Our Discovery Centre continues to follow all health and safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We remain committed to contributing to the health and safety of the wider community in which we operate.

Market Wines is an independent wine shop focused on artisan winemakers and friendly, knowledgeable service. They believe that everyone deserves great wine at a fair price. So rather than buying the same wines you find at other stores, they go the extra mile and find their own. That means they travel the world looking for wines that reflect their values: small, family-run wineries that grow grapes organically or sustainably. Today Kevin McLean, general manager and wine buyer, has tips on wines for budgets and tastes of all kinds.

Here are some essential tips from Kevin.


Any helpful hints for beginner buyers?


People always want to use the latest wine app or read scores from popular critics, but the best way to find out about great new wines is to find a good wine store.

Tell them what you like and ask for recommendations.  Go to the same person over and over, they will get to know your palate. A good wine clerk helps you explore the world of wine by pushing you into new and unexplored ground. If they only recommend what’s on sale and don’t listen to what you like, then find another store.

Calgary is blessed with so many great independent wine shops. Find one close to home and get to know the people who work there. A good shop will have lots of wine open to taste too.



When do you recommend a red vs. white?


People get caught up with rules but when it comes to wine, there are no rules. Experiment.

Think about the flavours, how heavy the dish is, and consider regional wines for the dish. Cooking lasagne or a pasta dish with tomato sauce? Think Tuscany – anytime you can pair a wine with a food from the same region, you usually win.

For Asian or any spicy dishes, look for an off dry German Riesling. Riesling is the most overlooked grape and it also happens to be the best wine you can pair with food. It’s usually a great value and the selection today is amazing.

The biggest mistake you can make is overpowering food, don’t try and match power with power. If you pick wine that is balanced and fresh you usually end up with a good experience at the table.


Can you recommend a few of Market Wines favourite bottles?


Here are three of my favorites:

Budget: 2015 Castello D’Alba Douro, Portugal $15.95

If you want great value – and I mean really great value – you need to look at Portugal. The country has so many great indigenous grape varieties from off the beaten path. This wine is made from Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional – never heard of them? No problem, these are the very same grapes used to make the famous Port wines of Portugal, only here they are made into a dry table wine. It’s juicy, soft and delicious wine that you can’t beat this for the money.


Mid-range: 2016 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie – Beaujolais, France $27.95

Beaujolais has made an incredible comeback in the last five years. Gone are the days of the bubble gum “Nouveau” wines and in their place are some serious reds, the best examples of Gamay the world has to offer. This wine has always been a favorite of mine, a sturdy example of Beaujolais from the village of Fleurie, produced from old vines that deliver an intensity most don’t expect from Beaujolais. The nose has bright red fruits with aromas of violets and spices. When you get this in your mouth, the fun really starts. It dives around your mouth hitting every corner with ripe, delicious flavors and a velvety, soft texture. This is my all-time favorite wine for roasted chicken. In fact, it’s become a bit a Sunday tradition at our house.


Splurge: 2012 Mount Eden Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon – Santa Cruz, California $99.95

Mount Eden was started in the 1950s on the top a remote mountain outside of Saratoga, California. The grapes grown on mountain sides are not like those grown in the Valley below. The cool winds and rocky soils make the vines struggle, producing grapes with unusually thick skins and deep colors. The special vineyards of Mount Eden produce some of the most remarkable and singular wines in all of California. This restrained and sophisticated wine offers aromas of green tobacco, cassis and graphite. For those with the space and the patience, this wine will easily last two decades in your cellar. It is already starting to shed its tannic coat, revealing a thrilling wine beneath. Although there are more expensive wines in California, I cannot say there are any more complex or compelling then this beauty from Mt Eden.



Interested in paying Market Wines a visit? Come by for a tasting and stay to learn from them about the ins and outs of a great bottle of wine.


Have a favourite locally owned and operated business in Northwest Calgary that you’d love for us to speak to? Let us know in the comments below— at U/D we’re always on the lookout for new neighbours, friends and partners!

A commitment to building a community of age-inclusivity is shaping University District’s growth.


