I crave community.
Growing up in a small town in west central Saskatchewan, I was blessed to be a part of a strong, wholesome community.
Moving to Calgary, I feared I wouldn’t find this. However, in the neighbourhood of Bridgeland, where my apartment is located, I’ve found the community I wanted.
I consider Bridgeland to be my happy place, as it is the neighborhood that has welcomed me to the city. Not only do the streets of friendly neighbours mimic the home I left, but the businesses that line its streets are a cherry on top.
Whether you walk the streets window shopping, drooling over the restaurants, or indulging in some of the treats each business has to offer, Bridgeland is a comforting place.
Nearly everything I need, I can find at Luke’s Drug Mart — be it a painkiller, loaf of bread, vinyl record, succulent, or a cup of soft serve, this little pharmacy has it all.
We all have them. Places in the city that bring us joy, big and small. In an era of chaos, Calgary Journal editors are taking time this year to reflect on the public spots that bring us happiness and peace.
You can read the whole series here.
I also always find myself drawn to grab a bowl of ramen at Shiki Menya, where the line up of customers drags out the door and down the street. Or, I pick up some fried chicken at Jin Bar, where award-winning chef Jinhee Lee has perfected her high-quality, Korea-inspired food.
Every day I can spend at RedBloom, refreshing my hair colour or getting a trim, is the most relaxing, enjoyable day I can have.
A community of support
Judging by the numerous successful businesses located in Bridgeland, it is clear the community loves to support its own.
This is also evident as I got to witness the love and support the community has to offer, just a couple years ago, when a local business was vandalized.
On Feb. 1, 2022, a business owner woke up to hateful, racist messages painted across the side of their building. However, the hateful graffiti became a statement of support through community efforts.
Quickly, the graffiti was painted over and community members began taping up paper hearts with kind, empowering messages.
The Bridgeland Riverside Community Association also began raising funds to paint a mural of love over the wall that was vandalized. This September muralist @Bravotoner brought the community’s vision to life with an eye-catching mural.
A place to gather
Like many other communities around the city, the Bridgeland community centre is a place to gather.
Murdoch Park is a beautiful, large grass range where locals can indulge in sports like soccer and basketball in the summer as well as a flooded ice rink in the winter.
The area also dons a park where families enjoy each other’s company while children play.
Like every great community, there is also the Bridgeland Farmers Market held at the park, where Calgarians and community members come together to indulge in local goods.
Bridgeland may not be the most special community in the city, and it may have its qualms, but it is home to me and has much to offer for anyone who wants to stop by.