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Bowness Road NW (Montgomery)

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

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nextCity Main Streets

    Bowness Road NW (Montgomery)

    The east side of the Bowness Road NW main street is located in Montgomery and runs from 48 Street to 16 Avenue NW.​

    Upcoming events

    The City's Main Streets' team has been working on solutions for the future growth of Calgary's main streets by considering local input, market analysis and current conditions. Based on all the information gathered, a series of proposed solutions have been created which would enable growth in main street areas that have been identified as ready for development.

    Event 1 of 2: Discussion options

    We need your input to inform decisions about growth and change in main street neighbourhoods. Drop-in to share your thoughts on:

    • development types transitioning from main streets to surrounding streets
    • land use requirements for retail development
    • factors when planning future large redevelopment sites.

    Share your input

    Event 2 of 2: Reviewing Solutions

    At this session you will review and discuss the planning concepts which have been informed by the previous public input sessions. Stop by and review the tools and techniques that will be used to prepare Calgary's main street areas for change. Topics of discussion include:

    • Land use changes
    • Policy amendments
    • Streetscape improvements

    When: October 26, 2016
    Time: 6-8 p.m. (drop-in event)
    Where: Terrace Road School
    2103 46 Street S.W.


    Like its neighbouring community of Bowness, Montgomery also started out as a town, then a village and was eventually amalgamated by Calgary in 1963. The demographics continue to shift over time as this area grows and is redeveloped. The Bowness Road main street has seen much revitalization over the past several years with mixed use retail, commercial, restaurant and housing shaping a vibrant main street.

    Street car line to Bowness, Glenbow archives

    Public Input

    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.

    View full size map

    What we've heard

    Top comments (ranked in order of citizen rating)


    1. More welcoming street view as an entryway into the city from the West
    2. More Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) beautification projects
    3. Streetscaping to improve aesthetic view


    1. Need more social gathering spaces to meet including cafes, plazas, patios etc.
    2. Crime from bottle depot/hotels
    3. Not easy for pedestrians to cross busy 16 Avenue. "Cuts community in half"


    1. Safe and vibrant main street sidewalk
    2. Variety of businesses
    3. Reuse, refurbish and renew older retail

    View map for full summary

    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 Bowness Road - Montgomery key findings

    View full report of what we've learned​

    Local statistics and growth targets

    Growth potential

    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.

    Market outlook

    Both the Bowness Road NW (Montgomery) and 16 Avenue NW main streets, located in the community of Montgomery, have not been overly active locations for new development in recent years. It is considered a stable neighbourhood, and consists predominantly of low density land uses, with a modest amount of retail-commercial space. Additional commercial and retail opportunities in the area will be driven by population growth in the immediate area.

    Existing local planning

    Local planning

    The Montgomery section of Bowness Road NW is the main street of the community of Montgomery. 16 Avenue NW is a regional road (part of the Trans-Canada Highway) with significant vehicle traffic that presents design challenges to meet its growth potential. The current Montgomery Area Redevelopment Plan was approved in 2008 with only minor changes since then.

    The Montgomery Area Redevelopment Plan provides policy that encourages pedestrian focused commercial and mixed use buildings along Bowness Road and a gateway commercial area of high quality along 16 Avenue NW. The built form-scale policy within the Montgomery Area Redevelopment Plan matches the surrounding residential districts.

    Current zoning

    Bowness Road NW in Montgomery is intended to be a neighbourhood main street, serving the local community. Current zoning allows for a limited amount of mixed use development on a small portion of the main street. There is some capacity for low-rise apartment buildings, but the majority of nearby residential development is restricted to single- or semi-detached homes. If development were to maximize the current zoning, the street would not be able to reach the population and employment targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan. Rezoning could allow greater flexibility for mixed use, apartment, or row or townhouse development and create more housing options and business opportunities for Montgomery.