Centre City Enterprise Exemption Areas

To remove barriers to open a new business in vacant spaces in the downtown core, Council has approved land use bylaw amendments aimed at reducing costs and saving time for applicants.

The Centre City Enterprise Area (CCEA) applies to downtown Calgary, specifically in the areas indicated on the map below:

Centre City Enterprise Area

In this area, the following changes to a business or a building are exempt from a development permit:

  • A change of use when the proposed “use” is listed in the land use district. There are exemptions to this list, see the list below for uses that require a development permit.
  • With the exception of buildings on the City of Calgary’s inventory of evaluated historic resources, the following are also exempt from a development permit:
    • An addition of less than 1,000 square meters
    • Modifying the exterior of an existing building. 
  • If you are unsure if your changes are exempt from a Development Permit, contact the Planning Services Centre.

Please note: Exemptions for exterior alterations and additions in the Centre City Enterprise Area expire on December 31, 2026.

Uses that require a development permit (DP)

There are uses that are not DP exempt in the above cases. See the following list and conditions where this is the case:

  • Cannabis store
  • Custodial care
  • Liquor Store
  • Nightclub
  • Pawn shop
  • Payday loan

The subject building is within 30 metres of a freight rail corridor and/or the proposed use is one of the following:

  • Addiction treatment
  • Assisted living
  • Child care service
  • Dwelling unit
  • Emergency shelter
  • Hospital
  • Jail
  • Residential care
  • School - Private
  • School Authority - School
  • Temporary shelter

For more information about the Centre City Enterprise contact our Planning Services Centre.

Planning Services Centre

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. (MT)

Live chat:


In person: 
Planning Services Centre,
3rd floor, Municipal building 
800 Macleod Trail SE

Book an eAppointment for in person services at appointment.calgary.ca