Inner-city escapes

Parks are especially important in densely developed downtown

“Quality, not quantity” is how City of Calgary parks manager Keath Parker characterizes green spaces in Calgary’s downtown core, an area that’s not only home to tall office towers, but residential neighbourhoods as well, including the Beltline (Connaught and Victoria Park), East Village and Eau Claire.

Parker explains it wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the province’s Municipal Government Act (MGA) gave municipalities the authority to take up to 10 per cent of a development for open public space. Residential neighbourhoods developed prior to that tend not to have as much green space as those created after the MGA.

However, Calgary’s downtown is still far from a cold, concrete jungle. In fact, there are 24 parks in the downtown area covering roughly 65 hectares of open green space, according to the City.

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The view from up here

With a commanding view of the city, Joshua Pinter and Michelle Maguire are enjoying the high life

Thirty-somethings Joshua Pinter and Michelle Maguire made the leap into home ownership in November of 2016.

The couple purchased a two-bedroom home on the 26th floor of the second tower at the Guardian project in Victoria Park. The recently married and energetic duo have busy careers: Joshua is a product manager for a software company and Michelle works in business development. The couple says they both have the downtown mentality so they kept their home search to a small radius around the core. They both loved the view from the Guardian with its floor-to-ceiling glazing and vistas of both the mountains and the downtown’s high rises.

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A work in progress

Victoria Park, with its proximity to the core and other Beltline communities is set to blossom into one of the city’s cultural and entertainment hot spots.

For more than a decade, most of Victoria Park has languished, abandoned and checkered with asphalt parking lots after the city expropriated land from about 200 property owners to allow the Calgary Stampede to proceed with expansion plans.

But, a few new residential hi-rises have cropped up around its edges, signaling that investors and buyers find promise in the area’s future.

Calgary’s land agency recently added fuel to that promise by hiring a team of urban designers and architects to create a master plan for the area as part of its Rivers District Revitalization Plan mandate.

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Love thy neighbour

Calgary Municipal Land Corp. and Calgary Stampede team up on Stampede Park

Already responsible for reshaping Calgary’s blighted East Village into one of the city’s most transformative neighbourhoods, Calgary Municipal Land Corp. (CMLC) is now teaming up with the Calgary Stampede to help energize plans for a “grander” Stampede Park.

Neighbours since CMLC began redeveloping the once-blighted east end, a newly signed memorandum of understanding will see the two companies collaborate on the advancement of Stampede Park’s master plan, including the redevelopment the languishing Victoria Park neighbourhood.

“It is a natural partnership,” said CMLC vice-president Susan Veres. “CMLC has a specialty in development and they have a specialty in operating a world-class venue and event, so why not help them (Stampede) with the realization of their master plan since [our] master plan is in full swing?” (more…)

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Victoria Park

Once rundown community emerging as residential magnet

Old neighbourhoods, new Calgary: A look at some of Calgary’s earliest communities and how they’re evolving with the times

Once home to the city’s early elite, the historic community of Victoria Park is back on the map for Calgary homebuyers.

The Beltline neighbourhood has seen resurgence in its housing market this year, with several newly announced high-profile condo developments complementing a dramatic rise in resale activity over the last 10 months. (more…)

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