a big time for the store, with its extensive collection of different items to decorate the home in style.

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maria Tomas FurNiTure aNd dÉcor With its location along the design district on 11th Avenue S.W., this store carries an eclectic mix of furnishings and accessories that is different than you’d find in many of the other stores, says one of the owners, Julian Riley. “We are known for customizing the furniture and accessory pieces to what the customer likes and wants,” he says. Our furniture is ‘clean’ but not the very sleek modern look that you see in some other places. We’re more about real life — how does it fit in with kids and dogs, that sort of thing.” The accessories are, indeed, unique and would make excellent gifts for those hardto-buy-for people on your list. A real conversation piece, for instance, would be the mounted, small, shiny silver head of a rhinoceros on the wall. The store started out as a fabric boutique and still carries a lot of fabric for that customized look.

sTiLLWaTer spa aT The hYaTT regeNcY caLgarY It’s a no-fail gift for every woman — a simple gift certificate to one of the city’s most posh, most relaxing and most sumptuous spas. And the selection of services will fit any woman’s desires, needs and wants, triple time. This is a gift certificate that’s always appreciated. And men will love it, too. cL

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NEWS | Story by Jim Zang | Illustration by Lama Azhari

CrUNCH

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LAND DEvELOpMENT CRISIS NOT JUST AN ELECTION ISSUE

ust because the election is over, doesn’t mean the land development controversy is. In fact, it’s just beginning and there’s a possibility, especially with the prevailing attitude of the current City Hall regime and many of its minions, that things could get much worse before they start to get better. Some experts, such as Guy Huntingford, CEO of the Urban Development Institute Calgary, have gone so far as to say the situation regarding future available land for development has reached crisis proportions. The problem is especially pronounced in Calgary, where the rate of home ownership is high compared to other cities. The 2011 national home ownership survey showed the national average at 69 per cent versus Calgary at 73.8 per cent. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, given the demand driven by a relatively strong economy and in-migration, the price of the average new single family detached home in Calgary rose from $180,339 in 1998 to $484,881 in 2012, an increase of nearly 160 per cent. Calgary developers and builders are continuing to respond to market demand by designing innovative new communities and offering a variety of single and multi-family housing choices, from entry level single and multi-family options to move-up and estate homes — often all in the same community. City Hall, on the other hand, rather than responding to the market, seems to want to dictate to it. For, even though Mayor Nenshi has acknowledged the looming land crunch, things seem to move at the pace of the tortoise rather than the hare when it comes to streamlining the new development process. Unfortunately, an artificially created shortage of land, tunnel vision urban planning, and a strong economy which continues to draw workers by the thousands annually, is the three headed monster we’re faced with. It all combines to form a perfect storm of not enough serviceable land. And we all learned in economics class what a shortage of supply

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does to demand, and prices. Likewise, we all know who ultimately controls the supply of land. Caught in the middle of the tug-of-war are consumers, who just want to have a reasonable choice of quality affordable housing options. Recent dust-ups between the mayor’s office and certain members of the land development and home building industry have inadvertently had the effect of pitting inner-city residents against folks in the ‘burbs thanks to the spotlight being turned on the cost of developing new land with the necessary services and infrastructure. Why should inner city dwellers pay taxes that go towards development of new communities? I guess for the same reason suburbanites’ tax dollars go to things like downtown LRT stations and Plus-15s and fixing sidewalks in older neighbourhoods. Because you live in Calgary. It’s just the way it works, people. Some folks use the airport all the time, some once a year, and some never at all, but we all pay for the new road. If you wanted a true user pay system there’d be a tollbooth at every intersection. Since the mayor is a proponent of increasing density, you’d think he’d be happy with the way things are progressing. Thanks mainly to developers’ efforts, many new communities have much more of a live/work/play design and incorporate all kinds of green spaces, playgrounds, schools and community centres into their master plans. Quarry Park is the perfect example. Truth be known, they’re building better communities than ever. And the kicker, density has actually gone up significantly in the past few years in the suburbs. In fact density in new communities is actually higher than in s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : c e L e B r aT i N g i T s 10 T h Y e a r


