Do you dream of a new home? Are you pining over park and pet centric living? What about a brand new EV fast charging station in the building? Our newest residential project in University District will definitely pique your interest.
We are thrilled to have a new builder joining U/D in September 2022 – Rohit Communities! Our newest residential project, Dean’s Landing, will offer the choice of 66 stacked townhomes and 135 condos situated over nine buildings. With options including studio, one, two and three bedrooms, there are floor plans suitable for everyone’s unique lifestyles. Located adjacent to the North Pond and Urban Dog Park, Dean’s Landing is positioned with easy access to green space and existing community amenities.
We sat down with Stuart Wen, Rohit Communities’ Senior Marketing Coordinator, to get an exclusive first look at what’s in store for the development ahead of their official launch on September 17, 2022.
Can you give us some background on Rohit Communities?
“Rohit started in 1986 and has been building across Canada for the last 30 years. Within Calgary, our development footprint has expanded over the years to include condos, townhomes, duplexes and single family homes. We set ourselves apart by being known as the ‘designer home builder.’ Just as you would buy your favourite designer shoes, we provide the opportunity for you to own a home with design elements that fit your lifestyle. We’ve come up with ‘designer interiors,’ which are inspired by the latest long term trends in interior finishings.”
What will Dean’s Landing at U/D look like?
“We’re offering what you call ‘stacked townhomes.’ When you walk in, you’ll notice right away a spacious common area that provides an open concept with lots of natural light. With this layout, you’ll feel as if you are in a single family home with extra space but with the benefits of townhouse living.
With stacked townhomes, you have fewer adjacent neighbours, and nothing breaking the site lines in your view. Rohit has been offering stacked townhomes for a few years, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring this concept to U/D. We’re providing the opportunity for the perfect home for entertaining.
The condos and stacked townhomes have a minimum of nine foot ceilings and will see the introduction of our newest Designer Vibes offering the latest interior design trends but still with timeless features that homebuyers expect.
The site has been laid out to minimize sight line impacts where possible and create interior urban streets to enhance the pedestrian realm, encouraging walkability and connecting with neighbours.
Where did the name Dean’s Landing come from?
“The connection of U/D being next to UCalgary brought about the idea of ‘the Dean’ to the project, and ‘Landing’ denotes our desire to be the place for people’s next stage of life. A place to land, a place to call home. We want every new homeowner to feel like their expectations of what a designer home should look like have been exceeded, a place to feel that “they’ve made it.”
Community art is so much more than an aesthetic enhancement to our neighbourhoods. Art evokes emotion, stimulates dialogue and gives people a reason to hit pause on life. Northwest Calgary is home to a number of public art features and murals. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them.
University District already has some unique art installations throughout the community. We’ve compiled a list of five community art installations that are worth a visit, including a sneak-peek at what’s to come!
Stop One – The Argyle Installation
The first installation worth checking out is the #EverythingArgyle exhibit. This series of custom, interactive backdrops provides the perfect spot for you to fill your Instagram feed with bright colours and bold designs. If Instagram isn’t your thing, you can capture some great memories with friends, family members or even your pets to look back on for years to come.
Local artists Cory Bugen, Sarah Lamoureux, and Vince Lau created the installation, bringing the sidewalk along the construction zone to life. The #EverythingArgyle exhibit located along 39th St NW & University Ave NW was developed by Homes by Avi and University District in conjunction with Park Productions.
We asked these local artists what inspired their design choices for the backdrops.
Cory and Sarah said, “We’re constantly inspired by the weird side of history, odd things about our province that kind of make you go “huh?”, with dinosaurs and UFO sightings being two of our favourites. Being home means embracing the good and strange parts of where we live, which was the inspiration for this project, standing in the shadow of an Albertosaurus, licking a giant ice cream, or heading to infinity on a bistro set.”
Vince told us, “My inspiration came from my muse, Pixel my dog, who loves to go to the University District’s dog park, where he enjoys making new friends and fetching balls. Recently, I have been into illustrating all kinds of pets, and I thought this project would be a perfect fit.”
During this limited-time exhibition, a weekly contest by Homes by Avi is running on Instagram. Contests will include and highlight local University District retailers. You’re invited to visit and pose with these beautiful backdrops, tag @homesbyaviyyc and use hashtag #EverythingArgyle for a chance to win (limited time only). For more information, visit their website here.
