Following up on last week's somewhat more critical take on the imminent arrival of yet more big box retail to Calgary's eclectic Beltline, City Rep Kevin Cappis highlights the potential benefits that may come with the opening of the podium-level Canadian Tire soon to join the nearly complete The Royal

Calgary's Beltline neighbourhood has long been a destination area for city residents due to the plentiful and diverse retail and restaurant options, but for Beltline residents one of the issues over the years has been its lack of big box retailers. Beltline residents could always enjoy a great selection of restaurants, bars, and smaller individual retail outlets, but would have to fetch the car and head out to the suburbs to go for items like electronics, hardware and other home items.

Architectural render showing Canadian Tire signage, image via Abugov Kaspar

Times are changing however. Five years ago, Best Buy electronics opened up in the Beltline area, giving residents a nearby option for home electronics, and in just two months, residents will have a neighbourhood option for hardware and other home items when Canadian Tire opens their new store in the 2nd floor in the podium of The Royal, a 34 storey condominium tower, developed by Embassy Bosa and First Capital Realty, located on the Beltline's burgeoning 8th street corridor.

Retail entrance on east side, image via Kevin Cappis

Why the change? The Beltline has been a rapidly growing neighbourhood, over the last dozen or so years, growing from a population of 16,285 people in 2006 to just shy of 22,000 people in 2017. 2018 will have a higher number of people, and that number will keep growing as new residential projects finish up this year, and others break ground. Five residential multifamily projects (The Royal, 500 Block, Underwood Tower, Quadreal 10th Ave, Park Point), are currently under construction, and will add approximately 1,600 units to the Beltline when complete. Three more residential projects (One Tower, 11th + 11th, and Curtis Block) containing over 1,400 units are expected to start construction this year, and there are still more projects in the pipeline. The population has been and will continue on an upward trajectory.

Closeup of retail frontage, image via Kevin Cappis

Aside from being Calgary's first urban format Canadian Tire store, it will also be a store that caters to the demographics of the neighbourhood. Along with the Canadian Tire, an Urban Fare grocery store will go into The Royal's podium, becoming the Beltline's fourth large format grocery store.

Entrance to retail section, image via Kevin Cappis

A win for Beltline residents looking to do a little DIY, the Canadian Tire will help keep shoppers in their own backyard, instead of flocking to the suburbs, thereby, perhaps by proxy, depriving the local mom and pop shops that otherwise dot the Beltline's main commercial corridors. Residents should expect a soft opening in late October or early November with a regular opening shortly thereafter.

SkyriseCalgary will be sure to return to this project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated Database file and Forum thread, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below. 

Related Companies:  Abugov Kaspar, Embassy Bosa, First Capital Realty