New Arts and Culture District
Big plans for big changes in Victoria Park.
By now, most of us in Calgary know about East Village – for many reasons. The initiative spurred by the Calgary Municipal Land Corp. (CMLC) designated the area for redevelopment starting back in 2007. There’s already $2.7 billion of planned development, the new award-winning St. Patrick’s Island natural park, and innovative urban planning ideas, like our first car-free condo building.
The success in the East Village has inspired a vision for Victoria Park, a plan to build a new cultural and entertainment district in the Rivers District. A commitment from The City for $150 million in infrastructure, approved on February 7, 2017, will kick-start the development. Further improvements such as new bike lanes will be funded by a community revitalization levy, which is a portion of property tax revenues generated in a swath of east downtown.
As it happens, while the Victoria Park vision was coming to life, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. was also seeking to develop better venues for our professional hockey and football teams. After finding the initially proposed West Village unsuitable, they are turning to Pan B, meaning that a new sports complex may well come to life in Victoria Park.
The CMLC website gives more detail about the vision:
“Ultimately, CMLC imagines East Victoria Park as a vibrant, high-density, mixed-use community that draws on the beauty of its natural surroundings, the strength of its cultural heritage and the spirit of entertainment that resides in its DNA. Integrating the existing urban fabric (including several heritage buildings, the Stampede grounds and the Elbow River) and reshaping East Victoria Park as an active, walkable, accessible community with enhanced connections to adjacent neighbourhoods are among our most important goals.”
The first draft of the master plan for the area will emerge in June 2017. Currently, we know the CMLC will:
- Extend 17th Avenue SE into/through Stampede Park, providing a new pedestrian and vehicular link to increase connectivity and create an attractive right of way for new retail and commercial development
- Complete another stage of RiverWalk – Calgary’s much-celebrated riverside promenade
- Extend the city’s popular Cycle Tracks program
- Develop streetscapes and development opportunity around the new Green Line LRT line
Learn more about Calgary’s future at the CMLC website.