From building a walkable neighbourhood that puts pedestrians first, to offering multi-family homes that allow us to stay close to the people that matter most — U/D is bringing Northwest Calgary a community that’s built for life.


Our recently co-hosted event, The Importance of Home, Community and Care as We Age, explored the modern perspectives and options for living better as people face issues that come with getting older. From considering the effects of social isolation, to understanding the role that mobility plays, and considering how a community can preserve vibrancy— we discussed how environment plays a major role in determining the way we age. Much of the discussion centred around how important housing is to everyone — a topic near to our hearts and top-of-mind at U/D.


We are mindful that growing as a community means reflecting the values and addressing the needs of the people who live here.


That is why we were excited and honoured to announce Cambridge Manor — a state-of-the-art seniors living facility within University District that will be built in tandem with our partner, The Brenda Strafford Foundation. Through Cambridge Manor, U/D will be able to offer residents a chance to age-in-place—with amenities to suit the needs of seniors, enabling our residents to enjoy a community that provides essential flexibility in housing.


But that’s not all.


Our builder partner Truman is also stepping out with Maple, a seniors independent living development with one and two-bedroom unit options in the range from 580 to 1080 square feet.  

Maple is distinct because of its livable and age-friendly design features, including wider doors, larger, more accessible bathrooms and Truman’s own signature commitment to elevated fit and finish quality.


Interestingly, Maple will be accessible by a Plus 30 connection to Cambridge Manor so amenities can be shared with residents between the two buildings, like dining, recreation and education services. It also makes it easier for families requiring multiple levels of care and support to easily spend time together, which increases their quality of life to be close to loved ones.



“The quintessential Maple resident is an active senior who enjoys life on the move, community connections, and amenities without compromise,” says Dilesh Sidhpura, Sales Manager at Truman. “Depending on their healthcare or lifestyle needs, our residents can age in place and live comfortably without having to relocate.”


With access to Cambridge Manor, residents can age in place with supportive living and long term care services, including therapeutic care, bringing comfort and security with any treatments that are needed.



Beyond the onsite healthcare services, Maple is also steps away from amenities like green spaces and pathways, Save-On-Foods, a variety of shops, and Calgary Transit, making accessibility easy for simple day-to-day needs.


Truman is excited to unveil what’s coming to our community with Maple— the only seniors residence of its kind within U/D and Calgary’s Northwest — and recognizes the opportunity it offers to senior homeowners.


Excited to learn more about what’s coming to U/D? Interested in getting the inside scoop on Maple? For all things new and newsy in our growing community, make sure to come by to visit us at our Discovery Centre!

On February 8, we were delighted to co-host The Importance of Home, Community and Care as We Age at the Kerby Centre 55+, here in Calgary.


The lively and interactive talk drew a large crowd to explore the concepts, challenges and fresh approaches needed for us to age well. The topic was tackled by experts from all angles, including:


  • how to support the safety, comfort, dignity and a quality of life for older adults in communities
  • rethinking homes, communities and healthcare for all as we age, and
  • solutions for keeping active and independent in our own spaces as we age.


The topic of aging-in-place is one that U/D champions. We are building a walkable neighbourhood, a well-connected environment, and adding community partners, like The Brenda Strafford Foundation, who will play a major role in our community with U/D’s recently announced seniors’ residence, Cambridge Manor.


Panelists from West Campus Development Trust, University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, The Brenda Strafford Foundation and the Kerby Centre gathered to discuss questions from attendees and virtual viewers that centred on the importance that our environments have on our quality of life as we age.


Whether you’re a student, a young professional, or an empty nester, it’s important to remember that accessibility is universal. A community designed for seniors is a community designed for everyone and alongside seniors, we all benefit from a community filled with diverse perspectives and abilities.


The talk explored the needs people face as they are getting older — like the physical design of our homes, the need for senior-oriented flexibility in them, and the quality of healthcare at home for aging populations.


How can West Campus Development Trust build a better community for people of all ages? Watch the full event on video here.


