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16 Ave N

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

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nextCity Main Streets
Land use zoning changes

    16 Avenue N

    The 16 Avenue North main street (also known as the Trans Canada Highway) stretches east from Banff Trail to the interchange at Deerfoot Trail.


    As one of Calgary's longest and oldest main streets, 16 Ave N is bordered by many businesses and northern inner-city communities. This includes portions of Banff Trail, Capitol Hill, Hounsfield Heights - Briar Hill, Rosemont, Rosedale, Crescent Heights, Mount Pleasant, Tuxedo, Mountview and Renfrew.

    16 Avenue circa 1920, Glenbow Archives

    Public Input

    Banff Trail to Capitol Hill and Hounsfield Heights-Briar Hill Mount Pleasant to Rosedale and Crescent Heights Tuxedo, Mountview and Renfrew to Deerfoot Trail interchange

    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.

    What we've heard

    Top comments (ranked in order of citizen rating)


    1. Businesses are so spread out, how can development be encouraged along here? Maybe retail at grade and residents above even?
    2. Increase population density and number of businesses with mixed use
    3. More trees, parks, and green space along sidewalks and in vacant lots


    1. Narrow sidewalks feel uncomfortable for walking near high-speed traffic
    2. Speed limits too high - 16 Avenue N (West)
    3. Store fronts not inviting for pedestrians (e.g. parking lots unsafe)


    1. People and car place
    2. Better quality for other travel modes
    3. Create more of a destination

    View map for full summary - Banff Trail to Capitol Hill and Hounsfield Heights-Briar Hill

    View map for full summary - Mount Pleasant to Rosedale and Crescent Heights/a>

    View map for full summary - Tuxedo, Mountview and Renfrew to Deerfoot Trail interchange

    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 16 Ave N 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

    The most comprehensive information on the type and tenure of the residential inventory within the 16 Avenue North trading area comes from the 2011 Census. The trade area accounts for about 17,900 homes, or about 3.9% of the Calgary housing stock at the time.

    16 Avenue North has a higher than average share of multifamily units, especially in low-rise apartments and detached duplexes. The housing stock is considerably older than the city wide average, where units are over three times as likely to have been built before 1960. Conversely, units in the trade area are 15-75% less likely to have been built after 1960. Given the historic and inner-city nature of this main street, the overall age of its housing stock aligns with expectations and suggests that many units may be reaching the end of their lifecycle and may be ready for redevelopment. The result is a total of some 4,182 residential units built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020.

    The 16 Avenue North main street has about 384,000 square feet of office space accounting for about 0.5% of the city wide inventory. It is important to note that most of the existing and proposed space is still fully leased, despite the recent economic slowdown and high overall vacancy rates.

    Existing local planning

    Local planning

    16 Avenue North has a Area Redevelopment Plan that is focused along the road corridor, a boundary uncommon for many area redevelopment plans since most are bounded by community boundaries. The 16 Avenue North Area Redevelopment Plan​ has goals aligned with the Municipal Development Plan for urban corridors or main streets, including mixed use buildings, providing a variety of building types and a high degree of building and street design. The 16 Avenue North Area Redevelopment Plan was approved by City Council in mid 2007, with City initiated land use districts (zoning) updated soon after. This area redevelopment plan spans from 6 Street NE west to 14 Street NW along the edge of several communities, which is shorter than the Municipal Development Plan defined Urban Corridor. The Municipal Development Plan main street is from Crowchild Trail NW to Deerfoot Trail NE. The roadway of 16 Avenue North was also upgraded to a full six lanes of automotive traffic and with street trees and wider sidewalks in this same section. This area redevelopment plan provides a lot policy aiming to achieve a vibrant community with residential and employment variety and options with a high degree of design. Little redevelopment has occurred since the approval of the 16 Avenue North Area Redevelopment Plan, land use districts and automotive and pedestrian improvements.

    Current zoning

    16 Avenue N was rezoned as part of the reconstruction and widening of the entire historic Trans-Canada Highway through inner northern Calgary. Current zoning is focused on creating a high quality transition between higher intensity development on 16 Avenue N and the neighbourhoods behind, but does not allow development to meet the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan. Rezoning could explore ways to create more opportunity for people and businesses to choose to locate on or near 16 Avenue N, while ensuring a sensitive transition in height and density to the north and south.

    What's next

    All of the public input and discussion with experts throughout the project included one common concept; focus the effort of the Main Streets initiative work on a few key or strategic streets in the short term to maximize chances of success. By analysing local input, economic information and infrastructure investments, the Main Streets team identified which main streets are good candidates for development and growth in the near future.

    Once that success has been tested, it will then be applied to main streets across Calgary as the timing for growth makes sense based on the unique needs of each street.

    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. To learn more about the areas with rezoning options and Area Development Plan amendments being reviewed and considered for approval in the near future, visit the Main Streets' rezoning information page.

    E-mail updates

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