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Discover Victoria By Bicycle

Wed, 03 May by Bryon Howard

Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is famous for its thriving real estate market, magnificent scenery and stately Victoria architecture. The city and the surrounding landscapes present a feast for the eyes and memorable vistas that are best enjoyed on a bicycle. Blessed with mild winters and humidity-free summers, the biking trails in and around Victoria beckon riders of all ages, fitness and skill levels. The city can boast of more cyclists per capita than any other Canadian city and a ride along one of Victoria’s well-travelled bike routes is a great way to acquaint yourself with this southernmost major city in western Canada.

When it comes to cycling in Victoria, the options are infinite. Here is a newcomer’s guide to just a few of the city’s more popular trails:

The Galloping Goose – This relatively flat, 55-km trail is the perfect choice for families and casual cyclists. The trail starts in a busy section of town and then meanders through farmland and evergreen forests to an old abandoned mining town. Built on a former railroad, the terrain for the most part is flat with a few easily managed hills.

Hartland Bike Park – Serious riders in search of a challenge head to Hartland Bike Park – about 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. This woodland paradise offers options for all experience levels, but is used primarily by intermediate and advanced cyclists. Don’t forget a trail map if you visit Hartland since the complex network of trails can be confusing.

The Seaside Touring Route – This popular route, specifically designed for visitors, takes the rider by many of the city’s noteworthy attractions. This route has it all! Look one way and you will be treated to a surreal view of the mighty Olympic Mountains. Look the other way and breathe in the deep blue Pacific Ocean. The 39-km route can be modified to virtually any length with water views most of the way. Don’t forget to wave to the resident seals at Oak Bay Marina.

Given the abundance of bike trails and natural beauty, Victoria has emerged as a mecca for international bike racers. The annual Tour de Victoria takes place in August and is a mass participation event attracting both world class riders and weekend enthusiasts. There is even a 3k race for young children.

If you are contemplating a move to Victoria or just joining the thousands of tourists who visit each year, consider getting to know this beautiful corner of the world on two wheels. Grab your helmet and enjoy the view!

 

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at TheHowardTeam.net.

 

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at TheHowardTeam.net.

Why I love Altadore!

Tue, 11 Mar by Bryon Howard

It has been almost 10 years since my family of four move to Altadore. We quickly fell in love with the community and became avid Altadorians. My son has loved it since the day we walked to the My Favourite Ice Cream shop and he saw the crazy number of ice cream choices.

Altadore has evolved significantly since we moved in. The old Safeway has moved west to the Garrison Woods site and Marda Loop has evolved into a more upscale restaurant and shopping district. Shirley loves that she can now walk to Phil & Sebastian’s her favourite place to meet up with friends. Yes we have Starbucks and Second Cup. In addition, we have neighbourhood pubs, yoga studios (even a Bikram Studio which Shirley loves), Chinook Music Studio, and two diners – who could ask for anything more?

Sure we miss the Farmers’ Market when it was in Currie Barracks just across Crowchild Trail, but we are looking forward to the new high street with its shops that will open there in a few years. Being on the east side of Crowchild has it benefits as you have lots of options getting downtown for work and play.

Great Schools

The main reason we live in Calgary is the incredible choice we have in education for our kids. Our children, as well as our niece and nephews who also live in Altadore have had great school experiences at Mountain View Academy, Altadore Elementary, Calgary Science School, Bishop Carroll High School, Saint James Elementary and Junior High School and Masters Academy. Calgary Academy is the school where our daughter found great success with her learning.

Shirley has been teaching at Central Memorial High School since 2004, she is currently the director of the String Orchestra program. This CBE high school boasts a great Performing and Visual Arts program, the National Sport Academy and one of the top teams of academic teachers in the city.

Just south of Central Memorial is the campus of the Career and Technology Centre at Lord Shaughnessy High School. This school has state of the art facilities where students can explore specific applied career pathways like being a chef, pharmacy technician, mechanic or a cosmetologist.

Hidden Gem

We are also close to The Military Museums of Calgary, which is a hidden gem. When family and friends visit for the first time we will often take them there where the history and artifacts are definately interesting. Calgary is often criticized for its lack of history, yet with the Glenbow, Fort Calgary, Heritage Park, Stephen Avenue, Inglewood and the Military Museums this city has much to offer. And they are all just minutes from Altadore.

Altadore is for the dogs

Max our dog loves joining Shirley on errands in the neighborhood. He is a local celebrity as everyone says “Hi Max!” He can count on treats at our RBC branch, the Post Office and especially from Kathy at Marda Loop Tailoring. RBC recently offered him a job as a greeter for 5-dog biscuits an hour, he really did want to take the job and was not happy to come home with Shirley.
Anywhere

Altadore boasts perhaps the best off-leash dog park in the city – River Park. It is a linear open space with lots of different tree plantings and rolling hills at the top of the Elbow River’s west escarpment (above Sandy Beach). As a dog owner we appreciate the benefits of being able to walk out the door and in minutes Max is running to play with other dogs and we can stroll on our own or chat with our neighbours and those visiting from other communities. River Park is the meeting place for the community – it is our town square. Even in the middle of winter, thousands of people will use the park for a leisurely stroll, tobogganning, or as part of a run.

Cycling Paradise

As avid cyclists, we can all cycle easily to 17th Ave and Downtown for some urban fun, or we can head to the Glenmore Reservoir for a more recreational and nature 20 km loop around the reservoir. Frequently I will ride ten minutes to North Glenmore Park, then do interval loops in the park for an awesome 60 to 90 min workout. Beginning in May, I leave can leave home on my road bike at 5:30 am and ride to Springbank and get home by 7 am to start my workday invigorated – with 45km’s in my legs.

Shirley loves to cycle downtown in the summer, ten minutes and you are there, no parking hassles, no tickets and it is all downhill so you are not sweaty when you get there! Exploring the city cycle paths gives a new perspective on the city, different from walking or driving. Shirley loves seeing all the horses in the parks along the bow river during Stampede week.

Great bike ride close to Altadore and Marda Loop.

Great bike ride close to Altadore and Marda Loop.

The Arts

We are also looking forward to the opening of the King Edward School as an art space as we will be able to walk there for concerts and exhibitions, maybe take a class or two. We are also old fashion and love to walk to the Alexander Calhoun Library to just relax and read a few magazines or check out their recommended reading bookshelf. I told you Altadore is like a small town, you can walk to everything.

Great Investment

Altadore has been a great investment for our family, not only in the quality of life that it offers, but also in the capital appreciation of our home. Buying or first home in 2004 – was a bit like winning the lottery. Altadore homes have appreciated over 200% since 2005. The greatest appreciation of any community in Calgary.

While some people question, how can people afford a home in Calgary’s inner city communities today, I say how can you not afford one. The best investment we made was stretching ourselves to move to Altadore 10 years ago. I don’t know of anyone who has regretting moving to an inner city home in Calgary.

One of my neighbours recently said, “I feel like I went to bed in Altadore, and woke up in Elbow Park.” She said this as a result of the numerous million-dollar homes now in our community, with several recent sales exceeding two million.
Last word

While Calgary boasts many wonderful communities, there is something special about Altadore and its small town east coast charm.

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