Here are some of the lessons learned:


  1. Nursing homes are not for everyone. Staying at home and in our communities helps us age well.


Where you are today is where your network is —a place where you have a sense of belonging. To stay within our current environments is a major factor in how we adapt to new phases of life more easily without the stresses of feeling uprooted and isolated.


  1. Thoughtful home designs matter.


The design of our homes present major accessibility challenges as we age. Structurally, homes are often built too high off of the ground to make for easy entry and exit, many layouts put bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, and hallways are generally too narrow to accommodate people and their walking aids comfortably.


Panelist John Brown, Professor and Interim Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, adds that, “the senior segment of our population is growing larger than it has ever been here in Calgary, and the houses we have available now aren’t well-suited. We have large housing stock that is ill-prepared to accommodate these people, which makes staying in these homes difficult and even dangerous.”


  1. More can be done by our current health system.  

It is evident that our health system is not well adapted to care for the unique needs of an aging population. In Canada, we place seniors in long-term care facilities because the healthcare system currently cannot provide the support needed to keep people in their homes, including mobile care and other services essential to maintain an adapted aging lifestyle. Placements in retirement homes are often premature, so from a societal perspective, more should be done to keep people in their homes and communities for as long as possible.


Medical support for the aging population is not the only service that seniors need. Beyond glasses and hearing aids, many seniors require further support like assisted-handrails in certain areas of the home or voice activated appliances to improve the quality of life. However, a fine balance is needed so these items are functional, and easy to use and maintain for seniors.


  1. Everyone and every family is unique.


Panelist James Robertson, President & CEO of West Campus Development Trust understands the challenges that an aging population faces, and speaks to why U/D is a community of age-inclusivity.


“At one time or another, many people feel as though they must move from their home and community, and can cause isolation because they lose their support system, the familiarity of their neighbourhood, and their daily routine. Some are forced to live apart from their partners and loved ones because everyone ages at different rates and require specific needs that not all facilities can support, so people are forced to travel to make regular visits, and live apart. Our goal is to create a community for people to age-in-place so they no longer need to adapt to a new environment.


Currently a single solution exists to meet diverse individual needs for seniors. At U/D, the community is surrounded by single-family-home neighbourhoods without adaptable design. What we’re creating is a different type of flexible living. From U/D’s transit-oriented location to inclusive housing, the community is designed for accessibility that works for a variety of audiences. Seniors are not the only part of U/D, but they are a valued part of our community.”


  1. We like our independence. This doesn’t change as we age.


The creation of housing that is adaptive is important — our communities should see us through our changing lives, in all of our ages and needs.  For independent housing, it is important to have a house that can adapt and is flexible, and we want those living in homes to remain in control to the fullest extent possible for as long as possible


Asking seniors to adapt to what is being offered is not an efficient solution to the challenges that come with aging. Instead, taking the needs and independence levels of seniors into consideration is bringing about solutions that allow for continued vibrancy and a sense of connectedness as we age.


People are living longer than they have at any other point in history, and we all face the same challenge — how to create communities that work for all of us. We need to provide better support to those who need it most, and bridge the gap between independence and support for seniors.


This event might be over, but the discussion of  how U/D is building a community to age-in-place continues to take shape. To keep up with our latest events, announcements and activities, make sure to visit our Discovery Centre, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on our favourite social channels — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

We spoke with Avi Urban to learn more about the background and future of August, the second phase build and contribution to University District that will be adjacent  to U/D’s own Alt Hotel. From how August’s unique spirit will contribute to our growing community to what trends to look for in 2018 in home decor, Avi Urban shares exciting hints at what’s to come for U/D homeowners.


What home decor trends will we be seeing more of in the coming year?


Julie Punter and Jennifer Madsen, showhome designers with Avi Urban, share some of the most notable trends for 2018:


Mid-century furniture is something to watch for this year, and mid-century inspiration can be seen anywhere from classic gold fixtures to patterns across interior design. It is unique, as it can combine with other styles, but is also great on its own — you can expect to see more of these elements used in our upcoming projects!


From a colour perspective, we expect to shift away from the stark white walls that have been a major design focus in recent years. Trends this year include jewel tones such as deep blue, emerald green and purple, and light pastels and blush tones. We’re also seeing lots of details like florals and geometric shapes, both in tile and in wallpaper.


