Calgary Inner City Blog

Community Spotlight on Kensington

Today we’re casting the spotlight on one of Calgary’s favourite and most popular urban communities.  Kensington.  The centrally located community on the north side of the Bow River from downtown Calgary was one of the original models for pedestrian friendly living and shopping in Calgary.

With over 250 unique shops, restaurants, and services, whether you’re looking for a way to spend the afternoon or looking for a new home, Kensington is the perfect mix of eclectic and urban.

Kensington has seen a revival over the past few years with a host of new residential developments by local Calgary builders. Kensington by Bucci, St Johns by Streetside, and LIDO by Batistella will add over 20,000 sq.ft. of new street level retail as well as approximately 240 residential condo-style homes to the neighbourhood.

If you’re looking to spend a day there to get a taste for the community, here’s the way you should spend it…

  • Make your way down to YYC Cycle for a 9:15am spin class with one of Calgary’s fastest growing and most vibrant studios.  Take a class with one of YYC Cycle’s amazing spin “motivators” that mixes sweat, style, and sound, to get your heart beating.
  • After your sweat session, simply make your way to the next block to grab a coffee at Higher Ground, one of Calgary’s most popular local coffee shops.  Their unique menu of traditional and original lattes, teas, and cappucino’s will get you going for the day.
  • Next, spend a bit of time to go shopping and check out some of Kensington’s unique shops.  Purr will provide you with some awesome styles and clothing pieces, while at other shops like Manana Imports you’ll find art, clothes, crafts and jewelery unlike any place else.  Then check out the one of a kind pieces of jewellry to be discovered at Silla Designs.
  • After all that you’ll be ready for lunch.  Pulcinella was one of the first authentic Neapolitan Pizza spots in Calgary and remains one of the coolest blends of modern style, and old world flavours.
  • While you relax from the delicious pizza, take a stroll down the the Bow River and check out the beautiful urban spaces that the City of Calgary has created with Poppy Plaza.  This park commemorates citizens who have served to protect our freedom and security, and is part of the second phase of the Landscape of Memory. It marks the first major public gathering space identified in the plan for the redevelopment of Memorial Drive.
  • From there, walk up 10th Street and get ready for ski season (or summer) with a stop at Fresh Skis.  If you’re getting geared for summer, check out Ridleys Cycle, Calgary’s oldest bike shop that has been serving Calgarians since 1945.  Ridley’s Cycle opened in the heart of Kensington, Calgary in 1945 after Harold Ridley returned from WWII.  
  • For an afternoon snack, you can’t miss Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, this amazing bakery brings Calgarians extraordinary organic artisan sourdoughs, flaky lush pastries, titillating desserts, joyous, and bright bold food.
  • When you’re ready for dinner, you can find some bold flavours at Marathon Ethiopian Restaurant, or slightly less exotic but equally fun Mexican Cuisine, at Julio’s Barrio.
  • And no trip to Kensington is complete without one last stop at Crave Cupcakes.  This bakery needs almost no introduction to any Calgarian and is known for its approach to cupcakes, which means No cutting corners, no day-olds and no frozen inventory – just good old-fashioned fresh baking.
  • Finally, finish off your night at The Plaza Cinema, one of Calgary’s few remaining independent cinemas.  With just one screen this theatre showcases independent, alternative, and vintage movies for the perfect end to a great day.

There are literally dozens more restaurants, shops, and specialty stores to find in Kensington.  We simply don’t have the space or the time head down and check it out!  Its a truly unique community and one that has to be seen in person to be experienced!

A day like that will have you ready to move into one of Kensington’s many new or existing residential developments.  See what’s available in the community right here on our website!

Sep 3, 2015

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