Community Spotlight: Varsity Acres in North West Calgary

Varsity is a large community just north of the University of Calgary and one of the city's most peaceful neighbourhoods.

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Community Spotlight: Varsity Acres in North West Calgary

Looking for a home that’s quiet yet close to downtown?  Peaceful yet close to a major roadway?   Mature trees and wide sidewalks with homes that are up-to-date?  Varsity just might be the community for you.

Varsity is a large district next door to the University of Calgary in the North West.  There are actually three distinct neighbourhoods within Varsity which has a population of 12,000 residents. Varsity Acres with moderately priced homes, Varsity Estates with larger, executive-style homes and Varsity Village, an enclave of multi-family homes.  

Neighbourhood Background

Construction in Varsity began just after the University of Calgary opened in the mid-1960s.  Varsity Acres is the oldest of the three neighbourhoods and has mostly single-family homes.  It was followed by Varsity Estates with large homes and wide lots, built in the 1970s when main floor family rooms came into vogue.  Varsity Village features attached townhomes and condominiums in a variety of price ranges.  The area was perfect for employees and faculty of the University of Calgary. It is ultra-suburban in design and remains very much a family neighbourhood today.  With the construction of the LRT along the Crowchild Trail Corridor, there are more high-density condominiums appearing on the neighbourhood’s eastern edge.  Varsity as a whole is still a peaceful neighbourhood.

Varsity is in a Prime Location

Varsity is just off Crowchild Trail which is the main drag from downtown through the North West.  Downtown commuters can be home in 20 minutes during rush hour or they can take the LRT with several stations serving the Varsity area.   If you like to get out of town on weekends, take Crowchild Trail south to 16 Ave NW to head east or west, or straight north towards Stoney Trail to get to the Calgary International Airport.

Fantastic Parks Nearby

The western edge of the neighbourhood backs onto beautiful Bowmont Park along the escarpment of the Bow River.  This completely natural environmental area is high above the river bank and is maintained by the City of Calgary.  There are hiking trails through the river valley, picnic areas and 164 hectares of wilderness right in the city.  Many of Varsity’s most elegant homes back onto the Silver Springs Golf Course. The wonderful trees and lush landscape of the golf course act as a buffer against the din of the city.  Varsity Estates Park runs through the community from Crowchild Trail to Bowmont and is treasured by the community. 

Fantastic Amenities Only Steps Away

Apart from the University of Calgary which is right next door, Varsity is also next door to two of Calgary’s finest medical facilities – the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Foothills Medical Centre.   SAIT and the Alberta College of Art are a five-minute drive from the community and the Jubilee Auditorium is next door.

As far as shopping goes, residents have remarkable choice.  There’s Market Mall – a large indoor shopping centre on Shaganappi Drive NW between 40 Ave NW and 32 Ave NW with anchor store Hudson’s Bay on one end, Safeway in the middle and Sport Chek on the south end.  Northland Village Mall offers more interesting stores including a Winner’s and across Crowchild Trail to the north east is Dalhousie Station with a variety of restaurants like Earl’s, a Chapter’s location and smaller boutique shops.

There are medical/dental clinics, physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics in some of the smaller neighbourhood plazas like the Valiant Shopping Centre.

The local community association operates an wonderful community hall with outdoor rinks and a playground.  In fact, the banquet facilities at Varsity Community Hall are in high demand by Calgarians from all over the city for weddings, Christmas parties and club meetings.

Walk to Schools in Varsity

Neighbourhoods that are 40 or 50 years-old have an advantage over some of Calgary’s newer suburbs in that families can often walk together to school.   Varsity Acres is blessed to have many fine schools in the neighbourhood like Varsity Acres Elementary, Marian Carson, St Vincent de Paul Elementary and Junior High.  There are two high schools just five minutes away by car – Sir Winston Churchill and St. Francis – both with excellent academic and sports team reputations.

The Varsity trio of communities isn’t a secret but it’s not a community that you hear about on the news.  It’s an oasis in the heart of Calgary’s North West and definitely a community to check out when shopping for a new home.

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