What new finishes or colours will Avi Urban be adding to new homes in 2018?


We have added more accent tiles in ensuites, laundry rooms, kitchens, and mud-rooms to bring a pop of color and pattern to the space. We always try to keep up on the newest and latest product whether that is new cabinet colours, carpet or flooring, and try to display them in our showhomes. We will be adding pattern carpets and tile into our upcoming showhomes.


What is the look and feel of what’s to come at August? What can residents expect to see in the units?


Image courtesy of Avi Urban. Concept rendering subject to change.


Charron Ungar, CEO of Avi Urban shares what’s in store:


We would describe August as contemporary with a strong sense of presence.  


We like to think of our approach to design as taking the best elements from many different architectural styles and blending them together to create something new and refreshing.  That unique aspect is the basis of creating a place you are proud to call home.  


We have worked hard to create spaces that cater to the way people want to live in vibrant urban communities, such as University District.  


August will be comprised of approximately 120 sophisticated urban apartment condominiums spread over five stories situated above a retail podium that will offer a range of shops and cafés. Home styles within August will range from compact studios, functional one bedrooms and spacious two bedroom suites, which will all offer functional, sophisticated interior spaces that offer plenty of storage.


Our upcoming show suite will do a great job showcasing what life in August at University District will be like for residents—find it at U/D’s Discovery Centre with the official opening on March 3.


What sets August apart within U/D?



With our hotel partner sharing our urban courtyard and being adjacent to the retail core of the community, August will offer our homebuyers unparalleled access to all of the existing and newly constructed amenities that University District has to offer.  It will be a truly unique urban development.  

We can’t wait to get started!


Learn more about Avi Urban’s movement toward building better homes in the video below.



Avi Urban’s August show suite will open at our Discovery Centre in March 2018 — come by for a visit to see what’s coming in our newest builds, and to catch up on the latest and greatest from University District!

Creativity in the kitchen is a modern-living must.


Whether your inspiration comes from TV shows, vows for better health or a desire to show the ones you love how much you care, home cooking is a wonderful way to experiment, innovate and celebrate goodness every day.


Our new grocery partner, Save-On-Foods, is ever ready to help with some sweet (and savory) advice on making dinner at home feel a little more special. We asked about the ins and outs of making a meal to remember, whether it’s for that special someone on Valentine’s Day, hosting family at Christmas, or ringing in the New Year — this is what Save-On-Foods had to say.


Does Save-On- Foods have any easy meal ideas for beginner home chefs?


Julie Dickson, Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Services at Save-On-Foods weighs in.


Absolutely. Whether you’re an aspiring home-chef, or more experienced when it comes to navigating a kitchen, Save-On-Foods is happy to offer options to fit all culinary abilities and make the most of whatever cooking time your schedule allows for.


For beginners and those looking to take some of the guesswork work out of cooking, we offer fast, fresh and fabulous meal kits that include everything you’ll need to prep your dinner, including a protein and some delicious greens. We also offer pre-prepped vegetables that make cooking quick and easy – options like love beets can be easily turned into an incredible salad with balsamic vinegar, feta and nuts.


If you’re really strapped for time, another delicious option is our pre-cooked meals that are ready to be eaten as soon as you arrive home, completely cutting out any prep work.


For those looking to make a meal from scratch, head over to our service meat case to take a look at our freshly prepared items and source some dinner-time inspiration. Here you can browse our meat, seafood and vegetable options that will serve as a great focal point for planning the other items for your meal.



When it comes to cooking for special occasions, what hints can you offer to those trying to impress their dinner guests?



When hosting a special meal, there’s nothing wrong with simplicity and keeping decor minimal and elegant. Beyond glassware and tableware, a great bottle of wine, a nice tablecloth, and of course the food you’re preparing, can often act as a centrepiece. Appetizers like charcuterie boards make stunning additions to any table, and invite people to gather around them.


Here’s how Save-On-Foods recommends building a great charcuterie board.




