Inside Buzz Eco-city Tri-sorter

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Urban Calgary Volume 2 Number 2 January 31, 2008

Arriva sets benchmark in the Beltline
The first tower of the Arriva development is open, marking a significant step forward in the development of the Beltline but its presence was not always guaranteed. “The discussion at the time was that there were significant merits with this proposal; the heritage preservation, bringing residential density to that area of Beltline, the street retail that was proposed,” said Matthias Tita, manager of centre city planning and design. “The drawbacks that were discussed at the time were the significant height and the potential shadowing impacts.” There were no developments of significant scale going up in the area during the planning process, which also caused some concern among the architects. “When we started, there was nothing but boarded up houses and parking lots and problems,” said Ira Paul, the architect who worked on the first tower. “I think the bigger concern was whether we could overcome those. Not whether we can build a good building.”
cont’d page 2. Arriva condo from the South East corner at night.

Inside Buzz

Eco-city: Tri-sorter recycling system . . . . . . . . . 4 Social: Inn responds to Calgary homeless crisis. . . . 6 Urban Culture: Opera symposium . . . . . . . . . . 8 Arts: The ideal place for art space . . . . . . . . . 10 Urban Planning: Stampede main street . . . . . . . 13 Beltline Builds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Around the Beltline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

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In order for this to work, it had to be a great project, that the quality of the project had to be outstanding and that it ought to set a benchmark...

The intention of the development was to increase interest in the area and show others that quality developments could and should be built in the east Beltline, according to Paul. “I think that everybody felt that in order for this to work it had to be a great project, that the quality of the project had to be outstanding and that it ought to set a benchmark for what we viewed as the future city within a city, and that’s turned out to be true,” he said. The city within a city concept will begin to take shape as the Arriva development continues to towers two and three, more commercial and residential space is developed in the area, and the Stampede presses ahead with its expansion plans. Rob Taylor, president of Beltline Communities was involved from the beginning. “There was a real need to kick start development in East Victoria. Beltline Communities leveied up heritage preservation and mixed use with urban scale to overcome City planners’ resistance. The result is a landmark project that anchors the future of east Beltline.” Despite initial concerns, the city finally embraced the project, and is happy with the outcome so far. “It’s a little early to say what the impact of these three towers will be,” said Tita, “from what we’ve seen so far, certainly it’s a good development in the area.”


Above left, above right and bottom: Arriva condo kitchen.

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Beltline Communities is looking for a business sales manager whose primary responsibility will be to promote external advertising within the Buzz. The ideal candidate is: • A self-motivated individual seeking a contract position. • Knowledge of the newspaper industry with a strong focus on customer service is required. • Basic Word and Excel skills are a definite asset. • Some of the responsibilities include making cold calls, conversing with current clients and ensuring customer satisfaction, handling client concerns in a timely manner. Candidates with a marketing or sales background are preferred. Candidates must have organization, time management skills and a proven sales record. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively with the public. An interest in urban growth in Calgary would be beneficial. There will be a base pay along with commissioned incentives. If you are interested, email your resume with salary expectations to: Rob Taylor, President of Beltline Communities. Email




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Hotel Arts recycles with tri-sorter system
Living in a multi-unit building helps reduce your ecological footprint, but can make it difficult to follow through on recycling responsibilities. A new innovation being implemented in one new Beltline project is designed to make that task a little easier. The future residential portion of the new Hotel Arts development will incorporate a tri-sorter recycling system that separates garbage from recycling right at the chute. “We are looking ahead - everyone is looking at massive recycling and they are starting to take it seriously,” says Kojo La-Anyane, with Turner Fleischer Architects, the Toronto firm responsible for including the tri-sorter recylcer. The system has three different settings for regular trash, paper and everything else. It can be customized to sort into whichever categories that you choose.

garbage and recyclables. “A lot of people are concerned about the environment and want the option,” adds La-Anyane. “In Toronto, buildings are required to recycle. The tri-sorter is being used with municipal pick-up which makes it a whole lot easier.”

