Trendy neighbourhood centred around top restaurants and boutiques in Kensington Village
A friend of mine who moved to Calgary from a small city in Ontario was searching for a home in a neighbourhood close to downtown. She wanted to be near the bustle and buzz, but was hesitant about urban living and hoped to find an inner-city neighbourhood that had a homey, quiet feel (the best of both worlds!). Her search began and ended on Kensington Road.
Vibrant Kensington has that effect on people. Trendy restaurants, busy cafes, and quirky boutiques fill century-old brick buildings along the avenue, where all walks of life converge. It’s both exciting and welcoming, and is one of Calgary’s top shopping and dining destinations for locals and visitors.
Hillhurst is the community surrounding Kensington Road from 18th Street NW (give or take) to 10th Street NW. Hillhurst is not to be confused with West Hillhurst, which is a step removed from Kensington, a bit more residential, and tends to be pricier. Hillhurst is more comparable to neighbouring Sunnyside to the east, being closer to the “action” and home to a high percentage of young adult renters.
A full 36% of Hillhurst’s population is between the ages of 20 and 34, but there are also a number of older families with teenaged children living in the area. Relatively few seniors and young children live in Hillhurst, and only about 40% of the population own their homes. About half of residences are apartment-style, with about one-third being single-family homes. Compared to Sunnyside, property values are higher and it’s more common to find luxury in-fills.
In 2017, Hillhurst ranked as the 4th best community in Calgary in terms of restaurants, cafes, and bars. It’s also a highly walkable community, with great access to transit (buses run frequently along Kensington Road and the Sunnyside C-Train Station is located a five to ten minute walk from most areas of the community). There is a fairly high amount of crime in the neighbourhood, as can be expected around busy nightlife and transit areas.
Hillhurst is a community of contrast, where proximity to the downtown core is balanced with a welcoming, small-town vibe. With many modern in-fill homes to choose from, buyers can enjoy convenience and comfort while still being a part of this charming, historic neighbourhood.
Scroll down for photos and fast facts on Hillhurst!
LIVING IN HILLHURST
- Local bus routes 1, 4, 5, 18, 104, 305, 404, 414, 791
- Sunnyside C-Train Station is located nearby (5-10 minute walk)
- Easy access to Trans-Canada Highway/16 Avenue NW and Memorial Drive
- Bow River bicycle pathways connect with neighbouring communities
Groceries & Shopping
- Safeway and Sunnyside Natural Foods Market located on 10th Street NW
- Boutique shopping along 10th Street NW (Ridley’s Cycle, Hot Wax Records, Kensington Konsignment, Great Outdoors, Purr Petite Clothing) and in Kensington shopping district
- Five to ten minute drive to downtown CORE Shopping Centre; ten minute drive to Brentwood Village Shopping Centre; fifteen minute drive to Market Mall
Dining & Nightlife
- Top-rated restaurants, cafes, and bars along Kensington Road (Higher Ground Cafe, Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey, Shijo Sushi, Pulcinella, Wine Bar, Kensington Pub, Original Joe’s)
- Plus many more along 10th Street NW (Midtown Kitchen & Bar, Wow Chicken, Freshii, Red’s Diner, Vero Bistro Moderne, Ikemen Ramen Bar, Fusion Sushi and Thai, Julio’s Barrio, Oak Tavern)
Health & Wellness
- Several medical, dental, optometry, chiropractic, and naturopath clinics along 10th Street NW, Kensington Road, and in the nearby downtown core
- Boutique fitness studios and personal training (Urban Athlete, Ki Fitness Personal Training, Kensington Personal Training) plus more along 10th Street NW (10th Street Boxing, OrangeTheory Fitness)
- Salons and spas on Kensington Road (Swizzlesticks SalonSpa) and 10th Street NW (Skoah, Frilly Lilly, Rejuve, Inner Balance Spa)
THINGS TO DO IN HILLHURST
- Kensington Village: Over 250 business are located along this historic avenue, including top-rated restaurants, specialty stores, high-end salons and spas, and clothing and jewellery boutiques. But there’s more to do than shopping — check out The Plaza alternative film theatre, Trapped Escape Room, or Hexagon board game cafe for out-of-the-box fun on a rainy day.
- Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium: Government-owned and operated by a not-for-profit society, the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium has brought arts and culture to Calgary for over sixty years. Situated adjacent to the SAIT campus, the auditorium underwent a full-scale renovation in 2004. Showcasing musicals, opera, live music acts, speakers, comedy, and more, the auditorium is also frequently used for conferences and graduations.
- Riley Park: This family-friendly park located just off 10th Street N attracts visitors for its lagoon-shaped wading pool, rock garden, and cricket pitches. A playground, concession, washroom facilities, and ample parking round out the park, making for an easy and comfortable visit.
- McHugh Bluff: This park sits on a ridge running along the north bank of the Bow River and offers some of the best views of downtown Calgary. It’s a popular destination for runners, where many will go to train on the multi-storey wooden stairs leading up the bluff from Memorial Drive. Apart from the pathways, the entire ridge is an off-leash area, with lots of space for dogs to explore.
- Prince’s Island Park: Calgary’s most popular inner-city park is filled with flower gardens, shady lagoons, ponds with fountains, and quaint footbridges. Upscale restaurant River Cafe is situated in the park and is known as a top destination for romantic dining. Extensive pathways run through the park, and a central promenade is the site of many outdoor events throughout summertime. The park is also home to Shakespeare on the Bow.
CONDOMINIUMS IN HILLHURST
- PIXEL by Battistella (2014) – 1120 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary