PLAY Old, young, men, women, dogs and children. They’re all going to play in Marda Loop and play hard. Sandy Beach, a 1000 acre green space, wraps around the Elbow River and offers off-leash areas, running paths, picnic tables, playgrounds and even a nice cool spot for the dog to take a dip. If you’re the zen type, there’s plenty of yoga studios “in the loop”, including Ashtanga, Yoga Mandala and Bikram Yoga. Heat things up at Pro Bodies in Marda, a fitness centre that offers conditioning classes, zumba and cardio dance. You can also get health supplements, personal training and a freshly squeezed juice from the juice bar. It’s a total health haven, just seconds from home.
EAT Let’s face it. We’re all foodies when it comes down to it. We like to talk about food, eat it and be as close to it as humanly possible. Marda Loop is a major food haven that literally puts you biting distance from your favourite restaurants, cafes, bars and breakfast joints. Tres Marias, an authentic Mexican market will add a little spice to your day. San Remo in the Marda Loop Station features Italian favourites and get your bento on at Globefish Sushi, Calgary’s first Izakaya sushi restaurant. If you’re looking for casual dining, try Avenue Diners mile high smoked meat sandwich and Belmont Diner’s signature Eggs Benedict.
DRINK If you’re up for some cocktails, Marda Loop pubs like Union Station, Garrison Pub and Original Joes not only offer great beer selections and burgers, they have live entertainment too. Pick up gourmet coffee after at Starbucks or Phil And Sebastien, then refuel later in the day with a fresh squeezed juice at Booster Juice or Jugo Juice.
SHOP When it comes to stocking the pantry, Marda Loop’s Fresh offers plenty of wholesome fare, including their premade meals. There’s a Safeway too, so no need to go far for a carton of milk. If you’re an aspiring chef or like to be pampered by the pros, try a cooking class at Forage or the catering services of Infuse Catering and Red Tree. And don’t forget to hit up one the local Marda Loop bakeries or ice cream parlours for dessert.
GEMS There are a number of businesses and events that make people want to be part of this evolving neighborhood. Marda Gras Festival, an annual New Orleans-themed Street Festival includes jazz and blues music, street level acts, and a variety of cultural performers. We like it so much, we sponsor it every year.
LEARN Marda Loop schools include everything in Garrison Woods, Altadore, South Calgary and Richmond/Knobb. There are a number of elementary schools in the area, including Sacred Heart, which offers full day kindergarten. Preschools include the Marda Loop Communities Association Preschool (MLCAP), a non-profit parent-run cooperative as well as Kumon Centre preschool, which is in the heart of Marda Loop. Bishop Carroll high school is just minutes from Marda Loop and offers self-directed learning, Advanced Placement and the Hockey Skills Academy. Western Canada High School on 17th offers French immersion. When the kids graduate from high school, you’re just five minutes from Mount Royal University and ten minutes from the University of Calgary. For detailed school information, check out the individual neighbourhoods.