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.

An Invitation from Chestermere Wine Club

Some of you may know that last year I teamed up with a sommelier, Yannick Bedard, here in Chestermere, and we organized the first formal Chestermere Wine Club.

Chestermere Wine Club is a group of individuals that enjoy wine, likes to meet and talk about wine.

We are excited to invite you to our Spring event: Wine Pairing Dinner on March 11th.

Tickets are for sale now and can be purchased by cash or credit card. Please contact me to reserve one for you and your guests.

This event is perfect for a fun date night, birthday gift, something new to do with your friends, or actually learn more about food and wine!

See attached invitation for all information.

Looking forward seeing you there.



Calgary’s suburban commercial market is bucking the trend and chugging along in the face of Alberta’s current economic downturn, say industry experts.

“The perception is that all commercial real estate is facing challenging times, but the reality is our industrial market and our suburban office market and our retail market are very resilient,” said Colliers International managing director and broker Joe Binfet.

“And, while I wouldn’t say robust, I would say active.”

Binfet credits the suburban resilience to a lower percentage of energy-sector tenants compared with the downtown market, which saw vacancy rates top 17 per cent in the third quarter – nearly double from 9.8 per cent in 2014.

“There’s a more diverse tenant mix (in the suburbs) – medical, some high-tech engineering –and we’ve become the distribution hub for Western Canada – companies are setting up logistics and distribution centres,” he said.

Avison Young senior associate Ryan Rutherford said Calgary’s suburban retail market is still “extremely tight” in terms of vacancies.

“Overall in Calgary, our vacancy rate has been below three per cent, going back to probably 2011,” he said. “The suburbs are still holding strong; the suburban north part of the city is at 1.1 per cent, suburban south 2.7 per cent.

“Alberta retail sales have not gone down really … people are still spending dollars, maybe differently. We’re hearing many of the clients (like restaurants) are flat or up a bit, but their downtown locations are definitely down. Grocery stores are still a big traffic-driver.”

What remains to be seen is what impact the province’s raising of corporate tax and minimum wage might have on smaller retailers, added Rutherford.

“If retail sales go down, and with corporate taxes going up and minimum wage going up, we will see some kinds of (businesses) get squeezed,” he said. “If they have tight margins, we will have some space come back to the market, and the vacancy rate goes up.”

Calgary as a whole saw a noticeable decline in “deal velocity” with regards to commercial property between 2014 and 2015, said Paul Richter, director of research for RealNet (Altus Data Solutions), adding this comes after a spike in 2014.

Commercial transactions in the city declined to 88 in the third quarter of 2015, from 144 the same time a year prior. Fourth-quarter results are not yet available.

Edmonton’s commercial market fared similar to Calgary’s. Market transactions in Edmonton spiked at 114 during the third quarter of 2014, dropping to 68 in the third quarter of 2015 – which, Richter noted, is still higher than any quarter in 2013 which dropped as low as 48.

“It really does appear that people are just hitting ‘pause’ and the trades aren’t happening,” said Richter, noting the statistics take into account office deals, retail, industrial, apartment buildings, hotels and residential and commercial land; he uses the term “deal velocity” to avoid confusion with “deal/dollar volume.”

John Fisher, senior vice-president at CBRE Ltd. in Calgary, cautions, however, that no business or industry is recession-proof.

“Some companies are less susceptible, and some tenancies in the suburban market do international work and are, by a relative measure, doing OK,” he said. “It’s fair to say it depends on your business how the current economic cycle is affecting you.”

Alex Frazer-Harrison

Let the celebrating begin and forget about your floors!

If that sounds confusing to you consider this scenario: it’s your night to be the host/hostess. You’ve prepped, cleaned, and put out fresh flowers so that your guests will feel welcomed in your abode. You’ve taken care everything from the catering to the decor, and made sure the night was perfect for your guests to have a fabulous time in your home. People start arriving and they all look amazing (they are your friends after all) – their outfits are on point from head to toe…including their shoes!

Ahhh…that awkward moment when they hesitate to take off those pretty pumps that elevate their ensemble to the next level. They look around and see all the shoes gathered in your impeccably decorated entryway that only has one shoe rack, hoping they will find their new pair of Prada’s unharmed at the end of the affair. Well, you would be the hostess with the most-ess if you enthusiastically told them to leave them on! Yup, your home would be that much cooler if the floors could take a stiletto.

So here’s the scoop: take special care when you’re deciding on new flooring. Many people consider the size of the kitchen and the addition of an island bar when they think about entertaining in their home, but few think about ensuring their flooring is made of a durable and forgiving material, even to sustain the spills and dents from everyday use. This doesn’t mean your options will be limited; there is everything from wide planked, rustic, engineered hardwood, to simply acid staining your existing lower level concrete floors. You can also use large format tiles, strong, satin finished concrete, laying down a good wool carpet, or installing a gorgeous vinyl.

Your home is what you make of it, and if you are an entertaining home owner, make sure you tell your realtor when you’re looking for your next home. This way they’ll not only help you select a home that has the built-in bar and open space you need for your guests, but also a durable floor that can support all of the parties.

