With its quiet location on Airdrie’s north side, Williamstown manages to preserve a small-town atmosphere within a growing city.
The community sits north of Veterans Boulevard between Williamstown Boulevard and Eighth Street and is bisected by Nose Creek and an environmental reserve. It was this green space that attracted Ryan Boyle and Candi Strohan when they moved out here in 2013.
“We liked the environmental reserve – our biggest goal was we were always hoping for someplace where we wouldn’t get a big development right beside us,” says Strohan, a nurse who teaches at Bow Valley College and also does community home care in Calgary. She, Boyle (who works in plumbing) and their two daughters – Maddi, 13, and Erica, 16 – made the move from Saskatoon.
“We always wanted to come to Alberta, and it was the right time,” says Strohan. “We looked at Calgary, but I have friends [who] live in Airdrie, so we came out here to stay with them while we were looking. Airdrie was small, but it had everything we needed and that was the big thing.
“The setup here is so good,” she adds. “You get a little more bang for your buck and it was good for our kids. I didn’t have to worry about them riding their bikes while I was at work in Calgary.”
The family chose a two-level, three-bedroom split covering more than 1,800 square feet, not far from the local school and right by the pathways – another selling feature, says Strohan, adding that she and her family enjoy walking, biking or even longboarding along the paths.
Williamstown is located just west of the Veterans and Main Street shopping area, while direct road access out of the city lets Strohan avoid Highway 2. “I take the back road [24th Street] and I completely avoid any of that chaotic QEII or Yankee Valley traffic,” she says. “I’m pretty sure I save myself 10 minutes driving every day. Two traffic lights and I’m out of the city.”
The family is also a fan of Genesis Place: Strohan and her daughters are particularly involved with swimming (they missed having access to the pool during its recent renovation).
When she’s home, meanwhile, Strohan finds Williamstown an oasis.
“It’s really quiet over here in the northwest corner,” she says, adding that there’s no such thing as shortcutting traffic in Williamstown. “If you’re up here, it’s because you live up here.”