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Inspiration from outdoors


The Slopes of Sylvan Lake is a $40-million development with upscale villas and expansive homesites 90 minutes north of Calgary city limits. The sales launch for the first phase of development — which is aiming for ‘harmonious’ design between land and home — will take place during an open house May 30, writes Josh Skapin.

A new opportunity for a luxury weekend escape comes on stream just 90 minutes north of Calgary city limits this month. The Slopes of Sylvan Lake launches sales on its first phase of development during an open house May 30.

This scenic $40-million development, featuring upscale villas and expansive homesites, is by veteran Calgary developer Belterra Land Co. The community has garnered a strong following, with a long list of people who registered online for updates, says Chris Artibello, Belterra’s president. Artibello looks forward to showing people in person what’s possible at the development.

“We knew there was a lot of pent-up demand, but I think it’s been even more significant than I thought,” Artibello says.

The site is an 18.5-hectare stretch of land accessed of Range Road 14.

Sylvan Lake is a town in central Alberta located 25 km west of Red Deer on Highway 11.

Calgary area company Merchant Homes and Red Deer’s Bowood Homes are on board to build at The Slopes and a third builder is expected to join later, Artibello says. Bowood and Merchant will be on hand at the open house where they’ll show renderings, floor plans and colour palettes available at The Slopes.

“We are getting a lot of people from Calgary,” Artibello says of the early interest in buying a home, adding the fit with Calgarians makes sense.

“You can go up there for a weekend, it’s 90 minutes away. You are 10 minutes from two diferent boat launches and you’re five minutes from all the groceries and shopping, beach front and all that sort of stuff.”

The first phase of the development includes 16 villas on 6,000-square-foot lots starting from $698,500 and nine hillside home sites that measure 15,000 square feet and start from the $300,000s. On the north end of the project, home sites boast unobstructed views of Sylvan Lake.

Homes in the community have eye-catching architecture in an Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Ranch or French Country design. Merchant Homes will handle all 16 villas. The builder’s construction manager Christopher MacGregor says the aim was a “harmonious” design between home and land. “There was an awful lot of inspiration for our exteriors from our surroundings,” MacGregor said. “We lean more towards natural materials and stone, cedar shingle detailing and large windows to draw the outdoors inside. We find these elements ground the home and give it a real sense of permanence.”

The colour palettes and exterior design, he adds, are a hat tip to the trees on site, even naming the floor plans the Aspen and the Birch. The Birch is 2,580 square feet and the Aspen is 2,590 square feet. Both come in a three-bedroom and 2½-bathroom orientation. In both villa options, kitchens feature quartz counters, maple cabinets with shaker-style doors, stainless steel appliances, a fullheight backsplash and under-cabinet lighting. The ensuite of the master bedroom also features impressive specifications, with heated floors, Moen fixtures, dual vanities and an under-mount tub.

Beyond the appeal of the community’s upscale homes, the Slopes also holds the distinction of being the first lakeside development approved under the 2010 Sylvan Lake Area Structure Plan to protect lake water quality, Artibello says. It does this through its connection to a new Sylvan Lake regional waste water line lift station.

The development also contains an onsite water treatment facility that creates a potable water supply. The community was planned around existing vegetation, leaving 50 per cent of the project to shared undisturbed green space.

“The county (Lacombe County) has committed to this type of development so as a result, they maintain all of our shared space — which is huge for people,” Artibello says.

This includes storm ponds, pathways around those ponds, a gazebo area, benches and amenity spaces with barbecues.

“Our goal is to provide quality communities and to protect the lake at the same time, and The Slopes of Sylvan Lake does both,” says Terry Hagar, Lacombe County commissioner. “Often, you have to negotiate with developers that come to the table to raise the bar, but Belterra Land Company worked with us the whole way through.”

The open space isn’t just about the landscape surrounding the lots — but the home sites themselves, Artibello adds. “Our design guidelines don’t really allow for a lot fencing,” he says. “So you can’t go out there, have a lot and surround it with a fence. It’s meant to look very open.” Sitting on the deck of a show home in the community recently, the openness stood out, Artibello says. “We were laughing, my backyard looks like it’s two miles long because there are no fences,” he adds.


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