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contents issue 07 • spring 2014

departments 6 editor’s note

expressions 8

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art scene

Unlimited imagination. Calgary’s vibrant arts scene is spotlighted in our photo feature of some of the city’s most intriguing art galleries

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in the cellar

A toast to spring. Here are a few choices to celebrate the return of warmer weather

editor’s choice 12

tip of the iceberg

There’s so much more to this Toronto Crescent wonder than what you can see

innovations 17

12 On the cover: The Chamberlain’s fabulous home along Toronto Crescent N.W. shows just how much the community of St. Andrews Heights has become one of the leading epicentres for Calgary’s new contemporary architecture movement.

eye on custom homes

Multi-million dollar club You’d never guess where these new upscale mansions are found

home spotlight 20 The Hogan II by augusta fine homes The 2014 STARS Lottery grand prize home is a winner

community spotlight

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24 Watermark at bearspaw A custom community of upscale estate homes and luxury villas

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editor’s message

The rise of St. Andrews Heights It used to be just another unassuming neighbourhood in northwest Calgary; quiet treelined streets, dotted by tot lots and playgrounds, with a couple of elementary schools within its boundaries — you know, just a normal Calgary suburb. But it has recently become one of the hottest multi-million-dollar communities in Calgary. And these aren’t your gardenvariety estate homes, Toronto Crescent N.W. has some of the newest and sleekest looking contemporary mansions in the city. Just check out our cover feature. The Chamberlain home along this street is a flat-out gorgeous custom home, but it is a family home first. The owners invited Domus for an exclusive look at their home that sits on a ridge overlooking the Bow River valley below. What struck me was how — for all its amazing highend finish — the more than 5,000-square-foot domicile is as warm and cheery as the family that calls it home. A product of meticulous planning and well-executed construction, the Chamberlains say the result exceeded all their expectations, a great experience for the first custom home they built. It is a triumph in design in every way imaginable, and you should just see the Batcave of a lower level development they have. Richard White gives us an idea of the kind of furious activity Calgary has seen in the million-dollar market — or more aptly — the multi-million dollar market, as it gets harder to keep up with the Joneses in Stampede City. He points out the rise of the new millionaires’ row communities, as neighbourhoods like Aspen Woods, Altadore and Hillhurst take over from the traditional moneyed enclaves of Mount Royal and Elbow Park. He also points out that Calgary’s upscale luxury condos are becoming more attractive to people who in the past would not have considered moving into a multi-family environment. Our in-house wine expert, Shelley Boettcher, gives us some tips on the best wine and liquor gifts for spring — and given the brutal winter we’ve suffered through, the picks she made will certainly provide some much needed warmth. While Aaliya Essa runs down some of the most exciting art and art shows in Arts Scene. Our home spotlight this issue showcases Augusta Fine Homes’ 2014 STARS Lottery grand prize home in Silverado, a $1.3 million statement on creating beauty for charity. We also have Watermark at Bearspaw that just opened a new show home parade that further cements its image as a custom community for today’s upscale homebuyers. Calgary may still favour the traditional design of homes like Tudor or French Country, but there is a definite move for more flat roofs and wider bands of windows like the Modern Prairie. But that’s the fun of building a custom home, you don’t rely on anyone else’s taste but your own. We at Domus just want you to know the possibilities.

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PUBLISHER |

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 EDITORIAL

Shelley Boettcher, Karen Durrie, Aaliya Essa, Richard White ADVERTISING SALES

Heather Dougall heather.dougall@sourcemediagroup.ca accounting |

Donna Roberts

accounting@sourcemediagroup.ca

Issue 07 • ISSN 1929-4581 (Print) ISSN 1929-459X (online) © 2014 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. DOMUS™ is published four times per annum with copies available for distribution at select locations. DOMUS™ accepts editorial submissions by electronic mail only. Please forward any submissions including all personal information to: pepper.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca. Unsolicited submissions will not be returned. Advertising information available only by request. 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


