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MacLeod Trail SE

Main Streets

Planning the future of Calgary's thriving main streets.

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Land use zoning changes

    Macleod Trail SE

    The MacLeod Trail South main street runs from Glenmore Trail to Southland Drive SE and is located between the communities of Fairview and Acadia to the east, and Kingsland and Haysboro to the west.


    This automobile-oriented commercial section of MacLeod Trail was annexed by the City of Calgary in 1956 as part of an annexation of the lands between 50 Avenue South, the Bow River, Anderson Road, and 37 Street West.

    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. Generally, lack of street trees to create an inviting and safe pedestrian realm
    2. Poor sidewalks, need​ separation, protection for pedestrians
    3. Pedestrians have to cross a sea of parking to access big box stores


    1. Safe and vibrant main street sidewalk
    2. High quality 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 SE 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 South accounts for about 16,700 homes, or about 3.6% of Calgary’s housing stock. The housing stock is considerably older than the city wide average, where homes are likely to have been built before 1960. This part of the MacLeod Trail area was originally an early suburban area. This suggests that many units may be reaching the end of their lifecycle and may be ready for redevelopment. Approximately 2,427 homes are expected to be built over the next 25 years.

    MacLeod Trail SE has 770,000 square feet of office space, accounting for about 0.96% of the city wide inventory. Much of the existing space is fully leased, despite the recent economic slowdown. Specifically, the vacancy rate is just under 6.7%, less than the city wide rate of over 10%.

    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 southern section was subdivided with a larger road right of way and provides a high degree of mobility for many different types of travel. A non statutory transit oriented development policy approved with the LRT line in 1980 (L.R.T. South Corridor Land Use Study​) provides land use policy. This policy supports 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. As a collection of larger sites, rezoning could help create options for redevelopment to enable more people and businesses to thrive along the street, while also addressing a need for better public space and streetscapes.

    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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