At any stage in life, the transition of moving into a new home requires plenty of thought from location to amenities, home design to costs, and familiarity and change. At University District, our commitment to age-inclusive living and multi-family housing means that we offer a number of options for future residents to make decisions a little easier.
In 2018 we announced the Maple by Truman, an independent living complex for future residents who are 55+, and to serve the surrounding communities with an aging population. U/D is meant to balance inner-city living where there is no compromise around important amenities and services with peaceful, natural beauty, privacy and simplicity.
We sat down with Ken McArthur from Truman Homes, independent and seniors living expert, to chat about how living at Maple is suitable for a number of Calgarians who are at different stages in their life — working professionals, retirees, empty nesters, or in the golden years of adulthood — and how U/D is an ideal community for that transition.
As the saying goes, home is where the heart is. So, what makes your heart open up to a place that you can call home? More than the walls that surround you, or even the decor and design (though Truman is known for its signature elevated fit and beautiful quality), it’s a place where you feel you belong and enjoy a sense of security.
“Our guests at the U/D Discovery Centre all have a different story, background and reason for why they are looking for a new home. Not one person has the same needs or values, but I do hear a common theme that is really important to everyone – a sense of community. Not only in the neighbourhood, but in the building. And the Maple is a perfect example of building a micro-community within U/D. At only 95 units, residents are more likely to come together and get to know one another, offering support and comfort at any time.”
Ken shares that the smaller number of residents means that stronger relationships can be made, where opportunities to know your neighbour is much easier and similar to a retirement living community.
“At U/D, making connections are an important value for community building. No matter what age you are, there’s comfort in knowing that you have a support system that surrounds you. The walkability factor for the community is key to this as well because it means that our residents will see familiar friendly faces every day, whether at Save-On-Foods, the Analog Coffee shop or Cineplex theatre, and the number of other retailers that are nearby.”
Future Maple residents haven’t overlooked the aesthetics of their future home though. The stunning Truman design opportunities are plentiful for the one- and two-bedroom layouts, with luxury add-ons such as smart in-suite technology and custom award-winning kitchen cabinetry designs. This complex also offers full mountain view.
The topic of downsizing is often what many older adults identify with when considering their next move in life. That next step is to reduce the square footage, get rid of the clutter, and find a home that’s a bit more attainable for your day-to-day needs. But in Ken’s experience, he sees a gap in planning for the future.
“Downsizing is only one stage, but there are likely three more stages after it that many people don’t really plan for and will likely result in another move. We always hope that our next move is our forever home, but understanding all of your potential needs for the next 20+ years can be really hard to picture. I encourage our clients to get trusted family members and friends involved when deciding on the next step to gain a little perspective and help strategize.
By doing so, you can actually eliminate the second or third move down the road and really focus on living comfortably and living long-term in one community.”
Which is why the concept of Maple has appealed to a variety of demographics because residents see the different benefits it offers for later stages in life. Maple’s proximity to institutions like the nearby Foothills Hospital or University of Calgary sports complex is convenient, and for those looking for closer services can rely on the neighbouring state-of-the-art facility, Cambridge Manor, that offers supportive living and long-term care services.
With Maple and Cambridge Manor connected simply with a +30 breezeway, residents will also have access to:
“Whether or not you want or need to use the services, Cambridge Manor offers Maple residents with a plethora of options that regular condo buildings or some retirement communities don’t typically offer. It’s a nice add-on to have, especially if you’re looking for more time to enjoy your hobbies or spend time with family.”
So what does day-to-day life look like at University District for a Maple resident? It varies from person to person, and what their lifestyle entails, but Ken believes that there is something for everyone. It’s not about painting one idyllic lifestyle that caters to everyone but finding key elements about the community that will appeal to the active and outdoorsy, the creative and artsy, the grandparent and caregiver, or the community leader.
“Most of our residents at Maple have expressed excitement for the new retailers that are coming in, and the timeline for many of the first phase to be built is in sync with Maple set to open. That means less worry about where their closest bank is, needing to drive to a local grocery store for fresh produce, or finding the best spot to meet friends for their monthly lunch get-together. The convenience and accessibility are key, and more residents will probably realize it when it’s incorporated into their day-to-day life.”
Similar sentiments from new residents have been shared with Rhonda Zander, University District’s customer experience ambassador at the Discovery Centre. From stories of being near grandchildren and taking them to the park every day, to enjoying a coffee on the balcony at home after a morning spin class at YYC Cycle, it’s clear that the community design and vision resonates with the newest residents at U/D.
“Not only is it important to hear the feedback from our residents, but it’s reassuring to know that they have envisioned life for what it can be in our community and easily plan out their day or routine. One resident has told me that he’s lived in University Heights for most of his life, and now living in University District feels like he hasn’t moved at all because everything is still familiar and he’s near everything he loves.
Life will be even better now that he can take his bike out for the day and cycle on the pathway system, stop in at Market Mall for a quick lunch (or try one of U/D’s restaurant partners), and then heading home to read the newspaper before taking a nap.”
Whether you’re looking ahead to the next five years or 20+ years, the Maple by Truman could be a great fit for you and your loved one. To learn more about independent living options, we encourage everyone to visit Ken at the Truman show suite and our community experience ambassadors at the Discovery Centre to learn more about life in the new heart of the NW — University District.
Looking for more information about aging-in-place ? Take a look at a recap of our panel discussion last year that explores concepts, challenges and innovative methods that help older adults and seniors age-in-place. Led by West Campus Development Trust, University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services, The Brenda Strafford Foundation and the Kerby Centre, there were many topics and audience questions that were addressed. Read it here.
The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and inspiration about the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.