Calgary News, Events & Local Insights about Calgary - Blog Archive: May, 2013

Welcome to's blog, featuring news and insights on Calgary. Brought to you by Justin Havre & Associates - RE/MAX First.

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Nose Hill Park is over 2,700 acres in size or over 11,000 hectares. It's made up of mostly protected grassland with many hiking paths, great scenery and a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. The park is home to a fescue grassland ecosystem, which is rare for the area, 27 species of mammals and 100 species of birds. The park features:

  • Washrooms
  • Wildlife
  • Hiking Trails
  • Designated off-leash areas
  • Native Grasslands

The park is all about nature with the amazing grasslands throughout. Enjoy a hike on the hill or spend time appreciating the beauty around you. This is one of the best areas for Canadian prairies throughout the entire country with the Bow River Valley and Rocky Mountains close by. Many different plants, trees, shrubs and…

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In the wake of all the tornadoes that have been happening in the United States lately, a lot of people have a few questions on their minds about tornado safety . While here in Calgary we don't get as many tornadoes as the U.S. does, there's always the chance that one can blow through. Fortunately, most Calgarians that live in homes are ready for a tornado since they have a basement  to escape to.Most of the homes that got hit so hard in the States recently didn't have basements. Most homes down there were built on a concrete slab since the majority of builders are reluctant to dig into the clay and sand to put in a proper basement. In that neck of the woods you'll either want to install a special tornado shelter in your home or underneath the ground…

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Bowness Park, Calgary - Photo Credit:

Many residents of Calgary love spending time at Bowness Park all year. With beautiful scenery and many great activities, this is a popular place for singles, couples, families and groups of friends. Spend time walking the many paths, enjoy a family picnic or discover one of the many other great uses for this park.

Activities found at Bowness Park include:

  • Paddle boating
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Playground
  • Paths for biking and walking
  • Spay Park
  • Water Fountains
  • Outdoor ice skating

You can find the park between Stoney Trail and 85 Street N.W. It’s located near the Bow River, which helps add to the amazing scenery. A lagoon is found on the southern edge, as well. If you want to spend time on the river, you can with the paddleboats or you…

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Home staging - it's a topic that could be discussed at length and you'll find that every professional home stager has their own viewpoints on putting a dwelling together for a quick sale. If you don't have a lot of time on your hands or don’t have the funds to hire a professional stager right now, here are some basic guidelines that you can use to make your home look better to potential buyers.

  • All of the living areas should be well lit and appear spacious.
  • Clear off all of the countertops in your kitchen completely - this creates space!
  • The floors in the entrance way should be clean and polished so that they shine when viewers first walk in.
  • Set your table in the dining room with a centerpiece and your best china.
  • De-clutter the entire home…

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The long weekend in May is the start of gardening season for many. Calgary is one of the hardest places to garden in Canada due to the unpredictable levels of moisture and changeable temperatures. Although there are extra challenges to gardening in this type of climate, many are up to the task and produce beautiful vegetable, fruit and flower gardens every year.

Some of the best growing plants for Calgary gardens include caraganas, dogwoods and other plants that are tolerant to drought conditions. If you’re looking for something more, vegetable gardens are a huge growing trend in Calgary right now. It's great to be able to grow your own food and then reap the rewards of consuming it. With so many options available for growing their own vegetable…

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When you have a small studio condo you'll want to decorate it to make it seem as large as possible. Here are a few decorating tips that you can use to help bring out the space in the condo and to minimize the smaller aspects of it.

Add some bookshelves

When you need to divide spaces and make it look as if there are separate areas in the condo, use bookshelves to create this effect. Quite often a studio condo will have rooms connected without giving them separate areas and this is where bookshelves can work their magic.

Create extra height

In order to create space you'll want to create some extra height. This can be done by using tall bookshelves, curtains that go from the floor to the ceiling or by hanging any art or wall decorations higher on the wall…

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In most cases it's a better decision to start paying off your mortgage as fast as you can instead of putting your extra money into other investments,but it all comes down to some simple math.

If you're going to be receiving a lower rate of return on your investments than what you're paying in interest rates on your mortgage, it makes sense to pay off your home loan as quickly as possible. If, on the other hand, you can find an investment that pays a higher rate of interest than what you're paying on your mortgage, you'd be better off putting your money towards this type of investment.

What's in store for the future?

Not only do you have to look at the different rates of return as they stand now but you'll also have to take into account what they could be in…

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Capture the Flag is a huge paintball and airsoft facility with over 115 acres. They're home to 20 courses and one of the largest facilities of this kind in the country. With airsoft, paintball and laser tag, all in one place, you'll be able to choose the right one for your group.

Paintball is played outside with plenty of different courses to choose from. The facility is huge and provides all types of obstacles including busses, castles, tires, towers, buildings and more. You can enjoy time playing the game and use the outdoor patio to regroup in between games. During the winter, there's a ski lodge type building to help you warm up.

The Laser Trek Arena is an indoor location with a black-lit maze found throughout three levels. You'll enjoy all types…

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As the summer approaches you'll want to be ready to soak up the sun during the afternoon or to enjoy a barbecue in the backyard with your friends. When summer arrives the only time you may want to spend inside is when the rain starts to come down and if you're like most people you're going to be spending all the time you can in the great outdoors.

Finding the right outdoor furniture

Are you a wood, wicker, plastic or metal type of person when it comes to choosing the materials for your outdoor furniture? Wicker should only be used in places where the elements of nature can't reach it while wood, plastic and metal furniture can usually withstand more. Most of your wood options will require yearly maintenance, however, and metal furniture will also need to be…

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As the demographics continue to change from year to year, more and more women that are living on their own are purchasing property. Nowadays a woman doesn't have to wait until she gets married to look at the possibility of home ownership since many are financially independent long before finding a life partner.

What single women are looking for

Security has become one of the most important issues for a woman that is looking for her own dwelling. She'll be searching out a condo that possibly has a concierge, good lighting both inside and outside and security monitoring around the building. In a home, the woman will prefer to live on a street that is well lit and relatively close to the next neighbor.

Condos are a big hit for the first time single…

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