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Calgary's Beltline

gsunnyg

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Another great method is throwing on a bunch of well designed LED billboards with proper ads, not from a local realtor. Helps generate revenue too....Where's our own Dundas Square Calgary!?
 

UrbanWarrior

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Calgary's only opportunity for a Dundas Square-ish thing is Tomkins Park, and even then it would never be anything close. I was initially thinking Olympic Plaza, but with it being surrounded by City Hall, the American Embassy, a Church, and the largest performing arts venue in the county, I don't think that will allow for that type of space.
 

UrbanWarrior

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It's not, it's stifling and super loud. It does have somewhat of a " majestic" or maybe "monumental" feel to it though.

I really hope the city comes up with something awesome for Tomkins Park. Keep all the mature trees, but get rid of the grassy areas. I don't want it to be like Dundas Square, it needs to be human scaled like it is right now, only modernized.
 

Disraeli

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Yeah Dundas is the last place I want to visit when i'm in TO. Far better areas of the city to visit than that tourist trap. But I see the appeal as it gives off a metropolis vibe. I've always thought that large digital installations would go well on 7th ave near the Core Mall as the mall is a much smaller equivalent to the Eaton Center. I think the plan is for something like that on the Len Werry building as part of the Telus Sky project
 

Beltline_B

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An intersection with a few LED signs would certainly give off a metropolis vibe similar to Dundas. 4th street SW and 17th ave would be a great location as well as 8th street SW and 17th ave around Tompkins (as previously mentioned) On a smaller scale, maybe Kensington Road and 10th street - if the Osteria parcel gets redeveloped.
 

Surrealplaces

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A staircase like this one at Times Square (but maybe smaller) could fit into Tomkins Square. You could have two staircases back to back - one sloping down towards the east and one sloping down toward west - and a kiosk or two underneath on the north and south sides. It would be a super popular space.

K8MX54.jpg
 

CBBarnett

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An intersection with a few LED signs would certainly give off a metropolis vibe similar to Dundas. 4th street SW and 17th ave would be a great location as well as 8th street SW and 17th ave around Tompkins (as previously mentioned) On a smaller scale, maybe Kensington Road and 10th street - if the Osteria parcel gets redeveloped.
I think that the Beltline is far too residential in nature to be a good place for a digital mini Younge/Dundas type square. We could borrow some small elements for a Tompkins Park redo, but otherwise most of the neighbourhood lacks monumentality that is required for these type of grand public spaces. It should be noted that these squares are only partially "invented" - mostly they exist, and are successful as tourist traps or otherwise, because they have always existed in some capacity at the crossroads of major commercial, retail and transport hubs (and at the centre of a large local population for more people to see signs and generate that all-important commerce).

So 7th Avenue / Stephen Avenue is the right vibe for "monumentality" - unfortunately the area is now painfully being held back because of our 50 year obsession of single-use office block development in the core that limits the 24 hour nature of the area. In fact it probably needs even less plazas than it has - I'd trade most of the corporate plazas in the core for a major movie theatre development (and the huge amount of traffic it generates) connected directly to a train station. For example, the city would be a better place if instead of the Courthouse Park at 4 Street SW Station, we built a 16-screen cineplex.

Back to Tomkins Park, it's a great local node and commercial hub, has a high (and growing) local population, as well as possibly the only area approaching 18 - 24 hours/day of vibrant street activity in the city. All big strengths. But it lack the monumentality of a Yonge-Dundas and the rapid transit connections. Given it's size and I would argue functions incredibly well currently.

For the non-locals (or those more familiar with the more discussed night-economy of 17th Avenue), tons of seniors frequent the park all morning and throughout the day, people have coffee and lunch, groups meet up there. It's not always posh people or fancy people going to expensive stores, it's a diverse crowd of locals and visitors. From Calgary's limited urban public space examples, it's got to be one of the strongest for a well-balanced, 18 - 24 hour public space. Of course, it could certainly benefit from a bit of a clean up on some sight lines, add some more seating and make the paths wider and easier to use - but it's success deserves more of a refresh, not a redo to a mini-Younge/Dundas style.
 

ByeByeBaby

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In my ideal world, Tomkins Park is 50% larger; there's a parkade under it with a traffic calmed shared street entrance from 7th St, and 16th Ave is replaced by park/plaza all the way to the shops in Mount Royal Village. The added parking capacity here also enables a wider sidewalk on 17th Ave taking up the parking lane of the road, on the Tomkins Park block, and at a minimum on the block west of it (the N side of 17th between 8th and 9th), where the Devenish -- a great heritage building -- results in a sidewalk too narrow for today's foot traffic. (Probably also the block east; at least up to Market, RIP).

