Meeting the challenges of change

      Lido helps downsizing couple find the perfect fit for their lifestyle

April 01, 2017

By: Darlene Casten


Bill has worked all over the world and across Canada; they’ve raised their growing family in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. 

Laura, a teacher, changed careers at the age of 40, and began studying law with three growing kids at home.

Now that they are empty nesters, enjoying their retirement, there is one thing that is still inevitable and that is change. But maybe — just maybe — they can stop now after they found their perfect downsizing condo.

The two said a few years ago they knew it was time to change locations to better suit their age and lifestyle so they started hunting around for a centrally located condominium to fit their needs.

They had already downsized once, moving from the family home to a west side villa with a 1,700-square-foot main floor and a 1,300-square-foot walkout basement.

Laura said it was time to pare things down again.

Even though this is their second downsize, it wasn’t simple to cut their living space in half. Getting rid of a lot of the accumulated stuff in their lives was a challenge.

“We tried Kijiji, but that was just like an online garage sale,” she said. “We gave stuff to charity and to family and friends and we threw some stuff out that nobody wanted.”

She said downsizing for them is about more than just reducing the size of their floor plan.

“We could do with less space and wanted to be closer to walk-able amenities and be less car dependent,” she says. “I stumbled on this place.”

This place is Lido, an eight-story condominium building by developer Battistella, in the heart of Kensington.

Located on the corner of 10th Street and 2nd Avenue, Lido is right next to Pixel, its sister-building. Lido faces onto 10th Street and has lower level business space that already has a Red’s Diner and a Calgary Public Library pop-up.

Kensington was Laura and Bill’s original stomping grounds when they moved to Calgary many years ago.

“We knew the neighbourhood, but it is has changed muchly,” Laura says.

However, what still exists are all the amenities that will help them age in place, they say.

“We are aging and need to look ahead and be able to take care of ourselves,” Laura says.

For the first time since he was a teenager, Bill has a bike that he keeps in the building’s bike storage unit in the winter. This fall he enjoyed riding it around and even has a basket for their dog.  Laura says they also often walk their miniature Schnauzer around the quiet streets in nearby Sunnyside.

For Laura and Bill finding an affordable apartment condo with the space of a small starter home in the inner city was difficult until Laura stumbled onto Lido.

Lido offers spacious, inner city suites in their price range and had the walkability they were looing for. Laura and Bill’s three bedroom, two bathroom, sixth-floor apartment is 1,470 square-feet and has a generously-sized outdoor patio.

The corner-unit’s floor-to-ceiling wraparound windows on two sides overlook the bluff where Crescent Heights and SAIT are perched. 

Their sophisticated furniture graces the open living space that is shared with the kitchen and dining room. 

A quartz-topped island in a fawn colour is the focal point of the open living area. Modern European appliances and the stainless steel stove vent hanging over the island are a nice contrast to the traditional finishing and colours in the kitchen.

They converted the third bedroom into a relaxed family space with a television and comfortable couch that can be closed off by using space-saving pocket doors that slide into the wall. The guest room doubles as an office, with a pullout couch for company. Guests also enjoy the use of a full-size main bathroom with a bath and shower.

The bedroom and master bathroom are found tucked away down a hallway behind the kitchen, in a layout typically found in a single family home. It allows for privacy and the feeling of a separate sleeping and living space. 

Laura has created a family picture wall on the long wall to the bedroom. Across the hallway are two large banks of his and her closets. The master bedroom is located at the end of the hallway, allowing for a large window overlooking bustling Kensington.

It is very quiet,” Laura says. “We don’t hear the neighbourhood noise.”

They already have a bucket list of places they want to try out, like the newly opened Red’s Diner downstairs and Pie Cloud. 

They have already established some favourites too, including the neighbourhood dollar store, which Laura says looks small, but she is always surprised when Bill comes back with exactly what he was looking for. 

A Thai restaurant just down the block is another place they frequent. 

There is also a grocery store and transportation, shops and services within walking distance that will allow them to stay put for some time, Laura says.

“We hope to be here for 10 years,” she says. CL 

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