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.”