The tri-sorter recycling system helps seperate

Currently, condo dwelling Beltline residents have the option of dropping off recyclables at a municipal drop-off point or relying on their condo board to implement and manage a recycling program. The chute makes recycling easier and also contributes extra points towards Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Blaine Armstrong owner of PEL Recycling in Calgary, is hesitant to back new technology before it’s been tested, though he does support any option that keeps more waste out of the landfills. Currently the buildings he covers deposit their recycling on the main floor of the building. He provides the carts for each type of recyclable and residents are responsible for putting the products into the carts. “It [the tri-sorter] looks great but how much contamination would there be between the sorting containers?” asks Armstrong. “If any garbage gets into the recycling bins then the processors don’t accept it.” He also questions the efficacy of ignoring other important recyclables like batteries, styrofoam and electronics. “My clients are keen to recycle and they’ll squish and wash and do whatever it takes,” says Armstrong. “I have a lot of clients in the Beltline and some are even doing composting in addition to the regular recycling. “Mulitfamily dwellings, condos and apartment buildings won’t be included in the curbside recycling program from the city, so anything that helps to make recycling more convenient is a great step forward. The tri-sorter is one way condos can reduce their waste to landfill and their disposal fees,” says Linday Luhnau, Beltline board member and coordinator, environmental education with Clean Calgary.

Get involved. Volunteer today.

Review development applications Learn about exciting and innovative projects � Have a say in your community
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Join beltline planning group

Meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Beltline Planning office. Call 670-5499 ext. 3 or email to sign up for a meeting.

Mustard Seed Tower
Open House
Beltline Communities is sponsoring an open house to propose principles for a community agreement about the Mustard Seed tower. Thursday, February 28 Friday, February 29 Saturday, March 1


3 - 8 pm 2 - 7 pm 11 - 5 pm

First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in the Christian Education Building. 1311 4 Street SW, Calgary


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Inn responds to Calgary homeless crisis
To help in the ongoing battle against homelessness, Inn from the Cold recently found a permanent emergency housing space in the Beltline, in addition to the 100–plus partner shelters that currently provide space for the organization. Inn from the Cold is dedicated to extinguishing homelessness in Calgary and provides temporary emergency shelter for those in need, including homeless families. Approximately 3,800 volunteers and over 100 shelters - churches, synagogues and community centres, work together to provide necessary accommodation and services for guests, 365 days a year. According to Bonnie Elgie, Inn from the Cold’s communications manager, “many factors contribute to homelessness, lack of affordable housing is definitely one of them. Other reasons include addiction problems causing hardship. Many families live right at the poverty line where all it takes is the breadwinner to lose a job and they have nowhere to go, but lack of affordable housing is definitely a more prominent role.” The new permanent housing space is located at Centre 110, 110 – 11 avenue se. Both the Inn from the Cold administrative office as well as emergency family shelters will be housed in this one location, facilitating the distribution of services to guests.

The permanent housing space is located at Centre 110, 110 11 avenue se.


The important thing is that we are able to keep families together when everything is crashing down around them.


This is a big step forward for the organization since prior to the purchase of the emergency shelter, guests were transported to different shelters nightly. Elgie explains that the emergency shelter is really important for families because it not only provides them with a warm safe place to stay, but going home to the same location provides them with the sense of normality they need to be able to carry on with everyday life.

cont’d page 7.

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“It’s so important for families to know where they are going to be sleeping,” she says. With that security, both the family and the organization can focus on the broader issues, stabilizing the issues specific to each, and helping to find permanent housing. Homelessness is and has been a devastating truth in Calgary. With the highest rental costs in the country and vacancy rates consistently hovering around 1 per cent, many families find themselves on the streets desperate for basic needs. The number of homeless families in Calgary peaked in the summer of 2006, when record numbers moved into Calgary from provinces across Canada. During this time, 310 families sought help and guidance from the organization. “We’d never had a summer like this before,” says Elgie. The number of people seeking help since that summer has subsided, but only slightly. “The important thing is that we are able to keep families together when everything is crashing down around them,” she says. Inn from the Cold has scheduled to purchase the space from the Calgary Drop-In Centre by Spring 2008. For more information visit the website at or call the organization at 263-8384.

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Urban Culture
Opera symposium stirs community conversation
About 80 people braved a cold Beltline night on Wednesday the 23rd to take in another installation of Calgary Opera’s symposium series, a new initiative to stir conversation around the themes presented in their performances. The Ballad of Baby Doe is the latest offering from the Beltline-based opera company, and tackles the relevant theme of boom and bust in a small American town. This is the Canadian premiere of a cherished modern opera.

