Calgary neighbourhoods: Downtown / Eau Claire
This area is the ultimate in downtown convenience: you're there! While there used to be little choice in the Downtown/Eau Claire neighbourhood, the recent boom has created a resurgence of development activity. There are new buildings west of 7th Street close to the Kensington shopping district, and there are new condos planned close to Eau Claire Market. Downtown, of course, the LRT is free and taxis are plentiful, so many residents just leave their cars indoors until they take a trip out of downtown. There is also a boom in Mewata with condos and apartments just past the end of the LRT line.
There are no schools in this area, since the population is almost entirely young professional. The downtown campus of Mount Royal College is in the west end, and SAIT, ACAD and U of C are accessible by LRT and Mount Royal College by bus. The main public library branch is on Macleod Trail.
For close-by malls, there are downtown TD Square and Banker's Hall, as well as the river-side Eau Claire Market. For unique shops, head to Eau Claire, Chinatown, Penny Lane Shops, or along Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Avenue). You can find it all downtown. You can also head across the Bow River into trendy Kensington.
There is lots to do fitness-wise in the area. It is accessible to the riverside recreational pathways, and there area several fitness facilities and clubs in the core, including the Eau Claire "Y". Calgary's downtown no longer "rolls up the sidewalk" at 5, and there's lots to do. There are many restaurants and most are open evenings. Nightlife is centred around Eau Claire or along 8th Ave (now called the "Stephen Avenue Walk"). Of course, the popular Arts Centre is just inside the downtown on 8th Avenue at Macleod Trail. The downtown is also is home to six different movie theatres.
This area is filling up rapidly with high rise condos, raning from 4 storeys along the riverfront (well, along the pathways & grenspace, anyway), and up to 25 storeys further from the river. Zoning requires buildings to not cast a shadow on the pathways at noon.
There are mostly multi-unit condominiums closer to Riverfront Drive at MacLeod Trail, rising through Chinatown to low and high-rise condos in Eau Claire, with mostly high-rise buildings west of 3rd Street closer to the Louise Bridge, with a ot of activity in the 2007-2008 period.
The downtown, between 4th and 9th Avenues, west of 8th Street has a lot of high rise apartments and condos, with the newer ones clustered astride 6th Avenue prized for their Bow River views and acess to riverside recreational trails.