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“I Love You” Drawing on a lifetime of experiences, Fabio Napiolini translates each tug of his heart strings into an emotional expression caught on canvas. Art has always been a big part of Fabio’s life. As a child, severe asthma kept Fabio indoors so he spent countless hours colouring and drawing. Fate would have a hand in his creative development though. His daughter was born with a critical heart condition requiring multiple hospital stays. Once again, Fabio searched for an emotional release through art. Editions Gallery

unlimited imagi “White Rose” Janice Mather is co-owner of Planet Art Gallery and Studio. Like most artists, art has been in her life for as long as she can remember. While supporting many local artists through the gallery, she also has a studio located at the gallery where she creates her work on a daily basis. Art for Janice is a tangible she can measure through her joy in the creation of every individual piece of artwork. Planet Art Gallery

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art scene

“Go with the Flow” Gabor L. Nagy was born in Hungary in 1945. He was educated in Canada, graduating in 1974 with a degree in regional planning from the University of Alberta. His interest in art led him to continue his education through workshops and courses in design, drawing and painting. Stephen Lowe Art Gallery

“Hotspot3” Known for his stylized and often humorous steel sculptures, Greg Metz’s three-dimensional works are a unique addition to any art collection. Polished figures in fluid lines, dynamic curves, and contemporary subject matter, his sculptures range from elegant to jazzy to dreamlike. Each piece is handcut with an oxy-acetylene torch, which is also used to heat, curve and add colour to his flowing works. Stephen Lowe Art Gallery

n By aaliya essa

nation “Back to the Wind” The appreciation of creation’s beauty has been the inspiration for Reg Parsons. Growing up in western Canada, his school notebook margins were filled with sketches of wildlife and horses. The desire to recreate wildlife took him into the art of taxidermy, laying the foundation for his work in bronze. Gainsborough Galleries

“Stephen Ave” Miguel Freitas, originally from Lisbon, Portugal, moved to Toronto in 1983. His love of art and painting started at a young age where he explored different ways of expressing his creativity. Miguel’s use of bright colours is often what enthralls peoples attention first, his use of vibrant colours such as reds, pure range of blues, and warm yellows are seared into your memory, leaving you emotionally charged. Editions Gallery s p r i n g 2 01 4 • D O M U S •

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art scene

“Red” Jordan Steele is a new and talented artist. His work is both innovative and exciting.  Explosive colours and mirrored finishes are his key.  He wants his work to have high impact while keeping an ethereal aspect to the final design. Planet Art Gallery

“Abstract Dove” Chris DéRubeis, found out early on in his life that he had a talent for creating art, from drawing to painting, to now working with metals. It wasn’t long before his innovative style and technique were noticed and galleries across the country began inquiring about his work. Then in 2005 DéRubeis’ work was submitted and honored with two nominations by the First Annual Fine Art Awards. Editions Gallery

“A Spring Feeling” A subtle chemistry of line, simplicity and sensuality is the very essence of Nancy Hadler Street’s unique and personal style. Born in Ontario, Nancy was raised near the shores of Lake Huron where she first developed her love and appreciation for nature. By the age of 10 she was expressing her artistic sensitivity in wood-carving. Stephen Lowe Art Gallery

calgary’s canvas Editions Gallery

246B Southcentre Mall’ 100 Anderson Road SE n Chris DéRubeis. Friday March 7, 4 - 9 p.m.

Chris DéRubeis

n Michael Godard - Magical Humour of the Everyday. Friday, April 11, 5 - 9 p.m. n Bill Mack. Friday, May 23, 4 - 9 p.m.

Gainsborough Galleries

Address: 441 5 Ave SW n 3 Men and a Lady. Saturday, March 22 through April 5. n Four Artists. One fantastic art exhibition! Opening March 22. Merv Brandel, Ron Hedrick, Min Ma, and Erica Neumann. Reception from noon-5 pm.

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n Charlesworth, Rod. Saturday, April 26 through May 10. One-Man Exhibition for Classic Canadian artist Rod Charlesworth! Opening April 26. Reception from Noon-5pm.

Planet Art Gallery

1451 14 St SW n Colour Inspirations Exhibition and Sale. New Works by Alison Philpotts and Janie Alison Philpotts Lockwood. Open Reception Friday, April 4, 5 - 9 p.m. and Saturday, April 5, 10-5 a.m.

n “In Full Bloom” Featured Artists: Nemo (Victor Colesnicenco), Joanne Gauthier, Linda Thompson, Gabor Nagy, and Shinah Lee. April 28 to May 10.

