A Home in Harmony for Every Lifestyle
Harmony’s not just a place. It’s a philosophy. Connections are at the heart of well-being and Harmony is the place to connect with neighbours, family and friends. Our residents don’t just live, but thrive! Our biggest ambassadors are those with the pioneering spirit of creating a community from the ground up.
We’re proud of our dedicated team who make it possible for our clients to become the happy homeowners they are today. Our neighbourhoods are growing week after week with new families and the owners featured here are thrilled to invite you into their lives and share why they chose to purchase a new home. Browse the growing collection of stories below and we think you’ll agree this is a great way to get to know the neighbours before you buy. Why not make your move to Harmony?
If you are a resident and would like to share YOUR story with us, please let us know at the Discovery Centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric de Nooij, a Paramedic for Calgary’s Emergency Medical Services, and wife of two years, Jessica, a Pediatric and Family Chiropractor, can’t wait to try out Eric’s handmade wooden paddleboards on Harmony Lake this season. They were crafted in Eric’s woodworking shop, made possible for the first time thanks to the detached triple garage of their brand new Harmony home, which they took possession of on January 31, 2018.
“There were so many reasons why moving to Harmony was a fit for us, but honestly, being able to build my shop in the third bay of our garage, put it over the top,”Eric smiles. “This combination of home, location, and community just couldn’t be found in the City.”
The quest began after the de Nooijs, then living in Tuscany, visited some friends who had recently moved to a lake community in Calgary.
“We got turned onto the idea of a lake community, but we wanted to stay in the northwest. Close to the mountains, but still close to that part of the City for our commute to work,”explains Jessica. “Within weeks of the visit, we heard about Harmony and loved the idea of it from the start.”
The couple first learned of Harmony through word of mouth and started their research –first by visiting the website, and after liking what they saw, by visiting the Discovery Centre.
“The Discovery Center was a great way to get an idea of the “big picture plans” for the community, but also a great wayto explain the community to our family members,”explains Eric. “We brought both of our families, parents, siblings, and even extended family and friends!”
It took approximately one year from first discovering Harmony until they finally decided to purchase.
The couple built with Sterling Homes selecting the McKinley model in a Craftsman elevation from the Aspen Collection. The sales staff was very knowledgeable, easy to work with and was an experience they describe as “supportive every step of the way”and “without feeling pressured to buy.”
“We chose this model because we did not have to make any layout changes to make it perfect for us,”explains Jessica. “We decided on a long lot so between the house and the detached garage, it would give us a large backyard for Murphy.”
While the de Nooijs don’t have children (“yet”), they share their lives with Murphy, a loveable Bernese Mountain Dog, who is handful enough!
With an active lifestyle, the couple enjoys being near water, swimming, hanging out at the beach, and stand-up paddle boarding. As skiers, the proximity to the mountains makes day trips easy, and riding their Dutch cruiser bikes is even easier with Harmony’s trail system.
Beyond the layout of the homes, the location, and the amenities, like most “Harmonites,”the couple appreciated the idea of community. The sense of a close-knit community. Where one knows their neighbours.
“We tried to attend as many community events as we could prior to moving in. We felt invested in the community and always left feeling we had made the right decision to live in Harmony,”says Jessica.
Eric adds,“Jessica became a member of the residents’Facebook Group and that was also a great way to see what was going in the community prior to us taking possession.”
“One of the things we like about being ‘early-in’in a new community is having a say in how the community develops and having a front row seat as we see it grow,”they agree. Some of that growth is coming from their own friends and colleagues, several of whom are in various stages of building or moving in themselves.
As the weather warms and they settle into their new home and neighbourhood, what are some of the things they look forward to most?
“Relaxing together on the front porch in the evenings as the sun goes down and building a deck so we can have friends over for BBQs after a day at the lake,”muses Jessica. “That, andlaying down sod to keep Murphy out of the mud!”
But perhaps most of all, they say they are looking forward to the day when they can peddle those Dutch Cruisers over to the future Village Centre to enjoy a coffee, pick up some fresh baked goods, visit the farmers market or a few of the shops, and peddle back home.
Sounds pretty perfect!
Ed and Debbie Sweep recently downsized their Brooks-based commercial development business and were looking for a more manageable-sized home near family for their “semi-retirement” years.
The Sweeps had been looking at other communities in the Calgary area for over two years with a long list of wants and wishes, but began eyeing Harmony before the show homes or Discovery Centre were even open.
“We immediately liked the location,”says Ed “Coming from a smaller community we liked the fact that Harmony was on the edge of the City, with killer mountain views and plans for plenty of greenspace.”
“It was also perfect because one daughter lives in Valley Ridge on the West side, and our other daughter frequently comes to Cochrane from out of town to visit the other grandparents,” adds Debbie. “Now we are close to both and can see our daughters and grandchildren more often.”
