When it comes to Calgary’s bedroom communities you don’t hear as much about Strathmore, as say Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks or Chestermere, however, it has slowly and quietly evolved into Calgary’s most complete bedroom community.
I was recently invited to come out and tour the town by Justin Rebello, Manager of Development Services to see for myself what the community has to offer. I jumped at the offer.
While Strathmore’s population is 13,528 (2018 Census) - about the same as Calgary’s Lake Chaparral, New Brighton, Signal Hill or McKenzie Lake communities - it has an incredible list of amenities including:
10 schools (K to 12)
Bow Valley College
100 acres of parks and 23 km of pathways
Hospital with 23 acute care beds, emergency, rehab and outpatient services
Arena with hockey in winter, lacrosse, ball hockey and roller hockey in the summer
18 hole golf course
Special mention should be made of two unique recreational amenities - Strathmore Motor Products Sports Centre - a 53,000 square foot field housing two gymnasiums as well as an artificial turf field that allows for a multitude of activities including soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, basketball and rugby. It also boasts an elevated walking and running track.
Strathmore Stampede Grounds is not only home to the second largest rodeo in Canada, but also the “Run with the Bulls,” an event which sees 70 participants compete with each other running alongside wild bulls in the infield. Winner gets $1,000 and bragging rights until next year.
And all this within a five by five kilometer square for 13,528 people. Impressive!
More than a bedroom community
While 39% of Strathmorians drive into Calgary to work, the majority actually work in or near Strathmore. Strathmore boasts 1.4 million square feet of commercial/retail space (larger than Chinook Centre). It also has 748,000 square feet of industrial space, the equivalent of one of those huge warehouse buildings you see out by the Calgary airport.
When it comes to major grocery retailers Strathmore has Tina’s No Firills, as well as Sobeys, Calgary Co-op and Walmart. And Its lovely downtown has two main streets with several restaurants and shops and lots of potential for more. Rumour has it a craft distillery will open up in downtown soon.
And yes, Strathmore has its own craft brewery - Origin - located in a light industrial area very similar to Calgary’s Manchester (aka the Barley District). Origin is unique in that it grows and malts its own barley which it uses not only to brew its beer, but sells to over 80 breweries including many of Calgary’s craft breweries.
I was told Alberta is considered “champagne region” for barley with its warm days, cool nights and good soil.
Strathmore is home to some very interesting entrepreneurial businesses, like Waterford Farms a 9,000 square-foot shrimp farm with a capacity to produce 100,000 pounds of shrimp per year. And, Germany’s Solar Krafte is building a 40.5 megawatt solar farm on 320 acres of industrial land, which interestingly also includes planting of lots of flowers to allow existing beekeepers to keep their colonies on site.
Bow Valley College has even set up an Entrepreneur Centre in the old downtown Co-op store.
Place to live
Strathmore is comprised of 12 neighbourhoods including Lakewood, its newest community that includes a 16.5 acre lake with a 3.5 acre island, wraparound beach and a large grass area for picnics, games and a playground.
Or you can choose to live in established neighbourhoods within easy walking distance to downtown shops, restaurants and cafes. Strathmore has very ambitious plans for transforming its downtown into a vibrant pedestrian place.
If living near a park is what you are looking for, Kinsmen Park, at the east end of downtown, offers a dock for fishing, playground, walking paths and a new spray park. Future plans include more amenities like beach volleyball and tobogganing.
Did you know Strathmore not only has the most affordable homes in the Calgary region, but also the second lowest property taxes (after Airdrie)?
Link: Strathmore Living
Strathmorians love to brag “almost everything we need is a 5 minute drive away.” I can’t think of any community in the Calgary region that can match Strathmore’s impressive list of amenities
It is also an easy commute for those working on Calgary’s east side, with the added bonus of not having to deal with the gridlock on Glenmore, Deerfoot or Crowchild Trails.
As the City of Calgary continues to grow, it must do so in synergy with its neighbouring cities and towns. Calgary isn’t the only game in town when it comes to attractive places to live.
Link: Strathmore History
Note: An edited version of this blog was published in The Calgary Herald’s New Condo section on September 21, 2019.
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