And the top level of the parkade is largely a high quality bike parking facility.
 

gsunnyg

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Well we don't need our own Dundas Sqaure necessarily, that was a bit of sarcasm on my part, but it would be nice to use LED/digital singage more. Like the Lululemon building in Downtown Vancouver or the numerous digtal signs flashing 24/7 on ground level showrooms in NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo etc. It really is an orgasm for the senses particularly during the night.I still wouldn't mind a something resembling Dundas scale on a smaller scale in our city and I think the Entertainment District in Victoria Park would be a perfect location for that.

I think a complete city needs to offer something for eveyone. I understand a lot of people may not like the loud touristy vibes of Dundas Square and thats fine, in most cases, no one is ever forced to go somewhere where they don't want to be, but at the same time, a lot of people would still like to have an area like that in our city, including me. Something to bring the fam to when they're visiting from out of town or just a place to hang out to get the big city vibes.
 
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Disraeli

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I would love to see large digital installations in the CBD where there are a lot of monolithic, shit box office towers coupled with a ground floor reno to add retail. Would help to liven up those streets and avenues that feel stuck in the 70s right now
 

CBBarnett

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In my ideal world, Tomkins Park is 50% larger; there's a parkade under it with a traffic calmed shared street entrance from 7th St, and 16th Ave is replaced by park/plaza all the way to the shops in Mount Royal Village. The added parking capacity here also enables a wider sidewalk on 17th Ave taking up the parking lane of the road, on the Tomkins Park block, and at a minimum on the block west of it (the N side of 17th between 8th and 9th), where the Devenish -- a great heritage building -- results in a sidewalk too narrow for today's foot traffic. (Probably also the block east; at least up to Market, RIP).

And the top level of the parkade is largely a high quality bike parking facility.
I looked into this a bit and counted parking stalls nearby, I probably missed some. I only counted online parking spots so missed all condos, residential, dedicated stalls and on-street. This is all I could find within a block or so, including underground and surface parking.

Guess how many stalls within a block of Tompkins combine all the spots for the parking marked in red? 747! If you throw in existing street parking you'd be pushing 1,000 parking stall available (not including any of the other parking: residential, dedicated etc.)

1602211734188.png


Adding a few more stalls and a ramp to increase total parking supply by a few % doesn't seem like a good idea, although I totally respect how everyone/local newspapers will think it is.

I think the only area approaching 18-24 hour vibrancy in the city might need a slightly different for the next 50 years - the lifetime of any renovation. If there is ever a place to hold parking supply constant - or even reduce it - it's hard to find a better candidate spot. Love the high quality bicycle parking idea - could collect a ton of the inner city's bike traffic visiting the area which is already packed with bikes.

Parking will always be important to businesses - until it isn't.
 

Disraeli

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So 7th Avenue / Stephen Avenue is the right vibe for "monumentality" - unfortunately the area is now painfully being held back because of our 50 year obsession of single-use office block development in the core that limits the 24 hour nature of the area. In fact it probably needs even less plazas than it has - I'd trade most of the corporate plazas in the core for a major movie theatre development (and the huge amount of traffic it generates) connected directly to a train station. For example, the city would be a better place if instead of the Courthouse Park at 4 Street SW Station, we built a 16-screen cineplex.
Is anyone here supportive of a stand alone "how to fix the CBD" thread? This topic comes up a lot these days whether it's talk of converting one ways, office to residential conversion, Stephan ave redux, Dundas/ Times Square style digital advertising ext. so it might be nice to have everyone's ideas contained in one thread.
 

CBBarnett

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Is anyone here supportive of a stand alone "how to fix the CBD" thread? This topic comes up a lot these days whether it's talk of converting one ways, office to residential conversion, Stephan ave redux, Dundas/ Times Square style digital advertising ext. so it might be nice to have everyone's ideas contained in one thread.
I don't know if one currently exists, but I put my Public Realm Catelogue in one of the folders. Go ahead and make one and I'd contribute for sure!
 

Surrealplaces

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Is anyone here supportive of a stand alone "how to fix the CBD" thread? This topic comes up a lot these days whether it's talk of converting one ways, office to residential conversion, Stephan ave redux, Dundas/ Times Square style digital advertising ext. so it might be nice to have everyone's ideas contained in one thread.
You can create one if you'd like. I can too, let me know.
 

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