Given The Sweeps’ very active lifestyle, the amenities and nature of the community were further deciding factors.
“We were interested in finding a community that had a wide mix of ages, especially younger families. There’s a vibe and energy that comes with that. We knew we did not want to move into a 55+ community,” they agree.
Younger families might even be hard pressed to keep up with Ed and Debbie, who regularly play tennis, golf, run (including half marathons), and bike. They have already joined the Mickelson National Golf Club and are excited about the plans for tennis courts in the future Outdoor Activity Area. In the meantime, they knew the extensive and ever growing pathway system would be sure to get a workout from them both.
“The lake, of course, was also a major draw. We’ll use it to kayak, are looking forward to learning how to paddle board, and enjoying relaxation time with the grandkids in the sun.”
Once the Villas by NuVista officially opened in April 2017, it took no time at all for The Sweeps to snap up a dream Villa with views of green farmland and the mountains.
“I believe we have the distinction of being the first to purchase,” explains Ed. “Downsizing from a 4,500 sq ft house with five-car garage, we thought the Villas offered everything we wanted in a scaled-back home.”
With its open floorplan, bungalow-style main floor living, and a double garage they found surprisingly roomy, The Lavender model at almost 3,000 sq feet including developed lower level, was the perfect fit. However, there were still some questions.
“We were actually quite apprehensive about someone else building our new home,” admits Ed. “But after meeting the NuVista team we felt confident we had made the right choice.”
“With Ed being a commercial builder we had some pretty big expectations, and we can say without a doubt, NuVista met or exceeded our expectations. They have gone above and beyond to achieve the end result we were looking for,”explains Debbie. “And Ed is one fussy guy!”
The Sweeps took possession December 22, 2017, shortly after they attended their first Harmony community event at the Discovery Centre. “It was the afternoon Christmas Party and the grandkids loved it. Best Santa ever!”
With the active lifestyle amenities, picturesque setting, and friendly neighbours –is there anything else The Sweeps are looking forward to in the future?
“When fully developed, I think Harmony will have everything we need and will provide such a well-rounded lifestyle. We really like the town centre concept and the walkable intent of the community. The whole concept is brilliant!”Debbie enthuses.
“We also understand there are several other retail and service developments being planned along the 16th Avenue corridor, so residents won’t need to be concerned about access to plenty of nearby urban amenities,” Ed says.
“But without having to drive right into Calgary all the time,” Debbie is quick to point out. “We like that.”
With a place in Palm Springs and a love of travel, the Villa lifestyle is offering The Sweeps plenty of freedom. They admit they haven’t been around much over the chilly winter season. So what are they actually looking forward to most?
“Getting back to Harmony and really enjoying our new home!” they smile.
The story of how they met –Amanda, William and Harmony, that is –was sparked when Amanda was up late one night feeding the baby and watching some television. After two years of looking, especially for a lake community, they were scheduled to put down a deposit cheque on another lake community in Calgary.
Suddenly, on came a commercial for Harmony. Amanda was so excited, she ran into their bedroom to rush William out of bed and insisted they visit Harmony the next day.
“I must say once we crested the city limits and the hill leading west, the view of the mountains was amazing,”explains William. “We both turned to each other and knew that a weight was lifted off our shoulders just by breaching the city limits and leaving all our cares behind.”
For William, a law enforcement officer, Amanda, a planning technician, and sons Rowan (now 3) and Calder (now 1.5) Harmony seemed perfect, with a master plan that included not only a lake but a golf course along with a distinct neighbourly vibe.
The Discovery Centre further instilled confidence in how the community was going to function. “We loved the idea of growing old in place with everything we needed eventually within walking distance. The idea that a space can be multi- generational as well as fully sustainable, including the water system, was appealing to us,”says Amanda.
As they toured the show homes, Amanda immediately knew her home was the McKinley model, a Carriage Home in the Aspen Collection, built by Sterling Homes.
“When we first stepped inside, the weird part is I also felt at home. Problem was, it didn’t come with an office which was important, so in me telling her the bad news, Amanda was not very happy,”recalls William. “As we made our way back into the show home, Shilo the Sterling representative saw the sadness in Amanda’s eyes and said –‘let me guess…it doesn’t have an office. We can put one in, you know’.”
“Amanda lit up and Shilo showed us drawings of the house we would eventually call our home,”continues William. “The day she showed us the drawings to make our future home work was the day I turned over our cheque to another homebuilder in a different community and had her shred it.”
“Right then we knew, even though we had only had been out to Harmony once, this is where we wanted to live,”smiles Amanda.
Everything about moving to Harmony was easy, they remember. They loved all the events and family fun days the community put on, and attended everything they could. “We loved driving out here just for those and, in meeting our future neighbours, they seemed to share the very best in what we were looking for. The schools, activities, and other amenities sealed the deal and we never looked back,”William states.