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Caught in the middle of the tug-of-war are consumers, who just want to have a reasonable choice of quality affordable housing options. many inner-city neghbourhoods. For example, density rates in areas like Upper Mount Royal and Elbow Park come in at 2,089 and 2,153 people per square-kilometre, while Somerset checks in at 4,870 and Evergreen at 4,196. It truly seems to be a case of ‘do as I say and not as I do’ as the mayor himself lives in a single family home in what is not, by any stretch of the imagination, inner-city. Developers currently pay all development costs on land — roads, sidewalks, etc. plus half of the costs for bringing new water and wastewater services. The other half is picked up by the city by what His Royal Purpleness has labeled a “sprawl subsidy”, a total he puts at $4,800 per lot. According to the first agreement, in 2001, developers were to pay $52,000 per hectare. The current rate is $316,000 per hectare, with the present deal set to expire in 2015. Raising property taxes for new areas is one option. Of course, when you’ve already raised property taxes more than 30 per cent in the past three years, it’s understandable why team purple might be a little gun shy on the topic of another increase. Nenshi believes developers should cover the $4,800 also, meaning the cost is passed on to the builders who buy the lots and to eventually the consumer. It’s a scenars o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : c e L e B r aT i N g i T s 10 T h Y e a r

io that could combine with the supply and demand equation to push prices even higher. Net migration to the city was nearly 40,000 people in the past two years. The rental vacany rate is hovering just above one per cent, the lowest of any major metro centre in the country. Besides the fact all these people don’t want to live in the inner-city (maybe they don’t want a high-rise condo, maybe they can’t afford an in-fill or lot prices in an established community), there just plain isn’t anywhere for all of them to live in the inner-city. Passing some kind of zoning to allow more secondary suite development is just a part of any solution. Putting more strain on the situation, homes in Calgary are already more expensive than places like Okotoks, Cochrane, Strathmore and Airdrie. More and more homebuyers are looking to these communities for their affordability and lifestyle, choosing to commute in to work in Calgary but paying property taxes where they live. Some businesses may choose to do business elsewhere too. “The lack of land development approvals is making more builders consider building in the outlying towns of Okotoks, Airdrie, Chestermere and Cochrane,” says a representative of one of Calgary’s largest condo developers who is feeling the crunch, “where there are less land development restrictions. I always used to have 500 units in inventory, now I have 50.” One co-worker I spoke to paid $2,500 in property taxes alone last d e c e m B e r 2 0 1 3

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NEWS | Mayor Naheed Nenshi

...when you’ve already raised property taxes more than 30 per cent in the past three years, it’s understandable why team purple is a little gun shy on the topic of another increase. year. If that’s a new homebuyer in a suburb that’s a minimum of $50,000 in revenue if they live there 20 years. Only $25,000 if they live there 10 years, but still a nice return on a $4,800 investment. Yet many, the mayor among them, refer to it as a subsidy, and not an investment in the future. If the mayor and city council don’t want this revenue base, other municipalities surely will. Taking the matter into their own hands, some members of the development and home building industry got together to discuss who would be the best candidates to support in terms of people who would see land development as perhaps somewhat less of a one sided partnership than the current administration. They were secretly recorded and then publicly chastised in the media for it by the mayor and others. A local development company was accused of circulating a ‘slate’ of business-friendly candidates amongst their employees and encouraging them to take time off to vote. Not a crime last time I checked, as long as there’s no coercion involved. Just democracy in action, folks. Everyone has the right to vote for who they want to and, inevitably, folks end up voting for people with similar views to themselves. People talk. Interest groups of all kinds — unions, churches, professional associations, nonprofit groups — meet to discuss what candidate would be best for them. That’s politics. That’s how it works. In fact, a full half dozen of the candidates endorsed by the builder/developer are also candidates Nenshi himself endorsed. To their credit, Apex , parent company of Excel Homes, stands by their memo and makes no apologies for it. However, with hundreds of employees, there’s obviously going to be some purple people in the group so it was entirely predictable that this type of memo would find its way to the media. The Mayor may have crossed the line and ventured near the edge of the legal abyss when he referred to Cal Wenzel, 74 |

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the founder of one of Calgary’s largest home builders, Shane Homes, as The Godfather. Strong family ties and shrewd businessman, sure, but The Godfather?! Is it just me, or did the mayor’s flair for the dramatic maybe get the better of him on this one? The Manning Foundation for Democratic Education, the rightwing conservative think-tank that Cal Wenzel has been said by some to be in the back pocket of developers, thanks to funding from same deep pockets, has spoken out on the issue. They suggest higher taxes in the suburbs to support infrastructure development. It would just be a fact of life, then, that living in certain areas would cost more than in others. Seems like a no brainer, and pretty much the way the market works anyways. Living in some neighbourhoods costs more than in others. The mayor would rather pass on that option, instead painting the builders and developers as the bad guys, raising purchase prices, than City Hall by raising taxes (again). It’s into the midst of this playground-like atmosphere, with not all the kids playing nice in the sandbox, that Alan Norris, President and CEO of Brookfield Residential Communities, one of Canada’s largest land developers, stepped as the keynote speaker at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce October luncheon at the Carriage House Inn. A who’s who of Calgary’s housing industry, including heavy hitters like Shane Wenzel of Shane Homes, Jayman MasterBuilt’s Jay Westman, Carol Oxtoby from Heritage Pointe Developments, Qualico’s Karin Finley and Glynn Hendry, Ryan Ockey of Cardel, and others, were lined up outside the door to hear what one of the industry’s most respected voices had to say. So, in a room full of chamber members from all walks of business, with the media present, Alan Norris did what he was supposed to: he spoke his mind. Norris, who comes with a list of qualifications too lengthy for this already lengthy article, spoke in his quaint Scottish brogue about coming to Calgary so many years ago, intending to stay a couple of years, and never leaving. He spoke of his love for Calgary and what we need to do to stay the great city we are; to remain the destination of choice for newcomers. He spoke of some of the things that we’re doing right: for example, he said, the new community of Seton is one of the three largest mixed use developments in North America. And he should know, Brookfield is active in three Canadian metropolitan markets and eight more in the U.S. s o u r c e m e d i a g r o u p : c e L e B r aT i N g i T s 10 T h Y e a r


