With Calgary’s downtown office vacancy rate at levels not seen since the Great Depression, it will take direct and immediate action to bring people back into the downtown core and restore a sense of vibrancy.
Jurisdictions across North America have also faced persistently high downtown office vacancy rates and have taken steps to successfully address the issue. However, the rate of office vacancies in Calgary is one of the highest ever recorded in North America, which presents a unique challenge for the city.
The City of Calgary has already developed and started its own plan to bring people into downtown and lower the office vacancy rate. To date, the provincial government has offered very little in support and details on how it will support downtown Calgary.
Given the importance of Calgary’s downtown to the city and the provincial economy, we are putting forward a series of proposals to revitalize Calgary’s downtown.
Revitalizing downtown Calgary will also take time and hard work, but with our entrepreneurial spirit and our greatest resource — our people — we can restore vibrancy, bring a new energy into downtown Calgary, and continue to generate prosperity for our province. - Rachel Notley
Summary of Proposals
- Supporting office conversions by matching a further $100 million to the City’s
- Matching the City’s $55-million investment to improve public places and restore
vibrancy to the area;
- Making economic diversification a priority;
- Supporting the creation of a world-class innovation district by working with Calgary post-secondary institutions to relocate or expand campuses downtown;
- Creating additional child care spaces downtown;
- Growing affordable housing downtown through dedicated funding while working with the City and developers to leverage investment for office conversions;
- Investing in mental health and addictions and reduce barriers to accessing services;
- Supporting small businesses to move downtown or revitalize through targeted
- Bringing more events and festivals into Calgary’s downtown;
- Exploring a cost-sharing agreement for the Calgary-Banff rail line.
When combined with our young, diverse, and educated population, and innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, we have an opportunity to show the world what Calgarians already know: that this is THE best city in the world to live. But in order to do so, we need bold and innovative ideas. - Municipal Affairs Critic Joe Ceci
We recognize the work that was done was merely a start. We encourage each and every one of you to read the policy proposal careful and provide feedback.