Webster Galleries

812 11 Ave SW n “Calgary-scapes” Réal Fournier. March 1 to 31. Opening reception March 1, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. n “Western Vistas” Ron Parker. April 5 to 30. Opening reception April 5 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. n “Autumn Colours” Dan Varnals. May 3 to 31. Opening reception May 3, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Stephen Lowe Art Gallery

Suite 251, 255 – 5th Avenue SW n “Boundless Skies... Endless Horizons” by Kathryn Amisson, March 8 to 22. Artist Meet and Greet with Kathryn Saturday, March 8, 12-4 p.m.

Dan Varnals


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editor’s choice

There’s so much more to this Toronto Crescent wonder than what you can see

Tip of the iceberg n  By pepper rodriguez

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n any situation, knowing what you want is half the battle. This maxim takes even more meaning when building a custom home. Chris and Wendy Chamberlain knew that they wanted to build the best home for their family, and by assembling a team that shared their vision they accomplished something close to perfection: a modern, custom home personalized to suit their every need. It’s a home that may as well be art, with its flawless balance of form and function wrapped in a delectable package of West Coast flair. Finished in 2011, it’s located along the emerging millionaire’s row of homes on Toronto Crescent N.W. It is a shining piece of contemporary architecture, blending glass, steel, stone and wood into a dramatic home that would not look out of place along the cliffs of Malibu. But, as with the best-designed homes, what you see outside is just a hint of the deeper beauty inside. It took two years to build this four-bedroom, seven-bath home, which has more than 5,000 square-feet of living space. But it took two more years of meticulous planning before the first shovel hit the ground. “The best compliment we get is that when friends come in and say that the home ‘is so you,’ that it reflects both the personalities of Chris’s and myself,” Wendy says. And it started with finding the perfect piece of land for their dream home. “We first came across Toronto Crescent in St. Andrews Heights when we were looking for a new place to walk our dog, and we saw this beautiful ridge view that opened up the Bow River valley below,” Wendy says. It was the first piece of inspiration the couple needed to begin building what is now undoubtedly the crowning jewel on this little known enclave. St. Andrews Heights is quickly turning into Calgary’s top million-dollar neighbourhood, and the fantastic view offered » from Toronto Crescent’s ridge is just one of the reasons why.


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editor’s choice

“It’s an R1 zone, meaning it’s very low density; it’s not a gated community but it still feels very private, because there are no cutthrough roads so you don’t get drive-by traffic,” says Re/Max Central’s Michael Freiter, who lives in the community, too. “There are elementary schools within the community, the University of Calgary is just down the road, the nearby Foothills hospital has been one of the anchors of the neighbourhood, and downtown is just 10 minutes away,” he adds. Chris and Wendy knew exactly where they wanted to live, but designing the home itself needed further deliberation. But even in this they came prepared. Wendy compiled two giant folders of 14

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home design and décor inspirations to inform them on the kind of home they envisioned for themselves. “We didn’t rush into anything, we took our time, we were aiming for something special,” she says. “This was our first time to build a custom home and we wanted everything to go smoothly,” and being patient, she says, ensured that things went off without a hitch. The Chamberlains relied a good deal on gut feeling and intuition in their choices on who to build the home. A chance encounter led them to Mark Tremmel — an American architect they met on a ski vacation in Colorado. “After seeing one of the homes he designed, we knew we found our architect.” They also got a positive vibe from Doug Rawlyk of Calgary’s Rawlyk Developments, who built the home for them. James McIntyre and Ronald Bills of McIntyre Bills provided interior design expertise. “We really felt good about choosing our team, and they proved us right, we couldn’t have hoped for better results,” Wendy says. Although it is as custom as they come, the home retains that appeal of universality. Put another way, it’s as unique as your prom dress, but not so much so that no one else can wear it. Wendy and Chris — married for 26 years — do love to entertain and they do so in style in their stunning open-concept main floor. Wendy says the kitchen area is the most heavily used, because she does love to cook and it’s common ground for the whole family and their friends. The massive centre island has a leather-finished granite top that not only provides a durable quality but also enhances the unique character of the home. The home has a very organic feel to it with wood paneling in the foyer that carries on through to the seamless kitchen cabinetry — a triumph in functionality and stylishness. Backlit Shoji walls give the interior a hint of the Orient and lend a sense of Zen to the home, and the volcanic basalt flooring adds a sleek, sturdy look. Chris is particularly proud of the Montana Honey Ledgestone that adorns the fantastic feature wall that comes from one particular vein from the Idaho mountain range. “It’s the perfect material to bring outdoors in,” he says.


