The 17 Avenue SE main street, also known as International Avenue, runs through the southeast neighborhoods of Albert Park, Southview, Forest Lawn and Forest Lawn Industrial, Penbrooke Estates, and Red Carpet. The street is characterized by low rise commercial development, like strip malls and ethnic restaurants to the west, with multi-residential buildings and light industrial located in the east.
The street is symbolic of early historical development in the area when, in 1914, a train line was built from Tofield to Calgary with a station constructed at the east end of 17 Avenue SE. Promoters began purchasing land for subdivision within Albert Park and Forest Lawn and many of the original subdivided lots remain intact today.
Until the 1950s, 17 Avenue SE was the primary transportation route in the east out of Calgary, until the Trans-Canada Highway was constructed. The street was designed as a thoroughfare with no parking and business access from the street, except for a few pockets of angled parking, which is a rare feature in Calgary.
Commercial development followed along 17 Avenue SE to support a rapidly growing population in the post-Second World War period. Today, neon and backlit signage along with modest commercial buildings in mid-century, modern-styles reflect the history of the area.