Share this page Print

17 Ave SW

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

Receive email updates

Subscribe today to have updates and event invites delivered right to your inbox!

Subscribe now!
nextCity Main Streets

    17 Avenue SW

    The 17 Avenue South main street stretches from Macleod Trail to 37 Street SW, surrounded by the communities of Beltline, Lower Mount Royal, Mission, Cliff Bungalow, Bankview, Sunalta, Rosscarrock, Scarboro, Killarney/Glengarry, Shaganappi and Richmond.

    About


    In the early 1900s, the street served as a boundary to the city, and has always been an important east-west transportation route. Currently, 17 Avenue is defined by its variety of uses, but mostly ground-floor restaurants, bars, boutique retailers and more, with residences and offices above. Much of the area is undergoing revitalization, as 17 Avenue has become one of the trendier main streets in Calgary. The eastern portion of 17 Avenue S is known as the 17th Avenue Retail & Entertainment District.

    Public Input

    Upper 17 Avenue SW from Crowchild Trail to 37 Street SW (Killarney/Glengarry, Shaganappi) Middle 17 Avenue from 14 Street to Crowchild Trail SW (Bankview, Sunalta, Scarboro) Lower 17 Avenue from MacLeod Trail to 14 Street SW (Cliff Bungalow, Upper/Lower Mount Royal, Beltline)

    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


    Upper 17 Avenue SW from Crowchild Trail to 37 Street SW (Killarney/Glengarry, Shaganappi)

    Top comments (ranked in order of citizen rating)

    Opportunities (Upper 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Increase density to take advantage of CTrain and support commercial activities at Westbrook
    2. Higher density around 17 Avenue and Westbrook Station - allow more residents to take advantage of train, restaurants and amenities
    3. Need better mass transit

    Issues (Upper 17 Avenue SW)

    1. More public art
    2. Beautify the whole street - with murals, trees etc.
    3. Cycling along 17 Avenue is dangerous

    Outcomes (Upper 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Development of vacant sites
    2. Retain character
    3. Tecumseh site - potential for intensification

    View map for full summary - Upper 17 Avenue SW


    Middle 17 Avenue from 14 Street to Crowchild Trail SW (Bankview, Sunalta, Scarboro)

    Top comments (ranked in order of citizen rating)

    Opportunities (Middle 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Consider the heritage of housing
    2. Keep the residential character
    3. More pedestrian safe crossings

    Issues (Middle 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Narrow sidewalks and not enough trees
    2. Poor lighting at night
    3. No sidewalk from 17 Avenue at Crowchild Trail and 24 Street SW

    Outcomes (Middle 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Maintain sense of community
    2. Local commercial services and businesses
    3. More green and open space

    View map for full summary - Middle 17 Avenue SW


    Lower 17 Avenue from MacLeod Trail to 14 Street SW (Cliff Bungalow, Upper/Lower Mount Royal, Beltline)

    Top comments (ranked in order of citizen rating)

    Opportunities (Lower 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Pocket parks, pop-up patios
    2. Tomkins Park as a public plaza, remove parking
    3. Heritage buildings

    Issues (Lower 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Doesn't have a community feel
    2. Retail and Entertainment District is not vibrant enough
    3. 16 Avenue SW is treated as a 'back alley' and should be included with any improvements

    Outcomes (Lower 17 Avenue SW)

    1. Safe and vibrant main street sidewalk
    2. Farmers' market
    3. Destination street

    View map for full summary - Lower 17 Avenue SW

    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 full 17 Ave SW key findings

    View full report of what we’ve learned​

    Local statistics and growth targets

    Growth potential

    37 Street to Crowchild Trail

    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.

    Crowchild Trail to 14 Street SW

    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.

    4 Street SW to Macleod Trail

    Growth for this main street area is above the Municipal Development Plan desired target. The most relevant factors that create this growth are 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) are in place to enable redevelopment to reach desired population and employment levels. Support from City services and infrastructure can have a positive impact on market demand and contribute to a high quality residential and commercial area.

    Market outlook

    Along the east-west part of this main street, various neighbourhoods have experienced considerable development in the past decade.

    Based on recent redevelopment success and popular marketing demand, 17 Avenue SW continues to show short-term potential for new development and growth. Three other main street areas intersect or feed into 17 Avenue SW (37 Street SW, 14 Street SW and 4 Street SW). Approximately 3,340 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020. There is potential for further retail and commercial development opportunities and population growth along this main street.

    Existing local planning

    Local planning

    As one of the longest Municipal Development Plan main streets, with a variety of contexts, 17 Avenue SW was evaluated in three separate sections.