They knew exactly where they wanted to live, but designing the home itself needed further deliberation. There are particular aspects of the home that were designed specifically to their needs, like the restaurant-grade, temperature-controlled wine room on one end of the main floor. “I’m a big wine collector and the wine room is my space,” Wendy says. Chris, on the other hand, is a car-guy and also plays in a garage band, and his private space is found in the lower level, a subterranean development like no other. It actually connects the home to a two-level detached garage (three car garage on top, and five below), which uses a lift to bring up any one of his exotic car collections. There is still enough space in this level to hold all the sound equipment for his band and practice their chops. The gorgeous centerpiece stairway highlights custom oak treads and glass railings connects all three levels of the home, and was the most difficult feature of the home to design and put together. But it was worth it, Wendy says, as it fills the home with so much character and drama. There are way too many other spectacular features in this home — valued around the $6 million range — but it would be better if pictures do the talking. It is a heavenly home to say the least, but now, with both children in their 20s with lives of their own, Wendy and Chris are contemplating selling their dream home. “We’ve also fallen in love with Kelowna and would like to spend more time there,” she says. D s p r i n g 2 01 4 • D O M U S •

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eye on custom homes

Multi-Million Dollar Club You’d never guess where these new upscale mansions are found n  By richard white

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et you can’t guess where Calgary’s first street of million dollar homes is? Good guess if you said along the Bow River in Inglewood. New Street where the A.E. Cross House, built 1891, (now Rouge Restaurant) is in fact one of the City’s first mansions. But you are wrong if you thought a street in Mount Royal was the City’s first millionaires’ mansion row. You might even have guessed Bowness Crescent in Bowness along the Bow River. But Bowness wasn’t even part of Calgary until 1963. According to Paul Voisey, in his essay “Entrepreneurs in Early Calgary” in the book “Frontier Calgary: 1875 to 1914,” the first streets with multiple millionaires’ homes were 12th and 13th Avenues in what was then the community of Connaught, now the Beltline. The Lougheed House (built in 1891) which sits on 2.8 acres in the middle of today’s Centre City is evidence that 13th Avenue was once lined with great homes just 120 years ago. Voisey also points out that in 1914, the 18-room sandstone Burns Manor (completed in 1903, the manor was located at the corner of 4th Street and 13th Avenue S.W. was valued at $150,000, which in today’s dollars makes it $3 million. Did you know that the Senator Burns Memorial Rock Gardens on 10th Street below SAIT was created in the ‘50s using 20,000 flagstones from the Mansion? Fast forward to 2014 and a million dollars ain’t what it used to be. In 2013, a record number of million dollar houses and condos were sold — 732 to be exact, compared to 548 in 2012. In many ways, $2 million is the new $1 million when it comes to benchmarking luxury homes in Calgary today as last year, 100 homes sold for over two million and seven over four million. Furthermore, 95 of the million dollar homes sold in less than 10 days, many the same day they went on the market. »

One of the multi-million dollar homes in Aspen Woods. s p r i n g 2 01 4 • D O M U S •