Experiment with different flavours and textures with variety to your charcuterie board.  Cured meats like salami, prosciutto and ham are all great choices. Curl them or lay them out to begin building your board.




Whether a soft, fresh cheese like goat or buffalo mozzarella, or harder aged options like parmesan or old cheddar, your charcuterie board is a great place for cheeses of all types. Use a combination of both for a an interesting board that will offer something for everyone.




The vessel for your charcuterie board items is important! Add flatbreads, crostinis, crackers or breadsticks – or better yet, a delicious combination of them all to mix and match your bites.




Charcuterie doesn’t stop at just meat or cheese — garnishes like fruit (grapes, figs, strawberries and beyond) and pickled vegetables (onions, peppers, asparagus, and of course, pickles) give your plate, board or platter some added visual interest and cut through the richness of meat and cheese.


Beyond the food you’ll be serving, an interesting addition to dinner tables are florals and plants, which also serve as interesting guest-gifts to be taken home after the meal has ended. Plants like succulents are easy to care for, and lead longer lives than cut flowers.


A major hosting tip for any occasion is to be as present as you can for your guests. This is made easier when you try and prep as much of your meal as possible before your guests arrive and finishing up small details once they have.


Knowing your guests’ tastes and dietary needs ahead of time is a great way to make sure everyone is happy with the recipe choices — you can find options on our Fresh Solutions page.


For those of us who want to branch out from traditional special occasion meals (i.e. mainstays like grilled steak or baked salmon), what would you suggest as an interesting alternative?



Lamb and any of our seafood items are fantastic picks for special occasion dinners. We’re proud to offer some top tier Western sourced seafood as a healthy, interesting option if you want to try something new.


If you’re feeding several people at your dinner, consider some of our great pre-order options, like a crown pork roast or pre-made charcuterie platters!


What dessert would you make if you were trying to wow a dinner date?



One of the most impressive desserts of all time would be our very own six pound Chocolate Eruption Cake — it’s enormous! If you’re making dinner for two (or if you don’t have the fridge-space for leftovers) we recommend buying it in smaller slices in our bakery.


For those interested in making a dessert from scratch, there are lots of great variations on after-dinner classics through our Fresh Solutions. Our Irish Cream Biscotti Ice Cream Truffles and Upside Down Berry Cheesecake Cups recipes are great examples of favourite dishes with a twist.


How can residents in the NW access the online shopping option that Save-On-Foods offers and what more can you tell us about it?



As Save-On-Foods prepares to open in 2020 at University District, Calgarians can take advantage of our online ordering services by heading to our website and logging in with their postal code.


Here you can create a grocery order for pick up, and have one of Save-On-Foods’ personal shoppers prepare your groceries for you. All you need to do is swing by your selected Save-On-Foods to collect your order – for Northwest residents, this is our Panorama Hills location, which will be joined by another store right here in University District!


Looking to save yourself a trip? Take a look at our delivery option for groceries — with drop-off time slots ranging from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week, finding everything on your list has never been easier!


To learn more about U/D’s new partners and what’s to come in our growing community, visit us in person at our Discovery Centre!


If you feel like you’re in need of a post-holiday holiday, you’re not alone.

After weeks of family gatherings, last-minute shopping trips and generally overindulging, we recommend taking a little bit of you time to prepare for the year ahead. What better way to recharge than a spa visit?

Whether you’re in the mood for a hot-stone massage, in serious need of a pedicure, or feeling brave enough to try out a new ‘do, Northwest Calgary is home to some of the city’s best places for some much needed R and R —here are some of our favourites.



The Spa Ritual describes itself as a YYC rejuvenation sanctuary with therapies based on authentic, holistic rituals inspired by ancient health and wellness practices from Southeast Asia.

It offers a range of services and premium products to suit nearly every taste — whether it be relaxation or beauty-focused spa treatments. Some of the experiences it offers include facials, massages, scrubs, waxes, pedicures, and infrared sauna treatments, a great way to combat the winter blues.

Address: 106 Crowfoot Terrace NW | Calgary, Alberta



For an elevated R&R experience, pay a visit to Peel Salon and Spa, a luxurious Northwest location guaranteed to impress.

