A Search for Personality in Calgary’s Homes

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The fifth installment in our Face Lift series, exploring the new face of our city.


mC:t    2015.07.20   


Look out Calgary there is a “new” neighbour in town!


Waking through some of Calgary’s newest housing developments it quickly becomes a case of deja vu.


As Calgary continues to grow at an ever-increasing rate our new homes and even our new communities seem to pop up overnight. Many of these new communities provide beautiful homes and landscapes for thousands of Calgarians, however one cannot help but to get lost in a cul de sac of similarity.


Does this similarity call for the ability of personal adaptation to the exteriors?


It often takes an adventure into the older neighbourhoods of the city to find something “new.” Perhaps it is here where homeowners can find the freedom to adapt the exteriors of their homes to represent something unique about themselves to the world. Some of these homes may have been mass produced back in the day or built in a time of creative freedom, but today it is clear that they are one of a kind.


Just as Architectural Facelifts can happen on an urban scale it is clear that facelifts can be just as present on a suburban scale; where residents are bringing new characteristics to their homes and communities. The homes spotlighted in this article are some of the unique homes found on a weekend adventure in the city…

Geodesic Dome:

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This unique home is a feat of engineering and can be found in the neighbourhood of Bankview.

The “Birdhouse”:

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This home is known to some as the “Birdhouse” and can be found hiding behind the trees  in the neighbourhood of South Calgary.

The Enchanted Forest:

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This Hillhurst home looks to be straight out of a fairy tale.

Spy Games:

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This home is full of secrets … this Springbank Hill  home was built in the early 1900’s by a German spy to observe the army barracks at Signal Hill. At one time the turret acted as the radio room and if one is lucky enough to enter there are secret passageways to be discovered.

Creativity in Cliff Bungalow:

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These Cliff Bungalow homes represent the unique character of the neighbourhood and those that reside here.

A Personal Touch:

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These homes, found in Winston Heights-Mountview and Lakeview respectively, have a personality of their own representing a little something special about the occupants within.  


These hidden gems of personality can be found in many neighbourhoods around the city and these select few just scratch the surface of possibilities. Through this hunt for personality it becomes clear that with time comes the ability to have the personalized creative freedom over the home’s exterior.


What do you think of these homes and the idea of having control over adaptations to a home’s exterior? Is there a place for these design adaptations in newer communities? Do you have any more unique homes we should see? If so, let us know…


Post your photos of unique homes on Instagram (makecalgarytalk) using #faceliftyyc and help us with our collection of facelifts around Calgary or simply let us know your findings on our Facebook page or Twitter handle @makecalgarytalk.




Next: New or Renew?
Previous: Facelifts: Urban


[1] “Calgary.” Google Maps. Accessed July 19, 2015. https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.1218182,-114.0548506,763m/data=!3m1!1e3

[2] Photos taken by author


makeCalgary:talk provokes conversation among Calgarians about the design of our city. Catch up with us on Twitter (@makecalgarytalk), Instagram (makecalgarytalk), or Facebook.



  1. Naji Akbar says:

    Good selection of houses and nice composition of photographs.

    I think it is difficult to express one’s unique self in an environment where standardization is at its peak and is a good money saver as far as building materials are concerned. Also, it takes courage to ‘speak out’. I think due to these reasons Calgary’s architecture more or less follows a given set of styles over a period of time. Exceptions to this rule are just so many.

  2. Marino Di Napoli says:

    In the newer communities, architectural guidelines can stop any creativity. The housing is a product of the developers profits, more than liveable design.

    In many older neighbourhoods, character homes are being replaced with faceless boxes to maximize the building footprint, and minimize the yard. Examples include:
    2007 Ramsay St
    1133 9 St SE

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