John Avey (centre) as William Bryan Jennings in in Calgary Opera’s production of The Ballad of Baby Doe. Photo by Trudie Lee.

The night was supposed to feature Peter Burgener and Jeremy Sturgess, two well-known local architects, talking of architectural trends in boom times. Burgener was replaced, however, with Calgary-based interior designer Sally Healy. Sturgess, who calls himself a “fervent believer in the inner-city,” spoke of Calgary’s history of boom and bust and its effects on the man-made landscape. Sturgess believes that the train tracks and the river forming a border around the downtown core are Calgary’s “saving grace.” “What’s remarkable about this city…is that island of downtown, between the tracks and the river and its continuing density as the office centre of the city is unique, I think, among North American cities.” Speaking after the presentation, he said that Beltline is an appropriate neighbour to the corporate core. “The island is supported by everything that happens around it, and I believe that the Beltline is doing it in exactly the right way,” he said. “The plan in place for the Beltline allows it to serve what’s going on downtown.” “I remember a planner being concerned that there were towers taller than downtown, it’s not a problem, go for it, keep doing this.” Healy failed to present a coherent point, proving a disappointing foil to Sturgess. Her slideshow was disorganized, with vacation pictures interspersed with shots of her work. It simply provided glimpses of excess, largely in Calgary’s wealthy suburbs like Elbow Valley. There was no point made, except to show off her work, but the message was clear, Calgary in a time of plenty has a lot of money to spend.
cont’d page 9.

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Calgary Opera hosts a variety of upcoming events
Calgary Opera is presenting The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore. The story, set in a Colorado mining town in 1880, is about a man who left his wife for another woman. The man follows his dream of silver mining and he goes from rags to riches and back to rags again. This is the first professional Canadian production of this opera and it is considered the highlight of the Calgary Opera’s 2007-2008 season. “Although all of our operas have English translations projected above the stage, this opera is especially easy to relate to because it is sung in English,” says Bob McPhee, General Director and CEO for Calgary Opera. “There are also parallels between this story and what we have experienced with resources in Alberta.” Tickets are still available for the Friday, February 1 performance of The Ballad of Baby Doe, 8 pm at the Jubilee Auditorium. Next on the line-up for Calgary Opera will be Puccini’s Tosca. Tosca, which is sung in Italian, is a tragic opera about love and loss. Tosca will do whatever is necessary to save the love of her life, a man who is being held against his will and tortured. Performances take place: April 19, 23, and 25 at the Jubilee Auditorium. There are a variety of programs offered by Calgary Opera in the Beltline during the upcoming months. California Wine Fair, the largest national wine tasting tour in Canada, runs at 7pm on April 4 at the Roundup Centre in Stampede Park. More than 90 wineries with over 300 wines will participate in this tour. The event includes a silent auction which helps support Calgary Opera. A Taste of the Opera is scheduled for April 11 at 7 pm at the Arrata Opera Centre. Participants will learn about the opera and then enjoy food and wine from the region in which the opera takes place. To buy tickets to any of these events or to find out more information, check out their website at or phone (403) 262-7286.

John Avey (centre) as William Bryan Jennings in in Calgary Opera’s production of The Ballad of Baby Doe. Photo by Trudie Lee.

While Healy showed off the Lamborghini’s parked on a client’s property, Sturgess highlighted the coming together of politics and planning that is helping Calgary to mature. Around 1998, after the destruction of the General Hospital, Sturgess said there “was a real movement towards, I think, intelligent planning and politics joining together. There had always been maybe one or the other, but around this time in the late 1990’s, I saw these were coming together.” Sturgess has at least one major condo project slated for the Beltline, which will continue the trend towards interactive street fronts and progressive design. Ballad of Baby Doe will be playing at the Jubilee auditorium until February 1st. The final opera of the season, Tosca, will be performed in April and should provide for interesting symposium material with themes of love, betrayal, torture and sacrifice.

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Ideal place for an art space
There is a new, albeit informal, art space in the Beltline, showcasing local talent and utilizing a longneglected building. Ideal is located on the corner of 17 avenue and 1st street sw, in the old Ideal Party Rentals building. Still cordoned off on most days by a large barbed-wire gate, Ideal is a wonderful little maze of rooms, from the fake wood paneling of the old office, to the wide-open space in the back of the building. “I recently converted the vacant Ideal building into an exhibition space with the aim to promote the work of emerging visual artists through a temporary, low maintenance conversion of an underused yet highly visible downtown location,” said Erik Olson, the Calgary-based artist who is renting the space. Olson is working in partnership with artist and curator Erica Brisson, and aims to keep the shows presented in the gallery simple, with minimal room preparation and removable lighting set up for each show.

