Avenue Magazine releases list of best Calgary neighbourhoods for 2020

A residental street in the northwest Calgary community of Brentwood. Global News / Tom Reynolds

Brentwood has nabbed the top stop on Avenue Magazine’s list of the finest of communities in Calgary for the second year in a row.

The publication released its 11th annual ranking of the best neighbourhoods in the city on Tuesday, and the northwest community was again No. 1.

The results come from an online survey on the magazine’s website.

Read more: Avenue Calgary releases list of best neighbourhoods for 2019

Instead of simply asking Calgarians to vote for the best neighbourhood, the survey asks respondents what traits they value most when selecting a community to live in — from access to major roadways, parks, pathways and public transportation to the amount of crime or community engagement and even walkability — to determine which ones matter to them the most.

Story continues below advertisement

Avenue then used the survey results along with data from the City of Calgary, the Calgary Police Service, Walk Score, and more to rank the residential neighbourhoods.

Avenue noted this year’s results are especially relevant as due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Calgarians have spent more time in their neighbourhoods than ever before — sticking close to home in social isolation at first and, as business in the city resumed, not venturing too far.

What’s new for 2020?

This year, Avenue Magazine said park space and pathway system access were the top priorities among Calgarians when it came to finding a great neighbourhood.

Avenue noted that proximity to a lot of restaurants dropped significantly for the second year in a row. Having a lot of restaurants was ranked 11th in making a neighbourhood great — just after having lots of trees.

According to Avenue’s 2020 survey, the top five characteristics that the city’s best ‘hoods have are:

  1. A high proportion of park space
  2. Good access to the pathway system
  3. High Walk Score
  4. Good access to supermarkets, grocery stores and food markets
  5. Strong community engagement

Calgary’s top 10 neighbourhoods 2020

  1. Brentwood
  2. Varsity
  3. Crescent Heights
  4. Sunnyside
  5. Bridgeland/Riverside
  6. Dalhousie
  7. Hillhurst
  8. Bowness
  9. Acadia
  10. Edgemont

A list of the top 20 communities in Calgary can be found in Avenue Magazine’s September issue which will be available for free starting Aug. 28, or the complete ranking can be found online at

Story continues below advertisement

What’s so great about Brentwood?

Northland Village shopping mall, located on Northland Drive N.W., is in the community of Brentwood. Global News / Tom Reynolds

Located south of Nose Hill Park and north of the University of Calgary, Brentwood is bordered by Crowchild Trail N.W. and John Laurie Boulevard N.W.

In 2019, Avenue noted that due to its abundance of parks, schools, recreational facilities and shopping it has always ranked well.

“The neighbourhood scores well thanks to its consistency and old-school community feel with lots of engagement and tons of amenities, established businesses and parks,” Avenue stated.

“It has streets lined with mature trees and modest but well-kept homes. But despite its age, Brentwood feels as vibrant now as it did 30 years ago, if not more so.”

Where has Brentwood ranked previously?

The Brentwood Community Garden in Calgary, Alta. Global News / Tom Reynolds

The community of Brentwood is a perennial Top 10 finisher in Avenue’s Best Neighbourhoods survey, but 2019 was the first year it claimed the top spot.

Story continues below advertisement

In both 2015 and 2016, the Beltline scored the top spot, followed by Brentwood.

Then in 2017, after doing a total data overhaul, Varsity usurped the Beltline, nabbing the top spot. Brentwood sat in fourth.

In 2018, the Beltline was again the top community, with Brentwood sinking to the eighth spot.

Disagree with the rankings?

Avenue Magazine acknowledges that a lot of what makes a neighbourhood “great” is highly personal.

“Many of us want to live close to family or friends, in the neighbourhood we grew up in, or close to work,” the magazine states on its website. “Or, we just love the look of a particular home on a particular street or the feeling of a place.”

“It’s not hard to find a good place to live in Calgary; every neighbourhood in the city has a range of offerings for its residents.”

Nose Hill Library on Northmount Drive N.W. is located in the community of Brentwood. Global News / Tom Reynolds

Sponsored content