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“People come from all over the world to see the quality of our communities,” he said, “ and we should never lose sight of that.” Norris said that Calgary, at close to 11 units per acre on the suburban edge, has a higher density ratio in that area than any other North American city. Still, he cautioned, significant challenges on the supply side, in terms of developable land, are looming. And, while he supports the general philosophy behind PlanIt, the City’s urban planning program, he said it, too, is not without its challenges. “It’s a 60-year plan. You can’t do it in two years. We have to make sure we have choices available in case things don’t stay the same. Which they seldom do.” Norris favours what he calls “intensification on a common sense basis”, with a balance of housing choices. He knows all too well the fees associated with developing new subdivisions and the share developers pay. “Property taxes,” he said, “are a very regressive form of taxation. We need to find other, more innovative ways.” At the moment, he said, it’s reached a bit of an impass in terms of both funding and red tape. “The mayor’s in favour of cutting the red tape, but it hasn’t happened yet. Almost 85 per cent of what we do as developers is dictated by standards. It’s hard to be innovative with the remaining 15 per cent.” What Norris is calling for is more transparency, both in the process and in the funding, accountability and responsibility. Where is the money for new community development coming from and where is it going? If homebuyers have to pay more, what are they paying for? “User-pay works,” he said, “if people know up front what they’re paying for and make that choice.” Which is where accountability comes in. “It’s important they get what they paid for.” And people do have a choice. If not in Calgary, then in outlying areas. All of the choices come at a cost, and with a looming lot shortage already threatening to drive prices up, a glut of red tape to wade through and the City whining about their share being too much, Calgary will have to do something to maintain its competitive edge in terms of continuing to draw skilled migrants to the city. “It took three years to get approval for Mckenzie Towne,” said Norris, “and it’s still happening in Seton. We have trouble getting approvals

because the regulations are unclear and unstable. We’re way ahead of the U.S. on the product side, but they’re ahead on financing solutions, especially with regard to development costs.” Many U.S. cities, he said, are empowering communities to cover their own costs. That way, people know exactly what they’re paying for. “It’s not a discussion just about housing,” he said. “It’s about keeping Calgary attractive to people.” So what’s the next step? “We’ve got to get to the point where we’re not pitting taxpayer against taxpayer, “he said, “the cost of choices must be transparent.” He called for more co-operation between the public and private sectors. He praised Calgary’s innovation in products and called for more. He asked for a more open-minded discussion of progressive financing solutions. He commended Mayor Nenshi for wanting to cut red tape, but stressed the need for that desire to filter down through the various department levels at City Hall. Indeed, it wasn’t a Nenshi-bashing session at all, but a relatively objective analysis of the current situation and what can be done about it. Because, clearly, things are not sustainable the way they are and something needs to be done. The flexibility to respond to market dynamics is a key. “If we’re intensifying density,” he said, “ we need to allow zoning for secondary suites. You can’t talk about density if you can’t even allow that.” We can’t get too much into the blame game, he said, instead of recognizing the issue, confronting it, and dealing with it. The election may be over, but the issues are not. “It’s a challenge and an opportunity,” said Norris, “I hope Calgary business, government and public alike is up to.” So what’s needed? Less mud slinging and political rhetoric and more open discussion and, heaven forbid, co-operation between concerned parties would be a good place to start. Because it’s not an election issue, it’s a Calgary issue — and it affects all of us.  CL

“We have trouble getting approvals because the regulations are unclear and unstable. We’re way ahead of the U.S. on the product side, but they’re ahead on financing solutions...” Alan Norris

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CONdOSCAPES By Richard White

