Adult-oriented community near Marda Loop offering a range of housing options for all budgets
Most Calgarians know of the community of South Calgary due to its proximity to Marda Loop, a popular destination for shopping and dining. South Calgary shares the Marda Loop commercial area with Altadore, a highly-rated community located to its south. However, as property values in Altadore are among the top 10% in all of Calgary, buyers seeking affordable options near Marda Loop should look to South Calgary, where average property values are lower (apart from a few luxury in-fills!) and more multi-family residences are available.
South Calgary is located east of Crowchild Trail and west of 14th Street W, in central-southwest Calgary. Being relatively close to the Mount Royal University campus (a 15- to 20-minute bus ride away), South Calgary offers buyers with older children the option for their kids to live at home while studying. Although transit options in South Calgary are somewhat limited, residents with a vehicle have decent access to most areas of Calgary via Crowchild Trail, which links to the Trans-Canada Highway/16 Avenue N and Glenmore Trail.
The community’s south border is comprised of the Marda Loop Business Revitalization Zone, running along 33rd and 34th Avenues SW. The area has undergone a major upswing in activity over the past decade and is the subject of an area redevelopment plan, which will allow for the construction of mid-rise condominiums.
Marda Loop offers over 130 boutiques and restaurants, many of which are independent and locally-owned. Medical and dental clinics, drugstores, and holistic health centres round out the amenities offered so that South Calgary residents will rarely need to travel far from the community for basic needs.
In contrast to the all-ages community of Altadore, a full 83% of the population of South Calgary is made up of adults aged 20-64, with few seniors and children over the age of four. This is probably due to the fact that South Calgary offers more multi-family living options, and fewer kid-friendly and senior-oriented activities. Housing is a bit more dense, and the community is located a step closer to the popular nightlife area of 17th Avenue SW. About half the population in South Calgary rents their homes. Crime rates are also a bit higher in South Calgary than in Altadore, falling within the top third of Calgary neighbourhoods in terms of crime.
Apart from a small community park on the west border of South Calgary, this neighbourhood scores very low in terms of access to green spaces. Residents will need to drive 20-30 minutes to reach the nearest natural area at Sandy Beach/River Park. However for urban dwellers who prefer to connect with their neighbours, South Calgary is among the most active communities in Calgary.
In 2017, South Calgary was rated the 8th best neighbourhood in Calgary in terms of community engagement, based on voter turnout, community events, and community projects, among other criteria. The Marda Loop Community Association is situated in South Calgary (next to an outdoor community pool and the Giuffre Family Library), and connects residents of both South Calgary and Altadore. The association is very active and well-organized, with unique community initiatives like a babysitter registry. Social events go beyond the usual neighbourhood barbecue, and include wine and cheese nights and a family-friendly bicycle parade. Each year in August, the community hosts a “Marda Gras” Street Festival along 33 Avenue SW, with live music, dancing, and entertainment.
Scroll down for photos and fast facts on South Calgary!
LIVING IN SOUTH CALGARY
- No C-Train Stations within walking distance
- Bus routes 6, 7, 13, 18, 20, 732
- Quick access to Crowchild Trail and 33 Ave SW
Groceries & Shopping
- Safeway, Blush Lane Organic Market, and several gourmet food stores are located along 33 Ave SW (Springbank Cheese Co., Blue Door Oil and Vinegar, Tres Marias Mexican Food Market)
- Boutique clothing and specialty stores in Marda Loop (Crabapple Clothing Company, Valerienne, Clothing Bar Boutique Consignment Store)
Dining & Nightlife
- Independent restaurants with a variety of cuisines (Nho Saigon, El’s Japanese Fusion, Belmont Diner)
- Popular coffee shops (Monogram Coffee, Phil & Sebastian), specialty food stores (My Favourite Ice Cream Shoppe, Cookie Occasion) and pubs (Merchants, Original Joe’s)
Health & Wellness
- Boutique fitness studios (Bikram Hot Yoga Marda Loop, 9Round Kickboxing Fitness)
- Highly-rated salons and spas (Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House, Swish Salon, Marda Loop Barber Shop)
- A number of medical clinics, dental clinics, holistic health centres, and drugstores
- Grades K-6: Altadore School (Regular), Richmond School (Regular)
- Grades 7-9: Mount Royal School (Regular)
- Grades 10-12: Central Memorial High School, Western Canada High School
THINGS TO DO IN SOUTH CALGARY
- Marda Loop: Over 130 stores and restaurants are located along 33 Avenue SW, one of Calgary’s top shopping and dining destinations.
- The Military Museums: Located in neighbouring Altadore, the Calgary Military Museums are the second largest military museum in Canada, with exhibits on Canadian army, naval, and Air Force history from the 1885 rebellion to the war in Afghanistan. The museum offers schooling programs for children, and also hosts arts and heritage exhibits.
- South Calgary Park and Outdoor Pool: The Marda Loop Communities Association is located in South Calgary Park and operates the outdoor swimming pool, where children’s swimming lessons are available. Admission to the pool is quite affordable, and a whole family can swim for less than $20.
- Richmond Green Golf Course: This beginners’ course has 9 holes and caters particularly to families, with a special rate for families of four.