Quirky, arty neighbourhood near Kensington Village a favourite of young adults
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, residential 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, where all walks of life converge. It’s both exciting and welcoming, and is one of Calgary’s top destinations for shopping and dining.
Sunnyside is the neighbourhood located directly east of 10th Street NW (a prime shopping and dining destination in its own right), which intersects at Kensington Road’s end. As compared to Hillhurst, it’s a bit rougher around the edges, but more affordable and offering just as much charm.
Sunnyside is full of young adults, with very few seniors or children living in the area compared to the rest of the city. In 2014, nearly half of the population of Sunnyside was between the ages of 20 and 34! This is probably due, in part, to the fact that Sunnyside is within walking distance of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), and a ten minute C-Train ride from the University of Calgary.
Most Sunnyside residents rent their homes, which are primarily low-rise apartments and condominiums. There are a modest amount of single-family homes, some dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. Houses in Sunnyside are known for having tons of character, with elaborate gardens and pastel-painted porches. LIDO, a brand new condominium complex by award-winning, Calgary-based developer Battistella Developments, is located in the southwest corner off 10th Street NW.
Situated just across the river from the downtown core, Sunnyside is a convenient and walkable neighbourhood. There is a C-Train Station in west Sunnyside, and the Bow River pathways run along its south border, linking it to neighbouring communities and the popular Prince’s Island Park.
Being an inner-city neighbourhood close to bars and transit, buyers can expect fairly high crime rates in the area as compared to other Calgary neighbourhoods. But for young adults seeking affordable options in a comfy, off-beat neighbourhood close to bustling Kensington, Sunnyside is the perfect fit.
Scroll down for photos and fast facts on Sunnyside!
LIVING IN SUNNYSIDE
- Local bus routes 1, 2, 4, 5, 19, 104, 449, 743
- Sunnyside C-Train Station is located in the southwest corner
- 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
- Restaurants and bars located on 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
- Hidden gem in the community: Vendome Cafe
- Plus many more along Kensington Avenue (Higher Ground Cafe, Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey, Shijo Sushi, Pulcinella, Wine Bar, Kensington Pub, Original Joe’s)
Health & Wellness
- Several medical, dental, optometry, chiropractic, and naturopath clinics along 10th Street NW, Kensington Road, and in the downtown core
- Boutique fitness studios (10th Street Boxing, OrangeTheory Fitness, Kensington Fitness)
- Salons and spas along 10th Street NW (Skoah, Frilly Lilly, Rejuve, Inner Balance Spa) and in Kensington shopping district
- Grades K-6 (Regular): Sunnyside School
- Grades K-9 (Regular): Rosedale School
- Grades 7-12: Queen Elizabeth High School
- Grades 10-12: Crescent Heights High School
THINGS TO DO IN SUNNYSIDE
- 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 SUNNYSIDE
- LIDO by Battistella (2016) – 1087 2 Avenue NW, Calgary