HIGHer LearNING

University City is an unmissable architectural standout

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oe Starkman, CEO of Knightsbridge Homes not only loves cycling in Europe, but he also loves the European sense of urban design that embraces the use of bold colours. So when his firm got involved in the transformation of the old and tired Brentwood Mall along Crowchild Trail into a modern transit oriented urban lifestyle center he was quick to give Dave Edmonds and his team at GEC Architecture the green light to create something contemporary and colourful. Anyone driving along Crowchild Trail past the University of Calgary can’t miss the twin 20-floor condo towers — one Royal Gold (yellow), one Sunlit Topaz (orange). Not only are they the tallest structures in the city north of the Bow River, but they also fit with the Calgary’s increasing use of bold colour — Alberta Children’s Hospital, Max Bell Arena and the new Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park, as well as numerous buildings on the University of Calgary campus. There are three more smaller condos in the University City project one will be Ruby Ring, one Apple Green and one Blue Sapphire. The use of colour is more than just for “attention grabbing” it was a strategic move to make the 416 condos more attractive to the project’s target market: Gen Y, i.e. late 20- and early 30-somethings. Starkman’s research and intuition told him “the next generation isn’t interested in the conservative, pragmatic pioneer architecture that currently dominates Calgary’s urban design sense, they were looking for something more brave and bold. This is not only reflected in the exterior colour, but in the interior design with units as small at 350 square-feet. He calls Gen Y the “take away crowd” as they don’t need dining room or big kitchens as they are always eating takeout. They don’t need media rooms or spaces for mega TVs

as they watch everything on their laptops. What they wanted was an affordable, bright, efficient space. The University City condos have exterior “window walls,” which are similar to the “curtain walls” of downtown office buildings which allows for dramatic floor to ceiling windows. This technology has not been used very often in Calgary as it costs more, but it is more efficient to install, ensures a better quality window and allows for a different aesthetics than the commonly used stucco, stone or brick with “punched” exterior widows. It allows for a sleeker, cleaner look inside and out. It also allowed for the use of the large painted enamel metal tiles on the exterior of the building that are the big differentiator for this project. While the actual shape of the buildings is rectangular the use of the colour on the sides and top and the staggered positioning of the buildings create a less boxy aesthetics. The buildings are also oriented with windows facing north and south to minimize the shadowing on the park and neighbouring properties maximize the view of Nose Hill and the mountains for residents. Starkman recognizes there is a “love hate” reaction to the colours, but he knows you can’t please everyone. His vision was to add a new dimension to the University of Calgary’s evolving sense of place as the hub of the city’s northwest quadrant. I love it!  cL

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Condo Name: University City Architect: GEC Architecture

richard White is the Urban strategist at Ground3 Landscape architects. He has written about urban living, urban development and urban design for 25 years. He can be followed @everydaytourist or you can view more of his blogs, rants and essays at www.everydaytourist.ca

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ASK MARIA By Maria Bartolotti

CONDO CONUNDrUM

Resolving conflict of interest issues in the condo board

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ear Maria, what is a conflict of interest and can a Board member vote? A conflict of interest occurs when a board member’s decisions are influenced by his/ her personal gain rather than the interest of the condominium corporation. A good example is where a board member is rewarded a profit of some sort from a vendor who wants a service contract in your condo that is worth a lot of money to the vendor, the board member makes certain that the vendor is awarded the service contract. The Condominium Property Act states, that every member of a board shall exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office of member of the board honestly and in good faith. Board members are elected to make decisions and take actions on behalf of the Corporation. Board members are not elected to abstain. They need to carefully consider and vote on all matters coming before them. The only exception should be where a Board member has a conflict of interest, in which case they should follow the following steps. Members of the board should disclose any conflict of interest. This means that they should let the board know if they have any business or personal interests in a decision, which is being made by the board. Further, the board member should not engage in the discussion leading up to the vote on the issue. The board member must abstain from voting on the issue. This is best achieved if the member leaves the meeting until the discussion and vote is complete. Board members with a conflict of interest

Editor’s note: Readers are encouraged to ask their most confounding condo questions to our resident condo specialist: Maria Bartolotti.

maria Bartolotti

cannot be included in the numbers necessary to establish a quorum for a meeting. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to their condo owners and as such, must place the best interest of their community above all else including their own. Remember, you can only serve one master. Until next time… cL

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is the owner-manager of New Concept Management Inc. she has developed a strong reputation for rendering timely and efficient services to the condominium industry. Maria believes that her company’s success hinges on her hands-on approach to condominium management as well as maintaining open lines of communications with her clientele. Maria is actively involved in her industry. for more information, visit www.newconceptmanagement.com