Offering six different types of massages, head-to-toe aesthetician services, a whirlpool, full fitness facilities and countless other features, the spa’s mantra — relax, rejuvenate and transform — rings true across all areas of the picture-perfect facility.

Address: 8220 Bowridge Crescent NW | Calgary, Alberta



Riverside Spa offers an impressive facility that boasts Swiss showers, steam rooms, and a fireplace lounge, all situated along the banks of the Bow River.

As a bonus, Riverside Spa is also group- friendly, and still offers the comforts of a relaxing massage and pedicure. For an elevated retreat or getaway, stop in to sample the services and bring some company for a social R&R experience.

Address: Riverside Spa Calgary 110 Point McKay Crescent NW | Calgary, Alberta




Brentwood’s Massage Heights offers classic massage services and offerings in our neighbourhood with several other convenient locations around Calgary.

A major Massage Heights feature is its memberships, which include a massage every month, additional massages at a discounted rate, and a number of other enviable perks. Whether you’re in search of a little pampering or some much-needed relief from stress or muscle tension, Massage Heights is a great go-to for massage services and an environmentally friendly choice.

Massage Heights’ Green Initiatives showcase the brand’s commitment to sustainability and opting for biodegradable products at its retreats, offering an experience you can feel good about.

Address: 3820 Brentwood Rd NW #105 | Calgary, Alberta




SwizzleSticks is an award-winning, locally owned world-class Salon Spa located in the heart of Kensington. For 25 years SwizzleSticks has been the go-to quality salon and spa service to Calgarians, and brings a locally-owned focus to natural beauty, health and wellness.

For a one-stop shop for your pampering needs, SwizzleSticks offers salon services including haircuts, styling, colouring in addition to spa services, like facials, nail services, and waxing.

Address: 1211 Kensington Rd NW | Calgary, Alberta


How will you be preparing yourself for a great year ahead? Have a favourite place to treat yourself to in the Northwest? Let us know if your favourite spa made the list by connecting with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Feeling a little chilly? A winter-workout might be the best thing for staying warm this season.

Holiday parties and festive feastings are behind us so it’s a great time to be active over the next few months of frosty weather.

Don’t think that a snowy day means that we need to stay inside or postpone our workouts—here are some of the best ways to chase off the chill this season in the great outdoors!


Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

Northwest Calgary is home to multiple spots for scenic, snowy treks and can be enjoyed by cross-country skiers and snowshoers alike. For the snow-covered days when a jog is more trouble than it’s worth, try either of these sports on for size — gear can be rented locally at University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre.

To get moving on your cross-country skiing or snowshoeing adventure, head down to any of NW Calgary’s parks, or take a look at the dedicated tracks available at Shaganappi Point Golf Course, Confederation Golf Course  and Bowness Park.


Fat biking

Fat biking might be the answer to your winter cycling woes.

With a set of two giant wheels to keep you steady, a fat bike is meant to be ridden in snowy conditions, making cold-weather commuting and adventures a snap!

The host of pathways and trails within the Northwest provide the perfect backdrop for snow-covered bike rides — a worthy alternative to riding out the season inside the gym. If you’re not ready to buy your own, we recommend that you rent a fat bike from Calgary’s own Bow Cycle.

From gentle slopes, to steeper climbs, head to the Northwest’s Nose Hill to give fat biking a try!



A classic winter pursuit and a Canadian cold-weather mainstay, sledding might be one of the best ways to chase off the chill during our snowy months.

Considered as a nostalgic activity for many of us who enjoyed childhood adventures on the back of a toboggan, sledding continues to be a fun activity for all ages. Grab your vessel of choice and head down to your nearest hill to join in on the fun. Some of the Northwest’s best sledding spots include:

  • Confederation Park – 2800, 10 Street NW (north side of park immediately west of Rosemont Community Centre).
  • Hidden Valley 10504 – Hidden Valley Dr. N.W.
  • Royal Oak – 50 Royal Birkdale Drive NW (north side of hill)
  • St. Andrew’s Heights – 2504, 13 Avenue NW



What better time than winter to pull on your skates and head for your nearest rink?