    17 Avenue SW from 37 Street SW to Crowchild Trail SW

    South of 17 Avenue SW the Killarney/Glengarry Area Redevelopment Plan provides land use policies that support Municipal Development Plan goals of a mixed use street along 17 Avenue SW. The northern half of the western section of this main street is guided by the recent Westbrook Village Station Area Redevelopment Plan. Public engagement, policy creation and internal City of Calgary review was directed by the goals and objectives of the Municipal Development Plan. Much of the northern half of this main street had City-initiated land use districts (zoning) put into place soon after the Area Redevelopment Plan.

    The communities of Shaganappi and Scarboro/Sunalta West have land use policy within the non-statutory West LRT Land Use Study that support the Municipal Develeopment Plan goals of a mixed use street along 17 Avenue SW. The community of Richmond, guided by the Richmond Area Redevelopment Plan, also has land use policies that support this Municipal Development Plan goal.

    17 Avenue SW from Crowchild Trail SW to 14 Street SW

    The communities of Richmond, Scarboro, Sunalta and Bankview are adjacent to this section of the main street. The Richmond, Sunalta and Bankview area redevelopment plans provide land use policies that support the Municipal Development Plan goals of a mixed use street along 17 Avenue SW. Scarboro has no local area plan and any redevelopment would be guided by Municipal Development Plan policies.

    17 Avenue SW from 14 Street SW to Macleod Trail SE

    The main street of 17 Avenue SW from 14 Street SW to Macleod Tr. SE draws area residents and Calgarians city wide to its diverse a range of restaurants, shops and commercial services. This successful and thriving main street provides an important cultural and recreational space for many Calgarians. It is guided by several area redevelopment plans that provide land use planning policies that promote and encourage main street redevelopment aligned to the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan goals. These include: the Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan (2006), Lower Mount Royal Area Redevelopment Plan (1983), Mission Area Redevelopment Plan (2006) and Cliff Bungalow Area Redevelopment Plan (1993)​.

    Current zoning

    17 Avenue SW from 37 Street SW to Crowchild Trail SW

    Upper 17 Avenue SW (west of Crowchild Trail) is the shared main street of Shaganappi and Killarney and home to several well-established local businesses. Current zoning allows for a range of mixed use and apartment development to the south, but restricts commercial uses on the sunny north side of the street. The zoning boundaries for mixed use and apartment development on both sides can pose challenges for site design and building interface. In both cases there is limited opportunity for street level-access forms of multi-residential development such as row- or townhouses. Rezoning could help provide more options for households and businesses to develop along this main street.

    17 Avenue SW from Crowchild Trail SW to 14 Street SW

    17 Avenue SW (along the hill up to Crowchild Trail) is the border between Bankview and Scarboro. Current zoning allows for the street to meet The City’s population and employment growth targets. On the Bankview side, current zoning is a patchwork of diff erent districts, evidence of a history of smaller office buildings and conversions of older homes. Rezoning could explore ways to make these regulations more consistent and effective at promoting development that would enable more Calgarians to choose Bankview and Scarboro for their home or business.

    17 Avenue SW from 14 Street SW to Macleod Trail SE

    17 Avenue SW (from 14 Street SW to MacLeod Trail) is one of Calgary’s highest-profi le main streets. A city wide destination for shopping, eating, and dining, 17 Avenue is also a valued part of the Beltline, Mission, Cliff Bungalow, and Lower Mount Royal neighbourhoods. As the current zoning more than accommodates The City’s population and employment growth targets, rezoning along 14 Street SW would primarily address quality and marketability of main street sites and nearby properties.

    Heritage



    17 Avenue SW circa 1968, Glenbow Archives

    The 17 Avenue SW main street runs from Macleod Trail to 37 Street SW and traverses 10 communities: six on the south side including Mission, Cliff Bungalow, Lower Mount Royal, Bankview, Richmond, and Killarney/Glengarry and four on the north side including the Beltline, Sunalta, Scarboro, and Shaganappi.

    Evidence of a First Nations bison kill site dating back 8000 years ago suggests that 8 Street SW at Tompkins Park, was once an important hunting ground, landmark, trade route and camp site for indigenous peoples.

    Today 17 Avenue SW retains a diverse mix of commercial, retail, single family and multi-family residential complexes and institutional buildings. The side streets and avenues also contain a wide range of single-family and multi-family residences.

    When Calgary was incorporated as a town in 1884, 17 Avenue SW formed the southern town limits west to 14 Street SW. As the town grew into a city, subdivisions along the main street encouraged the expansion of city limits. In 1905, the neighbourhoods of Connaught, Mount Royal and Bankview were subdivided followed by Cliff Bungalow, Sunalta, Scarboro, Glengarry and Killarney.

    17 Avenue SW was also home to a streetcar route, which contributed to its development as a commercial high street. Many examples of one to three storey, brick-clad historic buildings, mostly dating from the 1910s and 1920s can be found, like houses which have been converted for commercial use, and various landmark buildings such as Devenish Apartments (1911), Western Canada High School (1929) and the St. Mary’s Cathedral (1956).

    ​​​​​​​​​​​