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HOPE AT LARGE By Marty Hope

THree’s COMpaNy

Grosvenor brings third new project into Calgary

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he name is Smith. No last name. Just Smith. With the grand opening ceremonies of its twin-tower Avenue condominium project under way in the downtown west end of Calgary, developer Grosvenor Americas can turn more of its focus to its third Calgary project, Smith, down the street from the company’s successful Drake project. “The response to Smith’s sister project, Drake, has exceeded our expectations, and we are looking to have Smith through the final permitting process and on sale in 2014,” says Grosvenor Americas vice-president Michael Ward. Just to bring everyone up to speed, the 17-storey, 135-unit Drake building at 15th Avenue and Seventh Street S.W. is complete and possessions are expected to begin shortly — slightly more than three years after the sales centre opened. Next up is Avenue, a 319-unit development. For this two-tower, $60-million project, Grosvenor has teamed up with Cressey Development Group to redevelop the corner of Fifth Avenue and 10th Street S.W. to create a 254-floor, 195-unit tower that will be connected to a 124-unit, 18-storey tower via a four-level “sky bridge,” says Ward. As with the other Grosvenor projects, Avenue will be built in an established neighbourhood, with the added bonuses of being next door to the city’s river pathway system and just a short walk from the LRT system. Sales started in November and construction of the first tower is expected to start in 2014. “In developing one of the final parcels of land in this established downtown neighbourhood we (Grosvenor Americas and Cressey) set out the create a best-in-class development,” says Ward. While Drake’s buyer profile was composed of predominantly young professionals, likely buying their first home, Avenue will be for more mature professionals — empty nesters and acreage people — and those who want to “graduate” from what Drake had to offer but stay in the downtown.

Avenue

Now to Smith. Bookending the same block as Drake, this high-rise will climb 18 storeys out of Beltline property at 15th Avenue and Sixth Street S.W. and will offer consumers a choice of 129 condominiums. And, Ward says, the decision to move ahead with Smith was based on the success of Drake. “The units in Smith will be slightly larger and will feature higher-end finishes with a commensurate increase in price,” says Ward. “It’s kind of neat, Drake wrapping up and Smith ramping up.” The Grosvenor vice-president says Smith was chosen as the name for the project as a play on the word smith — in a way to recognize the retailers and other businesses in the Beltline area. In old English, the suffix smith describes specialized craftsmen, such as blacksmith, tinsmith, wordsmith, or tunesmith. Also on Grosvenor’s development plate is a site at Fourth Street and 17th Avenue that is now an office building and parking lot. An unspecified fifth site is also in the company’s catalogue that is large enough that both Drake and Smith would fit on it comfortably. “With these five sites Grosvenor will have more than 1,000 condominiums in Calgary, making Grosvenor’s Calgary development programme larger than our offices in Vancouver, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco,” says Ward, adding that the condo market here is “very robust and we will continue to focus a significant amount of Grosvenor Americas’ capital and talent on this market.” cL

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The Drake

Editor’s note: Visit the following websites for more information on each project: Grosvenor www.grosvenor.com Avenue www.avenuewestend.com Smith www.Smith17.com

marty hope. for more than two decades Marty Hope has been reporting on the housing and development industry in Calgary, throughout alberta, and across Canada. In March, he was presented with the Maple Leaf award from the Canadian Home Builders’ association which is given annually to a non-builder member in Canada for contributions to the industry.

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AROUNd TOWN By pepper Rodriguez

BROOKFIELD SIDE-BY-SIDE BRINGS FRESH LOOK WITH NEW AUBURN BAY SHOW HOMES

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rookfield Homes is excited to unveil its two new Auburn Bay Side-by-Side show homes, each with a fresh and distinctive look. Both show homes feature designs by Rochelle Cote of Rochelle Cote Interior Design Corps. Cote says family life was the design inspiration of the Linden show home. “We wanted to highlight the family feel of the community in the design concept. By using bold, over-scaled patterns, rustic finishes and warm grey and taupe tones through the home, we were able to give it a more layered, rustic ambiance.” The Cypress, meanwhile, has a more modern and dramatic expression, combining shine and sleek contemporary lines with its finishes and furnishings and luxurious

masculine elements like high gloss wallpaper and dark fabrics. “We wanted the homes to reflect the community as well as our diverse customer base,” explains Ryan Moon, Sales and Marketing Manager with Brookfield Homes. With six floor plans to choose from, including the newest model in Brookfield’s line up — the Willow and three versatile layout options, homebuyers are able to design their home to fit their lifestyle. “The two show homes provide a spectacular combination of practicality, open planned living and affordability,” shares Moon. “We want future homebuyers to experience the fulsome offerings of Auburn Bay, including the nearby park and wet pond and the Seton

