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Updated: 11th July 2018 14:17

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City launches 3 projects to spruce up Downtown West section of Calgary's core

The city is trying to spruce up the appearance of the western end of downtown by helping business owners revitalize their facades, setting aside spaces for art murals and creating temporary parks.

Temporary parks, murals and grants for revitalizing facades planned for district

The city announced an initiative on Wednesday to rejuvenate Downtown West. This empty lot near the Avatamsaka Monastery will become a temporary park. (City of Calgary)

The City of Calgary is trying to spruce up the appearance of the western end of downtown by helping business owners revitalize their facades, setting aside spaces for art murals and creating temporary parks.

The three initiatives are aimed at beautifying the area the city calls Downtown West, between Eighth Street S.W. and 14th Street S.W., bordered by the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to the south and the Bow River to the north.

"Downtown West is a diverse neighbourhood, home to residential towers, businesses, historical buildings and post-secondary institutions," the city said in a release.

"This area has been the site of development since Calgary's earliest beginnings, and continues to be over 130 years later."

Under the facade improvement program, property owners will be able to apply for grants to upgrade their building surfaces and streetscapes, to bring "vibrancy back to properties in need of renewal."

3 murals

The community mural program will see local artists create works on three facades in the area:

  • North facing wall at 920 Ninth Avenue S.W.
  • North facing wall at 700 Ninth Street S.W.
  • East and north facing walls at 1010 Sixth Avenue S.W.

Gary Young, president of the Downtown West Community Association, who is helping to review the designs, says he likes what he's seen so far.

"Something that you'd want to take a selfie in front of. That's the idea," he said.

The city will commission local artists to create murals on these three walls: the north facing wall at 700 Ninth Street S.W., the north facing wall at the parkade at 920 Ninth Avenue S.W., and the east and north facing walls at 1010 Sixth Avenue S.W. (City of Calgary)

Temporary parks

The third Downtown West initiative is the creation of a temporary park on a triangular green space south of the Bow River at 10th Street and Fifth Avenue S.W.

"Until this site is developed, the City of Calgary plans to test this space as a temporary off-leash dog park for the use of residents and visitors to the area," the city said.

In the longer term, the land is part of a right of way for future road improvements, the city says.

The city will create a temporary park on a triangular piece of land south of the Bow River at 10th Street and Fifth Avenue S.W. (City of Calgary)

A second parcel of land just to the east, adjacent to the Avatamsaka Monastery, will be cleaned up and have new grass planted.

"The City of Calgary plans to provide this area as temporary park space for the enjoyment of the community until redevelopment of the roadway and riverfront is undertaken," the release said.

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