South of Downtown Calgary neighbourhoods overview
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This community is the area closest to downtown, with a high population density of generally younger residents, many of whom walk into the downtown core. The "Beltline" is popular for its closeness to downtown as well as the many bars, restaurants, and shops. You can walk everywhere, saving a lot of wear and tear on your car (if you need one at all). Connaught is the portion of the Beltline between 8th Street and 14th Street. While the area has long been known for its high-density apartment blocks, many new condo developments are being built, and many older buildings are being renovated and upgraded into condos.
Lower Mount Royal is south of 17th Avenue and is filled with high-density of low-rise apartments, condos and townhomes. Just south of 17th Avenue, and on both sides of 4th Street is the area of Mission, with moderate-sized two-storey homes and a number of low-rise apartments and condos.
Across the Elbow, just south of Talisman Centre is the neighbourhood of Erlton, which used to be mostly single-family homes but is now becoming a cluster of high-density medium-rise condos and apartments. This area is close to the riverside pathways along both the Elbow and the Bow Rivers.
There are several public elementary schools in the area, and Catholic students go to St Mary's in the east end of the community. The city's first public library is at Central Park on 11th Avenue. Western Canadian High is in the middle of the community. The downtown campus of Mount Royal College is in walking distance. SAIT, Mount Royal College, and the U of C are readily accessible by public transit.
There are lots of trendy boutiques in the area along 17th Avenue (also known for its art galleries), 11th Avenue (west on 11th are a number of interior design and furniture stores), and around Mount Royal Village. For mall shopping, head into downtown around TD Square and Banker's Hall.
The Beltline Fitness Centre offers an indoor pool and fitness facilities. The nearby Talisman Centre facility offers world-class everything, including swimming, racquet sports, indoor track, and weights. Most of the area's entertainment is centered along 1st Street and along 17th Avenue.
The better restaurants are found along both 17th Avenue and along 4th Street (Calgary's Restaurant Row). There are also a number of coffee shops in the area, both major chains and independents. Of course, the popular Arts Centre is just inside the downtown on 8th Avenue at Macleod Trail. For movies, head into downtown for a choice of 6 different cinemas.
The community is has larger exective homes south of Royal Avenue, smaller homes between 6 Street and the Elbow River, and otherwise mostly high-density high-rise apartments or condominiums north toward downtown and MacLeod Trail, with some older homes scattered in between. Along 10th, 11th and 12th Avenues are about a dozen high-rise (30-40 storey) condo towerss under contruction, that are finishing in the 2008-2009 period.
More about Calgary, from FoundLocally.