SMART LIvING IN BRIDGELAND

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mart to the power of two, that’s the kind of condo lifestyle that the new Einstein2 development promises. The first Einstein development by Providence Group went up in Marda Loop and is almost sold out. Its twin — this time going up in Bridgeland — is expected to be just as successful. Einstein2 is a four-storey development with a two-level parkade. It will have a total of 83 units that uses “the same space savvy concepts, eIntelligence and high quality finishings as the Einstein development in Marda Loop,” says Providence Group President Gary Beyer. It’s location in the inner-city community of Bridgeland is a key part of its appeal with its easy access to downtown and tons of available amenities. Beyers tells Around Town that Einstein2 will also have two rooftop patios and a gym to go with its Euro styling. Registration will begin mid November, and units will be released by early 2014, with construction to start by the first quarter of that year. He says pricing has not been released yet by it will be “inner-city Calgary’s most affordable option.” The on-site sales centre will open in November on the corner of Edmonton Trail and 4th Avenue N.E.

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commercial district which recently became home to retailers including TD Bank, Petro-Canada, Bank of Montreal and Shoppers Drug Mart.” The homes, ranging from 1,116 square-feet to upwards of 1,440 plus square-feet. have a starting price from the low $300,000s before GST. The new Presentation Centre is located at 362 Auburn Bay Avenue S.E.

6TH AND TENTH ART COMpETITION

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amb Development Corp. (LDC) announces that renowned Chilean artist, Francisco Gazitua, has won their open-call art competition to create a permanent public art piece for the developer’s 6th and Tenth condo going up in the Beltline. Francisco Gazitua Born in Santiago, Chile, Gazitua has been designing one-of-a-kind public art pieces that have become architectural landmarks, and his work can been seen across many major Canadian cities. He will be in Calgary as a guest of honour for a private event to unveil his work late November. This new piece of public art promises to be as unique as the 31-storey tower that LDC is building here. The developer sees this as a way of giving back to the community that has been so supportive of LDC’s first condo project in the city. With 6th and Tenth over 55 per cent sold, the project is expected to break ground as early as December 2013.

»

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Around town  | 

Cardel Lifestyles lends hand to Women’s Shelter

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ardel Lifestyles may be Calgary’s top builder of multi-family homes, but they’re also number one in the hearts of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter (CWES). Tim Logel, president and partner of Cardel Lifestyles, presented the charity a $25,000 cheque to go to the on-going renovation of the shelter. The $25,000 donation was part of a promise that Logel and business partner Ryan Ockey made on October 11, 2012, during the Grand Opening of Cranston Place. They pledged $500 from each condo and townhome sold at Cranston Place, which is all but sold out now. This is actually the second donation to CWES by Cardel Lifestyles bringing the total to date amount given to $50,000. The Renovation Campaign for CWES has successfully raised $1.2 million to date. To reach their goal of completing their renovation they still need to raise another $1 million. The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter purpose is to support individuals and families in their efforts to live free from family violence and abuse.

L to R: Ann O’Donnell (Director of Resource Development & Communications – CWES); Gillian Weaver-Dunlop (Acting Executive Director – CWES); Tim Logel (President & Partner Cardel Lifestyles); Shelly Norris (Co Chair Renovation Campaign – CWES); Sherri Logel (Co Chair Renovation Campaign – CWES).

FRAM Slokker opens Verve show suite

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he kind of stylish urban lifestyle that awaits at Verve is in full display at FRAM Slokker’s newly opened show suite at the East Village Experience Centre. Verve, the new 195-unit condo development will be FRAM Slokker’s second project to get the green light in East Village, and it will be far from the last. The developer completely renovated their portion of the East Village Experience Centre to show off Verve’s high style. Cecconi Simone Inc. did the interior designs for Verve, and sales manager Sandra peters says that visitors have been “absolutely amazed” by the design flair that maximizes every available space. “The designers’ reasoning is that you are paying for your square footage so it just makes sense that you should be able to use every inch of space,” Peters tells Around Town. Sturdy and stylish Corian countertops are a standard, kitchen millwork is designed to fit with the space, the use of integrated appliances allows for a smooth functional look. With its initial East Village condo, FIRST, doing spectacularly well (80 per cent sold already), and construction in full swing, FRAM Slokker launched sales for Verve in October. This is the second of seven total projects the Ontario-based firm is building in East Village. 86 |

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Work in progress

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ood news is on the horizon for Alberta condo owners. Based on a survey of more than 5,000 people — condo owners, developers, property managers and lawyers — Service Alberta Minister Manmeet Bhullar promised Manmeet Bhullar earlier this year that the Alberta Condominium Act would be amended. One of the main issues the new legislation will address is the responsibility, accountability and actual breadth of power of condo boards. It seems out-of-control condo boards and lack of legitimate consistent enforcement procedures, brought about by weak provincial legislation, are a problem for condo owners (no kidding), with the courts all too often becoming the forum for dispute resolution and no one winning except the lawyers. In response, Bhullar recently announced the province’s intention to convene a group of government, industry and condo owner representatives who will preside over various condo issues as a more affordable alternative. The work is already paying off, as the provincial government is developing a plan that would make it mandatory for condo developers to be more transparent about condo fees. Condo Living will talk more about this in the next issue.

