The community of Bowness has drawn in Calgarians from across the city ever since it was first developed in the early 1900’s. This neighbourhood’s diversity, coupled with its rich history and very popular recreational opportunities, makes it one of the best places to live in Calgary.
Bowness lies along the Bow River on the western edge of Calgary. The community was originally developed as an exclusive residential suburb, then developed into a town, and was later amalgamated into the City of Calgary. Many Bowness plots were given to veterans returning from World War II, adding to the uniqueness of this community. Bowness has an old, western charm throughout. The community is also part of the city’s area redevelopment program and is being upgraded to offer modern amenities, such as a new public library, while still holding on to its historic ambiance.
Bownesians, as the residents call themselves, are very dedicated to their community. It’s rare you will see a specific community of a city with their own bumper stickers, but around here you’ll likely see more than a few which say “I heart Bowness”. With Bow River bordering one side of the community you will find much of the traffic comprises people coming to visit Bowness Park – or those floating by as they raft the river!
Bowness Park is the highlight of the community, and all year round Calgarians from all over the city flock there. River floats and picnics are popular in the summer while ice skating is the winter activity of choice. A splash park is planned to be completed this summer, which is sure to be popular with the little ones. Hexters Pub is a great local spot for live music. Their indie music nights draw in local bands who are looking to show off their sound. 16th Avenue borders the southwest edge of Bowness and directly across the road is WinSport, probably better known as Canada Olympic Park. Even if you’re not a mountain biker or skier, there’s always great entertainment here including Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
From cozy apartments to multi-million dollar homes along the Bow River, and everything in between, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home in Bowness. Single family homes are more common here than higher density housing. The highly sought-after homes along the Bow River are some of the most impressive in all Calgary. Many other areas have great views of the river if you’re looking for a place with some scenery. Despite being an older community, many of the single family homes here are very modern. During the city’s recent population boom and the area redevelopment in Bowness, many homes were renovated or entirely reconstructed. That being said, if you are looking for a classic, older home with character, Bowness is also a fantastic place to begin your search. Of the apartment and condo buildings, many offer unbeatable views of the Bow River. A few of these buildings are older but some new developments have sprung up in the past decade as well. Also, as with the single family homes, a lot of the older apartments and condos have been renovated recently and feel very new and modern. And if you want to invest, this is also a very popular community for renters with the University of Calgary being so close.
Bowness has the virtue of being situated away from some of the more heavily travelled areas of the city and, as a result, is a very quiet community to live in. Having the Bow River bordering the community to the north certainly adds to the tranquility. The only major roadway in the area is 16th Avenue, which becomes the Trans Canada Highway once you leave the city. The busiest times on the highway will be the weekends when Calgarians make the pilgrimage to the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Calgary has one of the lowest crime rates per capita of Canada’s major cities. Bowness is a quiet community that’s regarded as being very safe. Plus, the established nature of the community makes it a very “neighbourly” place to be.
Belvedere Parkway Elementary and Bowcroft Elementary serve the K to 6 kids living in Bowness. Junior High Students attend Thomas B. Riley Junior High and high school aged students go to Bowness High School. All of these schools are located right within the community, which should be welcome news to parents who want to make sure their children never have to travel far for class. As already mentioned, the University of Calgary is just a few minutes away and, as a result, the community is very popular with students renting during the school year.
Calgary has a great bus system serving the entire city, very much including Bowness. There are buses that can take you a few minutes to the nearest C-Train station, giving you quick light-rail access to much of the city. If you will be working downtown, there are express buses that can have you in the city’s core in about 15 to 20 minutes. The community is also very walkable if you’re travelling by foot within its borders. Walking to have a picnic in Bowness Park, for example, is very easy.
Living in Bowness offers your family an incredible amount of world-class recreation. You would be hard pressed to find any city in Canada that offers such recreational opportunities literally minutes from your front door. Bowness Park has skating in the winter that brings all of Calgary together. In the summer, the park hosts river rafters from throughout the city and people looking to relax in the city’s most beautiful green space. WinSport is a facility offering year-round recreation, from mountain biking in the summer to skiing, snowboarding, and sledding in the winter. Raising a family in Bowness means there’s no shortage of excitement and things to do.