With Amanda loving to cook, she now has the kitchen of her dreams. They also enjoy a large backyard, a front porch for relaxing and having tea, a great gym space indoors, and their property is easy walking distance to Paintbrush Park.They took possession April 2017.
“We are very active so daily walks on the pathways as a family with our dogs and weekends spent at the beach are part of our lifestyle. Whether it’s going for a bike ride, skating at the pond, or sitting on our back deck enjoying a bonfire or BBQ with friends and neighbours, we love being outside,”says Amanda.
The family also loves camping and that the mountains are minutes away was another consideration in William and Amanda’s move to Harmony.
“Will plays hockey and is on a team with some of the guys who live in Harmony. At a community event this past summer they all decided to join the same team and, because of that, they have become good friends,” Amanda says.
“Where we used to live, we didn’t know our neighbors. People drove into their garages and never spoke to one another. The traffic and the amount of people in the city were also getting to be too much. We longed for that small town feel with great neighbors and a true sense of community spirit. We got it!”smiles William. “This is a place where everyone actually waves hello.”
Amanda recently hosted the Harmony Rural Crime watch education session in the Discovery Centre, which had an impressive turn out. She is also part of the new Resident Advisory Board to the Owners Association. “The continuation of this sense of community is very important as it builds trust, a sense of belonging, and a safe place to live.”
They cite the community Facebook page as being especially active and a place residents use to keep one another up to date. Information is exchanged from garage sales, meeting times for play dates, and even to a lost family dog, which was found within minutes of the news being posted.
“Can I give more examples of how close our community is?” Amanda asks. Of course!
“On Thanksgiving last year, Will was called into work. One of the neighbours saw his truck leave and realized we were home alone so they sent over their daughter to knock on door and invite us to Thanksgiving dinner. This kind of thing happens all the time!”
“Another example is one of our neighbour’s husband was out of town for work. She needed to get some shelves installed but didn’t feel comfortable using power tool,”William explains. “She posted on the community Facebook page and within minutes a couple of residents showed up and installed the shelves for her.”
Another trend William and Amanda have noticed is that people moving here seem to know existing residents already which makes the community even closer, and shows residents are recommending Harmony to others.
“Amanda’s brother and his wife just signed with a builder to move out here. They are a stone’s throw away which is exciting for us as our two boys will grow up playing and going to school with their cousins,”says William.
Any advice for people considering Harmony?
“As far as advice goes, we would encourage people to come out and have look. Introduce yourselves to any of the residents and ask them what their opinion is about living here,”says Amanda. “You will find that everyone loves being a part of this Community, have a great deal of pride in it, and we are all very active and engaged in making this place so special.”
For Nova Scotia-born Dan Freeman, a Sixth Grade teacher at Master’s Academy, and his wife of four years Kerry Doerksen, originally from Manitoba, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse at the Alberta Children’s Hospital – discovering Harmony was a bit of a last minute moment of fate.
They lived in the Calgary neighbourhood of Killarney for seven years. While it was a short commute to work and they liked it very much, they knew they were going to outgrow their house with their active young family including Emerson, two and a half, Elliot, five months, and Abby their eight-year old English Setter. Being mountain lovers, they started house hunting in January of 2016, mostly looking at acreages in the Bragg Creek area.
“We were hours away of putting an offer on a house, but had second thoughts,” explains Dan. “It was mostly about the commute.” But Kerry adds “It was also about the feeling of isolation and we wanted to be part of a community.”
Dan heard a Harmony commercial by chance on the radio and mentioned it to Kerry on their hike in Bragg Creek that a visit to Harmony might be a good idea. They looked at the website, the vision, the community plan, and lot plans. They took a visit in October of 2016 and within a week had a hold on the lot of their dreams. They built with Broadview Homes and took possession in November 2017.
“We wanted a larger sunny corner lot with plenty of room for trees and gardens, and room for our kids to play. We chose a smaller sized Farmhouse to maximize our outdoor space and went the Carriage Home route, with the suite above the detached garage for Kerry’s parents to someday move in with us,” explains Dan.
“Broadview helped create some custom changes to our floor plan to make the house function better with two small children and to maximize the view from our lot. We especially love the addition of the front porch, and we can’t wait to sit out there and watch the sunsets this summer. We are so happy with the way everything turned out,” says Kerry.
But what initially caught their eye about Harmony?
“Having grown up in a lake community, I was really excited to hear about a lake community so close to the city and the mountains,” says Kerry. “When we drove in and saw the lake, I knew instantly I wanted to live here.”
“We went for several long walks on the pathways before our decision and really liked the feeling of the neighbourhood,” says Dan. “We used to have to drive an hour or more to go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing and now we have trails across the street. We used to have to wait to go on weekends, and now we are able to go everyday.”.