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eye on custom homes

No longer are Calgary’s luxury mansions limited to the early 20th century luxury communities like Mount Royal (1904), Scarboro (1910), Elbow Park (1910), Rideau Park (1911), Crescent Heights (1914) or Roxboro (1923). Nor are they limited to the mid-century mansion communities — Britannia (1956), Mayfair (1957), Bel-Aire (1960) and Eagle Ridge (1960). RE/MAX realtor Ross Aitken informed me, “that Calgary’s luxury housing market is changing dramatically, 99 different communities had a million dollar sale in 2014, with $68 of the $732 million in sales being condos. He added that most million-dollar sales were not in Calgary’s traditional millionaire communities, but in Aspen Woods, Springbank Hill, Altadore and Hillhurst/West Hillhurst. Aitken notes “there is an emerging luxury hot spot in Calgary that comprises the communities along the north shore of the Bow River — Hillhurst, Parkdale, St. Andrews Heights, Briar Hill and Hounsfield Heights — collectively 86 homes sold in this area in 2014.” Aitken also observed that after the flood of 2013 “inner-city communities on higher ground immediately became significantly more desirable for luxury buyers — Britannia, Bel-Aire, Mayfair, Crescent Heights, Briar Hill and St. Andrews Heights. Today, almost every inner city community from Deerfoot Trail to Sarcee Trail, from Heritage Drive to John Laurie Boulevard, have new infills with price tags over one million. The skinnies of the late 20th century (when 50foot lots were divided into two 25-foot lots al-

TheRiver

lowing for two skinny homes to be built) have become a thing of the past. Today, they just tear down the old cottage house on the 50-foot lot and build a large new single family home starting at $1.5 million. Probably the biggest phenomena in the luxury home market in Calgary today is the emergence of Aspen Woods/Springbank Hill as the new mega mansion community. While Calgary has 12 communities where the average house selling price is over a million dollars, Aspen Woods is the only one outside the inner city. This community made the news in March 2013, when a five-bedroom, nine-bathroom, castle-like home sold for a record $10.35 million. Luxury condos There was a time when the rich and famous in Calgary turned up their noses at condo living, but that is no longer the case. Calgary leads the country in percentage gain of luxury condos (over $1 million) sales with 36 condos selling for over the one million dollar benchmark — a whopping 44 per cent increase from 2012. In

Top Million Dollar Communities in 2013 #Sales Community

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Elbow Park

Springbank Hill

Altadore

Hillhurst/ West Hillhurst

Aspen Woods

Source: RE/MAX Reality, Ross Aitken, January 2014

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March 2013, TheRiver condo project on the Elbow River in Mission set a new record for condo sales when one of the penthouses sold for $9 million. However, as they say in sports, “all records are made to be broken” and in November a penthouse in the Beltline’s Keynote complex sold for $10 million. The 6,000-square-foot condo had all the bells and whistles including a dining room table big enough to seat 22 people. Folklore has it that Macleod Trail was shut down while the table was hoisted into the penthouse. No longer are new million dollar condos limited to the high rises on the southside along the rivers. In 2014, several new condos are for sale above the one million benchmark including Battisella Developments’ LIDO project, on 10th Avenue S.W. in the heart of Kensington Village and Truman Homes’ Savoy condos on 19th Avenue at Kensington Road in West Hillhurst. New Trends As far as new trends in luxury living go, a dedicated yoga room is at the top of the list, along with heated sidewalks and driveways. Who wants to deal with snow? In established communities with alley garages, basements are being expanded under the back deck and lawn to connect to the garage. The most unique feature I saw in a MLS listing in Sunnyside where a home had a feature wall made of 100-year old reclaimed brick from a church in Watervliet, New York. That old saying, “a man’s home is his castle” at least in this case, maybe more appropriately end with “your home is your cathedral.”  D


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home spotlight

the hogan II by augusta fine homes Lucky stars Loads of glamour and glitz are what you expect in any home worthy of being called a sweepstakes grand prize, but the refined craftsmanship displayed in Augusta Fine Homes’ 2014 STARS Lottery Home definitely puts it ahead of this year’s crop of grand prize homes in Calgary. The objective of all lottery homes is to spark interest among the public and drive ticket sales for a particular charity, and with the attention to detail and design-oriented focus that Augusta lavishes on their homes, the Hogan II has been instrumental in making this year’s STARS Lottery the success it has been. After all, who wouldn’t want to own a $1.325 million walkout bungalow in one of the select million-dollar communities in the city? The Hogan II (a highly customized version of Augusta’s popular Hogan plan) show home is at 234 Silverado Crest Landing S.W., in the Dressage area of Silverado. Augusta’s Wendee Bishop says traffic to the show home had been tremendous since it was launched in January and it was a key reason why STARS Lottery sold out earlier than usual this year. “Our standard specifications are so grand that our buyers feel like lottery winners themselves,” Bishop says.

