Downtown Strategy

Calgary’s Downtown Strategy The Future of Calgary's Downtown

Downtown is the economic and cultural heart of Calgary. It’s our central hub for business, innovation and creativity. What happens downtown has a direct impact on all Calgarians. Calgary needs a strong core to grow our economy, create jobs and fund the City services we rely on every day. We are working to address the challenges downtown is facing and transform and reinvent downtown for decades to come.

The City is now accepting new applications for downtown office conversions

The Downtown Development Incentive Programs are open for new applications from downtown building owners who would like to convert empty office space to other uses.

Incentive programs open for applications are:

  • “Revised” Downtown Calgary Development Incentive Program includes conversion projects for residential units, hotels, schools and performing arts spaces. 
  • The Downtown Post-Secondary Institution Incentive Program provides financial incentives for post-secondary institutions to establish a greater presence downtown.
  • The Downtown Office Demolition Incentive Program incentivizes the demolition of buildings that are deemed ‘end-of-life’ and are not suitable for conversion or reuse. 

Our strategy

In the city of possibility, Downtown is the face and the place of Calgary’s future. The success of our city relies on our downtown being a place where people want to live and be and where businesses want to set up shop, now and for decades to come.

In the city of possibility, downtown is the face and place of Calgary's future.

The City of Calgary’s Downtown Strategy is leveraging the collective efforts of The City and its public and private sector partners to respond to prolonged economic challenges, and capitalize on opportunities that will create jobs, drive economic recovery, and revitalize and transform the downtown. We are working to address the challenges downtown is facing and set the downtown up for success down the road. Our priority is to be active and proactive to address problems, seek out solutions and embrace opportunities.

Our Investment in Downtown

Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan is our way forward. We have a vision, roadmap and commitment to build a thriving, future-focused downtown. The Plan focuses on building a downtown that is Calgary’s bustling centre of commerce and a 24/7 destination. Calgary’s future success relies on downtown being a place where people want to live, visit and set up businesses. It needs to move beyond the traditional 9 to 5 business district towards a vibrant city centre people enjoy 24/7, with a balanced mix of residential, office, retail, entertainment, tourism and culture.

The Plan is supported by a $325 million investment focused on areas that start to lower office vacancy, improve downtown vibrancy, and support the development of thriving neighbourhoods that attract residents, visitors, and talent for downtown’s businesses

What's happening now

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This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​