The family is a clear lover of the outdoors including camping, hiking, fly-fishing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. “And running and yoga and gardening, but I’m a beach bum at heart,” Kerry is quick to point out. “I’m looking forward to getting some trees and garden boxes started for this summer.”
After they purchased they also started attending some of the community events. The Potlucks, the Stampede Breakfasts, the Christmas Party at the Discovery Centre. “We really enjoyed these events and it was exciting to see so many families with young children and meet our new neighbours,” says Dan.
“Everyone we have met is so friendly and willing to help each other. The official snowplowing has been amazing, but there has also been a lot of neighbour team shovelling with all of our snow this winter,” he adds.
“We have already made some close friends and are feeling blessed to be surrounded by such great people. The Facebook Group Page really makes it easy to ask for advice and keep everyone connected,” adds Kerry.
“I’ve recommended Harmony to several family members and friends and could see a couple of them moving here, and I have a colleague who is planning on it already,” she continues. “I think a Homeowner Meet & Greet Night would be a nice idea for prospective buyers to ask questions. We would have attended.”
We love the lake and temporary beach, all the green space, and even the skating area that was set up with seating and a fire pit. I find it so peaceful here and love looking out our windows and seeing the cattle grazing with the mountains behind. It really is a dream come true!” enthuses Kerry.
It’s a dream come true for Abby the dog as well. “She loves the open space and comes with us wherever we go. We were initially concerned about not having a backyard for her, but with all the green space she (and we) get out for three to four long walks a day, which is good for us,” agree Dan and Kerry.
Dan reflects, “I always look forward to the drive home from work every day. There is hardly any traffic and looking at the mountains the whole way home is so peaceful and calming.”
Well, welcome home! Find yourself in Harmony.
Having moved into their beautiful new home in Harmony on July 19, 2017, the O’Brien Family – Frankie, Christina, and their two children Jessalyn (6) and Joshua (4) — have already put in plenty of kilometers on Harmony’s extensive pathway systems.
Christina is a music teacher for K-3 at a private school in SW Calgary and also teaches some private lessons at her home studio “Creative Keys.” Frankie, originally from Portland, is the Canadian Sales Manager for Altra Running, although he admits Christina is really the avid runner.
“I hit the trails and the kids follow along on their bikes. As a routine, we try to take a walk as a family or get to Paintbrush Park most nights after dinner,” Christina says. “This summer, I also led some free outdoor boot camps in the Park. The rubber ground on the playground is awesome for working out, and it allows my friends and me to exercise while the kids play in the park.”
Frankie prefers sports like basketball, baseball, football and golf. Lucky for him there was enough space to build a small basketball court beside their garage in the backyard for friendly games of pick-up.
The O’Briens relocated to Harmony from Arbour Lake in Calgary’s NW, their home since 2005 after just marrying in 2004. “We actually loved it there, but we had been there for over a decade and were ready for a new floorplan to suit our family,” says Christina.
“Our Arbour Lake house was also close to Country Hills Blvd., and we wanted a quieter backyard for the kids to play in and for Christina to run her boot camps,” adds Frankie.
“We spent a couple of months looking at houses in Arbour Lake with our realtor and we just couldn’t find the perfect house without having to put a lot of extra money into renovations to get the open concept that we wanted. Then we discovered Harmony!”
Christina was driving along the TransCanada one day and remembers the Harmony signs and the word “LAKE” jumping out at her.
“Was this the answer to our house search? A new neighbourhood would likely have open concept floor plans, and it had a lake — the one thing that we didn’t want to give up!” Christina recalls.
That evening, Frankie and Christina immediately looked up the LiveInHarmony.ca website and drove out with the kids on the weekend to take a look early May 2016.
“We were impressed there was already a park for kids and fell in love with the ideals the community embraced – healthy lifestyles, more outside activities, lake life, and the Arts,” Frankie says. “The Arts component struck a chord with us because of our involvement with music. Both children love music and singing, and Christina in addition to teaching, directs the music team at our Church.”
“It only took us a few weeks to decide,” continues Christina. “We brought our realtor to check things out and help us with our home contract. He’s been in the business a very long time, and he thought Harmony would be a wise investment, so that helped us with our decision.”
The O’Briens decided to go with Baywest Homes in the Aspen Collection, and they couldn’t be happier.
“We liked that we could make so many changes to their existing floor plans,” explains Frankie. “We loved the openness of the Calliope plan, but it had a contemporary elevation, and we wanted something more rustic. After going through several drafts, we were pleased with the farmhouse elevation they designed for us.”
“We moved walls, redesigned the shape of some rooms, and made minor adjustments here and there just to fit a certain bookshelf, a piece of furniture, or the piano. We honestly feel like now we are living in a custom home!” Christina adds.
