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Bowness Road NW (Bowness)

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

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Land use zoning changes

    Bowness Road NW (Bowness)

    The Bowness Road NW main street is located in the community of Bowness, stretching from Bow Crescent to 60 Street NW. The community of Bowness was actually once a town until it was amalgamated by Calgary in 1963. The residents of Bowness, called "Bownesians", enjoy the community's diversity and friendly neighbourhood character. Bowness Road was recently upgraded as a "Complete Street" with a bike lane installed between 48 Avenue and 70 Street NW.

    The Bowness Road NW commercial strip is the symbolic civic, commercial and social heart of Bowness. The broad street with angled parking and a low-scale collection of vernacular 1930s-60s commercial buildings, reflect Bowness’ image of an independent prairie town distinct from other commercial streets in Calgary.


    Current Status

    Active Projects

    Bowness Road NW Planning – New Land Use Framework

    The Main Streets initiative focuses on implementation of policies, goals and targets contained in the MDP. The MDP, local area plans and the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) provide the framework for reviewing and rendering decisions on this change. Updating this framework based on best practices is a key implementation deliverable. The Developed Areas Guidebook, city initiated land use district redesignations with a variety of existing and new districts, along with amendments to local area plans, will prime the key main street areas for growth.

    Citizen input will inform decisions about growth and change in the Bowness Road NW main street area. We want citizens to consider and discuss:

    • Development types transitioning from main streets to surrounding streets
    • Where retail development is most appropriate and desired along the main street
    • Elements to consider when planning future large redevelopment sites

    Engagement Opportunities

    The City is planning the future of Calgary’s thriving main streets. We invite you to attend an information session about your main street area and learn about the projects affecting the future of your community.

    The City’s Main Streets initiative is launching a new project phase for the Bowness Road NW main street area:

    • Planning – a new land use framework of City-initiated land use redesignations (rezoning) and amendments to the local area plans

    This is a collaborative process. We want to work with the community to discover what makes the Bowness Road NW main street unique and what opportunities exist for improvement. Please come out and learn more about these projects and future opportunities to provide input.

    • Information Session – March 1, 2018
      6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
      Irish Cultural Society (6452 – 35 Avenue NW)

    Find Out More

    For more updates about the 33 Avenue SW Main Street project, please subscribe to our Main Streets e-mail update.

    Whats Next?

    Coming soon

    Past Project Information

    Previous Public Engagement

    Between November 2014 and May 2015, Main streets users provided input at workshops, through an online mapping activity, online surveys and at information sessions. They identified their top issues opportunities and outcomes. This input will inform the land use framework projects for this main street.

    As part of this public engagement, 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 for Bowness Road NW.

    View Bowness Road NW key findings
    View full report of what we’ve learned city-wide

    Existing Local Planning

    The current Bowness Area Redevelopment Plan was approved in 1995 with only minor changes since then. The Bowness Area Redevelopment Plan provides policy that promotes and encourages the success and growth on the  commercial area along this main street and aims to maintain this as a key part of the community. The built form-scale policy within the Bowness Area Redevelopment Plan matches the current adjacent low-density residential districts.

    Bowness Road NW is the heart of Bowness and is a great example of a prairie main street. Current zoning does not allow for development to reach the population and employment targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan. Along the main street itself, the zoning does allow for low-rise mixed use development, but the current land use population allowances are not necessarily sufficient enough to prompt redevelopment. Rezoning could allow greater flexibility for mixed-use along Bowness Road and offer more options in terms of row or townhouses as a further transition, allowing more households and businesses to choose Bowness.