After 2013 dip, housing starts to rise in 2014

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ccording to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Fall 2013 Calgary Housing Market Outlook, total housing starts in the Calgary Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) are forecast to moderate to 11,700 units in 2013 before rising to 13,100 in 2014. “Following a nine per cent reduction in 2013, total housing starts in 2014 are forecast to rebound with gains in both single-detached and multi-family construction,” says Richard Cho, CMHC’s Senior Market Analyst for Calgary. “Continued job creation and heightened net migration throughout the forecast period will contribute to the demand for new homes,” he adds. Multi-family starts are projected to decline 20 per cent to 5,500 units in 2013, mainly due to a decrease in apartment construction. However, an increase is expected in 2014. Rising house prices will have some buyers looking to the multi-family market where prices on average are lower, while others will be buying for lifestyle reasons. CL

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Calgary Map | North West, North East and Inner City 10 33

24 6

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North West, North East and Inner City | Calgary Map 4 20 16

MAP LEGEND

Inner City

High Volume Roads Main Roads Parks

28 27

19

Bodies of Water

12 See Advertiser Index for Project Page Reference

3

9

1

17 8 14 18

2

13

11 7

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5 6

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North West | North East Projects 1 Evanston Square

2 Red Haus 3 SoBow

4 Highland Park 5 Panorama West 6 Kincora Summit 7 TheRiver 8 The Block 9 43 Park

10 The Post 11 Steps

12 Ovation 13 Estates of Valley Ridge

14 Brownstones 15 District

16 Swan Landing 17 UNO Mt. Royal 18 Wildstone

1

20 Villas at Watermark

2

21 Groves of Varsity 22 Albert Park Station

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23 tela

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24 Sonoma at Sage Hill

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25 eighty5nine

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26 Landings at Cougar Ridge

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27 Arrive @ SkyView Ranch

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28 Kintalla at Redstone

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29 TEN Mt. Royal

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30 IndigoSky 31 Mosaic Bridgeland

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32 Aspen Highlands

33 Sage.Stone 34 Trinity

35 University City 36 Prospect Rise 37 Einstein 2

19 Bridgeland Crossings

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Inner City Projects

11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Vogue MARK Avenue West End VEN The Montana Drake The Park First Riverfront Pointe Alura Keynote 3 Eau Claire The Guardian Verve District PIXEL Evolution 6th and Tenth Waterfront LIDO

11

19 22

3

increase your advertising visibility take advantage of premium positions contact:

al donegan 403.542.1347 al.donegan@sourcemediagroup.ca

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Calgary Map | South West, South East and Calgary Area 2 1 33 4

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South West, South East and Calgary Area | Calgary Map 1 ZEN Auburn Bay 2 Ebony 3 The Gates

6

4 Einstein 5 Harvest Mosaic 6 The Gala 7 Stonecroft Auburn Bay 8 York29 9 ZEN McKenzie Towne 10 Sonik 11 Champagne

MAP LEGEND High Volume Roads Main Roads Parks Bodies of Water

16 Highbury 2 17 Chalet No 4

18 Stonecroft at 19 20 21 22

Copperfield Cranston Place Belmont Townhomes Sawyer Silverado Boulevard Townes of Quarry Park Mosaic Lakeside Auburn Bay

12 Victoria Cross 13 Aura in Copperfield

23

Airdrie/Balzac

Cochrane

1 The Edge

1 Riviera Riversong

2 The Trails at

2 Jumping Pound

3 4

See Advertiser Index for Project Page Reference

14 Mint 15 Hunter House

5 6 7

Williamstown Creekside Village Waterscape at Cooper’s Crossing Stone Keep at King’s Heights Ravenswood Townhomes Windsong

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Townhomes Stonecreek Landing The Concept The Village Sunset Ridge Heartland River Reach Lofts on the Bow Trading Post

24 Prestwick Place 25 Mosaic Mirage in

McKenzie Towne

26 Origins at Cranston 27 Copperfield Park II

28 Side by Side

Auburn Bay

29 Riverside Townhouse 30 Chaparral Valley 31 Edison at Walden 32 Cranston Ridge 33 The Alexander 33 Mission34

CHESTERMERE 1 The Courtyards in

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advertisers index 43Park Vericon page 31 1912 Cross M2i FC, page 14-17 6th & Tenth Bel Calgary page 19 The Alexander Assured Communities page 23 Arrive at Redstone Partners Development Inc. page 70 Aura Aldebaran Enterprises page 48 Avenue West End Grosvenor/Cressey Centre Spread Insert Bridgeland Crossings Apex City Homes page 2

