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Crazy dream ideas for Calgary

BKha

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I got this idea from Oddball in one of the other threads. I'm sure all of us here have some crazy ideas that are nothing more than a dream, but we'd still like to see them happen if we could. If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see happen?
 

Oddball

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Hahaha! Thanks BKha. I have lots of ideas. I should probably day dream about fantasy city planning less. Who doesn't want a good 300m+ sky scraper towering over the skyline? I'll leave those dreams to the pros. I tend to mostly stick to stuff that's at least somewhat within the realm of possibility, but a lot of it never gets discussed. I'd love to hear what you and others would like to see for the city. The more people we have who are passionate and engaged, the better our city will become. Who knows, what may come of this discussion? At least a good day dream or two hopefully.

I've already peppered many of my dreams around the site, a C-Train loop line that goes to MRU and the hospitals, a regional train system, re-imagining the Calgary Tower as the starting point for visitors to the city, even as it loses it's place of prominence in height and better parks and plazas. I don't want to hog up all the space recapping that stuff. I will pop in a couple other ideas I have from time to time, but I don't want to just spout off endlessly. I'm sure you guys have great ideas too!

One new thing I will say isn't about a building or a construction project, is that we need a better city flag! The current one looks like a bad 80s corporate logo. Our sister city, Quebec City, probably has the nicest one on the continent. The Herald did something about this recently, but I wasn't wowed by their proposals either. We have better iconography available than just the Tower and the Dome. For one, I like the idea of using a lion couchant in argent (white/silver) inspired by the Centre Street Bridge lions. And set it on the gyronny pattern of Clan Campbell, that is to say, the sable (black) and or (yellow/gold) pinwheel pattern. I'm not a Campbell, nor of Scottish descent at all as far as I know, but Calgary is. Our namesake is on the Isle of Mull in Argyll, Scotland. The Campbells are the chief clan of Argyll and the gyronny is a symbol of the region. The only thing I can't quite figure out is where to work in some gulles (red). It's clearly our city's colour. Maybe we could pay a little homage to our sister city and copy their wall pattern (which represents the Citadel), but make the exterior border in red and have it represent the walls of the fort from which the city sprang.

EDIT: It would be nice to work something in that pays tribute to treaty 7 as well.

It's both traditional and unique. It happens to catch all of our cities main colours. I think It would be pretty eye catching too. I'll have to see if I can make a mock up in paint one day.
 
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Surrealplaces

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Well, I have a few :)

1) First one the easiest. Two good sized tall towers, one around 900' tall and another just over 100' and then no more office towers in the CBD for a while.

2) A dedicated art gallery. We have the Glenbow, and it's a nice facility, but it would be nice to have a dedicated art museum/art gallery.

3) A vitalization plan for 7th ave transit corridor. I think 7th ave has perhaps the most unrealized of potential when it comes to downtown streets. It's busy after hours on weekends, and could be even busier to the point of being a catalyst for all of the CBD.

4) Last but not least, a canal the runs in place of the downtown CP Rail tracks. Of course this would be by far the hardest to make happen, but it would be the coolest, and a complete city changer. Starting around Crowchild Trail the canal would come off the Bow and follow the path of the train tracks all the way to the Elbow river. A total pipe dream if there ever was one lol.

The Beltline portion could look something like this:

362412599_9e7dfd1eed_b.jpg
9_pict04861-osaka-canal-dotonbori-district.jpg
 

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Oddball

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Number 4 certainly qualifies as a crazy idea hahaha! Like the principal, just not over in place of the CP tracks. Those are needed for my fantasy rail plan remember! A little more seriously, have you ever heard of a non-coastal city building something like this?

Number 3 is good too. I think of that every time I'm at the 1st Street SW station and look at all those disused heritage buildings. Maybe having Telus Sky in the immediate vicinity will add some impetus to improve the area. 707 further up as well should hopefully help. Further west yet, if they cratered the Crack Mac's it would really improve things. Maybe with the new and improved Century Gardens things will start getting better there too. Any plans have to preserve the Palomino though. My God is that place delicious.

Number 2 is probably not just the most practical, but the most needed. We have a serious shortage of museum space in this city. Who knows, if you ask the right people maybe they'll throw you a couple hundred million dollars and you can build a companion for the NMC. ;) I have no idea how Cantos did it, but here we are. Have you ever been to their current location?(the ARP Synth from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind is pretty cool!) It's interesting, but talk about taking a serious step up in the world.

Number 1. Yes Please! Although I'm not sure about stopping other towers along with it. I'd love to see a lot of the 70s-80s era beige boxes go away. We can't do that if we aren't allowed to build new office towers too.
 

BKha

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@Surrealplaces

#4 qualifies as the pipe dream of all time hehe. I cannot ever see it happening, which is a shame because it would a complete city changer. CPR will never give up those train tracks, at least not in our lifetime, and canals traditionally are only built to be used for something. This one would only be aesthetic. I'm sure you know all of this anyway, but how cool would it be if it could be done. Very cool.

#2 is probably a given. It'll happen one day, just a matter of when.

#3 is interesting. Something I've never even thought or cared about, but I can see where you are coming from. I'm not sure what could be done to spruce it up? More retail facing 7th?