(opposite page) The 3,220-square-foot custom Hogan is a masterpiece in the Craftsman tradition. The open-concept floor plan with 12-foot ceilings over the great room gives it a feel of stately spaciousness. Designer light fixtures heighten the sense of opulence found in all Augusta homes. (below) The kitchen features a huge island with Alaskan White granite counter in a leather finish that goes well with the Chantilly Cream & Iron Ore cabinetry. The flooring is a harmonious blend of brushed Ash hardwood and Rox tile. Premium Wolf and Sub Zero appliances are part of the package.

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home spotlight

the hogan II by augusta fine homes (right) The Hogan II displays a lush exterior accented with mesquite Cliffstone and dual decks. It has a 44-foot triple garage with exposed aggregate driveway, and is professionally landscaped to fit in well with the million-dollar surroundings of Dressage in Silverado. (below) The bungalow’s fully finished lower level has a massive family room and a mini-bar with a fireplace in silver split-face travertine. Two bedrooms with walk-in closets and a full bath make this the perfect home for owners who like having friends and relatives stay over. Being a walk-out model, adds to the privacy.

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(above) The ultra luxurious five-piece attached ensuite of the Hogan II is the perfect private retreat with a relaxing contemporary feel. The main bathroom showcases twin vanities in Caesarstone, a large tub and walk-in shower including heated tile floors. The spacious walk-in closet has built-in shelving and plenty of storage. (left) This grand prize home comes completely furnished including custom window coverings. Tall ceilings and equally tall windows give it a bright, airy ambience and the private secondary deck off the master bedroom allows owners to enjoy the quiet exclusivity of the southwest neighbourhood.

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community spotlight

watermark at bearspaw A custom community From the very start, everybody knew that Watermark at Bearspaw was going to be special; an architecturally-distinct neighbourhood of upscale custom estate homes and villas along Calgary’s western fringe. Today, two years after its auspicious launch, with a string of national and local community development awards under its belt, Watermark at Bearspaw is a vision fulfilled. The park-like setting of this 287-acre community by Macdonald Developments is fast taking shape with amenities like the central plaza with pond side pavilion, and the first of three playgrounds, ready to be enjoyed by the 40-plus families that have moved into the community. Part of an extensive trail system that will eventually connect to a provincial pathway is also complete, says Macdonald Development’s Dana Volrich. The pathway will lead to the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, which at 3,400 acres makes it the biggest green space anywhere in the Calgary area. Watermark has won SAM community development awards from the Canada Home Builders’ Association at the national and local levels. But the real winners are the residents. “Currently 48 homes are complete and another 37 under construction. We have more quick possession homes available for immediate move-ins,” she adds. Estate homes sit on lots of at least a quarter acre, the villas sit on the gently sloping escarpment that offers fantastic, unobstructed views of the nearby Rockies. “You’re still only 20 minutes to the downtown, but you still feel a world away from the busy city life here,” she says.

(top) The Villas at Watermark offers four floor plans all featuring the top end finishing, including quartz countertops, an integrated, seamless kitchen design, and engineered hardwood flooring.

(bottom) The open-concept villas come with 10-foot ceilings on the main floor and nine feet on the walkout level, a 14-foot by 21-foot glass-railed deck looks across the valley to the Rockies. Villas start from the mid $700,000s. 24

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(top right) The new Wolf Custom Homes show home on 59 Watermark Road features 5,306 square-feet of luxury living. Blending earthy tones and an industrial nuance, the triple-garage home features two outdoor living spaces.

(bottom right) Designed by renowned Canadian architect Ray Letkeman, the villas feature a contemporary prairie-style architecture tweaked to reflect the influence of the Rockies. “It’s the Prairies meet the Rockies with a touch of a resort lifestyle, that fits the needs of snowbirds and empty nesters.” s p r i n g 2 01 4 • D O M U S •

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(above) Watermark’s pond side central plaza comes complete with an outdoor pavilion with barbecue, fire pit and NBA-sized sport court. It will have five kilometres of paved community pathways that link to a regional pathway system, and a further 46 acres devoted to parks and ponds. “It will be like living in a park,” Volrich says.