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Carlisle Group pages 52-53 Chalet No 5 Sabal Homes page 32 Champagne Remington Development Corp. page 69

Einstein 2 The Providence Group page 4 Evolution Embassy/Bosa page 57 The Guardian Hon Towers page 77

Copperfield Park II Brad Remington Homes pages 91 & 96

The Gates Remington Development Corp. page 58

The Courtyards of Chestermere Beckmann Homes page 78

Glas Avalon Master Builder page 62

The Edge Streetside Developments pages 93 & 95 Edison at Walden Avi Urban pages 18 & 35 Einstein The Providence Group page 47

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The Groves of Varsity Statesman page 76

Kintalla Streetside Developments page 40 & 42

Sage.Stone Greenview Developments page 80

The Landings at Cougar Ridge Statesman page 84

Sage Place Cardel Lifestyles page 41

The Landing at Rocky Ridge Swan Group page 71 MARK Qualex-Landmark page 26 Mission34 Assured Communities page 9

HomExpo page 23

LIDO Battistella Development page 25

Kincora Summit Cove Properties page 81

RiverReach Jayman MasterBuilt page 24

Sawyer Silverado Avi Urban pages 18 & 35 Steps Bridgeland Giustini Bridges Inc. page 13

tela page 3 The Park Lake Placid Development Corp. page 6 The Post Avi Urban pages 18 & 35 VEN Bucci page 87

Stonecroft Auburn Bay page 12

Verve Fram/Slokker Developments page 5

Stonecroft Copperfield page 13

Victoria Cross Avi Urban pages 18 & 35

Stonecroft Highland Park page 12

Vogue Lacaille Group page 30

Stone Keep at King’s Heights Merge Developments page 64

Zen, Auburn Bay Avalon Master Builder pages 36 & 68

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feature | Story by Jim Zang | Illustration by Lama Azhari

Tales From The Condo Zone

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Merry condo Christmas

o many of us, Christmas just doesn’t seem, well, Christmassy, without some seasonal decorations. Trees, lights, miniature manger scenes, strings of greeting cards stretched out along the wall...when I was a kid, we had all of that. Including a giant Scotch Pine that my Dad would always bring back for us from one of his business trips to B.C. Nothing beats the smell of a real tree. Our house looked a little like Chevy Chase’s home in Christmas Vacation. You know, the one with enough lights on it that it can be seen from the space station. It seemed like there was always a sort of unspoken competition between some of the alpha males on the block to see who could have the highest monthly electric bill. At least my Dad stopped at Christmas lights. Our neighbour, Dewey Butz (his real name, I kid you not), opted for the glowing, moving robotic reindeer and 12-foot inflatable Santa. On the other side of him was old man Gadget’s house. He was a Scrooge if there ever was one. No Christmas decorations and no Halloween candy. And by the way, don’t let your football accidently go onto his lawn, but that’s another story. Luckily, when I moved away from home and into a condo, I was spared this right of passage into Canadian manhood by my condo bylaws. There were strict guidelines as to what was and was not acceptable in terms of decorations, so keeping up with the Joneses (or Butzes, as the case may be) was never an issue.

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Oh, you were still allowed to celebrate Christmas if you want to, but in a tasteful, less in-your-face manner. A string of lights was okay, but only one and only on your deck railing. They had to be off by 11 p.m. No flashing lights and nothing that makes any noise. You may like hearing the Chipmunks sing We Wish You A Merry Christmas every time a bird sets off your motion detector but, and trust me on this, your neighbours probably do not. Fake trees were okay, real trees were not. Something to do with fire regulations, not to mention the problem of trying to dispose of 300 trees the week after. Fine with me, I liked my fake little condo Christmas tree. What it lacked in size it more than made up for in character. Nothing but a simple wreath was allowed on outer or hallway doors, and for sure no inflatables! Somehow, even without a giant Frosty on the front lawn, Santa still found us. Of course, inside your condo is a different story. Here, you’re free to decorate to your yuletide heart’s content. For a bachelor, that might be a tree with empty beer cans hanging from it (not that I’d know anything about that); while, for my mother-in-law, it meant re-arranging the furniture for a month to make way for 70-some year’s worth of Christmas themed crafts to come out. Personally, I kind of like the condo version of Christmas. Because the less time and money I spent decorating, the more I had to do things with friends and family. You know, the things that are really important at this time of year. CL

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Condo Living December 2013  
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