Stop Two – Mindful and Vibrant
If you’ve driven down University Avenue in the last year, you’ve probably seen the 32 foot-long Mindful Vibrant Mural at the base of the future home of Alt Hotel. This unique piece was developed by another local artist, Rhys Douglas Farrell. While simple in nature, the piece was actually painted by the community, as an interactive paint-by-number project completed in Summer 2021. Allowing residents and visitors to pick up a paint brush was a great way to engage the community and encourage them to have some fun. This piece was designed to be bold and spark positivity, using colours and powerful words that reflect the essence of U/D.
Says Farrell, “Using the words ‘mindful’ and ‘vibrant’ communicates to the viewer that the world is moving forward. The purpose of this piece is to brighten and highlight this new area while still being mindful of each other’s personal space and comfort.”
Stop Three – Studio Luma
Art doesn’t need to be in a gallery to be a beautiful addition to a space or community. Studio Luma is creating a playful and alive experience, with a concrete jungle theme where nature emerges through traditional and digital art. The whole concept is based on “passion for people to feel connected by animating nature and its beauty; giving the land a voice.” This installation will take people on a journey from the parkade, into the elevators and then spill out into Central Commons Park with an immersive experience. Stay tuned for details on this exciting mixed media piece and an opening date later this fall.
Stop Four – Nickle Galleries
A short walk from University Avenue you will find the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries.
Founded in 1979, this institution in fine arts has been home to more than 739 exhibits. If you plan on stopping by before September 10, you can expect to see an exhibit called, There’s Nothing Strange Here. Presented by the 2022 University of Calgary Master of Fine Arts graduates, visitors will enjoy everything from oil and acrylic painting to digitally immersive experiences.
Stop Five – ‘Roger That’ Community Installation
Completed in 2017, this City of Calgary Installation was developed to be enjoyed by pedestrians, cyclists and drivers who pass the Tuscany LRT station. Its striking height can be enjoyed at all hours of the day thanks to glowing lights that emerge off the sculpture after dusk. No matter which angle you view the piece from, visitors will always be able to see something new.
Even More Art to Love
We know U/D residents and neighbours love their dogs. What better way to capture this than a Dogs of U/D Mural! At this year’s Tails & Treasures event (which is all about dogs), local chalk artist Rozzie Lee joined us for an interactive art experience. She captured local pooches throughout the event and has been working hard to create a custom art piece that will be showcased in U/D . Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels to see when and where it will pop up! Below is a preview of some of the furry friends who will be featured.
Rozzie also joined us at the University District Night Market in July. Visitors of all ages dropped by the Discovery Centre to add some colour to the walkways with beautiful chalk illustrations, reflecting favourite summertime activities. While these beautiful creations have slowly disappeared with time, you can always expect us to have something new up our sleeves when it comes to bringing art to the northwest corner of the city.
Mark your calendar! On September 18th, from 1- 4 p.m., the U/D Block Party will be back in full force. The whole family will want to take part in the celebration as we welcome new retailers who are helping to make U/D such a fabulous place to live, work and play.
Over the past year, our community has grown to include new residents and retailers, and we’ve seen a buzz of activity at the soon-to-open, three-acre Central Commons Park. With so many new changes, the U/D Block Party offers up the perfect opportunity to connect as a community and explore everything the neighbourhood has to offer. It’s been a blockbuster year for U/D, with Stage 2 of University Avenue really taking shape! Visitors will be pleased to find 14 new retailers that have recently opened their doors, with many more to come this fall.
Check out our retail page for the full list of businesses now open. A few of the most recent openings include:
Visiting these new retailers is just one of the reasons to mark the U/D Block Party in your calendar.
Taking place on Sunday, September 18, from 1- 4 p.m. along University Avenue from the Discovery Centre through to Staples with a variety of entertainment along the way.
Here are five things to look forward to at this year’s event:
Live music and entertainment – If you’ve been to any of our signature events, you know we like to ensure there is something for everyone. Visitors can expect to see roaming performers and live musicians along the streets of University Avenue all afternoon.
Outdoor patios – In case you haven’t heard, U/D has three brand new patios to enjoy. Looking out on the soon-to-be-completed Central Commons Park, visitors can enjoy a cold brew, refreshing cocktail or bottle of wine at Borough Bar + Grill, The Canadian Brewhouse and The Banquet Bar. Let us know if you have a favourite U/D patio!
KidZone – A family favourite for the kids is back. The U/D Block Party KidZone will be a must-stop for families interested in some hands-on fun, including inflatable axe throwing.
Special one-day promotions and contests – The retailers of U/D love to rally behind the community and the Block Party is no exception. Watch for many of your favourite retailers to celebrate with special one-day promotions and contests.
