Every individual home buyer has certain preferences or characteristics they value when it comes time to shop for a new home, but anymore, walkability is usually something that’s high up just about everybody’s wish list more often than not. Whether it’s the desire to cut down on daily commute times, the convenience of having plenty of shopping or dining nearby, or just the benefit of staying more active, living in one of Calgary’s more walkable neighbourhoods certainly has plenty of benefits.
For years, Calgary wasn’t really thought of as being a walkable city, while city planners and developers continued to build communities that were specifically designed for automobiles. Even today, driving still plays a dominate role in how Calgarians travel throughout many parts of the city, but as walkability increasingly becomes more important to those of us who live here, things are slowly but surely starting to change.
Truly measuring a neighbourhood’s walkability is difficult, but using tools like Walk Score® and keeping an eye on future developments can certainly help gauge what communities are more pedestrian-friendly and how the city of Calgary continues to make progress when it comes to providing a more walkable environment.
If you take a look at Calgary’s Walk Score as of today, its overall score of 48 definitely shows we still have plenty of work to do, and that for the most part, it’s still very much a car-dependent city.
But despite needing a car when living in most Calgary neighbourhoods, that doesn’t mean home buyers have little to no options when looking for a place to live that’s at least somewhat walkable.
A 'Walkable Neighbourhood' Defined
Before taking a closer look at some of Calgary’s most walkable locations, however, let’s first examine the methodology in how a Walk Score® is determined. For each location, Walk Score has analyzed countless walking routes to nearby amenities and attractions, not to mention the pedestrian-friendliness of an area using numerous road metrics. When it’s all said and done, Walk Score assigns each individual neighbourhood a number between 0 and 100, with 0 being the least walkable and 100 being the most walkable. The full scoring system is defined by the following:
- 90-100 - Walker’s Paradise - Daily errands don't require the use of a car
- 70-89 - Very Walkable - Most errands don’t require the use of a car
- 50-69 - Somewhat Walkable - Some errands don’t require the use of a car, but others do
- 25-49 - Car-Dependent - Most errands require residents to use a car
- 0-24 - Car-Dependent - Nearly all errands require the use of a car
Calgary's Most Walkable Neighbourhoods
Chinatown is Calgary’s most walkable neighbourhood and has a Walk Score of 95. The public transportation options around Chinatown also helps make living here convenient, while its close proximity to downtown Calgary, as well as the Riverfront continue to make it one of the best places to call home, especially if you’re in the market for a new Calgary condo.
2) Downtown Commercial Core
The Downtown Commercial Core is Calgary’s second-most walkable neighbourhood and has a Walk Score of 93. For anybody already working in the downtown area, there’s no better place to live if being able to walk to work is high up on your wish list. And with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment nearby, there’s also plenty of things to do nearby when you’re not working as well!
3) Cliff Bungalow
Cliff Bungalow is the 3rd most walkable neighbourhood in Calgary and has a Walk Score of 92. Located just west of Mission and immediately south of downtown Calgary, Fourth Street already features some of the city’s hottest restaurants and bars with something new seemingly opening every other day.
4) Eau Claire
Eau Claire is Calgary’s 4th most walkable neighbourhood and has a Walk Score of 91. Located right alongside Calgary’s riverfront, both Eau Claire Park and Prince’s Island Park are just a few short steps away from any location in Eau Claire, making it the ideal location to live if you love to stay active!
Beltline is Calgary’s 5th most walkable neighbourhood and has a Walk Score of 90. Situated just south of Downtown West End, Beltline still feels very much like a downtown neighbourhood, only much less busy than other locations in the city. Parts of 11th Street, mostly in between 14th and 15th avenues, almost feel like a small town, while nearby 17th Avenue is much busier and has plenty of great restaurants and bars for locals to enjoy.
6) Downtown West End
Downtown West End is Calgary’s 6th most walkable neighbourhood and has a Walk Score of 90. Located just blocks from Calgary’s commercial core, Downtown West End feels like an extension of the city’s primary downtown area and still has plenty of energy. Numerous festivals and events are held at Shaw Millennium Park and easy transportation makes getting to and from just about any other part of town a breeze once calling Downtown West End home.
7) Downtown East Village
Downtown East Village is Calgary’s 7th most walkable neighbourhood and has a Walk Score of 86. Located right alongside the Bow River on downtown Calgary’s east side, Downtown East Village is one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in town. New construction condos are popping up everywhere in the area, and with a location this close to the river, the views from most are nothing short of spectacular. A close proximity to the Riverfront also makes living here a delight.