Several communities are getting attention as bedroom communities south of Calgary, all accessible by Macleod Trail, which turns into Highway 2 South.
Okotoks, a 17,000 population town just 23 kilometres south of the city (actually on Highway 2A), is known for the big rock left behind by the glaciers.
To the west of Cochrane are the twin communities of Black Diamond and Turner Valley. These are small towns of 2,000 residents apiece, but arec growing quickly.
High River, with 11,000 residents, is 48 kilometres south of Calgary, and provides fast highway access into Calgary on weekdays, and close access to several southern Alberta lakes on weekends.
These towns have aexcellent educational facilities in both the public and Catholic systems, and have access to private schools, religious schools, post-secondary education, as well as public libraries.
Okotoks has two shopping districts, one on Elizabeth Street on the north side of the river, and another where Big Rock Trail intersects with Highway 2.
High River is an entirely self-contained community, being the market center for the farms within a 30 mile radius, has lots of shopping in the center of town along Macleod Trail and on the southside along 12 Avenue toward Highway 2.
Okotoks is a demographically young town: 83 per cent of the town is under 45 years of age, with 30 per cent under the age of 19. Okotoks is built around the Sheep River, has the pretty Sheep River Park along the south shore of the river, and also Wylie Park on the north side of town. Horse races and Rodeo are held at Pacer Park on the western outskirts. Okotoks also has the Camp Okotoks childrens camp on the eastern side of town. Okotoks also has three golf courses: D'Arcy Ranch, Heritage Pointe, and Cottonwood. The town also has a small airport for private aircraft, and those learning to fly.
High River, on the Highwood River has a riverside park, two riverside golf courses (Highwood Golf & Country, and Rio Vista), another winding park with a creek, two lakes (Emerson and Sunshine) with parks.
Okotoks has three single-family developments underway: Cimarron on the town's south side, Sheep River Ridge in the southwest, and Crystalaire in the northeast. Prices range from $115,000 to $300,000.
High River provides a leisurely lifestyle, appropriate to its location in the middle of ranching country. Its new home activity is centered around the 27-hole Highwood Golf and Country Club: High Glen Place, Polo Park and Mountainview Estates. Prices range from $97,000 to $160,000.
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