November 21, 2011
A journey to find the perfect condo ends in The Odyssey
“I like all the light, even in the bedroom in the morning!” says Inez, a very active septuagenarian. “It is another reason why we bought this condo!” Fourteen huge floor to ceiling windows take in the 210-degree view. “I can see partly downtown, from the Stampede Grounds to my sister’s building on Horton Road and as far east as the eye can see.” From the eleventh floor suite, Inez looks west to Cochrane and the houses at GlenEagles, Tuscany, Rocky Ridge and Royal Oak, as well as Varsity to the north. “I never tire of the view.”
That said, Inez admits, “I don’t have a lot of time to look at the neighbourhoods below. It can get a little lonely, so I stay busy, volunteering as a starter at City of Calgary golf courses and with the United Way. I am a rep for the retirees group, the Elder Star with Imperial Oil, plus I love to play bridge a few times a week. I go away in the winter to our mobile in Mesa (Arizona) for five months, plus spend quite a few days in the summer in Fairmont. I also visit one of my sons and his family in Regina.”
The Odyssey is comprised of three stunning circular buildings that have become prominent landmarks in Calgary for the past three decades, with light glinting off the windows at sunrise and sunset. “And since they put the copper spandrels on about four years ago, it really brightens them up. Almost $1,000,000 was spent doing this,” Inez adds. “It wasn’t just cosmetic, either. Resealing was done, too. When we were looking for a new home, our realtor told us The Odyssey was one of the better managed towers because it had a large contingency fund in place.”
When Inez and her beloved late husband, Bill, purchased their unit in The Odyssey, located in the quiet southwest neighbourhood of Coach Hill in August 2005, there were conditions that had to be met.
“We had to have no long hallways, it had to be handicapped accessible because my mother and Bill’s sister were having trouble walking, the unit had to be over 1,000 square-feet and we had to be comfortable in it, too.” The Odyssey met all her requirements and she also been found it to be very quiet, which has been a bonus. “This unit, too, had been recently redone, so we didn’t have to do anything to it.” The hardwood floors in the living spaces, the slate floors in the kitchen plus the marble floors in the bathrooms appealed to the seniors.
They discovered The Odyssey a year earlier when they were invited for dinner by friends who already lived there. “I told Bill, ‘We need to look at this’, as we had decided we could no longer live in our Altadore home of 50 years”, due to health concerns. They also looked at other condominium towers, some still on the drawing board, but it was The Odyssey that won their hearts. “The mountain view and the price, as well as the large number of visitor parking stalls” helped make their decision easier. “I’ve had people tell me that the closer one gets to downtown, the fewer visitor parking stalls are available.” Inez entertains groups from “six to 26” in her 1,675 square-foot-home and needs the visitor parking. “There are also three guest suites, one in each building.”
Their two sons and one daughter were thrilled for their parents to make the move. “When one of my sons comes for a visit, he cannot get enough of the mountain view. He still brings me pictures of the peaks of the Rockies with their names on them!” Inez laughs. “The only thing I miss a little is the garden…not the work mind you, just the fresh vegetables!”
The two bedroom plus den suite includes two bathrooms. “The only thing Bill and I changed since moving in was the cabinetry in the bathrooms. They were modern and open and I told Bill, ‘I cannot have these!’” They were replaced with tasteful traditional furniture styled vanities, with “doors and drawers” where there had been none in the originals.
A variety of art graces the walls in the foyer, hallways, bedrooms, and spacious open concept living and dining room. Friends and family members have contributed to the eclectic collection of paintings. “Our son painted this one,” she says, “of my childhood home in northern Saskatchewan and our son-in-law’s brother painted another one. Bill’s grandmother’s painting is above her antique china cabinet and two paintings my parents had are in the guest room.” Several pieces of art have come from many of the trips she and Bill took together.
“I will stay here as long as I am able!” As far as Inez is concerned, her odyssey ends in The Odyssey.