Spring Creek is a new, condo-only residential community just east of downtown Canmore. Same as Calgary’s East Village. Both communities also have strong architectural guidelines as part of an effort to create a unique sense of place.
Granted East Village’s design is very bright, modern and futuristic, while Spring Creek’s is more rustic, woodsy and traditional.
Both too are designed to create a unique pedestrian experience as well as spectacular views. All Spring Creek buildings are four storeys or less, meaning they don’t block the view of the mountains and maximize the amount of sun reaching the sidewalks. No high-rises here. Also, the buildings have been placed so that main street frames the Three Sisters Mountain in the distance.
As for East Village, it’s mostly high-rises which offer outstanding views of the downtown skyline, Bow River Valley and Rocky Mountains, particularly for those living in the upper floors.
And that’s not all
Many of Spring Creek’s condo buildings have either commercial at grade or live/work space along its main street meaning there are galleries, shops and a pub within easy walking distance. There are also plans for a Village Square with café, bistro, convenience store and other amenities. Similar to East Village’s Simmons Building amenities.
Spring Creek has a unique seniors’ residence, in that the community’s pub is accessible from the street or its lobby. How cool is that? Perhaps Trinity Place Foundation that operates several seniors’ buildings in East Village should think about opening a ground floor pub in one of their buildings. Nothing like a good beer to get people of all ages to meet and connect.
It also is located so residents can walk out their back door and onto the communities 2.5 km perimeter nature trail along Spring Creek, which are all accessible to those with mobility challenges. It is great to see seniors not be allocated an out of the way site, but rather a prime on Spring Creek. While East Village’s seniors residences don’t have direct access to the River Walk it is designed with accessibility in mind.
Stay with me…still more similarities.
Both have new hotels. Spring Creek, has the new Malcolm Hotel, Canmore’s first four star hotel (pool, restaurants, café) that is the hub of the community, plus two more hotels planned. East Village has Alt Hotel and Hilton Garden Inn.
Spring Creek has a replica of the Canmore Opera house as its event and meeting space for residents and the broader Canmore community, while East Village has the new Central Library.
Both Spring Creek and East Village have many community events and activities organized for residents to meet their neighbours.
Yes, there is a major difference….
Spring Creek is a private development with no tax subsidies; Calgary’s East Village development is a City of Calgary initiative that has received hundreds of the millions of tax dollar to create the community’s amenities i.e. park, plaza, RiverWalk, community garden, playground and library.
Spring Creek is a master-planned community (as is East Village) by Canmore developer Frank Kernick, whose family has owned the land since 1927 when it was their dairy farm. It is his family’s legacy project. Kernick engaged Bill Marshall and his team at MTA Architects in Calgary to create the master plan. Ironically, MTA was involved in East Village’s master-plan development.
It is worth noting Kernick and Chris Ollenberger (who managed the development of East Villages’ master planning and early development) are colleagues and friends. Strange but true, Spring Creek and East Village were not only conceived around the same time, are being developed in similar phases and will be complete by the late ‘20s.
Kernick likes to boast that his project was approved first.
Indeed, Canmore’s Spring Creek and Calgary’s East Village are like brother communities! Brothers from a different father?
Note: An edited version of this blog was published in the May issue of Condo Living Magazine.
If you like this blog, you will like these links: