"Bohemian bourgeois" living in a residential, inner city community
Running along the north side of the Bow River and bordered by Tom Campbell’s Hill Natural Park, the community of Bridgeland occupies one of Calgary’s most ideal geographical locations. Despite being only a five-minute drive from the downtown core and Deerfoot Trail, this community retains a quiet residential feel with lots of neighbourhood charm. With prime access to parks and restaurants, it’s no wonder why Bridgeland has been consistently rated among the top ten neighbourhoods in Calgary.
Bridgeland has a rich cultural history. Originally settled in the late 19thCentury, the community was once known as “Germantown” for the number of Russo-German immigrants who settled there. Parts of the neighbourhood were also home to “Little Italy.” The community was annexed by Calgary in 1910, and eventually adopted its current name after a local bridge construction company. A number of churches and cultural centres can be found in the neighbourhood—legacies of its diverse history.
While many historical buildings and century homes have been preserved, newer infills, commercial buildings, and condominiums modernize the neighbourhood. The result is a charming mix of old and new, culture and comfort, that gives this community its distinctly “bohemian bourgeois” flavour.
Highly-rated restaurants (Cannibale, La Dolce Vita, La Brezza) are tucked away in humble buildings along century-old First Avenue NE. Bridgeland Market, a well-curated grocer of locally-sourced and artisan foods, occupies an unassuming brick building that has served as the community’s grocery store since 1912. Though not showy about it, the Bridgeland community appreciates the finer things in life.
More than half of homes in Bridgeland are apartment-style, but there are also a significant number of single-family homes (about one-third). Due to the fact that there are three large retirement and assisted-living residences in the area, the percentage of seniors living in the neighbourhood is more than double the citywide average. Even so, this community offers a variety of features that appeal to all ages!
For young professionals seeking a short commute to the downtown core, Bridgeland is equipped with bicycle lanes and a C-Train station that make it easy to get around during rush hour. There are plenty of opportunities to mingle after work at a number of restaurants, cocktail bars and fitness studios in the neighbourhood (local studio, MovementU, hosts monthly beer samplings after class!).
Young families with children will enjoy Bridgeland’s proximity to the Telus SPARK Science Museum and the Calgary Zoo. Riverside pathways lead to the kid-friendly St. Patrick’s Island Park, where a playground, picnic grove, and wading pond can be found. St. Angela School is located in the neighbourhood, and an active community association hosts unique community programs like a soccer league, a garden club, and a tool lending program.
One downside for buyers to be aware of is the high rate of crime in this inner city community. There is also a tendency for traffic to bottleneck at the 5th and 4th Avenue SE bridges that link the community to the downtown core. This can cause a significant amount of traffic congestion in the area, particularly during rush hour, so this neighbourhood may be best for individuals who do not need to commute far to work. Still, buyers seeking an active and vibrant community in central Calgary will love living in Bridgeland!
Scroll down for photos and information on things to do in Bridgeland!
LIVING IN BRIDGELAND
- Five to ten minute walk to nearest C-Train Station (Bridgeland-Memorial Station)
- Easy access to Bow River Pathway and RiverWalk
- Designated bicycle lanes on roadways
- Close to Deerfoot Trail
Groceries & Shopping
- Local markets and organic food stores (Bridgeland Market, Blush Lane Organic Market)
- Boutiques and specialty stores (Sister’s Home Boutique, Bike and Brew, Inglewood Art Supplies)
- Short drive or transit ride to downtown CORE Shopping Centre
Dining & Nightlife
- Blue Star Diner, local favourite brunch spot
- Cannibale, known for its innovative cocktails
- Highly-rated restaurants with a variety of cuisines (Shiki Menya, Villa Firenze)
Health & Wellness
- Modern fitness studios (Fit Republic, MovementU, Journey Yoga Wellness)
- Several options for medical clinics, dental clinics and naturopaths
- Grades K-6 (Regular): Stanley Jones School
- Grades 4-9 (All Girls): Stanley Jones School
- Grades 7-9 (Regular): Colonel Macleod School
- Grades 10-12: Crescent Heights High School
- Grades K-6: St. Angela School, St. Pius School (French Immersion Only)
- Grades K-9: St. Alphonsus School
- Grade 10-12: St. Mary’s High School, St. Francis High School
CONDOMINIUMS IN BRIDGELAND
- STEPS Bridgeland
THINGS TO DO IN BRIDGELAND
- Lukes Drug Mart: Part-pharmacy, part-variety store, this local business has served the community for nearly 70 years. Today, Lukes Drug Mart is a haunt for local hipsters seeking niche brands and vinyl records.
- Tom Campbell’s Hill Natural Park: Located on the east border of Bridgeland, this 18-hectare park offers hiking trails, interpretive exhibits and an off-leash dog park.
- Calgary Zoo: The Calgary Zoo is the top-visited zoo in Canada and is widely respect for its conservation research and animal care standards. The zoo is located a twenty-minute walk or a short drive away.
- Telus SPARK: Although this not-for-profit science museum is primarily targeted at families with kid-friendly hands-on exhibits, admissions prices are somewhat high for the size of this attraction (compared, for example, the the Calgary Zoo). The museum hosts biweekly “Adult Only Nights,” licensed events (18+) showcasing adult-oriented topics and exhibits
- St. Patrick’s Island Park: Since its full-scale restoration and reopening in 2015, St. Patrick’s Island Park has become an urban “backyard” to the inner city Downtown East Village and Bridgeland neighbourhoods. Boasting 31 acres of land, the Park includes a playground, amphitheatre, picnic area, wading channel, bike trails and an elevated boardwalk through natural wetlands. The Park is host to a variety of events throughout the summer months, including children’s storytelling, movie screenings and live music.