Free parking – Join us with the comfort of knowing that U/D has free parking during the event for visitors. Located south of the Discovery Centre which will be sure to have its fair share of activities during the block party.
The U/D Block Party is also pet-friendly! Bring your pooch and check out the Urban Dog Park and our vast walking trails. This send-off to summer will give Calgarians the chance to celebrate the community with outdoor fun before we head into fall.
Bubble tea or “boba” is a popular drink made of chilled tea with chewy tapioca balls and other toppings. There’s no limit to the different flavours and combinations you can try – especially at The Alley. A recent addition to U/D’s food and drink scene, The Alley is a must-try for delicious and aesthetic drinks. We stopped in for a visit to learn more about bubble tea, the ever popular drink that comes in a variety of combinations. With so much choice the team at the U/D location gave us the rundown of what to expect and some of their favourite options worth a visit or two to try.
So, what is bubble tea?
Bubble tea first originated in Taiwan in the 80’s, and has since become popularized around the world. The tea base can be made with black, green, or oolong tea, and can be served with or without milk (like coconut milk, condensed milk, or even powdered milk). The most common topping to add is tapioca pearls, which are made with brown sugar and starch extracted from the cassava root. You can also add flavoured jelly, custard, mung bean paste, and milk or cheese foam.
The bubble tea at The Alley is unique.
The Alley is committed to making their ingredients in-house, including their sugar cane syrup, which is made from natural, high quality sugar canes. This creates a delicate but not overpowering sweetness. They also make their tapioca pearls (which they call their “Deerioca”) from scratch, by rolling the dough into small balls. The tea leaves they use are hand-picked and roasted with other ingredients to create unique flavours.
We asked They Alley what their top recommendations were and they gave us three top selections:
For something classic, go for…
The Deerioca Fever. This is The Alley’s signature drink, with brown sugar syrup and tapioca pearls, topped off with fresh or soy milk.
If you want something flavourful, get…
The Passionfruit Green Tea. This is a refreshing summer favourite with Jasmine green tea and passionfruit puree, topped with tapioca pearls and pineapple jelly.
Something extravagant to try…
The Crunch Cocoa Milk Tea. This is part of the Crunchy Milk Tea Series (also featuring Brown Sugar and Tiramisu flavours) with a hazelnut chocolate smoothie topped with tapioca pearls and crunchy butter crisps.
One of the best things about summer is access to local fresh produce. We’ve compiled our top five fresh and healthy summer recipes! Our farm stand , every Friday from 3- 6 pm at the Discovery Centre, is the perfect stop to stock up on fresh, local produce for your week ahead. Need some additional staple items to supplement your Farm Stand stop? Save-On-Foods is just south of the Discovery Centre for you to finish checking items off your list.
YYC Growers is a cooperative that prides itself on being sustainable and regenerative. Regenerative agriculture ensures the earth and soil is even better than it was before. Farmers who practice regenerative farming aim to reverse climate change by rebuilding and restoring soil biodiversity.
While the YYC Growers Stand is just a temporary addition to U/D, YYC Growers is a year-round operation. In the summer months you can expect tons of fresh produce, while in the winter, YYC Growers focuses on selling preserves, stored root crops and greenhouse vegetables such as microgreens.
Using seasonal produce in your meal planning is key for supporting local and managing your budget. We’ve collected five spectacular summer meals using fresh in-season local produce.
This refreshing summer meal is ideal for showcasing your favourite summer vegetables. Packed with fibre, omegas and vitamins, you will feel good serving this one to family and friends.
This perfect blend of Mediterranean vegetables and savoury chicken is a great meal to make for a big crowd. With the YYC Grower stand changing their offering as the seasons change, you can easily adapt the recipe to in-season vegetables.
Alberta soil is known for producing mineral-rich potatoes. A show stopping side dish like this one will definitely be a hit at your next family gathering. Looking for a quick and easy way to fast track this recipe? Try it with the YYC Growers 8 ingredient pesto!
YYC Growers recently added bison hot dogs and smokies to their offering. Step up your hotdog game with this unique twist on a campfire favourite:
Hello summer! Arugula is one of YYC Grower’s most popular vegetables in July and August. Showcase this peppery leafy green with savoury pork and sweet grilled peaches.
Summer has arrived in Calgary, and we want you to make the most of it. With a variety of patios on Retail Main Street, there is sure to be one you’ll enjoy.
Calgarians love spending time on patios. With our shorter summer season, we spend as much time outside as possible. Travis Oberg, Director of Design for University of Calgary Properties Group and a key member of the design team, understands the importance of a good patio.