Contact Anna , the lifestyle agent, to find your home with the perfect entertainment space.
– Denise Panagakos

Panagakos Designs offers interior design, renovations, and new home construction in Calgary, Alberta. Visit Denise and her team at panagakosdesigns.caPanagakosDesign logoDrafts-04



OPEN HOUSE 1PM-5PM SATURDAY Jan 30th***Stunning Downtown and River Views! Walking Distance to trendy shops and restaurants in Kensignton; quick access to the Core. This prime location comes with a beautiful 3000sqft plus of fully finished home. Home Features: grand open-above living room, 9′ ceilings, maple hardwood floors, formal dining, kitchen with gas stove, stainless steal appliances & granite counter tops, large family room with corner fireplace perfect for our cold winter days. Upstairs has a bright bonus room with views of downtown, 3 bedrooms with guest bathroom and master ensuite. Fully Finished basement with extra bedroom, upgraded with steam shower bathroom, dry bar and huge rec room- great for theater space or gym. Easy maintenance back yard with a large deck and double detached garage.

Click here to view the Listings

1121 18 AVE NW

Open house sat Jan 30 12-3pm This brand new modern Infill is both stylish and well built. Located on a quiet street only minutes to downtown and only a few blocks from major stores and local restaurants. This home offers an open concept with upgraded kitchen that has a gas cooktop and combo wall oven and separate microwave. Upstairs you’ll find 3 appointed bedroom including the master bedroom and retreat. It comes with a reading area and the bathroom includes a make up styling area with large mirror. The basement is also top notch with a wet bar, large master guest bedroom and walkin closet. The media room is ready for it’s final electronic touches. The back yard is south facing and comes with a double car garage with high ceilings. This home reflects the superb craftsmanship of an experienced builder. Warranty includes a 1 year full coverage, 2 year mechanical and 10 year structural warranty. View this great home today. 1123 18th ave is also offered for sale. Asking $794,900.00

Click here to view the Listings

Courtesy of Peter Appleby Remax Realty Professionals

421 36 AVE NW

This brand new detached infill home is ready for you. This home offers a unique entrance with office at the entrance. Beautiful spiral stairs make this home unlike the others. It has an open great room concept with custom wall cabinets and a modern fireplace. The kitchen is rich with floor to ceiling espresso cabinets. The appliances are all upgraded stainless with a bertazzoni range and gas cooktop. The rear of the house has a patio door and separate mudroom entrance off the trex full width south facing deck. The upstairs offers 3 well appointed bedrooms with 2 bathrooms. The master bedroom is adorned with a chandelier and see thru fireplace. The ensuite offers a walkin shower, his and her sinks, corner jetted tub and a private water closet. The basement features a wet bar, master bedroom and bathroom and an open entertainment area. Come see this amazing detached infill today. 423 is offered for sale at $809,900 call for details.

Click here to view the Listings

How Buying a House Can Reduce Your Stress and Improve Your Health

“How Buying a House Can Reduce Your Stress and Improve Your Health”

Many studies show that stress is the leading contributor to many illnesses and diseases. Stress related diseases include high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, depression and anxiety, chronic headaches, and asthma. It is easy to overlook the daily contributors of stress in our lives. They can come from any aspect of our lives, such as financial, emotional, environmental, or even simply poor time management. We ignore them because we become accustomed to many of these stress factors. They are as simple as line ups when we are pressed for time, heavy traffic, and not having easy access to certain amenities which adds more travel time in our already busy schedules.

Studies have shown that reducing our stress load and leading active lifestyles can reverse harmful effects of stress. Although eliminating stress completely out of lives is not necessarily feasible (or desired for those who need that bit of a push), we can reduce it by making a few simple changes in our lifestyles.

So how can buying a house reduce your stress and improve your health?

For some people, not having the time to be active is a big barrier. This is why it’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you decide to buy a home. When looking to accommodate an active lifestyle, here are some things you may want to consider and prioritize as you browse for your new home:
– Do you like to run, cycle, or go for walks around the neighbourhood? Then you may want to consider and prioritize your future home to be in an area that has easy access to bike paths or parks.
– Do you prefer indoor exercises or participating in group fitness classes? Look to see whether your future home is located near a gym, fitness center, or yoga studio as a positive outlet for emotional release.
Other things to consider that could help reduce your stress may include finding a home that has easy access to the highway for those relaxing mountain getaways, or a neighbourhood close to your workplace and multiple methods of transportation to help reduce commuting time. Making sure your home is close to amenities may also help reduce unwanted stress in our “time crunched” society, such as grocery stores, gas stations, veterinarian’s office (for those with animals as part of the family), and perhaps even a spa for those rare moments of relaxation.

It’s important to share your lifestyle needs with your realtor so that they can not only help you find the perfect house, but the perfect neighbourhood to create your perfect home. Click here (“here” will link to your contact me form) to contact Anna and begin your search for your new healthier life.

With the growing awareness of unwanted stress factors in our lives, we are empowered to make healthy choices that will lead us to prevent illness and disease in our lives.

– Clara Cuzzani
Health & Wellness Consultant

12808 Canso CR SW

This remarkable lot is available to discerning home owners like yourself that are looking for the forever home on a spectacular lot. This lot is just over 11,100 sqft. A set of custom floor plans are available and can be reviewed upon submission of an offer. Bring your own builder and create your master planned home. The lot can be used as a walkout lot or regular. You’ll enjoy 180 degree views from high above fish creek park. The land is also visited by a family of deer from time to time. To view this rare and spectacular building lot call the listing agent for details and a showing that is convenient for you.

Click here to view the Listings

Courtesy of Peter Appleby Remax Realty Professionals