(right) Wolf Custom Homes’ award-winning design and specifications are in full display in this 1,791-square-foot main floor, the open-concept design works well with the wide-plank hardwood flooring and tall windows. The sliding barn doors separating the den add a rustic touch to the contemporary design.

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community spotlight

watermark at bearspaw A cascading pond provides the backdrop for Watermark’s original show home parade that assembles a stellar group of preferred builders, including Albi Homes, Astoria Custom Homes, Trickle Creek Custom Homes and Wolf Custom Homes. All are accomplished home builders who fit Watermark’s vision for creating an award-winning community. Estate homes start from $1.2 million.

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in the cellar

A toast to spring Here are a few choices to celebrate the return of warmer weather n  By Shelley Boettcher

S

pring and early summer in Alberta are tempestuous. Will it be sunny? Will it rain? Will it snow? That’s why we need wines for every occasion this time of year: barbecues, picnics, patios, parties and weddings. Here are a few beautiful suggestions for drinking now or cellaring, plus a couple of fine scotches to warm you if the evening turns chilly.

n By Shelley Boettcher

Marie Courtin 2007 Efflorescence Brut (Champagne, France) Grower Champagne — bubbles made by the same person or people who grow the grapes — is rare in these days of big businesses and uber-large Champagne houses. But grower Champagne is also a big trend amongst wine cognoscenti. And few are doing it as spectacularly as winemaker Dominique Moreau. (She has named her winery after her grandmother, Marie Courtin.) This stunning, single-vineyard Champagne is made from 100 per cent Pinot Noir, all biodynamically grown and then vinified with natural (wild) yeasts. It’s both powerful and stylish, with a long finish and delicate floral-citrus notes. As for the name, she says it refers to “something that evolves in perpetuity.” About $80. »

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in the cellar

Domaine des Perdrix 2011 Vosne Romanee Burgundy, France The Devillard family — whose ancestors have been making wine in Burgundy for hundreds of years — bought this winery in 1996, and, since then, have been getting more and more attention for their wonderful Pinot Noir-based wines. Vosne Romanee is Burgundy’s finest commune; the winery is named after the partridges (the French word is perdrix), which run through the vineyards. This elegant, stylish red has notes of earth and cherry, with sweet tannins and a long, long finish. Pair with duck, roast chicken or mildly spiced lamb. About $95. Miramar Estate 2010 “La Masia” Chardonnay Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA The word “Masia” is Catalonian for “farmhouse,” a reference by winery owner Miramar Torres to her family roots in Spain, where her family has been growing grapes and making wine since the 1600s. The grapes for this 100-per-cent organic Chardonnay come from the Don Miguel vineyard, a special plot of land in the West Sonoma Hills that’s named after her late father, the legendary Miguel Torres. Miramar is no slouch either when it comes to making wine; her Pinot Noirs are brilliant, as is this classic oaked Chardonnay. It will make you ask yourself why you don’t drink Chard more often — it’s lush and complex, with notes of honeysuckle, tropical fruits and spice. Pair with roast chicken, lobster or pumpkin ravioli. About $45.

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Compass Box Whisky Company, The Peat Monster, 10th Anniversary Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (Scotland) American ex-pat John Glaser started his career in the wine business before turning his attention to scotch. Now he’s the whiskymaker at Compass Box Whisky Company. Note I didn’t say distiller; I said maker. He buys the alcohol from Scotland’s top distilleries, then blends it and finishes it as he sees fit, which means this is a blended malt scotch whisky. Compass Box been making waves around the world with its creations, and the cool vintage labels don’t hurt the appeal, either; this groovy-creepy one is based on a 19th century illustration. This monster — made primarily from Islay single malts — is complex, smoky and very, very peaty. About $95.

The Dalmore, King Alexander III (Scotland) Such a beautiful bottle! This unusual single malt is made from Dalmore whiskies matured in a little of everything: ex-bourbon casks, Madeira barrels, Port pipes, Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels, Marsala casks and sherry wood, too. It has a lot going on: sweet-citrus flavours dominate, with notes of marmalade, citrus, molasses, toffee, even chocolate. As for King Alexander, he was king of the Scots from 1249 (he was seven years old!) until his death in 1286, at the age of 37. About $185.


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DOMUS - Spring 2014  
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