Thorncliffe is a community that is close to my heart as I was born and raised on the 400 block of Trafford Drive NW. Thorncliffe is near the top of my list as a value pick for young families. Detached homes start in the low $400000’s and top out near $600000 for fully renovated bungalows or larger two story homes in the NW corner referred to as West Thorncliffe. No matter the price point your growing family will be in walking distance to schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Including Diefenbaker High School one of two schools with the IB (International Baccalaureat) program. Additionally there is great access to parks (Egberts parkway to Nosehill park), playgrounds and green spaces all around.
Speaking of Nosehill park. Located just east of the southern tip of the largest municipal park in the world, Thorncliffe maintains decent East West mobility throughout the NW with easy access to John Laurie BLVD. Communities farther to the north are forced to circumvent the sprawling park to reach amenities to the south. Thorncliffe also has great public transit to the downtown core via the #2, #3 and #301 bus routes. Additionally there are plans for the new Green Line LRT to stop 3 times between McKnight BLVD and 64th ave. On the eastern boarder of the Community is Deerfoot trail Calgary’s premier North South Highway, also providing quick access out of the City.
The average home in Southern Thorncliffe is a 2-3 bedroom 900-1080 square foot bungalow built betweeen 1955-1962. The vast majority of these lots are placed on large 60×110 foot lots and are currently zoned MC-1 limiting building height to single story options. Original homes featured L shaped kitchens with room for a 4 person kitchen table, formal dinning room that opens into the living room. Many homes have had one or both of the walls taken out to create the open concept that modern buyers desire. I will in the future write a post explaining in greater detail why I believe houses built 1955-1959 are my favorite in city (Until then feel free to ask me why). What you need to know is that between 1955-1960 in NW Calgary St Andrews Heights, Collingwood, Thorncliffe and Rosemont where being developed, offering similar but differently priced products. Even though Thorncliffe was the least expensive and therefore the most cheaply built. It still was built in an era of consistent but reliable growth that led to quality construction dodging major building material issues of earlier and later builds. Leaving current home as great options for cosmetic renovations.
North West Thorncliffe was developed during the mid seventies and feature slightly larger homes with attached garages and 2 piece en-suite washrooms. However much like other homes built in the seventies most of the homes have aluminum wiring. Despite the wiring issues the additional size of these homes make them popular.
North Eastern Thorncliffe was also built during the 1970’s and detached housing mimics the size and style of southern Thorncliffe. However there was a migration away from full double lots, shrinking from 550 square metres to 465-495 square metres. With most of the loss of size coming from the depth of the lot. Still large compared to newer suburban projects however less ideal for future subdivision.
Tiffany Gardens-Built in 1976 and located in the upper North West of the community this complex is the most expensive in the community. Floorplans range from 1500-1680 square feet plus full basements, with 3 bedrooms (some have converted two into one large master), single attached garages. Easily the quickest selling complex with an average market time of 30 days.
Thornhill Green- Built next to Laycock park this complex is great for dog owners of none vicious breeds (Don’t get me started on pet restrictions). Ranging from 750-1300 square feet with both single level attached bunaglows and multi level units. This complex is typically targeted buy first time homebuyers and older Thorncliffe owners downsizing from their yard work heavy homes. Very good access to Deerfoot and amenities.
There are several other complex’s from 4th street NW to 4th NE that have a similar building style. They are all 2 story row houses with basements ranging from 800 square-foot 2 bedroom units to 1200 square foot 3 bedroom units. By fair the most numerous are 3 bedroom 1 and half bath units between 1060-1120 square-feet. This units make great rental properties due to there low purchase price, condo fee structure and location. Additionally they are popular with young buyers wanting to enter the market and build some mortgage and sweat equity.
What’s the best time to buy an asset? Before it becomes the next big thing. Currently due to the current single family municipal zoning of the community (There are currently some pockets of Rc-2). Builders are not able to subdivide lots and build 2 where there was once one. However currently Thorncliffe is located as the next up community. As the current inner city boundary rests on the southern boarder of Mcknight BLVD. There currently is a $50000 premium to buy into Highland Park over Thorncliffe because current development ability. However I see a much higher ceiling for Thorncliffe as it has more amenities, and people friendly features than Highland park which is near a commercial/light industrial sector. Savy buyers will see the potential of the neighbourhood before the price point to reflects it.
Currently Thorncliffe is lacking a can’t miss local restaurant. Tops Pizza and Bar currently sits as the best local watering hole. It has a neighbourly charm cultivated by their active and present owner. Wings and Pizza are the highlights of the menu. The most popular Restaurant is Denny’s on Mcknight busy 24 hours a day from families, seniors and late night snackers.