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Fresh ideas for Calgary's most iconic street

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The future of Stephen Avenue

Fresh ideas for Calgary's most iconic street

Stephen Avenue is one of Calgary’s busiest, most animated, and recognizable streets. The avenue means different things to different people. For some, Stephen Avenue is Calgary’s premiere hospitality and retail destination. For others, it’s a pedestrian friendly environment to take a walk, to people watch, and socialize. It is also a historic destination, containing the highest concentration of historic buildings in the entire city. For some, it’s a cultural hub, connecting Calgarians and visitors with some of the city’s most prominent cultural facilities. It is this diversity that makes Stephen Avenue attractive to so many people, and a focal point of Calgary’s Centre City.

Despite all this has Calgary really embraced Stephen Avenue as a destination area? Has it reached its fullest potential? Does it offer an authentic experience that makes Calgarians want to come often, at all times of year? The answer is no.

Because most office workers leave the core at the end of the day, Stephen Avenue is not the vibrant, animated space on weekends and evenings that it is during the day. This is Stephen Avenue’s greatest challenge — drawing people in for more than just a place to go for lunch or after work. The City is focused on creating an experience that will draw people in at all times of day, every day of the year.​​​​

Rethinking Stephen Avenue

We are looking for a team to develop fresh ideas for the entire length of Stephen Avenue from Olympic Plaza to 11 Street SW. The project team will spark a conversation about how Stephen Avenue can re​​ach its fullest potential, and will communicate those ideas in a manner that is not only innovative and exciting, but demonstrates how those ideas can be translated into meaningful actions.

This project will aim to:

  • Extend the energy and liveliness of the pedestrian mall westward along 8 Avenue S.W.
  • Establish a new vision for Stephen Avenue that creates opportunities for private investment and redevelopment
  • Create short and long-term strategies that can be implemented over time to make Stephen Avenue better for Calgarians and visitors

In 2018, The City asked Calgarian’s to consider how they use Stephen Avenue and to let us know what they like about it, what they don’t like and what areas need improvement. We wanted to learn more about the public life and public space of Stephen Avenue to build a foundation for this project. To learn more about this public engagement, please visit the project’s Engage page.

The next step is to retain a multi-disciplinary consulting team to develop fresh ideas for Stephen Avenue and carefully curate a vision for an urban experience that will inspire Calgarians​. This new vision can evolve and respond to the physical context of Stephen Avenue as people move along its length. The vision will be adaptive to rapidly evolving modes of entertainment, retail, communications, technology and mobility.

To learn more about The City’s vision, goals and objectives for the Stephen Avenue Master Plan, please review our project design brief​.

Project library

The list of plans, policies, and documents below will help guide The City’s project team to develop the Stephen Avenue Streetscape Master Plan.​​

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