Sunday, April 28, 2019

Love Letter to Bankview

In 2002 we were looking for the right house in an inner city community. We discovered our dream house, an impossibly skinny 17 foot wide architectural infill, in Bankview, Calgary, Alberta. We soon discovered that what makes Bankview great is the diversity; of people, amenities, green spaces, schools, architecture and activities. Bankview is full of wonderful neighbours and friends such as Gail Simper winner of the 2017 Community Advocate Award. You can read about more stellar residents in the Bankview Good Neighbor Awards, and nominate someone today! The history project "A Stroll Through Bankview: Some 70+ Significant Selected Sites" also offers a comprehensive look at this unique community through the years. 

The Bankview Community Association and Community Hall is a hub of activity that ties the community together. In 2018, working with the Bankview Community Association and The City of Calgary, local artist Chris Pecora made a wonderful graphic map of Bankview and all the unique amenities including community, art, parks and recreation, history and architecture. I’ll highlight some of my favourites from the map as well as other community assets. 

As they say; location, location, location! Nestled between the bordering communities of Mount Royal to the east, South Calgary/Marda Loop to the south and 17 Avenue Retail and Entertainment District to the north, Bankview is a terrific location. So many amenities are located within walking and biking distance, including easy access to the bike trails along the Elbow River and River ParkFor a gourmet market and cafe visit, Our Daily Brett, located in the same mini mall as Bankview Starbucks, and Fishman's Dry Cleaners.

Bankview is chock full of parks with the crowning jewel being the large Buckmaster Park, which is home to the Community Garden where residents can rent their own plot. Buckmaster Park boasts a view of downtown, benches, a hill for sledding, basketball court, street hockey space and many wild neighbourhood bunnies. It is also the site of many events organized by our fabulous Bankview Community Association like outdoor concerts, Halloween pumpkin lantern evening, and bonfires. The Bankview Community Association is situated in another sizeable park area, a block from Buckmaster park. This space has a soccer pitch, free tennis courts, basket ball court, event gazebo, and playground equipment. Smaller parks are sprinkled around Bankview with a variety of additional playground equipment. We even have our very own off-leash dog park

The community green spaces also house a variety of public art including the Nimmons Cairn by renowned artist Katie Ohe, Bankview Mural by Chris Pecora and Cam Hoff, a dinosaur mural on 25 Avenue SW, and a very unique VW Beatle car turned into a spider on top of Bankview Starbucks. The diverse community architecture is another bonus such as the infamous 'soccer ball' geodesic dome house built in the 1970's, the historic Nimmons House, built in 1898, or the 2019 award winning Grow Project, a multi-unit condo complete with rooftop gardens. 

A short walk to neighbouring South Calgary brings you to the cSPACE Arts Hub, in the historic King Edward building, -  a community of artists, non-profits, entrepreneurs, event space and the weekly year round Farmers & Makers Market. A block from cSPACE is the South Calgary Outdoor Pool and the Giuffre Family Library. What more could you ask for?

So what's your favourite thing about Bankview?