Top: Ideal, located at 17 avenue and 1st street sw, now showcases local art talent. Bottom: Kait Kucy aka Kait Kaboom shows off her work.

On Saturday January 26th, Ideal played host to its second show, Popcorn, which featured 25 artists and was in celebration of the newest issue of Kitschykoo Subcultural Magazine, a quarterly publication out of Calgary. Photographs, necklaces, bags, graffiti art, paintings and a video installation were spread throughout the five rooms, as the crowd mingled with beer and, of course, popcorn. Kait Kucy, the editor and founder of Kitschykoo also acted as the curator for the show, and says the space was a perfect fit. “It’s an old space and I’m really into finding obscure buildings in Calgary,” she says. “I always remember this space, ever since I was a little kid. So when I found out he was renting this space I kind of jumped on that.”

We have the coolest neighbourhoods in town (and the warmest micro-climate.)

We walk to work, shopping, restaurants and entertainment. We have Uptown 17, Victoria Crossing and 4th Street. We’re next to Downtown. economic engine. We’re diverse. We’re different. We’re proud to be Calgarians. We’re growing, building and improving. We’re Calgary’s small business

We are exciting, vibrant and safe. We’re central. We’re convenient.

We're the best place to live urban. We have opportunity. We have a plan for an even better future.

We have eleven

decades of history. We have beautiful heritage buildings and parks, and we’re building innovative new ones. We have leading edge industry, arts and culture. We are Calgary’s Beltline Communities.

think urban ! live urban !
Volunteer Today! Get work experience, meet new people, have a say, get involved, have fun. Join us. Volunteers needed in the
areas of: membership development, fund raising, newswriting, editing and ad sales, parks green spaces and trees, public safety, social issues, history, casino coordination, planning and development. If you would like to take an active part in the most dynamic community in Calgary, please call Rob Taylor at 670-5499 x 1 or email

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Urban Planning
Stampede unlocks main street’s potentials
The Calgary Stampede is collaborating with a Colorado-based real estate firm to create a vibrant world-class retail street at Stampede Park by 2011. “The retail area that will be main street is really a key piece of our vision, of transforming Stampede Park into a year-round destination for Calgarians and visitors,” said Doug Fraser, media relations manager for the Calgary Stampede. The main street project will run between 12 and 14 avenue se and along Olympic Way. It is estimated there will be 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of varied retail space including shopping, dining, entertainment experiences and other amenities aimed at making the Stampede more than a 10-day excursion. “What we’re hoping to do, is develop this area along main street where people can come up and down the street, they can drop into shops, restaurants, sit back on a patio in the summer time and just enjoy themselves…” said Fraser.
Doug Fraser points his cowboy hat down what will become the Stampede’s year-round retail and entertainment street

Earlier in January, the Stampede announced its partnership with Alberta Development Partners, who will develop the concept and assess the scope of the main street project.

The firm, known for its development of largescale mixed-use retail projects, was chosen because of their unique concept for main street, according to Fraser. “We’re very excited about it. This is a key component of our vision and now that we have this company on board to take a look at the scope of the project, we’re terrifically excited about taking another step forward,” he said. Dan Provost, principle for Alberta Development Partners, said they, along with Rencor Developments and Thomas Consultants, are leading a team of designers and architects to create an “iconic” retail and entertainment destination for Calgary.


We are very excited about it. This is a key component of our vision....


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“The Calgary Stampede is an organization with an unmatched reputation, heritage and traditions, and Calgary is quickly becoming recognized as a cosmopolitan international city and economic centre,” said Provost in an email interview. “We believe that creating a destination that furthers the Stampede’s reputation as well as the reputation of Calgary will have great significance now and for generations to come.” The exact size, cost, and other details of main street will not be known until the fall, when Provost and his team present the final assessment for the project. Construction is anticipated for next year and completion is expected between 2010 and 2011.
Main street will become the Stampede’s year-round retail and entertainment street

However, main street will not be like the numerous strip malls dotting the city, according to Fraser. Instead, it is the cornerstone for a much larger development, which includes the eventual greening of the park to the east and a direct connection to 17 avenue. “So it’ll be a total package, it won’t just be main street area, it’ll also be the rest of the park that will act as an attraction for people and visitors,” said Fraser. “Eventually it is our hope to have a direct link from 17 avenue either over or under the LRT tracks and up through main street. It’ll be one big ‘L’.” Further considerations include the creation of direct links from main street to adjacent neighbourhoods to allow residents and business people to take advantage of the proximity. The addition of hotels and other accommodations have not been ruled out for the project either, according to Fraser.