@Oddball

I like the idea of a regional rail system. I saw your idea about train to Banff, and I think it's very feasible, even if just a summer train for tourists.

300m tower. Fur shur :)
 

BKha

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Here are a few of my ideas. I would love to see the old Beltline streetcar/tram rebuilt. I would also like to see something done with 9th ave between East Village and Inglewood. Maybe they are plans already, but IMO, it's kind of stretch of no man's land.

On more of a development side, I would like to see more infill similar to what Brookfield is doing with Henry development in Parkdale. We need more of that in inner city neighborhood like Tuxedo, Capitol Hill, Renfrew etc..
 

Oddball

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Hey BKha, is the no man's land you are referring to Fort Calgary and the surrounding park? If so, I do agree. it does need to be spruced up, but I don't know what you can do with it given that it's the Fort. It's the one part of the area that doesn't seem to have been well integrated into the area plan. I know they have to some expansion plans, but I don't think they've managed to find any funding.

The detailed plan is here.

I like what they have in mind for the interpretative centre it's sleek and would probably provide some stunning views, but the "representation" of the fort is pretty weak IMO. My hope for the long term of the fort is that it evolves into a museum of the history of Calgary and not just of the fort. That might not be much now, but what about in 50 years or 100? Cities have stories to tell. One of my favourite parts of the Louvre is about the history of the building itself.

South of Fort Calgary and along the other side of the Elbow, I know the Stampede has various plans to include it in the grounds. We'll see where that goes. Other than the empty lots along the CPR line the only really unadressed plague is the Bus Barn.


I like the look of the Henry. I'd never really looked at it in detail. There are a couple of other projects like that here and there, but not really any neighbourhoods in dense row style. That would be an interesting development indeed. And as for the street car, I'm not really familiar with what the layout was. If done right I'm sure it could be a highlight, if done poorly it could snarl things. Planners just have to respect that some people can, do and must drive from time to time.
 

Habanero

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You guys have some great ideas, even if crazy. All I could think of was a supertall haha. I would like to see something sone with the CPR section through downtown. Maybe a park, or a couple of the lots used for big box stores, and retail, maybe some threatres. It would be nice to see the red line underground downtown.

Re: Fort Calgary. I have mixed feeling s about it. One one hand, it's one of the few pieces of history we have, on the other hand, it's such an important piece for connecting Inglewood to downtown.
 

Oddball

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I've been playing around in paint the last few days and produced some mock ups of my flag concept. I think they turned out pretty well. I'm not a graphic designer, nor do I use any fancy tools so they're a little rough in places and the symmetry and proportions aren't perfect. I hope you guys like them anyway. :) I think I like the one with the blue claws and tongue the best. I liked the idea of representing treaty 7 numerically for the most part, but I tried to do a peace pipe concept for one of them. It's based on how it appears in the insignia of the Tsuu T'ina first nation, but it also appears in that of the Siksika.

Calgary Flag Variations (png).png Calgary Flag Explanation.png

When I have more time later, I'd like to do a mock up of a banner version. We often have banners hanging from our street lamps for the Stampede and Spruce Meadows Masters. I think a version of this could look pretty cool. They also use banners frequently for the Swiss Cantons, and I thought they looked really awesome when I visited Geneva. Here's an example.

Geneva Banners.png
 

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Surrealplaces

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It looks like you've given this a lot of though, and i think you're right, it is time for a new flag. Very European, which isn't a bad thing.
 

Oddball

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Thanks for the feedback. I've kinda been dying inside waiting for someone to say something.

It is pretty European, which may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I greatly prefer that to the logo style flags that proliferate in North America. I think the symbology behind my flag is more sound than a "hat that sorta looks like a hand."
 

Surrealplaces

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I've never thought of the idea of having a European style glad before, but it makes sense. You're right about NA having too many basic logo style flags.
 

Oddball

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So, this isn't necessarily a crazy idea for Calgary, it's more of a crazy idea for Canada, but I thought it would be an interesting idea to share none the less. It stemmed from a conversation with a friend of mine about how the standard season structure used by North American pro-sports leagues, in this case particularly the NHL, creates monopolies and generally stifles the growth of sports. Brian Burke is known to be a proponent of a shortened NHL season in order to promote more international club play and other tournaments. With some extra time at the beginning or end of the NHL season, why not hold a Canadian Pro-Hockey Championship between all the senior men's pro hockey teams based in Canada.

Canadian Hockey Championships.png

There are are 11 at present, 7 NHL teams, 3 AHL teams and 1 ECHL team. The attached picture shows how the tournament could be structured with the current mix of teams. I think it would really drive up interest in having pro teams in Canada at the AHL and ECHL levels which would be better for the game in Canada as a whole. :)
 

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Oddball

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https://www.citizenm.com/destinations/amsterdam/amsterdam-hotel

I'm almost all booked up for a trip to Europe in July-August. This is the hotel we'll be staying at while in Amsterdam (KLM forever!). I wish they'd build one of these in Calgary. The rooms are just wide enough to fit a king size bed and a bathroom. They're pretty funky. Imagine one along the new train line near Eau Claire or 17th closer to say the New Mill Street brewpub.
 

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