Where you get what you pay for – and you don’t pay a lot
Cedarbrae – lodged in Cowtown’s SW quadrant – is all about being good enough for the price. Homes here are highly affordable, especially for the southwest portion of the city, drawing single parents and working class Calgarians to the neighbourhood. But you get what you pay for … at least you do in Cedarbrae. The schools are OK, but not great. The area is safe, but offers little in the way of amenities, including restaurants, shops, or – even – a sense of community. If all you need’s a place to crash at night, Cedarbrae’s got you covered. Just make sure you’re mobile and willing to venture to other parts of the city for friends, food, and fun.
The market, at a glance
Avg. rent by housing type & size
Avg. rent compared to other Calgary neighbourhoods
Cedarbrae is 10% lower than Calgary average
Typical housing type:
Modest, detached homes.
Remember that Internet meme that said: “Cheap, fast, good – pick two”? Well, houses in Cedarbrae are affordable (cheap) and readily available (fast), so do the math. It’s not that the housing is even bad – it’s just not impressive, being more focused on functionality than flash. There is great variety though, with detached, semi-detached, and row house rentals, as well as several low-rise apartments to rent. Would be owners should have no problem finding places that fit their budget and basic needs. The same can’t be said for renters though, who’ll find it damnably hard to hunt down a unit, especially a small one. Part of the reason for this is that renters tend to stay once they’re in, with the most affordable units having been snapped up years ago. You might want to look at other neighbourhoods during your rental search, because Cedarbrae is a residential community that doesn't like to move out their neighbourhood.
Life & Style
Life here is a hamster wheel, with residents spending the little time and energy they have after their one, two, or even three jobs on taking care of “them and theirs” – AKA themselves and their loved ones. This leaves them with no spoons left for community building or neighbourhood development. Homes get equally little attention; so, like everything else in the neighbourhood, are all function, no fashion. Here’s the thing though, Cedarbrae is the No Frills of the SW quadrant. Yes, the fruit is always on the brink of implosion and you have to pack your groceries in cardboard boxes; but, if these compromises make your food affordable – or keep a roof over your head, suddenly they seem small.
With little in the way of community, Cedarbrae casts a wide net in terms of residents, with the most significant commonality being a need for affordable housing. Single parents, low-income families, and immigrants, including large Spanish and Russian populations, are common. Of course, compared to other parts of the city, income levels are low – and education rates aren’t off the charts either. Community bonding isn’t generally a priority, so it’s possible you won’t even know your neighbours’ names. Given Cedarbrae’s low crime rate though, they probably won’t kill you either… so that’s a plus.
Honestly, there’s not much. The neighbourhood highlight is the Cedarbrae Community Centre. Beyond that are a couple of schools and churches, as well as a sprinkling of small parks. To the west is a large First Nations reserve. Just north of the area are a Calgary Co-op, a CIBC, and a Boston Pizza. To the west is a small plaza with a walk-in clinic and pharmacy, a few fast food places, and a daycare centre. Even public transit is limited in Cedarbrae, making a car almost a necessity.
Perfect for: Working class, single parent families.
Not-so-perfect for: Those super neighbours. You know, the ones who are all about sharing cheery greetings and casseroles.