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page 15.

Beltline Builds
Torode adds artistic touch
Left: Condo Arts se corner rendering at night. Below: Hotel Arts is adding retail and office space to 1st street and 13 avenue.

The original Beltline boutique hotel – Hotel Arts – is currently undergoing a significant expansion, adding retail and office space to 1st street and 13 avenue. The next phase of the project, “The Gallery at Hotel Arts” will feature street-level retail shops and two levels of office space above, for a total of 80,000 square feet of new commercial space. The “Gallery” will connect with the existing hotel through a conference centre and shared underground parking. Jeff Robson, senior vice-president leasing at Torode Commerical, the developer of the project, said there are already clients lined up for the new space, including Starbucks, a spa, salon and some local fashion retailers. “Most of the fashion dealers will be concentrated along 1st street while more service oriented businesses will occupy the space along 13 avenue,” he said. Fast on the heels of this project will be phase three of the development – Condo Arts, a 39-storey residential tower with some additional hotel space.

Join Beltline Communities


live live urban

Condo memberships are available. One member per suite free when the whole condo joins. Contact Rob Taylor, President of Beltline Communities 670-5499, ext.1

Join Beltline Communities and make it the


place to live

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Around the Beltline
It’s for the dogs
Alberta Kennel Club is hosting an all breed dog show at the Big Four Building in Stampede Park on Friday, February 1 to Sunday, February 3. An all breed dog show is a great way to research different breeds, especially since a big part of a show is the beauty contest which is judged by those who have studied dogs. Judges determine how close a dog comes to a breed standard. There are also obedience trials, a test of a dog’s skills and sometimes unofficial events such as scent hurdling or agility. For more information go to their website, .

The Alberta Kennel Club, an all-breed dog club, was founded in 1904 by a group of Sporting Dog enthusiasts.

Computer Literacy at the Library
Computer literacy courses are also offered on Saturdays from 10:00 - 11:30 am. Topics are as follows: Introduction to Microsoft Excel – February 2 Internet Part 2 – February 9 Introduction to Microsoft Word – February 23 Register in person at the Memorial Park Library.

Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir is performing at Grace Presbyterian Church, 1009 15 avenue sw, on February 17. Tickets range in price from $30 to $39 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Computer literacy courses are offered on Saturdays at Memorial Park Library.

Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir is performing at Grace Presbyterian Church, 1009 15 avenue sw, on February 17. Tickets range in price from $30 to $39 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Young Canadian Auditions
Junior dancers are invited to audition to become a cast member of the Young Canadians on Friday, February 8th. Junior dancers must be female and between the age of 7 to 11 years. Registration begins at 4:00 pm. Junior singers are invited to audition to become a Young Canadian on February 9th at 9:00 am. Junior singers can be either male or female but must be between 7 to 11 years old. On-line registration is available at
If you have an event that you would like posted in Around the Beltline, email

Vienna Boys Choir perform at Grace Presbyterian Church on February 17.

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Beltline Buzz is published by Beltline Communities of Victoria and Connaught. The Beltline community district is immediately adjacent to the downtown core. It extends from the CPR tracks to 17 avenue with the Elbow River in the east and 14 street in the west. Beltline Communities is a next generation community association that works to make the Beltline the best place to live urban. Beltline Buzz is a publication of the community association to cover all things Beltline. Buzz is published two Thursdays each month. We welcome your feedback, story ideas and letters to the editor. Contact us at Email for your free subscription.

Published by Beltline Communities of Victoria and Connaught Association Rob Taylor, President © Beltline Communities 2007 Suite 68, 1500 14th street sw, Calgary AB T2T 0B2




Drew Anderson Andrea Belcher Emmery Clark Diane Klaver Rita Phillips Ben Tatterton


Drew Anderson Andrea Belcher Rita Phillips


Andrea Belcher


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