“Our strategic plan from day one has been to create spaces so that whichever patio you are enjoying at U/D, you will be able to enjoy maximum daylight and the opportunity to socialize.
On the north side, we focused on integrating design so that the park spaces were visual and accessible. Each outdoor patio gives the most optimized view to check out what’s happening on the streets of U/D.
The patios have their own character and eclectic feel, so whether you are grabbing dinner at The Banquet, and then stopping by Village Ice Cream after dinner you’ll feel comfortable.” – Travis Oberg
If you want some fun and games then The Banquet Bar is your spot. Their large astroturf patio has mini putting greens, cornhole, jenga, ping pong, and more to keep you entertained.
Head upstairs to The Canadian Brewhouse to enjoy their spacious outdoor lounges, which are perfect for large gatherings. Stay on their main level for a bit of shade, or move up to their top floor for all-day sunshine and a great view of U/D. Their patios even have TVs to take in your favourite sports!
We know Calgary can have unpredictable weather patterns, but that doesn’t have to ruin your patio fun.
Borough Bar + Grill has an outdoor patio overlooking Central Commons Park where you can stay warm and dry under the roof covering while enjoying their large fireplace. The patio is open nine months of the year.
OEB Breakfast Co. is a popular brunch spot that uses local ingredients for their unique menu items. They have an open-concept patio, so on the warmer days the windows can open up and let the breeze in, and on cooler days you can keep warm with their heaters. Unique lighting and design elements add some fun flair to the space!
There are plenty of places in U/D for everyone of all ages to enjoy, including these family-friendly patios:
Village Ice Cream is a perfect patio to stop by and enjoy a cold treat in the summer. Grab a scoop of their summer feature flavour and relax on their benches outside while the kids can explore the plaza just steps from the soon to open Central Commons Park
Five Guys has some of the best burgers and milkshakes in town. Take your crew there to enjoy the sun, and people-watch along University Ave.
We all know that dogs are a part of the family, particularly here in U/D, and there are lots of patios in the community where your furry friends are welcome.
Borough Bar + Grill has a special patio section where you can bring your pup. They can also join you at The Canadian Brewhouse, from the south stair entrance that can be found adjacent to Central Commons Park.
If you’re looking for something low-key, looking to meet a friend, enjoy a quick recharge, or read a book, pop by Monogram’s side patio. Offering some shade for those warm summer days.
Staples is now open in University District, and includes their latest innovation ‘Studio Space’ making it a unique destination for small business owners, creatives, and entrepreneurs from across the city. Their amenities are made for the modern worker, creator and thinker, and are changing how many perceive Staples, not just as a place to shop, but a place to build your skills and business.
The Staples Studio Space offers the opportunity to rent an individual private office, a desk, a shared desk space or meeting rooms to host your next client meeting. They also offer a unique space for content creation, including a podcast room with all the A/V equipment you need, making it easy to start or grow your digital content ideas.
We sat down with the General Manager, Stephen Edwards to learn more about the new store and space.
What makes this Staples location unique?
“This Staples is the first Staples Concept Store for Western Canada. It’s built with technology, sustainability and collaboration in mind – all to inspire locals to support them to learn, work and grow.”
Staples Studio: what is the goal behind it, and who is it for?
“Staples Studio is a new approach to coworking with community at its heart—access to hot desks, meeting and event spaces across Canada. The Studio inspires deep collaboration and fellowship as it provides everything an individual needs to learn and grow. As each Staples Studio community unfolds, it develops its own personality, activities grow exponentially, and the entire collaborative collective benefits from being immersed in a positive, nurturing environment.
Staples Studio is a place where entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes can find the resources they need to turn their ideas into action and thrive in the future environments of learning and working. This is Staples Studio’s seventh location in Canada, and the first in Alberta. Given Calgary’s reputation as an industrious, entrepreneurial hub, Staples Studio’s latest and greatest space is a perfect destination. Located on the store’s second floor, it is the largest Staples Studio in Canada, and features a collaborative, open-concept environment. Staples’ latest Spotlight Space is also located on the second floor, an auditorium-style event and community learning space which can be booked by studio members and the public.”
Any other new offerings at this location?
“The store is 100% Bullfrog Powered: Bullfrog’s electricity comes exclusively from wind and hydro facilities that have been certified as low impact by Environment Canada under its EcoLogo program. Like all Staples stores across Canada, this store also features a Solutionshop location assisting locals with enhanced services including tech support, graphic design, marketing solutions, shipping, printing and much more.”
Be sure to stop by and check out their new location in Block 23 just down the street from Cineplex VIP Cinemas.