To take in some seasonal scenery, head to the Northwest’s Bowness Park where you can skate the Bow River-fed lagoons that run throughout —making for an adventure that extends beyond your typical rink.  When you’re done, warm up at Seasons of Bowness Park Restaurant for a host of locally-sourced, seasonal goodies, and a much-deserved hot chocolate.

Don’t have any skates to call your own? Not to worry, University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre is happy to rent you some.



The cold is unlikely to stop our furry friends from wanting to get outside for a W-A-L-K. Let them serve as motivation in getting us out when we might be tempted to stay in.

If you’re looking to let your dog off the leash, Northwest Calgary offers a number of dedicated parks perfect for a winter adventure—find the list and maps here.

Here’s to winter warm-ups of all kinds!  Want to experience NW Calgary by calling University District home? Visit the heart of the NW and explore University District by visiting our Discovery Centre for the latest and greatest from our growing community.



Whether you’re the type of person who fully embraces holiday festivities or prefers a more low-key December, the season of giving is one that we can all participate in!

Giving back to the community can take many forms and isn’t limited to donations–contributing can include lending your time, talents and compassion to those who need it most. The opportunities for winter-season volunteering in Calgary have room for skills and interests of all kinds— including a chance for the holiday-happy among us to spread some cheer around YYC.

From snow-shoveling to can-collecting, here are some of our favourite volunteer opportunities in the Northwest this holiday season. Do you have a favourite way to give back to the community during the holiday season? Share it with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Ronald McDonald House

For a very worthy cause, visit University District’s neighbouring Ronald McDonald House to lend your time and talents.

Not all of us can be home for the holidays, but a home-cooked meal can make a huge difference for families with children who are patients at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the primary guests who stay at Ronald McDonald House. If you’re willing to share your kitchen skills with those who need them most, you can volunteer to bake goodies or make dinner for these appreciative families.

Northern Hills Community Association

Like working outside and don’t mind the cold? Love throwing a great get-together? Happy to spend the holidays making some seasonal crafts? We have just the place for you.

The Northern Hills Community Association caters to many of our neighbouring Northwest communities and is in need of people willing to share their skills and make the season a little brighter for all. Some of their available volunteer roles include Ice Rink Builder, an Event Ambassador, and an Arts & Crafts Committee Leader.

Calgary Food Bank

The Calgary Food Bank hosts hundreds of food drives and fundraising events throughout the city every year, made possible by the kindness and initiative shown by Calgarians.

This year U/D is hosting its first ever Northwestival, and we will be aiming to collect 800 lbs worth of non-perishable food items for the Calgary Food Bank—one of the many events and opportunities where the organization will be actively aiming to collect donations during the season.

Beyond our efforts, the Calgary Food Bank is always in search of volunteers for special events and valuable donations that benefit those in need—here are some other examples of how you can support them.

Made by Momma

Made by Momma is a 100% volunteer-run non-profit organization and registered Canadian charity located in Calgary. Its primary goal is to help families in crisis situations by providing healthy prepared meals, wholesome baked goods, baby essentials, children’s items, supportive in-home visitors and other services to allow mothers the time they need to rest, recover and focus on their families and their health.

Whatever your skill set, Made by Momma is happy for your help. From cooking assistance, to organizing the influx of donations, admin, marketing, and delivery to those in need, the roles are numerous and diverse—all the more reason to check them out!

Be a Snow Angel

Some of the best ways to give back are the simplest. If you’re looking for a cause close to home, why not pick up a shovel and step outside? Clearing snow off the driveways and sidewalks of neighbours who might not be able to do so themselves is a great way to help those in need. Beyond the good karma you’ll collect for being so helpful, you’ll also get the benefits of a workout without needing to hit the gym.

The spirit of the season is alive and well in YYC, and offering us no shortage of ways to celebrate our communities and lift up those who need it most. The idea of giving is one that doesn’t only extend to gifts—this can start where you are, with whatever you have to offer, including time, ideas and talents.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and helpful season ahead!