CAN’T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT CANMORE
Just 60 minutes west of Calgary, along the picturesque, paved and twinned Highway 1, rests the coveted mountain escape of Canmore. Its accessibility to amenities and in particular to Calgary’s International Airport was a fact that wasn’t lost on Montreal businessman John Greer.
Five years ago, Greer upped and moved his family out west to be closer to some of his western-based clients. With the company’s head office and factory still in Montreal, proximity to an airport that offered a selection of daily direct flights to Toronto and Montreal was top of mind when house hunting, as was a family-friendly home close to the mountains.
“I looked around Calgary but just didn’t get the feeling. When my wife, Paula, and I saw Canmore, it was a no-brainer for us,” he says.
At the time, the couple’s two children were 16 and 19 and avid alpine skiers, a pastime John also loves. Plus, the family was familiar with mountain living, having owned a home in Quebec’s Eastern townships, just minutes from the Vermont border, surrounded by a lake, mountains and a golf course.
The first year in Canmore, the family rented a three-bedroom condominium in town while getting their bearings, an exercise that sold them on condo living and allowed them to find their dream community of Spring Creek, where they purchased a three-bedroom condominium home with mountain views.
“We would always walk around the downtown and over to Spring Creek across the quaint bridges over the little creeks. It is just a beautiful setting and location,” Greer says.
But it was about more than the location and setting — it was also about the quality of the community and the buildings.
Developed by local resident and developer Frank Kernick, Spring Creek comprises 70 acres of land brimming with creeks, and green space (over 20 acres) just steps from the downtown. Years ago, the land was an active dairy farm belonging to Kernick’s grandfather.
“This is my legacy project,” says Kernick, who has been a developer for almost 30 years.
Kernick also makes Spring Creek his home and is fully vested in its success and beauty.
“It’s designed to be a community where you really get to know your neighbours,” says Kernick.
At Spring Creek, homebuyers take many shapes from full-time residents to vacation owners. The mix allows for a collection of regional and international buyers, which Greer says makes the community sparkle.
“We’ve really made some great friends here,” Greer says.
A central amenity hub, a replica of the Canmore Opera House, acts as a meeting place to host wine tastings and community get-togethers from block parties to barbecues. There are a growing number of shops and services located along the main street.
And Spring Creek welcomed the Malcolm Hotel and Conference Centre, Canmore’s new four-star luxury hotel, which opened its doors late last fall.
Over the past five years, the Greer family’s dynamics have shifted; the kids are now grown and off doing their own thing, while Paula and John are thinking long term.
Enter Spring Creek’s latest offering, the seventh building in the community: Jack Pine Lodge, a collection of 49 one-, two- and three-bedroom condominium homes with modern mountain architecture. Designed by Calgary architect David Watkin of David Watkin Architect, the project showcases low-sloped, shed-like roof lines to take full advantage of sight lines (each home will feature a mountain view), clean lines and generous use of timber and Rundle rock to create a characteristic statement.
Interior designs are clean and fresh with square footages ranging from 751 to 1,879 square feet, all with hardwood flooring, large gourmet kitchens, a relaxing rock fireplace in the great room and oversized outdoor decks.
“Jack Pine is really going to have some of the best views of all of the buildings constructed so far,” Kernick says.
“It’s in a unique location with 360-degree views across the valley. With the modern mountain architecture and low-pitched roofs we were really able to open up some big windows.”
Attracted by the views and the larger square footage, the Greers jumped at the chance to purchase a condo that would see them through their retirement years, purchasing a 1,800-square-foot, two-bedroom plus den home on the main floor of Jack Pine Lodge.
The amenities — a garden hot tub and a main floor exercise room, were also big draws.
The project also offers environmentally sustainable features, starting with geothermal heating and cooling.
“As a mechanical engineer, it is one of those things that I have always really believed in and from Day 1, we have made geothermal part of our standard,” says Kernick.
The result is lower energy costs and free air conditioning with no compressors or noise.
Jack Pine Lodge broke ground in March. Possessions are expected in the fall of 2020.