To learn more information and to keep up to date on their promotions, you can visit their website here.
Like the rest of Calgary, University District is gearing up for Canada Day. The sun is shining, the long-weekend is coming and we want you and your family to make the most of the 3 day weekend. We had some fun pulling our top 10 Canada Day ideas list together and hope there are a few on the list for you to check out. With ideas for family fun, getting active or at home celebrations U/D has you covered!
Family Friendly Celebration Ideas
If you haven’t visited Studio Bell, let Canada Day serve as the perfect excuse to learn about Canadian music and culture. With free admission all day long, the trip down to East Village is well worth it. Learn about innovations in music technology, influential artists and bands and much more in their multi-story exhibition. Studio Bell is also highly interactive, making it the perfect destination for families looking to take a break from the hot July sun.
With the pandemic putting the kibosh on fireworks the last two years, we are pretty eager to see what kind of display the city has planned for July 1st. With large crowds expected across the city, we recommend finding a spot early in the afternoon. Places such as Prince’s Island Park or Tom Campbell Hill offer great views. For all of the latest on The City’s Canada Day festivities visit their website.
Celebrate Canada Day by taking a step back in time at Heritage Park. Learn about what Canada used to be like with dozens of interactive displays and exhibits. The family-friendly museum is also offering an exclusive Canada Day high tea complete with finger sandwiches, scones and petite pastries.
Stop by the Lady of Assumption school fields on July 1st for the ultimate celebration of Canadian culture. This festival will include over 30 musical and cultural performers, a food truck pavilion, a local vendor market with over 50 local vendors, a free community BBQ between 12 and 2 PM, along with free family activities, contests, prizes and more!
Active Celebrations Ideas
There is nothing quite like a float down Calgary’s famous bow river on a hot summer day. Bring your own gear or rent from the U of C Outdoor Centre for an afternoon of fun in the sun. We recommend lathering the sunscreen, bringing plenty of water and a waterproof speaker for some Canada Day tunes. You may also want to freshen up on some of the city’s safety laws around river floats. Make sure to always check the latest info on the status of waterways before heading out to ensure it is safe for a float.
Did you know that 90 per cent of Canadians live within a 10 minute walk to a park or green space? We are so lucky to live in a country with so much of the great outdoors to explore and Canada Day long weekend is the perfect time to take advantage. Check out our latest blog for NW Calgary’s most popular parks and some of the activities you can do in them. Including a few right here in U/D.
With Bird electric scooters back in full force, the long-weekend is the perfect time to take advantage of this unique transportation experience making waves across the city. With U/D’s extensive pathways and burgeoning retail main street, you will need the speed of a Bird to see it all in one day!
Some of the highlights we recommend scooting by are Monogram Coffee (hello iced coffee!), Northwest Commons Park and Urban Dog Park. Bird scooters also give you the freedom to check out other corners of the city such as the Bow River walkway, Edworthy Park and Calgary’s Beltline.
What is Canada Day without a Canadian favourite poutine?? One of U/D’s newest retail partners, The Banquet, will be serving up cold brews, poutine and all of your other favourite bar foods on Canada Day. They will also have their infamous trash can nachos and draft beer on special all day long.
If you have a crowd, you may want to book a lane at their duckpin bowling alley, smash some ping pong balls or check out their spin to win wheel. All ages are welcome until 8 pm, so bring the gang and have some fun!
At-home Celebration Ideas
If there is one thing Canadians know how to do, it is supporting local businesses and hardworking farmers. A must-do to kick off the weekend is visiting the YYC Growers + Distributors stand right in U/D every Friday until Oct. 7th. You can stock-up on your BBQ favourites from local growers.
Village Ice Cream will also be at the U/D Discovery Centre giving out complimentary little villagers while quantities last. Donations are welcomed and will support I Can for Kids a local charity that helps feed children and youth impacted by hunger all year long. Stop by on July 1st from 2-5 PM. Don’t forget to check out the newest Village Ice Cream location just down the street on University Avenue. Our favourite flavour? A Canadian classic – maple pecan! What better way to kick off the long weekend.
You don’t need to go out to make the most of your Canada Day long-weekend. If you are more of a home-body, consider having an at-home Canadian wine tasting. Market Wines is home to hundreds of curated wines from around the world. Their team can walk you through an entire wall of Canadian based sips sure to make your weekend one to remember.
Are you ready to take your grape knowledge to the next level? Market Wines is hosting an intro course to Wines of the Okanagan on Saturday July 2nd. Register for this and of other events happening this summer on their website.