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?”