Inglewood's 9 Avenue SE main street, originally named Atlantic Avenue, stretches from the Elbow River to 17 Avenue SE. It located south of the Calgary Zoo and the East Village, the communities of Ramsay and Inglewood surround it.
Inglewood is Calgary's oldest community and was established after Fort Calgary was built in 1875, with 9 Avenue SE serving as a main street. It continues to serve as the community's main street providing shopping, restaurants, residential and commercial opportunities, as well as arterial access to the industrial lands functioning around the Canadian Pacific Rail line. In 2013, historic 9 Avenue SE made history again when it became a filming location for the TV Series Fargo. The communities bordering 9 Avenue SE are attracting a significant amount of investment and revitalization.
Listening and learning
Main street users provided their input at workshops, through an online mapping activity, online surveys, and at information sessions. Through the input shared by Calgarians, City staff learned what’s working or needs improvement for each of Calgary’s main streets. Learn more
Comments were compiled from the Main Streets public engagement activities which took place from November 2014 through May 2015. The top issues, opportunities and outcomes were ranked in order of consensus and ratings from citizens. This input will be analyzed to inform the planning strategy for each main street.
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The Main Streets team is working closely with City planners, urban designers and Green Line teams to refine land use and policy improvements to enable growth and mobility enhancements in this area.
Streetscape master planning
As part of the implementation phase of the Main Streets initiative, The City is developing a Streetscape Master Plan for the 9 Avenue S.E. Our goal is to identify a streetscape plan for Inglewood's main street that reflects its heritage and builds on the values of the community.
Exploring the possibilities
Some of the areas we hope to explore are the visual elements of street including sidewalks, street furniture, trees and open spaces, and adjoining buildings that collectively form the street's character.
We want to get it right. It's important to recognize Inglewood's main street as a living story of Calgary’s history. We'll be reaching out to the community over the next few months to listen to your thoughts and provide you with opportunities to help shape the streetscape design. Stayed tuned for more information as we confirm our workshop opportunities.
Local statistics and growth targets
Growth for this main street area is significantly less than the Municipal Development Plan target. The most relevant factors contributing to this are market desire and consumer preference, which haven’t driven redevelopment. Land use districts (zoning) must be in place to enable redevelopment potential to increase to desired population and employment levels, but strong market interest is a key for fueling new construction. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and will contribute to the evolution of this main street.
The 9 Avenue SE neighbourhood accounts for about 4,000 homes, or about 0.85% of Calgary’s housing inventory. It has a higher than average share of multifamily units, especially in all types of apartments and detached duplexes. The housing stock is considerably older than the city wide average, with homes most likely to have been built before 1960. Given the historic and inner-city nature of this main street, the overall age of its homes suggests that many units may be reaching the end of their lifecycle and may be ready for redevelopment or heritage restoration. The result is an estimated 621 residential units to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020. Additional commercial and retail opportunities will be mostly driven by population growth in the immediate area with potential for regional draw, character retail and commercial development.
Existing local planning
The current Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan was approved in 1993 with only minor changes since then. The Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan provides policy that promotes and encourages the success and growth of the commercial area along this main street and identifi es it as a key part of the community. The built form-scale policy within the Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan matches the current low density residential districts. Currently, The City is engaging land owners and the community for updates to this area redevelopment plan in relation to the transit oriented development opportunities for a new Green Line LRT.
As the heart of Inglewood, the street is home to a mix of businesses and residents in buildings that refl ect the entire history of the city. Current zoning allows for mixed use development with a height limit of approximately six storeys. Rezoning could potentially adjust the specific details of the land use district to make redevelopment more attractive while respecting local context. This would enable more people to choose Inglewood as the location for their home or business.
The 9 Avenue SE main street runs through Inglewood, one of Calgary’s earliest inner-city communities, from the Elbow River to 17 Street SE. The street includes working class residential streetscapes, and important commercial and institutional buildings.
In 1880, Inglewood was Calgary’s original town centre, and 9 Avenue SE its first main street. Industrial development comprised most of the main street, when Alfred E. Cross established his Calgary Brewing & Malting Co. in 1892. Cross was a major employer and active member of the community, which took on the name Brewery Flats in honor of his contributions. With the introduction of the streetcar line in 1909, the community rapidly grew and adopted the new name of Inglewood.
The streetcar route made 9 Avenue SE an important transportation route through Calgary. By the 1960s, The City of Calgary identified the area for industrial development and 9 Avenue SE became a major city road. Shortly after, the communities of Inglewood and Ramsay initiated a joint revitalization project to invest in the historical value of the community.
Today, 9 Avenue SE retains characteristics of an early commercial street with continuous storefronts and a large collection of intact, Edwardian Commercial style buildings, typically one to four storey, flat-roofed buildings with red-brick facades and large plate glass display windows. Houses lining 8 Avenue and 10 Avenue SE recall the area’s working class roots and are characterized by Edwardian style architecture with front porches, gabled roofs and landscaped setbacks fronting grassy boulevards and mature street trees.
In recent years, a lot of work has been done to preserve the heritage of 9 Avenue SE in collaboration with the Inglewood Business Revitalization Zone, the Inglewood Community Association, The City of Calgary, Heritage Canada, and the Alberta government. The area currently has the highest concentration of historic sites in Calgary today.
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 9 Avenue SE key findings
View full report of what we’ve learned