Keswick: A Destination on the North Saskatchewan River
A DESTINATION ON THE NORTH SASKATCHEWAN RIVER
This Edmonton community hosts nature, views, and those incredible luxury homes.
Tucked in the woods at the river’s edge in Edmonton’s prestigious Windermere you’ll find Keswick, a community that feels like the English countryside. When you drive past the entrance fountain it’s like time slows down and nature takes over. Keswick is a destination where a relationship between nature and timeless architecture has been forged.
MLC Group and Cameron Communities’ original vision was to create an English Lake District community with an Edmonton twist. Construction began in 2011 and is 75% complete. Builders and residents have fallen in love with the higher architectural standards of this premier community.
“I’ve been in this business for over 40 years,” says David Mcdougall, owner of MLC Group. “And this is the best piece of land I’ve ever seen.” David and his business partner, Jerry Naqvi, came across the land over 10 years ago. They worked with planners to make this vision a reality. “It’s so seldom you get a piece of land with the river, a ravine, and three ponds.”
“We placed greater emphasis on having brick walls, trees, landscaping and careful environmental planning because we know Keswick is so special.”
LAY OF THE LAND
Keswick is located on 200 acres of land that border the North Saskatchewan River, an environmental reserve, and the Windermere Golf & Country Club. It boasts over 21 acres of community green space that has been naturalized to make it feel like residents are living in an extension of the river valley. Multiple ponds and parks keep nature in the community.
“Keswick derives its name from the lake district in England,” explains Chris Nicholas, MLC Group President. “We started there and wanted to theme it in the spirit of country England/ Europe with a village feeling. We’ve used Victorian brick fencing throughout. Roof articulations, fine finishings, and naturalized ponds make it feel like an English garden.” The architectural guidelines include styles that haven’t previously been used in Edmonton—such as French and English country. “Keswick is a re-write from the get-go. We’ve been inspired by styles from Europe and integrated them into Edmonton’s river valley.”
Keswick is divided into three distinct areas: Valleyside, The Estates, and The Banks, an exclusive gated enclave on the river.
“We’ve been inspired by styles from Europe and integrated them into Edmonton’s river valley.”
“We hadn’t even put an offer on the house yet… but we made an offer the next day.”
Within Keswick is a rare peninsula of land with river on one side and environmental reserve on the other. It sits high above the river with green views in all directions. The Banks has just 23 lots, with 12 remaining, ranging from 60 to 100 feet wide. “It’s the geological aspect that makes The Banks so special,” says Chris. “Only nature could have created it.”
Potential residents can choose their own builder/architect or MLC can recommend one of the designated Estate builders. Lots start at $579 thousand plus GST.
Ian Ball is a future Banks resident. He’s building a two storey walkout home with Avanti Custom Homes that backs the ravine. Ian had tried to find a wide lot in an older neighbourhood— but without success. The Banks was the answer. His 75-footwide lot allows him to build what he wants. “There aren’t many places in Edmonton that have new land on a ravine,” he notes. “The older areas are much more expensive, and you have to tear down an existing house.”
He loves the pace of downtown where he works, but is drawn to the absence of traffic noise in The Banks when it’s time to come home.
Ian is a member of neighbouring Windermere Golf and Country Club. He loves the game and hanging out with a tight group of fellow golfers and looks forward to living next door.
“We’re close to amenities, yet tucked away. It feels like a traditional community.”
Featuring some of Edmonton’s elite builders - Ace Lange, Carriage Signature Homes, Perry Signature Homes, Aacropolis Homes, and Vicky Homes, The Estates Of Keswick offers a wide selection of builders for the discerning buyer to work with.
You’ll find Eva Marek in the bright, beach-washed Ace Lange showhome—the Abigail—in The Estates. She loves Keswick— especially its seclusion. “You can see the difference when you drive into this area,” she says. “It’s only single family homes, no rentals, and it’s secluded. At night, the silence is beautiful.”
Carriage Signature Homes upholds old-world details. The Firenze, a bungalow showhome, has a 16-foot oak barrel ceiling in the living room, a feature they do in many of their homes. The front door has cast iron detailing, and there are glass feature walls providing airy separation from the living room to the kitchen.
“We are a traditional builder,” says Kelly Noland, Sales Associate. “It’s like we’re out in the country here, and we have an old-world feel in our homes. They feel warm inside. There’s still great access to the city from Keswick, but it’s a place where you can leave the hustle and bustle behind.” The Berkeley, by Perry Signature Homes, is a 3,496-squarefoot, two-storey, in bold two-tone colours. The entrance tile is gleaming white, contrasted by dark panel office walls and a rich curving wood staircase.
“The architectural guidelines here are more traditional,” explains Jeff Copithorne. “I prefer that to ultra modern. Keswick is about the character of the community and the location by the river.”
“Valleyside is where you’ll see kids playing basketball. People out biking and walking. It’s a place for anyone who likes a quiet family area,” says Penny Benjamin of Cameron Homes. Valleyside maintains Keswick’s high end architectural controls while providing a more affordable price point.
Cameron Homes, Hillview Masterbuilder, Kimberley Homes, Landmark Homes, and Parkwood Masterbuilder are all featured builders within Valleyside.
Because of its riverside location the developer wanted to ensure Keswick was integrated into its natural surroundings. They hired Clark Ecoscience and Sustainability and worked with Stantec to design naturalized ponds that would preserve and attract local wildlife and clean storm water. Native plant species have been planted around the ponds and you’ll find geese, frogs, and other animals making their homes there.
MEET THE NEIGHBOURS
One of the most telling aspects of Keswick’s quality is that people who work there move there. Take Steve Ostopowich and Jill Genyn, for example. Each worked with the project in different ways and ended up calling Keswick home.
Steve Ostopowich owns Branch Landscaping and was working in Keswick. Inspired by the high architectural and landscaping standards, he invited his wife to look at show homes. A Kimberley Homes salesperson told them about a spec home in Kidd Bay on a pie lot and quite unexpectedly, they fell in love. “We were looking at the home and residents out in the street welcomed us and told us how wonderful the community was. We hadn’t even put an offer on the house yet… but we made an offer the next day,” recalls Steve.
They moved in 2015 and are raising their young children there.
Steve takes his three year old to the river to fish for Northern Pike and Goldeye. “We hike along the shoreline and see deer, birds, fish, geese, and ducks. It’s very peaceful there.” They also explore within the community by bike and have started a tradition of taking family photos by the grand entrance fountain every few months.
For Steve and his family, it’s also about the people. They live in a cul-de-sac with other young families and feel like they are all growing up together. Jill Genyn, VP Home Buying Experience with Kimberley Homes, was also drawn to Keswick. She lives in The Estates in a cul-de-sac with her husband and two year old daughter. And her mom lives just down the street. Her job gave her inside information. “It was an exciting project from the beginning,” she says. “The proximity to the river, the brick fencing, the ponds—i saw it from an early stage and the area hasn’t disappointed.”
“Being close to the river helps property retain its value. And that was a huge factor for us. We’re close to amenities, yet tucked away. It feels like a traditional community.” Jill loves the low density and the seclusion. “No one drives through unless they live here.”
Jill has lots of girlfriends in Keswick and they get together with their kids as well as girls’ nights and glasses of wine. She loves running in Keswick and the surrounding area and watching sunsets over the river. “I’ve lived in Edmonton my whole life, but being on the edge against the green you really notice the sunsets. It’s beautiful. The developer has done a great job of keeping its integrity.”
Ultimately, Keswick is about a balance between nature and classic design. It’s been built to last and pays tribute to its unique aspect on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River.