“Can we say we love all the opportunities to PLAY as a family?” Christina asks. “We love playing together, whether that’s at the park, the lake, making music, shooting hoops, sledding, board games, or going for a bike ride. With the lake, the amount of green space, and all the running paths here, Harmony has really made fun family time easy.”
The O’Briens have also appreciated the sense of community that has been created in Harmony. The process of making friends and meeting people started right after the family signed with Baywest, describing how they attended the large community events like Picnic in the Park and the Fall Fair, as well as the resident “Paint Night” mingler and community “Potluck Dinner” at The Discovery Centre.
“Community is so important. Nobody wants to feel isolated. Everyone wants to have close friends and neighbours you can rely on and experience life with together. We met many wonderful people this summer, and we’ve been excited to welcome the neighbours as they move in.”
While they are enjoying the quiet atmosphere, active lifestyle, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets –being such a musical family, what’s one special Harmony dream they have?
“To one day perform with my daughter Jessalyn at the Village Amphitheatre!” Christina smiles.
In 2013, Kari and Leon finished renovating their entire home in Cougar Ridge, believing it to be their forever home. Shortly after 22-month old Maddie was born, older brother Joe, now three, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, bringing the family a new reality and leaving them with a significant quandary.
“We knew that renovating our house a second time to accommodate any potential mobility issues for Joe was going to be difficult with a newborn and toddler,” says Kari, a Registered Nurse.
“We had lived in Cougar Ridge for over ten years and had amazing neighbours, which made the thought of moving difficult, so we developed what we thought would be a five-year plan,” explains Leon, a Professional Engineer in the oil & gas sector.
Quality school system options for Joe with his disability, lot size, affordability in their price range were all priorities on their list. But with the discovery of Harmony, their five-year plan instantly became a one-year plan.
“In 2016, Leon had two sleeping kids in the truck and decided to check out the Mickelson National Golf Course only to find that a whole community was being built in Harmony,” recalls Kari. “He brought us all back out on Mother’s Day. We spent the day looking at show homes and put a deposit on the lot the very next night!”
The family moved into their fully customized, farm-style Carriage Home (Aspen Collection) with a view of the lake in May, 2017.
Even though Augusta Fine Homes is not officially an Aspen Collection builder, this special situation brought it together with the family to build a completely handicap-accessible home within Kari and Leon’s budget.
“Our dream home layout began with my husband drawing on a cocktail napkin on one of our date nights,” Kari shares. “Wayne at the Augusta show home was understanding and had great ideas about a build that our family could live in and grown into. The team quickly made it a reality and the finished product is better than I could have imagined.”
“Our build project was a long one and not without frustrations, but everyone was understanding of our complex needs,” furthers Leon. “The area construction manager Dave made sure all our concerns and visions were communicated and continued to help months after moving in, which was appreciated.”
This whole sporty family, including rescue pups Maurice and Rocket, love hanging out at the lake (be it The Kootenays, Little Shuswap, and now Harmony Lake.) They love spending time with family and friends, food and wine, and exploring their new community. Leon enjoys playing golf and hockey and is a member of the Wildcatter’s charity golf tournament committee. Kari is busy with the two little ones, the dogs, making the new house liveable, and organizing the all-important Harmony Wine Club!
“We’ve enjoyed meeting new neighbours at all of the Harmony events, and we like how everything is designed around trying to build invested community members,” Kari says. “We’ve been to a Paint Night, The Father’s Day Picnic, The Stampede Breakfast, and The Home Owners Association Survey Nights, to name a few.“
“We don’t feel there is community spirit here, we know it is here,” continues Leon. “Our neighbours not only watched our house (the first weekend they moved in) while we were away, they have been around to allow contactors entry to our house to fix time sensitive issues, and they have offered to feed our children on Kari’s birthday. We’ve had numerous get-togethers and they only moved in a month ago.”
The couple continue to visit the Harmony website to monitor lot activity, to show friends their new community, and find information about community events. Kari keeps in the loop on the Harmony Resident Facebook Group.
“And living near the Discovery Centre has been a wonderful bonus for us, with coffee, friendly staff, and such helpful information about the community and what’s available in the surrounding area,” Kari says.
“For me, I like that feel of city living in the country and but that it’s also a manageable commute back to the Calgary,” adds Leon.
And for Joe?
“We are not sure if the new home is to blame, but within a few weeks of moving into our house in Harmony, Joe began really walking!” beams Kari. “With Joe’s diagnosis, the neurologist was uncertain about his ability to walk without any sort of aid. I am certain that our new open floor plan along with this whole new lifestyle (relaxed and comfortable) were big contributing factors to his amazing success.”
Keeping going, Joe!
