West Hillhurst is a northwest community located in Calgary’s inner city, west of the community of Hillhurst/Sunnyside. It is located on the North Bank of the Bow River. The community began as a farm owned by the Riley family, a prominent pioneer family. The area was annexed by the city in 1907 but development was not substantial until after 1945. At this time, a number of Victory homes were built for returning soldiers. Although these homes were only designed to last for 5 years, many still exist today. West Hillhurst is a mixture of older homes and infill developments. The community’s close proximity to downtown gives residents easy access, and a new footbridge across Memorial Drive allows residents to walk or rollerblade to work. The community is also located nearby SAIT, the Alberta College of Art and the University of Calgary. There are both public and separate schools in West Hillhurst and the area houses an outdoor pool and tennis court.
Hillhurst is home to an active community centre which offers physic classes, an after school centre and daycare. The facility is also used by the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and for other programs including jazzercise, martial arts and squash. The community skating rink is also popular, and is used by amateur sports teams, the Canskate youth skating program, seniors skate and public skating. Calgary’s most active seniors group, the Go Getters, is also based in Hillhurst. Hillhurst is also planning substantial renovations to its community centre, and, upon completion in 2004, the centre will contain new squash courts, a running track, exercise and meeting rooms and an indoor skating rink.