There’s nothing quite like a summer barbeque — especially one that’s hosted in a fragrant, tree-lined community full of welcoming residents.

On Saturday, June 2, Brookfield Residential will be hosting a summer kickoff party open to residents and guests alike to celebrate the opening of the Orchards’ Farmers’ Market for the season. Just launched in 2012, The Orchards development is still a relatively new community. But a bevy of design features give this southeast Edmonton neighbourhood a lived-in vibe that makes even newcomers feel like old friends.

“We’ve had such a long, cold winter in Alberta, it seems only fitting to celebrate the final arrival of summer,” said Rich Westren, Senior Vice President at Brookfield Residential. “[The barbeque] is really our way of acknowledging the residents of The Orchards who play such a big role in making this community as great as it is.”

The theme of the barbeque is “Welcome Summer!”, which couldn’t be more appropriate. Guests will be able to eat their way through classic BBQ treats such as burgers and ice cream, and take part in hands-on activities like flower arranging, arts and crafts workshops and beating the heat in the splash park.

But in addition to the food and fun activities on offer, visitors can get a taste of the unique community setting that’s determined to make its soon-to-be 4,300 resident families feel like fast friends. Attending the BBQ provides a way to tour the development and experience a slice of The Orchards’ community style of living, which is normally exclusive to residents.

The Orchards’ Residents’ Association Club House sits on an ample eight-acre park that makes the most out of Edmonton’s long summer evenings with events like outdoor movies, summer barbecues, a kid-friendly spray park and the summer farmers’ market. An NHL-sized hockey rink and tobogganing hill are at the residents’ fingertips during the colder months. Plus, the Club House’s interior is chock-full of space for residents to gather. The 12,000-square-foot building is stocked with a banquet room and extra flex rooms — space to host community events when the backyard just won’t do.

“You can’t find [a Residents Association] in every other development,” added Biagi. “It really does encourage the residents to build that community.”

A peek at the Residents’ Association website delivers an insider’s glance into what everyday life at the Club House looks like. There are events to connect families, from play groups (that occasionally have PJ days and cereal buffets) to summer camps. But adults won’t feel left out, either. The Club House offers plenty of opportunities to mingle (and share a few drinks) with other residents, such as Mimosa Mondays and Social Saturdays. 

With its focus on combining a sense of community with environmental design, The Orchards feels like a world of its own. Despite this secluded, natural atmosphere, however, it’s still steps away from the conveniences of urban living. The development is located just south of Ellerslie Road in southeast Edmonton and can be reached from 91 Street and Parsons Road or Summerside Drive.

“Being a master-planned community, everything is planned out,” said Siobhan Biagi, Development Manager at Brookfield Residential. “We always think about how we’re getting from one amenity to the next.”

Nearby essentials make the Orchards a viable standalone neighbourhood, with grocery stores, restaurants, cleaners, banks and a drugstore already serving its residents. It’s mere minutes from the Anthony Henday Drive, and city highlights like Rogers Arena and West Edmonton Mall are just a 20-minute drive away — which means residents can enjoy the comfort of a private living space and the hustle and bustle of the city at the same time.

“You feel like you belong here. It’s more than just brick-and-mortar — it’s about creating a place for people to put down roots,” said Westren.

The Orchards is a large, vibrant community made up of new and growing families which prove that the crab-apple and cherry trees aren’t the only roots that run deep here. To get a peek into this innovative Edmonton community (and go home with a happy stomach), be sure to stop by Brookfield’s summer barbeque event on Saturday, June 2, from 11am to 3pm.

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