Today, this is a major planning consideration for the industry’s finest residential developers as a means of differentiating their communities and providing extra value to home purchasers. For you it’s important because your community’s story and identity will over time form the context and become part of the fabric that is your family’s story and legacy. So make sure you think about this when determining where to purchase your next home.
Sense of place can be a nebulous concept as it’s equal parts physical, emotional and rational. It is a combination of how you feel when you live in a place and how that place improves your family’s quality of life in every way. In retail vernacular, it’s the cross-roads of branding and product performance.
Village at Griesbach is an exemplary case-study of a developer, Canada Lands Company, that’s done a superb job planning for and ultimately delivering a heightened “sense of place”. The community is located on 620 acres of prime mid-town real estate that used to be home to Canadian Forces Base Edmonton. From this proud history, the company has forged one of Alberta’s most unique and popular new communities by profiling and building a sense of place around its rich connection to a proud past. It has all the physical elements of a great neighbourhood with a new school, three playgrounds, sports fields, four beautiful lakes with water features, miles of tree lined walking paths and a vibrant boutique commercial area that provides a gathering place for neighbours and friends. But, Griesbach’s story – its sense of place – is what most residents say they are really proud of. They love the parks that memorialize Canadian heroes and regiments. They like living in a place that educates people about our country’s history and honours its best values. And, on September 22nd, 2018, I attended a street dedication ceremony in Village at Griesbach that epitomized why this community is so beloved by residents.
Canada Lands Company in collaboration with The South Alberta Light Horse Regiment named a new street in honour of prominent Edmontonian Stanley A. Milner and the Milner family. The dedication marked another in a long line of community tributes recognizing the military legacy of these lands and the great achievements of Canadians in the armed forces.
The Milner family represents an outstanding example of Alberta’s service to Canada’s military. Seven family members, including fathers, brothers and wives, served from World War I to Stanley Milner’s work with the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment. Stanley Milner served in the 2nd Battalion, Saskatoon Light Infantry and the Canadian Officer Training Program. He also served as Honourary Colonel of the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment and founded the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment Foundation, a group which preserves regimental history and provides support for retired regiment soldiers and families. He was also a successful businessman, city alderman and philanthropist.
Event dignitaries included the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods; John McBain, President and CEO of Canada Lands Company; His Worship Mayor Don Iveson; Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Vernon, Deputy Commander of 41 Canadian Brigade Group; and MLA for Castle-Downs Nicole Goehring.
It was wonderful to see so many high profile Canadians and dozens of residents attend this unique event which in a very tangible and memorable way builds on the ever- growing story of this community. The Milner story is now part of the legacy of those families that attended this event, experienced the dramatic military presentations and armoured vehicles parked outside the auditorium. In this way it provides wonderful memories and stories they will pass on to others.
Neighbourhoods Are About People – Not Real Estate
A community is always more than its physical assets. It’s about people and the connections they hold with their community and neighbours. So, when you go searching for a home be mindful of the story your new community will help forge. It can be a proud heritage connection as in Griesbach. Or, the whimsical lake-living vibe that comes from a place like Brookfield’s Summerside in south Edmonton. Or, the placid natural beauty of Dream’s Maple Crest in southeast Edmonton. Whatever your personal preference may be, check out these superb examples of developers who are going the extra mile to provide a richer sense of place for home owners and in this way creating a more rewarding lifestyle and stronger value proposition for their homes over the long run.