For three years Mike and Amber Vanee had been vacillating about whether to renovate their Springbank Hill home of 11 years, or move to a new one. While they loved their area, they backed onto Highway 8 with new ring road construction imminently coming closer and closer to their own backyard. Not an enticing prospect for them and their now 4-year old daughter Millie.
“A few of our favourite neighbours had already moved away, so ultimately we decided to start looking for a new family home,” says Mike, a director of product management for an oil and gas company.
“We first came across Harmony two summers ago when we saw the signs as we drove to Callaway Park,” says Amber, a former WestJet flight attendant who now has her own online party decoration business. “The show homes weren’t open yet but we were excited to see them. I think we went opening weekend. We loved them all!”
They ended up particularly falling in love with a Baywest bungalow estate home from the Tamarack Collection and built on a corner pie-shaped lot that faces some green space with a peek of the lake from their front porch.
“We’ve always loved bungalow-style homes and couldn’t be more excited about building one. But, we made so many changes to our model I think it’s become a full-on custom home at this point!” Amber laughs.
Amber and Mike’s decision to move to Harmony was about much more than building their dream home. It had to be in a community that checked off all the boxes. To make sure it did, the Vanees spent time visiting and re-visiting the community and the informational resources it offered.
“I grew up in BC five minutes from a lake and loved the lake community feel. That was one of the first obvious attractions,” says Amber. “That and the idea that there is going to be a Beach Club. But I’d say we came out at least 10 times. We brought our parents out, and they loved it too.”
“The Discovery Centre is amazing and we spent time there. Seeing the big picture and everything in large scale was so helpful,” adds Mike. We watched all the Harmony videos on YouTube, and now being part of the Residents Facebook Group, it’s another source of ongoing information as well as a connection with neighbours before we move in.”
“People living there will even go take a picture of your house so you can see the progress. There’s definitely a great sense of community already being built,” says Amber.
“Deciding to build in Harmony came down to what we wanted as a family and in what kind of place we wanted to raise Millie. A nice, new community where Millie could start school, even walk to school, and make a bunch of friends her age. A place we would want to spend time together down by the water, in the future Village Centre having a coffee, or on the paths just exploring,” Mike explains.
A busy family during the week, on weekends they enjoy camping, breaking out their cruiser bikes, and checking out new parks and places to eat. And for Mike, an avid skier, golfer, and half-owner of a small plane, Harmony couldn’t be better located – near the Rockies, next to the future Mickelson National Golf Club, and right by the Springbank Airport.
“I’m just so happy to be living by the water again,” says Amber. “We want to get paddle boards and kayaks and give those a try.”
“We really can’t say enough good things about our experience so far and all the people who have helped us. We’re happy and excited to be a part of this community,” she continues. “Now we just want all our friends to come live by us, too!”
The Vanees are expected to move in mid-December 2017.
Patti Clarkson is a woman with a mission. Many missions. But one of them was the tenacity to keep investigating Harmony, keep asking questions, and keep researching, until she had the answers she needed to become a homeowner.
As a professional Human Resources Consultant entering her ‘empty nest’ phase, Patti was searching for her forever home, which needed to provide main-floor bungalow living. With two University-age daughters, one starting and one finishing, she also wanted a fun and active place for them and their future families to visit.
“I started thinking about being an empty nester three years ago and had gone through a few Villa show homes. While I liked the lifestyle of the homes, I wasn’t sold on the communities themselves. Then I discovered Harmony and its vision,” Patti says.
Patti was an early pioneer, driving out to the community before the main boulevard Copithorne Trail was even complete. She was touring the Show Home Parades within days of launching. While several of the Tamarack Bungalow Estate Homes caught her eye – she decided to take her time for the Villas to be released.
When that opportunity finally came in the Spring of 2017, she was researched and ready. A deposit was put down within 24 hours and she landed a beautiful NuVista-built Villa on a lot she loved — complete with a view of Harmony Lake. She also cites NuVista’s flexibility in customizing her favourite model as another critical component in securing her decision. “They were very patient with me,” she smiles.
In terms of due diligence, Patti was thorough. “I was probably out to Harmony once a month for a year and a half, bringing everyone I knew with me,” she says.
“I loved the idea of lake living, with a real lake where you can boat and swim,” explains the former Vancouverite. “However, my two concerns were, first, it was outside the city, and second, the airport.”
“The complete development plan for Harmony helped alleviate the first concern as most everything I need will be right here or nearby, especially when the future Village and the Beach Club come to fruition. That will provide a real sense of community.”
In terms of proximity to the Springbank Airport, Patti needed additional reassurance. She turned to the Ambassadors at The Discovery Centre, long-time Springbank residents themselves, for a real “on-the-ground” perspective.
“The ladies at The Discovery Centre were very helpful as they have lived by the airport for many years and were able to give me the information I needed. I also spent time wandering around outside listening for airport noise. I even talked to local residents,” Patti admits. “I am now satisfied the airport is not an issue.”
