The 10 Avenue SW main street stretches from 19 Street to 14 Street SW in the community of Sunalta.
Sunalta was annexed to Calgary in 1907, and by 1909 light industrial activity was already becoming a means of employment for the community. The land was primarily developed as residential, but due to the proximity to the CPR rail line, sections of land surrounding 10 Avenue SW were set aside for industrial uses. The mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses continues to be observed today, although policy is in place to discourage expansion of existing industrial uses so that commercial uses are now replacing industrial uses in areas. The new West LRT station at Sunalta brings opportunities for transit-oriented development for this main street. Higher density, mixed-use developments are encouraged in close proximity to the station, adding to the high-street flavour of this area.
What we've learned
To start developing solutions which ensure the future success of Calgary’s main street neighbourhoods, City planners listened and learned from main street users, neighbourhood residents, industry experts and economic specialists to understand the unique challenges and opportunities for growth and development in these areas.
View 10 Avenue SW key findings
View full report of what we’ve learned
Local statistics and growth targets
Growth for this main street area is above the Municipal Development Plan desired target. The most relevant factors that create this growth are market desire and consumer preferences; there is strong market desire to accommodate development at a level similar to Municipal Development Plan goals. Land use districts (zoning) are in place to enable redevelopment to reach desired population and employment levels. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and contribute to a high quality residential and commercial area.
The redevelopment opportunity for this main street area is dependent on the timing of transition from an industrial-commercial area to a more mixed use environment that leverages the LRT station. An estimated total of some 250 residential units is expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020.
Existing local planning
10 Avenue SW has a recent update to the Sunalta Area Redevelopment Plan for the west LRT expansion in 2009. The whole process for engagement, policy creation and internal City of Calgary review was directed by the goals and objectives of the Municipal Development Plan. City initiated land use districts (zoning) were put into place soon after the Area Redevelopment Plan to support both transit oriented development and main street area redevelopment plan.
Current zoning is a customized Direct Control district that allows for significant height and density along 10 Avenue, with declining heights and densities as development moves south to 11 and 12 Avenues. Key challenges that rezoning could potentially address are primarily related to the shallow lot depth and access constraints faced by properties on the north side of 10 Avenue.
This main street runs parallel to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) line and offers a mix of uses. Because of this area’s proximity to the CPR line and downtown, it originally grew around the need for industrial development. This early twentieth century inner-city industrial development marks a time when the city was expanding beyond the downtown core.
Residential development followed in the surrounding community of Sunalta, making this area a place for people to live and work in. The surrounding blocks of 10 Avenue SW are scattered with small groupings of historic homes setback from the street with gabled roofs, shingle siding, and full-width front porches, that reference early residential styles, such as Edwardian and Arts and Crafts styles.
In recent decades, low-rise apartments of three to four storeys in height have popped up in the community. Yet the height, positioning and setbacks from the property line of the more recent developments have maintained the overall human scale of the streetscape.
Today, the avenue itself retains a few repurposed historic spaces like a park and a community hall, and two to three storey commercial buildings, as well as a public plaza in front of the CTrain station.