Victoria Day for many of us is the first official weekend of camping season and an unofficial start to summer-our tents and trailers are prepped for their next seasonal shift, our gardens are cleaned and flowers planted. Naturally, all Canadians welcome this holiday mentally with open arms, and in truth, how can we not?! However, given that today is the actual holiday Monday, it's a good time as any to understand the reason for this day off. 


Queen Victoria was the second longest reigning monarch of the UK, with her time on the throne being just recently surpassed by our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria reigned from the tender age of 18 in 1837 to 1901 and only became Queen after her father's three brothers died, all of whom passed without leaving any surviving legitimate children. She married her first-cousin, Prince Albert, with whom she had nine children. They shared a very close relationship and his passing in the middle of her reign in 1861 plunged her into deep mourning from which she never recovered. She loved to write and rumor has it she wrote around 2500 words a day in her journals, leaving behind 122 volumes of her daily life.


Her birthday is May 24th and hence on Victoria Day, we are essentially celebrating her birth. This event was celebrated here in Canada since 1845 and therefore long before Confederation, but it became law in 1901 that the Monday before the 24th of May must be celebrated in her name. Though she was not a large woman (she was only 4ft and 11 inches tall), her legacy speaks volumes and she is remembered as being a Queen who restored the reputation of the monarchy and also reconnected the monarchy with the public through their civic duties which are still very strong and present today. Throughout Canada she is celebrated with parades and fireworks, especially in Victoria, BC, her namesake city. Interestingly enough, Queen Victoria's sixth child, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, is the namesake of our province. Originally there were plans to call our province Louise, however to honor both her daughter and her deceased husband, the name Alberta was instituted. (However, should you find yourself at Lake Lousie today, raise a glass in her name!)


Wishing you all a fantastic kick off to your summers, as well as a fun day with your family and friends!



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So, we've decided to have some fun and give away a prize.


Throughout the city's Westside, from Cougar Ridge to just south of Aspen, we have several bus benches advertising our services and expertise in the area. We're asking you to take a selfie with one of them and post it to social media (Instagram or Facebook), and just by doing that, you will be entered in a raffle to win $100 to Aspen Wine and Spirits.


Here are the official rules:


➡︎ Like and follow our page on Facebook (Lukwinski Real Estate) and Instagram (@markonyyc )
➡︎Take a fun selfie at one of our bus benches located throughout Calgary's Westside
➡︎Post to Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #MARKonYYCselfie

That's it! We couldn't have made this any easier!


We will close this contest on May 28th 2017. We will randomly pick a winner and do an announcement on Monday, May 29th! Good luck and happy snapping, all for the love of wine. 



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This weekend we celebrate Mother's Day and there is no shortage of events taking place all over Calgary to honor our moms. Click on this link below to see and pick all the various events you can peruse to celebrate your moms and families.


Ever wondered how Mother's Day began? A woman by the name of Anna Jarvis started to campaign in the States in 1905 to create a national holiday to honor all mothers after the death of her own mom that same year. Because her mom was a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers in the American Civil War, she wanted to honor her mom and all moms because they did more for their children than anyone else. After some obstacles with the US Congress, the first Mother's Day was celebrated in 1908. By 1911, all US States celebrated Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May. Though Jarvis was behind the creation of this day of commemoration, she never liked the vast commercialization of it and protested the way the holiday went. By the early 1920's, Hallmark started creating cards and suggesting gifts to purchase to celebrate moms and well, the rest as they say, is history! 


Let us know if there is an event on this list above that you'll be attending with your mom, or perhaps you discovered something else to do. Either way, we wish you all a fantastic day celebrating the matriarch's in your families and lives, especially the ones who are no longer here with us. To all moms of all creatures, we salute you! 



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Directly south of last week's community profile of South Calgary, we find ourselves looking at the neighborhood of Altadore. Let's dive in!


Deemed a trendy inner city neighborhood, Altadore is currently experiencing a gentrification process due to the luxury and high-end semi-detached homes that have been going up in the community over the last several years. Located just south of 34th Ave and trendy Marda Loop and bordered by 50th Avenue in it's most southern region, Altadore is an old neighborhood that was established in 1945. To the east it is bound by Elbow River and to the west by 20th Street. The map below depicts where Altadore is located in Calgary.  







As we have included with the other zones and communities, we will dissect a little of the demographic information on this community. Looking at Altadore, the last census of 2014 reflected a population of 9,518 in the community, where 18% of the population is under 15 years old, 68% are between 20-64 years, and lastly 10% of the population is over 65 years. Sixty-eight percent of dwellings in Altadore are occupied by owners and a variety of dwelling types are exhibited. In terms of real estate, the majority of homes in Altadore are single-family homes, making up 40% of the neighborhood. Duplexes make up 16% of the community, townhomes are present at 16%, and apartments at 23%. Converted structures come in at 4%.