As Chair of the Board for ‘Dare to Care’ — a Calgary cased bullying-prevention charity — an official in competitive swimming, and a CrossFit enthusiast, there’s no slowing down for Patti in her next chapter, and Harmony provides the perfect combination of an outdoor, active, and community-oriented lifestyle.
“I am forever bringing people out to show off the great place in which I will be living! I want all my friends and family to come out and live here,” she beams.
What is she especially looking forward to?
“The lake, the lake, the lake! I can’t wait to be sitting in a kayak in the middle of Harmony Lake. I’m even looking forward to learning to use a stand-up paddle board,” she says. “But also, just the thought of sitting on my deck in the morning with my coffee, watching the water, brings me peace.”
Editors update: Patti moved in to her Harmony home the summer of 2018.
There’s much excitement in the Lang family as Tomasz, Dana, and little 2-year old Poppy celebrated the arrival of their baby boy, Hugo just after our interview process- in what might be Harmony’s first homeowner newborn.
With a tentative move-in date of December 2017 to their Augusta Fine Homes residence from the Tamarack Collection, The Langs can look forward to a very Merry Christmas with expansive Mountain views and big sunset skies.
“We loved the idea of a west-facing lot to maximize sun exposure in the afternoons and in our back yard as we spend so much time outside in the summer,” explains Tomasz, a District Manager in the oil and gas sector. “A view of the mountains was also key in our decision. The Canadian Rockies are one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world, and we’d be foolish not to take advantage of their beauty!”
For Tomasz and Dana, it was love at first dog walk, as they met in early 2013 while walking their dogs in Edmonton’s Laurier Park. The dogs got along well, and their people have been together ever since. Moving back to Calgary that fall, The Langs settled in the Springbank Hill area.
“We began hunting for a new house in early fall 2016,” says Dana, a stay-at-home mom and certified yoga instructor. “As our daughter grew and we started planning for another child, we knew we would need to find a place to suit our growing needs.”
“While a larger home is certainly easy to find in the city, we noticed a major lack of decent yard sizes and other outdoor spaces. Since indoor and outdoor living are equally important to us, we weren’t prepared to settle,” explains Tomasz.
“We first visited Harmony in September 2016,” says Tomasz. “We loved the urban feel in a rural setting, the views of the prairies and mountains, and the vision that was set out.”
“After our first visit, we searched in the city for several months, with periodic trips back out to Harmony. By December, we realized we were unlikely to find any house or community that was able to offer us the space, choice, setting and innovation we discovered in Harmony.”
While making the decision to move to Harmony aligned with The Lang family vision to be further away from the city and closer to a country lifestyle, the information about future amenities, both in the neighbourhood and nearby, only further strengthened their feeling the community was perfect for them.
“The top things that attracted us were proximity to the mountains and views of the surrounding area, expanse of walking trails and space for outdoor play, large lot sizes, innovative vision for future development, quality school system, connection to other young families with similar values, and of course the beach and lake!” says Dana.
A future amenity The Langs are especially anticipating?
“We can’t wait for the Village Centre! The concept reminds us of the city square in Krakow, Poland. We are looking forward to walking over for coffee and drinks with neighbours, checking out local vendors and meeting new people all the while being close to home,” says Tomasz
Like any active family, the Langs have their individual interests. Tomasz is happy pursuing hockey, golf, and charcoal barbequing, while Dana enjoys yoga, art, and animals. Easy going Poppy loves “anything involving playing outside, eating, and making new friends.”
“As a family we are pretty well aligned and up for anything that involves a good time!” smiles Dana.
“Camping, hiking, back yard fires, swimming and hanging out on the beach, walking and playing with our dogs, winter sports like skiing, skating and sledding. We also love to host friends and family for good food and great times. One thing we hope to achieve in the near future is to purchase a couple horses and get into trail riding.”
“As a family that values the outdoors, it’s important to us as parents that our children learn to appreciate and respect nature as we do,” continues Dana. “The benefits of unplugging to spend time playing and exploring the outdoors cannot be compared to any other type of activity. We are thrilled to be moving to a place with so much space and opportunity to do all the things we love!”
After purchasing, The Langs began attending Harmony events such as the Harmony BBQ and The Stampede Breakfast, both hosted at the Discovery Centre.
“These events have been a lot of fun for us. We’ve had the chance to make a few friends, meet people, and get a better feel for what life will be like once we take possession,” says Dana. “Our daughter has enjoyed these events as well as there have been lots of young children in attendance. It’s so much fun to watch them all play and interact with one another.”
“We’re also members of the Harmony Homeowners Facebook Group, which has been a great resource. We check the page regularly for community news and events, as well as to get to know our neighbours,” Dana adds.
