Find Bowness real estate & homes for sale at the community of Bowness is one of Calgary's most unique inner city areas. Ideally situated, Bowness homes for sale in a small-town atmosphere with the convenience of being only 10 minutes west of Calgary's downtown core, and a short drive to the majestic Rocky Mountains. Bowness is nestled along the Bow River Valley. In the heart of the community lays 100-year-old Bowness Park.
The homes in Bowness are known for their diversity and their beauty. Most notable are the riverfront properties set on large estate lots and heritage homes that date back to the very start of the Bowness community. Infills have become increasingly popular among Bowness builders and residents because they allow owners the luxury of a modern home in an already established community. This eclectic property portfolio has become one of the hallmarks of Bowness.
When buying or selling, look no farther than Ken Richter, local resident and Calgary RE/MAX real estate agent for 30+ years. Within his career, Ken has sold over 1,200 homes in Bowness and the neighboring community of Montgomery alone, making him the stand-out expert in the area.
Bowness is nestled right into the heart of the Bow Valley, which was carved out of the land by the Bow Glacier. Have you ever wondered why the Bow River is so cold and clear? It is because water from the glacier, which retreated west and now resides in Banff National Park, is what feeds the Bow River.
The Bowness area was originally inhabited by the pre-Clovis people, whose presence can be dated back 11,000 years. Following them were the Blackfoot, Stoney, Cree and Tsuu T’ina people. These tribes relied on the land for hunting and gathering, making the Bow River, fertile pastures and wild Buffalo herds major assets. They diligently nurtured and protected their land, recognizing its incredible value.
When European settlers arrived in the late 1700’s, they too saw value in the land. Cartographer David Thompson spent a cold Alberta winter with a band of Peigan, camped beside the Bow River. He was in awe of the potential of the area and was quick to recommend a Hudson’s Bay Trading Post be set up. He was followed by John Glenn in 1873, who became the first documented European settler in the Calgary area. By 1875 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had set up a post to protect the area from US Whiskey Traders and to police the fur trade. Fort Calgary was established, and a city was born.
The government began to sell and lease land in Western Canada, having pushed the indigenous people to the fringes on reservations. As Canada seeks to make reparations with the indigenous community for their treatment of the tribes, Calgary has diligently worked to better highlight and protect the indigenous history of the area.
The Cochrane Ranche House leased the Bowness area land for a number of years before two very important sales took place. The first was to Thomas Stone and Jasper M. Richardson. They named Bowness and built a ranch house with barns and stables on the river island, which is now Bowness Park. The second sale was to John Hextall.
Hextall was an English solicitor who purchased the land in 1908. He saw potential for the area to be an exclusive residential retreat for Calgarians. In 1911 he subdivided the ranch and built a bridge connecting Calgary to his brand new Bowness Estates. He made a deal with the City of Calgary: in return for donating two islands on the bow to Calgary (which have now become Bowness Park), Calgary ran its streetcar line into his development.
Despite his efforts, Bowness did not become an instant hit. After World War I, Bowness had just enough surrounding farms and lots sold to require a school (which the famous rodeo Cowboy Marty Wood attended), some stores and a post office. Although Bowness was not being settled as quickly as Hextall had hoped, Bowness Park was wildly popular—Calgarian’s visited by the thousands via the streetcar.
It was not until after World War II that Bowness began to boom. The government purchased 48 one acre plots from the Hextall estate to give to returning veterans. Bowness began to turn into a thriving town, complete with schools, churches, theatres, stores, a volunteer fire brigade and more. With a population of over 9000 citizens, Bowness held a vote on whether or not it should join the City of Calgary. The consensus was overwhelming, and Bowness officially joined Calgary on August 15, 1964.
Bowness may be part of the City of Calgary, but it has retained its small town charm.
Bowness is a safe, clean, welcoming place for residents and visitors alike. It strives to be a great place for families, maintaining parks, schools, recreation facilities and shopping centers. Residents take the time to get to know each other and passionately advocate on the community’s behalf. They enjoy traditions such as the Bowness Stampede Parade, the annual Ice Breaker and the Valentines Dance. Driving through Bowness, you may notice many of the cars have bumper stickers that say “I Love Bowness”—that’s how dedicated Bownessians are to their community.
Nowhere is the small-town charm of Bowness more evident than on Main Street Bowness, where locally owned businesses line the street, including boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants such as the following classics:
Local shops aren’t the only convenience of Bowness. Its location is bare none—a rare find in a sprawling metropolis like Calgary.
Drive fifteen minutes west and you’ll be met by the scenic foothills, home to stunning ranches and pastures which gradually melt into the Rocky Mountains. The picturesque mountain town of Banff is only one hour away; you’re practically neighbours. Ski hills, hiking trails, historic sites and more are all right at your fingertips. The best part? On clear days, the mountain skyline will wake up with you.
Drive fifteen minutes east and you’ll be in Calgary’s thriving downtown core, surrounded by job opportunities, boutique shopping, fine dining, entertainment, history, family fun and more. Explore the skyscrapers, Calgary Tower, Devonian botanical gardens, +15 skyways and more in the concrete playground. When you live in Bowness, you get the best of both words: a small town feel with a city centre just minutes away.
Some other attractions and services by Bowness are:
Bowness is known and beloved for many reasons. However, one that has stood the test of time is Bowness Park. Bowness Park has been serving Calgarians for over 100 years, ever since it was donated to the city by John Hextall in 1911.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s, streetcars left Calgary every 15 minutes to Bowness Park. On nice weekends upwards of 25,000 people would visit the park! Back in those early days visitors could enjoy a large swimming pool, a fountain at the center of the lagoon that gentle music could be heard from while canoeing, playgrounds, picnic sites, cabins that could be rented, a dancing pavilion and a merry-go-round that now resides in Heritage Park. Some of these attractions may be gone, but Bowness Park continues to be popular.
In 2013 Calgary was flooded. After heavy rainfall and a rush of glacial run-off, the Bow River overflowed and broke through the river bank. The City of Calgary and surrounding communities such as Canmore and High River were flooded, causing billions in damage. Albertans came together and, “through hell and high water,” rebuilt the damaged communities. The residents of Bowness were particularly involved volunteers, showing just how much they love their home.
Bowness Park is nestled right along the Bow River, so it was one of the first places to be damaged during the flood. The park had to be closed for a year to rebuild, but came back better and stronger than ever. Now open to the public, you can continue to enjoy the park during every season. Warm up by a fire after an evening of skating in the wintertime, or grab an ice cream after canoeing in the summertime. This family-friendly park has become a Calgary staple and a proud community feature for Bowness.
If you are interested in learning more about Bowness, we recommend the following resources:
We love receiving positive feedback from our valued clients. Read what Mr. & Mrs. Mike K. had to say about working with Team Ken Richter to sell their home in Bowness:
We want to thank you and the team for all you did to facilitate the sale of our property. We know you did far more than an agent without your background knowledge of the Bowness area and the people who live there could ever have done. We truly appreciate all your efforts which produced such a good and timely result.” - Mr & Mrs Mike K
What do you love most about Bowness? We would love to hear from you!
Ken’s sales record and knowledge of the Bowness area, including Bow Crescent, is unsurpassed, and his team's dedication to friendly, professional service is a promise you can count on. Contact Ken Richter today for all your real estate needs!
Historic Photos Curtesy of The Bowness Historical Society
Disclaimer: Information herein deemed reliable but not guaranteed by CREB®.
Listing information last updated on February 18th, 2018 at 1:15am MST.