When it comes to choosing a home in the best neighbourhoods in Calgary, a key benefit for residents of the East Calgary community is the district's easy access to International Avenue, a vibrant business district located on 17th Avenue S.E., from 26 to 61st streets. Thinking about moving to Calgary? Keep reading to discover just a few of the best perks of living in an East Calgary neighbourhood close to International Avenue.
Fabulous Food and Shopping
Popular International Avenue Food & Shops
- Ramen Tekkotsu Ya
- Pho Dau Bo
- Supreme Dosa
- Golden Cactus Mexican Grill
- Bravo Restaurant
- Nile Supermarket
- Coastal Grocery Market
International Avenue provides a truly international shopping and dining experience with its range of shops and restaurants. The street is known for its international cuisine and is the home of Calgary's first food tour. Created in 1997, the "world tour" spans restaurants representing five continents. One example from Europe is Mimo, a Portuguese restaurant serving East Calgary for more than 30 years. Ramen Tekkotsu Ya is one of several tasty Asian restaurants, featuring Japanese food. Another is Pho Dau Bo, a Vietnamese restaurant in the Little Saigon Towne Square famous for its spicy beef pho satay noodle soup.
Specializing in food from the Indian subcontinent is Supreme Dosa, featuring delicious dishes from South India and Sri Lanka. Dosa is a crepe made from chickpea flour and is quite popular in South India. The restaurant features various vegetarian dishes and a vegetarian buffet on the weekends. Two more examples of International Avenue's food offerings are the Golden Cactus Mexican Grill, a family-owned restaurant that opened in 2018, and Bravo Restaurant, serving Latin American dishes.
Shopping also is a world-class experience on International Avenue. For example, Nile Supermarket is the largest African and Middle Eastern store in Calgary and features groceries, clothing, and other items. The Coastal Grocery Market is an African-Caribbean grocery store and butcher shop with fabrics, clothing, and purses on the upper level.
Year-Round Festivals and Events
International Avenue Festivals
- East Town Get Down Independent Music Festival
- Light Up the Avenue
- Calgary Stampede
- Arts on the Avenue
International Avenue also hosts festivals and arts and culture events year-round, and residents of East Calgary have easy access to them. Because of the vast variety found on the Avenue, music lovers of all tastes will find a home here. The East Town Get Down Independent Music Festival celebrates this variety. The festival takes place at several venues, creating a street party.
Light Up the Avenue is another festival. Nine teams from businesses and organizations on and around International Avenue put lights in trees and are judged on their creativity.
EmergeMARKET is a longstanding summer market at Unity Park that features affordable and creative vendors, live music, and giant games.
The Calgary Stampede, one of Calgary's most popular attractions, is an 11-day event that occurs adjacent to International Avenue. It features a rodeo during each day and an evening shows each night, and it brings about 1.25 million visitors to the Avenue. On the last Thursday of the event is the annual Best of the East Stampede Breakfast, during which restaurants offer up diverse breakfast dishes.
GlobalFest celebrates Canada's multicultural communities held at Elliston Park and features pavilions, live performances, and fireworks. The multi-day event features musicians hailing from all over the world. It's not only one of the best festivals in Calgary; it's one of the largest multicultural celebrations in North America.
Finally, Arts on the Avenue is an opportunity for mural artists to make streets warm and welcoming.
Affordable International Avenue Neighbourhoods
- Forest Lawn
- Forest Heights
- Penbrooke Meadows
Another perk to living off International Avenue is affordable housing. The Forest Lawn neighbourhood features more than 2,500 homes in various styles, most of which are single-family detached homes and row houses. Many homes were built in the 1960s, but several also were constructed between 1980 and 1990. In addition to being home to International Avenue, the neighbourhood is near Bow River and Western Irrigation District Canal. Residents can enjoy spectacular views of the city and the Rocky Mountains, and Elliston Park and Forest Lawn Natural Playground are in the neighbourhood. Forest Lawn Natural Playground has basketball courts and art projects. Elliston Park features various equipment, including a zip track. Forest Lawn home prices typically begin in the mid-$100,000s and top out at around $550,000.
Forest Heights is an established neighbourhood founded in 1959. The area is characterized by giant elm trees which form a canopy over the streets. Its rolling landscape provides spectacular views of the city and Rockies, and residents enjoy several parks. Homes in Forest Heights come in various styles, such as split-level homes, ranch-style abodes, attached single-family houses, luxury homes, townhouses, apartment-style condos, and even duplexes. Interiors are stylish with formal dining rooms, vaulted ceilings, spa baths, designer light fixtures, and oversized windows. Prices typically range from the mid-$200,000s to about $500,000.
Penbrooke Meadows was developed in 1969. It has many parks and recreational facilities, including many managed by its community association. Residents also can enjoy trails along the Bow River. Potential residents can find several housing options, with bungalows and split-level homes being the most popular. Condos and townhomes also are available. Prices for homes in Penbrooke Meadows generally range from the mid-$100,000s to the upper $400,000s.
Additional Perks in the Area
Other International Avenue Perks
- Elliston Park
- East Calgary Twin Arenas
- East Hills Shopping Centre
Residents near International Avenue also have access to additional amenities. Elliston Park in Forest Lawn is the site of several key festivals and events. It also contains a 20-hectare stormwater retention pond, rose garden, off-leash dog area, a playground for children under 10 years old and one for children 10 to 15, picnic tables, and pathways. Visitors also can take a self-guided nature tour there.
The East Calgary Twin Arenas on Erin Woods Drive S.E. offers indoor classes, training, and competitions for adults and youth and opportunities for spectators.
The East Hills Shopping Centre has more than 63 brand name stores and restaurants, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, Starbucks, Panda Express, Walmart, Marshall's, and PetSmart. It also has service providers such as physiotherapists, salons, nail salons, dentists, and financial institutions.
A Vibrant International Lifestyle
International Avenue is in the middle of a vivid, eclectic community. Restaurants of every imaginable cuisine and nationality are located here. Shoppers can find treasures from all over the world within a 35-block radius. Residents also will find festivals at their doorsteps. Music, arts, and ethnic and artisan markets are just some examples of the many ways residents can stay enjoy themselves.
Finally, one of the biggest perks of living off International Avenue is the affordability and variety of real estate. Whether residents desire the privacy and spaciousness of single-family detached homes or the urban lifestyle of townhomes and condos, they can find their dream home in this neighbourhood. Prices are moderate, ranging from the $100,000s to just over $500,000, assuring a home within any budget.