“As we have already been able to make friends before taking possession, we definitely feel an advanced sense of community,” Tomasz observes. “I think this occurs more easily in developing communities because we can relate to one another with our decisions to move there and through the building process. We believe it is very important to have a close connection with at least some of the neighbours to provide that true sense of home.”
The Langs explain they have spoken a great deal about Harmony with family friends and many have become interested, whether they choose to move soon or sometime down the road.
“In our opinion, we feel that if potential buyers complete their due diligence along with a review of what is important to them in a community, the decision to purchase in Harmony becomes clear, like it did for us,” they agree.
Celebrating 10 years together this September, Deniz and Jessica Eren have to pinch themselves sometimes as moving to Harmony is making a dream come true. For them, and their two boys Altan, 4, and Evren (almost 2.)
While their Homes by Avi estate house is still under construction, The Erens recently saw it for the first time. They are scheduled to take possession in November.
“It was a tear-worthy magical moment,” beams Jessica, the home-based small business owner of ‘Little Sweet Arts.’ “We made so many changes to the floor plan to make it our own, so to see the outline in real life was unbelievable. The lot is huge. The mountain views are spectacular. The layout is perfect!”
Jessica was born and raised in the SW of Calgary but remembers babysitting for a family on RR 33 as a teenager. She says her dream growing up was to someday live in Springbank, although she never imagined something quite like Harmony. Her husband Deniz, a Program Quality Manager for a construction company, moved to Calgary after almost 10 years in Toronto.
“I grew up in Turkey and moved to Canada to go to school,” says Deniz. “After University in Toronto, I visited the mountains and fell in love. And not only with the mountains…”
Becoming restless in Cougar Ridge and not happy with their sons’ future commutes to school, the couple began actively house hunting two years before discovering Harmony. It was a decision that entailed four visits to the Discovery Centre to learn about community vision, the lake, water treatment centre, and what was planned, as well as 15 visits to the show home itself.
“We had a long wish list!” says Jessica. “Space, community, school and then of course the actual house.”
“We wanted spaces for our boys to play, explore, ride their bikes, and run around and be boys, explains Deniz. “In the city, we could build a new home, but then we wouldn’t have a backyard. In Harmony, regardless of your lot size, there is still a lake and tons of paths for kids to be kids.”
The Erens say the fact there is a planned school for Harmony was the other big reason they purchased.
“If we wanted to stay on the south side of a Calgary, all of the homes we had looked at would be a 20-30 minute bus ride to school. Even though the Harmony School isn’t built yet, it will just be a short six minute commute to Elbow Valley Elementary in the meantime,” Deniz continues.
Jessica says being part of a real community was also important.
“Even though we haven’t moved in, we feel like there is more of a community in Harmony than where we live now. This is thanks to the awesome get- togethers the developers have put on and the Harmony Resident Facebook group. Every person I have met who is moving to Harmony shares the same sentiment we do. We all want to be a part of a community and not just reside there, which is pretty special in this disconnected world.”
“The first event we attended was the Harmony Fall Fair in 2016, prior to purchasing. It was a beautiful family day out for the family,” remembers Jessica.
“We have since gone to the Residents BBQ, Fathers Day Picnic and The Stampede Breakfast. My favourite event was the Residents BBQ. Meeting our neighbours was just amazing. Now we know that from Evren’s room, we can see John and Nicola’s house, from Altan’s side window we can see Bruce and Nida’s, from our master we can see Lisa and her family, from the backyard we can see Zahid and Delna’s.”
“The Fathers Day Picnic was also great as a group of us residents found each other and sat back watching our kids play together, talking about who would be hosting poker night,” says Deniz. “It felt like it did when I was a child. A less complicated time. You knew all your neighbours as friends, and everyone was there to help each other out. In our Facebook Group, someone needed a lawnmower, and within minutes he had two offers to borrow one.”
What is going on in Harmony is magical as it is, but as the community grows, there will be more that comes with it. The Erens are especially looking forward to The Beach Club.
“As a family we love to explore and travel. I think that is what’s most appealing about Harmony. Whether it is exploring the paths, beach, lake, parks, community, or nearby mountains, we are just so excited to have it all in our backyard! I am also looking forward to a book club and a wine club, which are apparently in motion,” Jessica smiles.
“We also feel it would be a shame not to become better golfers, fishers and skaters with everything at our fingertips,” adds Deniz. “So those would be our goals once we move in.”
“Having lived in Calgary all my life, I can honestly say I have never come across anything even close to Harmony,” says Jessica. “I have told everyone and anyone who will listen about the beauty of Harmony.”
“In fact, every time we have driven out to Harmony, we are reminded of how beautiful it is,” says Deniz. There is something about seeing the mountains, farmland, and overall peacefulness of it after a long day. It feels like we are escaping to Canmore, and who doesn’t want that feeling going home every night?”