Urban sprawl is a term used to describe cities that decide to plan outwards instead of upwards, much like Calgary. When you live in the middle of the prairies with what seems to be endless land to build on, our city just continues to grow. Around 50 years ago, the community of Edgemont was near the ‘edge’ of the city, wrapping around the northwest side of Nose Hill Park in Calgary’s northwest quadrant. However, as Calgary continued to expand, Edgemont quickly became surrounded by other neighbourhoods and developed its very own community culture.
Despite being located away from the highly populated city centre, the area of Edgemont is actually Calgary’s largest neighbourhood. According to the City of Calgary, there were over 16,000 people living in Edgemont in 2014. In this area, 63 per cent of the residents fall between the ages of 20-66, and it is nearly split 50-50 male and female residents. The neighbourhood survey also showed that 63 per cent of residents are married or common-law, versus 58 per cent city-wide. These statistics start to paint the picture that Edgemont has a large family component, particularly young families looking to put down roots.
With three large schools, plenty of parks and a relatively high median income, it is easy to see why Edgemont grew to become known as a family-oriented neighbourhood. When it comes to housing, only 4 per cent of people in Edgemont live alone whereas 10% of people who live in Calgary live by themselves. Most homes in the neighbourhood showed that they had three to four people residing in them, which was higher than the averages across Calgary. This group living mentality also carries over into the older generation. When surveyed, seniors age 65 and above who live in Edgemont report that 55% live alone while 42 per cent say that they live with relatives. This is an interesting comparison to the citywide demographic, showing that 75% of seniors live alone and only 18 per cent say they live with relatives. Some analysts believe that this age demographic of seniors in Calgary could potential suffer social isolation with so many of them living alone across the city.
However, the higher percentage of seniors living with family in Edgemont indicates that group living and family values are important to the residents of this neighbourhood. Edgemont reports that 85 per cent of their community lives in single family homes and 87 per cent of them are lived in by the owners. This shows that people are there to create lives and put down roots; you won’t expect a lot of renters who are constantly moving in and out of the neighbourhood.
Edgemont may cover a large area, but the neighbours know one another, the community gardens are well tended, and the little stores stay in business. Someone, or we guess everyone, must be doing something right for this community to flourish as well as it is.
To learn more about Edgemont and the properties available there, click here.