The 10 Street NW main street runs from Riley Park to Memorial Drive NW. The highly sought-after communities of Hillhurst and Sunnyside form the east and west edge of the main street neighbourhood.
The area was originally settled in the 1880s and purchased by the City of Calgary in 1904. There has been a gradual shift in the community dynamics and demographics over the years. The two communities are presently home to more than 10,000 residents in what is now a well-designed mixed used development, popular for its historic charm and modern amenities. Development interest along the main street is expected to continue well into the future as the area attracts new residents and businesses.
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 10 St NW key findings
View full report of what we've learned
Local statistics and growth targets
This main street area is above the Municipal Development Plan desired growth target. The most relevant factor that creates this growth is market desire and consumer preferences; there is strong market desire to accommodate development at a level similar to Municipal Development Plan goals. Land use districts (zoning) must be in place to allow the approval of redevelopment at Municipal Development Plan levels. Support from The City to enable market demand will assist in the evolution of this main street and contribute to a high quality residential and commercial area.
10 Street NW is a relatively built-out area, with numerous medium and higher density land uses along the main street itself. The overall redevelopment timing for this main street is considered short and medium term with buildings currently under construction and several more in the planning stages.
The result is a total of some 1,582 residential units to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020. Potential for regional draw, character retail and commercial development and additional commercial and retail opportunities with population growth in the immediate area.
Existing local planning
10 Street NW and Kensington Road NW are a community hub for the communities of Hillhurst and Sunnyside, as well as a regional draw for many Calgarians to enjoy the diverse restaurants, drinking establishments and wide range of retail and commercial services. This main street is successful and thriving; it provides an important cultural and recreational space for many. This commercial area has recent area redevelopment plan policies to direct land use planning. A major addition and update to the Hillhurst/Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan in 2009 supports both main street and transit oriented redevelopment.
10 Street NW is one of Calgary’s best-loved destination main streets and the shared heart of Hillhurst and Sunnyside. In broad terms, current zoning does not allow for the density and forms of development set out in the Hillhurst/Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan, though it substantially exceeds the growth targets outlined in the Municipal Development Plan for population and employment. Current zoning allows for mixed use along Kensington Road itself, with apartments to the south and single- or semi-detached homes to the north. Rezoning along 10 Street NW would implement the recommendations in the Hillhurst/Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan and allow greater flexibility for mixed use redevelopment along the main street itself.
The 10 Street NW main street is one of Calgary’s most historic commercial streets, extending from Memorial Drive NW to Riley Park. The street is located between the northwest, inner-city communities of Hillhurst and Sunnyside, and was originally an important transportation route from Calgary to Morleyville.
In 1904, Ezra Hounsfield Riley, a prominent Calgary developer and philanthropist, subdivided the land west of the Morleyville Trail and named it Hillhurst. A few years later, he donated 20 acres of park space to The City, which is preserved today as Riley Park, and is one of the most distinctive public spaces in this main street area.
In 1906, the Sunnyside subdivision was registered by Arthur Bennett and William Ross, who then implemented a grid system aligning with the river, creating perpendicular intersections at 9A and 10A streets. Because of its proximity to the river and propensity for regular flooding, residential lots in this area were affordable for working class residents. Today the intersecting cross streets of 9A and 10A maintain a working class residential streetscape characterized by two-storey houses, shallow front yards, and treed boulevards.
The introduction of the Hillhurst-Sunnyside streetcar route in 1909, offered the best public transportation service outside of the downtown core and transformed 10 Street NW into a commercial shopping district. One and two-storey commercial buildings with recessed entry ways, large window displays, brick facades and street level storefronts that characterize the area today, are a strong reminder of the early commercial shopping district.
Chain grocery stores were introduced along 10 Street NW beginning with Jenkins Grocerteria (1919), Piggly Wiggly No. 1 (1930s) and later Safeway (1935), which has occupied its current location on 10 Street NW since the 1960s.
With the rise of the automobile, 10 Street NW became more of a commuter route spurring larger commercial and residential development in the surrounding areas throughout the 1960s-70s. In 1987, the northwest CTrain extension was built along 9A street reinforcing 10 Street NW as a major transportation route.
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.
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