Catch the wave

Calgary has a number of well-established lake communities within the city limits and new neighbourhoods featuring lakes continue to be added every few years. Living in a lakeside community is undoubtedly a wonderful experience, featuring access to the water and beaches for a wealth of summer activities with friends and family, as well as skating and other pastimes in the winter months. However, despite the many options for Calgary homebuyers that wish to settle near the water, it’s still tough to find good recreational boating in these areas, particularly for those people operating motorized craft.

For those that enjoy life on or beside the water, there are so many excellent opportunities for recreation for families and individuals right on your doorstep on the east side of the city. Take advantage of the exciting possibilities found in areas east of Calgary, where you can enjoy many of the unique benefits of lakeside living without necessarily having your own home situated within one of the city’s lake communities.

Chestermere Lake and the surrounding area is well known to most residents of Calgary. The four-kilometre-long body of water is perhaps the most familiar destination along the city’s eastern border for families and individuals interested in lakeside living and relaxation during the summer months. It is one of the few lake recreation areas around that allows motorized vessels in their waters.

Residents can use the lake’s boat launch for free once they’ve officially registered their boat, but you don’t have to be a resident of Chestermere to enjoy all the splendid amenities that the lake has to offer. There are daily fees for non-residents for the use of boats, non-motorized watercraft on trailers, and personal motorized watercraft. If you’d like to use the lake on a regular basis once you’re fully settled in to your eastside Calgary home, a series of 10 day passes for the lake’s boat launch can be purchased at a discount, offering an excellent value for money opportunity to enjoy this wonderful location.

As well as motorboats, a variety of canoes, kayaks, sailboats and paddleboats are also popular on the lake during the summer. There are no fees for using these types of craft on the water at Chestermere but you’ll need to invest in your own craft and equipment as the lake has no rental items available either for residents or visitors. Fishing is also a popular pastime on the lake at Chestermere all year round and enthusiasts have been known to regularly catch some pretty large fish over the years.

In addition to the boat launch that’s used by residents and visitors alike, the Calgary Yacht Club has been a feature of Chestermere Lake’s east shoreline since 1933. The Calgary Yacht Club is great for families, offering a wide variety of boating and sailing activities and is also a popular venue for social events. The club is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. You don’t need to be a resident of Chestermere to become a member and enjoy all the privileges that the Calgary Yacht Club has to offer. The club has a small number of sailboats that members are able to either rent or lease but paddlers are also welcome.

Some Yacht Club members are very experienced on the water but the facility welcomes everyone, regardless of age or ability, when it comes to sailing at Chestermere. Activities at the Calgary Yacht Club include youth sailing camps, youth racing, adult sailing lessons, disabled sailing, weekend race regattas, training sessions, and a range of special events. While an annual membership fee is required to use the club’s facilities, this doesn’t apply to those people attending courses, lessons, and camps at the club.

Beyond Chestermere, there are also many other opportunities for water-borne recreation on Southern Alberta’s rivers, lakes, and reservoirs that lie east of Calgary, including boating, fishing, and aquatic recreation. The Bow River that flows through Calgary is a renowned tourist destination and a scenic wonder of the Rocky Mountains but the portion of the river that flows east of the city has long been a favourite location for fly fishers. Fish are abundant in this stretch of the Bow, including rainbow and brown trout.

Eagle Lake located southeast of Strathmore is another great spot for pike, trout, and walleye. The lake is perhaps more popular with many fishing enthusiasts during the ice fishing season rather than in the summer. For recreational activities during the warmer months of the year Eagle Lake has a campsite, recreation area, and a boat launch. Namaka Lake and Stobart Lake are similarly located close to Strathmore and there’s also Dalemead Lake, near Langdon just east of Chestermere.

If you’re interested in venturing further afield in the area, Bassano Dam is just two hours east of Calgary. The surrounding area features a wide variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, waterskiing, swimming, and camping. For those interested in fishing Crawling Valley Reservoir is excellent location for catching northern pike, walleye, and trout.

If you enjoy recreational boating, fishing, and the many different aspects of lakeside living but aren’t that sold on settling into a new home in a lake community, there’s never been a better time to check out what East Calgary has to offer, where a new day dawns first every morning.