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MacLeod Trail S (north)

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

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Land use zoning changes

    MacLeod Trail S (North)

    The Macleod Trail South main street stretches from the Elbow River to 50 Av SW. Moving north to south, this corridor touches the communities of Erlton, Manchester Industrial, Parkhill, Manchester (residential) and Elboya.


    This north-south running main street, named for its long-range connection with Fort Macleod in southern Alberta, is a primary connection into downtown. It is identified in the Calgary Transportation Plan as an urban boulevard. It is also identified as a primary route for vehicles, cycling, transit, high occupancy vehicle lanes and currently serves as a critical transportation corridor.

    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 people would walk if the public realm was inviting
    2. Density by LRT/TOD transit nodes create employment nodes
    3. Mixed use/affordable housing


    1. Traffic congestion, especially bad at Chinook shopping mall
    2. Lack of street trees
    3. Poor sidewalks, need separation, protection for pedestrians


    1. Safe and vibrant main street sidewalk
    2. High quality park and public realm elements
    3. More street trees

    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 Macleod Trail S (North) 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

    Macleod Trail SE accounts for about 11,400 homes, or about 2.5% of Calgary’s housing stock. It has a higher than average share of multifamily units, especially in both low-rise and high-rise apartments.

    The Macleod Trail main street already has about 220,600 square feet of office space, accounting for about 0.28% of the city wide inventory. All of the existing space is still fully leased, suggesting office tenants who have strong operations despite the current economic downturn.

    Approximately 2,646 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years, starting gradually between 2016 and 2020. The types of units to be built have been forecasted based on current trends in the area near Chinook Mall. Over the past four years, over 18% of new units built in Chinook have been apartments. This percentage increases to over 25% when observing the past two years of housing stats. This trend toward multi-family development is expected to continue.

    Existing local planning

    Local planning

    MacLeod Trail has two sections designated by the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan as an Urban Corridor and Urban Boulevard. These two sections of the main street have high frequency transit service with several LRT stations. The northern section was subdivided with an originally smaller road width requiring land acquisition over time for an improvement road and mobility right of way. This area has two area redevelopment plans: Erlton Area Redevelopment Plan (approved 1985) and Park Hill/Stanley Park Area Redevelopment Plan​ (approved 1984). A non statutory transit oriented development policy was also approved with the LRT line in 1980 (L.R.T. South Corridor Land Use Study). These policies support both transit oriented and main street redevelopment.

    Current zoning

    MacLeod Trail is one of Calgary’s most iconic roadways. Designated an Urban Corridor, it is an important through route, allowing access for hundreds of local businesses. Current zoning, if fully built out, would just barely allow for MacLeod Trail to meet The City’s population and employment targets for main streets and restricts development along one of the best served transit corridors in the city. Rezoning could allow for more flexibility for mixed use development along MacLeod Trail itself, as well as for greater housing choice immediately to the west in the form of low-rise apartments and row or townhouses. To the east, rezoning could enable more intensive use of strategically located commercial lands.

    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.

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