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4 St SW

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

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nextCity Main Streets

    4 Street SW

    The 4 Street SW main street runs from 17 Avenue SW to the Elbow River, located between the communities of Mission and Cliff Bungalow.


    In 1884, two quarter-sections of land were given to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to establish a French Canadian Catholic mission. The Mission was incorporated as the Village of Rouleauville in 1899 and then annexed by Calgary in 1907. A booming economy led to the development of most of Mission's single detached houses between 1908 and 1914. Pressure to redevelop began to mount following the Second World War, and the oil boom in the 1970s began to affect the original character of the community.

    Today, the neighbourhood has a diverse population, with a significant number of young students and professionals living in apartment-style accommodations. 4th Street SW, originally known as Broadway Street, contains a variety of commercial uses that cater to the surrounding residents. The Lilac Festival, held every May, is a sign of this corridor's success, with more than 100,000 attendees annually.

    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. Preserve sunshine (vary building heights)
    2. Reduce to two lanes of traffic - allocate the rest to pedestrians and cyclists
    3. Smaller store fronts for small businesses to open - enhance diversity and encourage local ownership


    1. Loss of heritage buildings
    2. Not a comfortable street for cyclists
    3. Poor anchor at South end Safeway site


    1. Safe and vibrant main street sidewalk
    2. High quality public realm elements
    3. Promote and retain character

    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 4 Street SW key findings

    View full report of what we’ve learned​

    Local statistics and growth targets

    Growth potential

    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

    Among the shortest main streets in terms of length, 4 Street SW has a mix of retail-commercial, office, residential and institutional uses.

    Approximately 524 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020. Additional commercial and retail opportunities may be driven by population growth in this area.

    Existing local planning

    Local planning

    4 Street SW is a community hub for the adjacent communities of Mission and Cliff Bungalow, drawing many Calgarians to enjoy its diverse range of restaurants, shops and commercial services. This successful and thriving main street provides an important cultural and recreational space for many Calgarians. The street has two area redevelopment plans directing policy and land use, the Mission Area Redevelopment Plan (2006) and Cliff Bungalow Area Redevelopment Plan (1993). Both these plans support Municipal Development Plan policies for main street redevelopment.

    Current zoning

    4 Street SW in Mission is in one of Calgary’s most popular destination main streets and the shared heart of the Cliff Bungalow and Mission communities. The current zoning along 4 Street SW allows for a range of mixed use development including retail, restaurants, office and apartments, with a mix of low-rise apartment forms allowed to the west (Cliff Bungalow) and higher intensity apartments allowed to the east (Mission). As the current zoning more than accommodates The City’s population and employment growth targets, rezoning along 4 Street SW would primarily address quality and marketability of main street sites and nearby properties.


    The 4 Street SW main street marks the boundary between the primarily residential communities of Mission to the east and Cliff Bungalow to the west. The street has long functioned as a pedestrian-friendly, commercial street lined with two to three storey, flat roofed, commercial brick buildings in Edwardian style.

    The street originally served as a connection route between the town of Rouleaville and Calgary. In 1907, Rouleaville was annexed by Calgary and included as part of the main street area. Today, the blocks surrounding 4 Street SW still have a mix of Edwardian-era, single-family housing and low-rise apartment and condominium buildings dating from this time.

    In 1909, the Calgary Municipal Railway built a streetcar line that contributed to the development of this street as a commercial high street and made the area one of Calgary’s earliest examples of transit-oriented development.

    In 1934, Calgary’s first zoning bylaw prepared the main street for intermediate commercial growth, which encouraged more development and concentration of small businesses in the area. In the 1960s, economic prosperity brought new development to 4th Street SW, including the first of Calgary’s mid-rise office buildings, which developed steadily throughout the early 21st Century.