Through nearly 56,000 mouse clicks, eight suburbs in Calgary are left in our Battle of the Burbs competition.
And this week, each quadrant crowns its representative in the final duels.
At stake is a BUMP Festival mural for the winning community, and many other prizes.
Early on in the competition, lake communities took over the southeast. Lake Bonavista, the original lake community in Calgary, goes up against a younger, more populated cousin in Chaparral.
To get here, it’s been a fight for Chaparral, which won previous matchups against McKenzie Towne by eight per cent of the vote, and Deer Ridge by 16 per cent. Then, in the quadrant semifinals, it beat Auburn Bay by just 10 votes.
Those in Chaparral wrote-in to tell us they like their chances, and love their community.
People don’t move out. I have lived here since 2001 and I have had the same neighbours since that day.– Anita Fisher
“It is the close-knit family feel in this community (that makes it the best). People don’t move out. I have lived here since 2001 and I have had the same neighbours since that day. I think that says a lot,” wrote Anita Fisher.
Lake Bonavista flexed its way through the competition, with easy wins over Diamond Cove, Douglasdale and New Brighton, before narrowly beating Mahogany by just 39 votes.
It’s an older community both in development and in population age, with fewer rental properties than the average Calgary community. It also has one of the best tree canopies in the city, according to multiple submissions.
“There are many people who grew up here and chose to return and raise their families here,” wrote Laura Dickson. A pot hole or poorly timed traffic signal does not stand a chance in Lake Bonavista. The rallying cry goes out on the neighbourhood Facebook page and 311 is on it!”
The Southwest finalists are the smallest communities left in the competition, with Discovery Ridge the smallest, in part because much of it is populated by walking trails instead of people, as it overlooks the Elbow River. So far, Discovery Ridge has eliminated Palliser, Evergreen and Aspen Woods.
Every day I see people gathered at the small community field — connecting with others and making new friends.– Kaitlyn Mainville
It’s “the perfect mix of nature and community, close connections to the city and the ease of meeting others,” wrote Kaitlyn Mainville. “Every day I see people gathered at the small community field — connecting with others and making new friends.”
Oakridge, nestled just south of the Glenmore Reservoir, has wiped out Crestmont, Cedarbrae and Strathcona Park, before finishing off West Springs to get this far. It’s an older community with the majority of its population over 50.
“Oakridge mixes green space and great trails with pump tracks and delicious eats. It’s a community of retired folks with loved gardens and young families with trampolines and basketball hoops,” said Claudia Moore.
The most consistent vote-getters live in the Northwest, where Evanston, one of Calgary’s newest suburbs, goes up against Silver Springs, one of Calgary’s oldest, according to our definition for the contest.
Both set voting records to get here, including Silver Springs eliminating the much larger Tuscany by 262 votes, and previously handily beating Hawkwood, Hidden Valley and then winning a tight matchup against Arbour Lake.
Perched just above the Bow River and south of Crowchild Trail, Silver Springs residents wrote in by the dozens to tell us how much they love their neighbourhood.
“Our neighbourhood is the best because we have a real sense of community. We all look out for each other and are tight-knit,” writes Brooke King. “So many beautiful hidden gems are in our small community.”
Evanston, meanwhile, sits at the city’s top, with only wheat fields touching its northern boundary. It’s still under construction, but those living there say it has grown a sense of community.
It is the first community I have ever lived in that feels like a community.– Jennifer Latta
“It is the first community I have ever lived in that feels like a community or even a small town. Everyone looks out for one another,” says Jennifer Latta.
It’s a battle of the Hills in the Northeast. Huntington is split down the middle by Centre Street, while Coventry Hills is bordered by Stoney Trail and Country Hills Boulevard.
In many ways, Coventry Hills is Calgary. It’s almost exactly at city averages for the makeup of families and first language spoken. People even get divorced at a five per cent rate, just one percentage point lower than the city average of six.
For Sarah Bellamy, it’s pretty simple why her neighbourhood is the best.
I never imagined I would have so many neighbourhood friends.– Sarah Bellamy
“The people. I never imagined I would have so many neighbourhood friends. (It’s) such a giving community, whether it be advice, donations or a helping hand.”
Huntington Hills is a uniquely single neighbourhood, with nearly half the population living without a partner. Households also make less money in Huntington Hills, about $24,000 less than the average Calgary neighbourhood.
Its location, close to parks and major roads, helps make it the best, according to Claudette Cloutier.
“It’s proximity to Nose Hill (Park), Confluence Park and being on central transit lines and transportation corridors (makes it the best), and we are less than an hour away from the mountains.”
All eight of these communities remain. Only one will get the title as Calgary’s best suburb, all depending on your votes. The northwest is up first, starting today.
Voting for CBC Calgary’s Battle of the Burbs is open Tuesdays to Fridays each week, with the final winner being selected on Monday, April 25. Stay up to date and get your votes in at cbc.ca/battleoftheburbs.