Battle of the Burbs: The North chooses its champ
CBC Calgary's contest moves into final round with 1 suburb left from each quadrant
As CBC Calgary's Battle of the Burbs contest nears its finale this week, four communities are left, with voting starting Wednesday, April 20, in the city's north.
One northern contender is much larger, but it's the smaller neighbourhood rallying the most votes.
Silver Springs, developed through the 1970s, is one of Calgary's oldest suburbs left in the competition, and it's coming in as the favourite against Coventry Hills, thanks to its 7,288 votes so far, and wins over larger communities Evanston (by 27 votes), Arbour Lake and Tuscany.
We are passionate about how much we love our community, for sure.- Miceala Cummings
"We are passionate about how much we love our community, for sure," said resident Miceala Cummings. "People just love it. There's just this strong sense of wanting to kind of come home, I guess, no matter where you go. We lived in another community before we had kids, but we just wanted to come back and raise our children here."
Bordered by the Bow River, Crowchild Trail and Nose Hill Drive in the northwest, Silver Springs is best known for its botanical gardens and access to Bowmont park. For Cummings, a strong group of neighbours is also a major draw.
"It's a beautiful community with a lot of really wonderful people, and that has created a really great sense of community," she said.
Coventry Hills has about 8,500 more residents than Silver Springs, and just had its strongest showing in the fifth round of the contest, tallying 781 votes, beating Huntington Hills to win the northeast's side of the bracket.
That means the community near the airport and bounded by Country Hills Boulevard and Stoney Trail is rallying votes at exactly the right time.
I think Coventry Hills has that perfect balance of being an established community.- Shauna Henson
"So no offense to Silver Springs, but I think Coventry Hills has that perfect balance of being an established community," says resident Shauna Henson, who has lived in the area for seven years. "We have lots of surveys that go out to our community members to even be able to vote for what we want in our community and how we want to use certain spaces that we have."
Coventry Hills was established in the early 1990s, right as Calgary was beginning to change how it developed neighbourhoods, opting to include services like grocery stores and retail in each area.
That shows with the big box stores around its southern edge, though it's a decidedly low-density area, with the vast majority of homes built here being detached houses (92 per cent).
And though people may not share walls here, Henson says it's a close community regardless.
"When one of my dogs or both of my dogs escaped a few months back, I had a neighbour that just kept blowing up my phone until I answered. So we have neighbours that are willing to delay their own appointments and schedules to just make sure we take care of one another," she said.
The winner of this battle takes on the winner of Lake Bonavista versus Oakridge in the south, for not just bragging rights, but also a BUMP Festival mural and other prizes. That all happens this week, with details found here.
With files from Taylor Simmons and Nathan Godfrey