The median age is 37 and is listed as a community that is entirely english-speaking, since 0% of the population doesn't speak English. The median household income is $96,932 and according to CREB so far in 2017, 21 detached homes have sold at an average price of $1,130,667 with a price range of $632,500 to $1,910,000. For attached homes, 32 properties changed Title in 2017 (to date) with an average price of $771,063, where the range low was at $363,000 and the range high was $1,260,000. For more information and as with all our information sources, you can view more concise details by visiting the City of Calgary’s neighborhood profiles, found here.


Normally we include a crime map for each area that we profile, but there were issues with the Calgary Police website in generating this map this week, so we will add this information when the site is working again. Apologies!  


In terms of placement in the city, Altadore is well placed if you work downtown but also enjoy having quick access to parks and green spaces. Sandy Beach, River Park and Riverdale Park all flank the eastern edge of the community. Being inner-city you are able to access any parts of the city by car but there is so much to offer and access on foot in the community too. From the community, a quick drive west along 33rd or 50th Ave takes you to Crowchild Trail which connects you north and south and to other fast arteries dispersed in the city. 


Located on the northern lip of this community is Marda Loop, a collection of different shops and services offering you literally everything you need. Grocery stores, flower shops, banks, dentists, gyms, coffee shops, pet stores, restaurants, pubs, and more are on offer. Marda Loop is great to wander around in and really take in the community. 


Schools representing the private sector are found within a short drive's reach if this is something that is attractive to you. Because they're relatively close, all the private schools we have profiled on Calgary's West Side can still be of consideration:  Webber Academy,  Calgary AcademyRundle CollegeWaldorf SchoolCalgary French & International School, and Edge School for Athletes. To this West Island CollegeNorth Point School for BoysBanbury Crossroads School, and Lycee Louis Pasteur schools can also be added as they are close by. 


In the Calgary Public School district, Altadore School, Central Memorial High School, and Elboya School are designated elementary and junior high schools.


In the Catholic District, St. Michael's SchoolHoly NameSt. Mary's High School, Bishop Carroll, and St. James School are designated in the separate system. 


Being centrally-located, there are many places of worship to access from this point in the city. Click on this link to find the right place of worship for your culture and background.


As was the case with South Calgary, residents of Altadore are encouraged to join the Marda Loop Communities Association which offers different ways to become a member. The association is very active in organizing monthly and annual events, offering residents plenty of opportunities to get to know one another and get involved in their community. The Marda Gras festival takes place every August and is a popular event where people and events literally spill into the street, bringing the community together. In case you didn't read it in our blog entry last week, the name 'Marda' originates from the blending of two names, Marc and Mada Jenkins who opened the Marda movie theatre back in 1953. Historically, the area has always been very active because it used to be the turn around point for a street-car that used to run to the community from downtown. 


That's a wrap for this week on Altadore! Since it is an area known for putting up modern homes, there are a variety of beautiful homes and stunning large lots for you to pick from to find your dream home. If there is anything you'd like to see or if you have any questions, I'm always available to talk or meet up. Enjoy the warmer weather this weekend-get out and soak up some Vitamin D! Tune in next week as we offer suggestions on what to do in our marvelous Calgary for Mother's Day! 






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City-wide prices hold steady as labour market improves

Calgary's housing market continued to show signs of stability in April. With improvements in the labour market and a balanced detached sector, city-wide benchmark prices reached $439,600 in April, similar to the previous month, but 0.90 per cent below last year's levels.


"More jobs means less uncertainty for people who are sitting on the fence," said CREB®president David P. Brown. "There also tends to be fewer people who need to sell when employment improves, and that can prevent inventory gains and further price reductions in the market. It's a good scenario for sellers who are entering a spring market that's in better shape than anything we've seen in recent years."


While adjustments are still occurring in the apartment condominium sector, the detached segment of the market is improving across all price segments.


"Detached product has not faced the same supply pressure as the apartment sector," said CREB® chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. "Detached supply from new construction didn't surpass previous highs. That helped prevent steeper price adjustments in the detached sector when demand eased."


The relationship between sales and inventory will be a key driver for pricing in the months ahead. Total transactions improved to 1,917 units in April, while inventories totaled 5,495 units, pushing months of supply below three for the second consecutive month.


With sales up and overall market inventory down, months of supply has already pulled back from elevated levels recorded over the past two years. While activity continues to vary by location and product type, more balanced conditions will help to support overall price stability. 


"Improvements in the employment situation were necessary to prevent further declines in the housing sector," said Lurie. "However, economic recovery is still expected to be slow, impacting the pace and quality of job growth. Based on current expectations this should translate into a more prolonged period of recovery in the housing market."


Click here to view the full City of Calgary monthly stats package. 


Click here to view the full Calgary region monthly stats package. 

CREB statistics

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Data supplied by CREB®’s MLS ® System. CREB® is the owner of the copyright in its MLS® System. The Listing data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by CREB®.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.