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Sunnyside: The Calgary Neighbourhood That Has It All

Bow River Pathway Crowchild Trail Bridge

Sunnyside is a thriving and much sought-after community that is located in Calgary’s northwest, just across the river from the city centre. This inner city community is one of Calgary’s oldest, and was established all the way back in 1904. Sunnyside is the neighbourhood to live in or visit if you want to see the best of what Calgary has to offer. It is a fantastic place to go shopping, take a walk along the beautiful Bow River, or get involved with the community. Sunnyside’s old Calgary charm and prime location in the city just can’t be beat.

Fantastic Shopping and Nightlife

One of the main reasons why Sunnyside remains such a popular community is because, in partnership with the community of Hillhurst, it is the home of the popular shopping district known as Kensington Village. Located around the area where 10th St. NW meets Kensington Road, Kensington is so well-known throughout the city that Calgarians often mistakenly think of it as its own neighbourhood!

Kensington Village, Calgary, AB
Kensington Village at night. Image from visitkensington.com

Kensington is one of Calgary’s main dining and entertainment hubs, with people coming from all over the city to experience its numerous restaurants, cafes, unique retailers, and festivals. Most of the restaurants in Kensington are extremely well rated on websites such as Urbanspoon. A few choice visitors’ favourites include Vero Bistro Moderne, Niko’s Bistro, Peppino Gourmet Foods, Tenshi Sushi, and Delicious Thai Restaurant.

Kensington is also where you will be able to find many of Calgary’s local clothing retailers. You can shop for items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else at stores such as Purr Fine Clothing & Accessories, Kismet Clothing & Jewellery, James & Dickson Clothiers, and Peacock Boutique.

On top of having such great shopping and nightlife opportunities so close to home, Sunnyside also has its own CTrain platform, which is only one stop away from Calgary’s downtown core. A quick, 5-minute journey on a train over the Bow River will have you in the heart of downtown and close to the shopping area known as Stephen Avenue Walk. Like Kensington, Stephen Avenue is also known for dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Inner City but Close to Nature

Sunnyside might sound like the perfect community for those who love to shop and go out with friends, but what about if you also enjoy spending time in the natural environment? Thankfully, Sunnyside is in a prime location for those who love to get out and stretch their legs while surrounded by natural beauty.

The first place you should check out is McHugh Bluff Park, which borders Sunnyside to the north and runs along Crescent Road NW. This 27 hectare park, though located so close to the city centre, was left mostly untouched by development due to its steep grade. Residents now use it to jog, walk their dogs, and do some bird watching.

Directly south of Sunnyside you will find the Bow River, along with the network of paths that run along its bank, known as the Bow River pathway. The Bow River pathway by Sunnyside is a renowned sightseeing area, and it is also where you will be able to find Calgary’s iconic Peace Bridge. Directly to the east of the Peace Bridge is Prince’s Island Park, a well-known park that hosts many yearly festivals, as well as beautiful pathways and flower gardens.

Bow River Pathway Crowchild Trail Bridge
The pathway along the Crowchild Trail bridge. Image from Wikipedia.

A Great Sense of Community

Another appealing aspect of Sunnyside is that it has a sense of community which can often be hard to find in more suburban neighbourhoods. The Calgary Curling Club, for example, is a good place to get together with friends and family, book some ice time, and play one of the most popular sports in Canada. Inside the Calgary Curling Club you will also find Lazy Day Raft Rentals, where you can rent a raft to take out in either the Bow or Elbow rivers.

With so many opportunities for outdoor activities, it should be no surprise that Sunnyside is also a hub of community gardening. The Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Garden has been in operation for 25 years now and, just this past summer, the Calgary Herald noted that it is continuing to thrive as a staple of the community, bringing together residents both young and old.