Downtown East Village, Calgary
|Downtown East Village|
|• Administrative body||Calgary City Council|
|• Councillor||Druh Farrell|
|• Total||0.2 km2 (0.08 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,043 m (3,422 ft)|
|• Median Income (2005)||$17,253|
|Time zone||Mountain Time (UTC-7)|
|• Summer (DST)||Mountain Daylight Time (UTC-6)|
|Website||Downtown East Village Info Site|
The Downtown East Village is a mixed-use neighbourhood within the eastern portions of downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It is contained within the city's Rivers District. Though officially a distinct neighbourhood, Calgary's Chinatown is often associated with the northern portions of the Downtown East Village.
Containing some of the earliest-settled land in the Calgary area - Fort Calgary - the East Village was for years a mixture of high-rise residential, commercial, and industrial development (much of the parkland currently surrounding Fort Calgary was industrial as recently as the 1960s). Construction of the city's light rail transit line, coupled with the closure of 8th Avenue at Macleod Trail in the early 1980s by construction of the massive Calgary Municipal Building, resulted in East Village being "cut off" figuratively speaking from the rest of downtown. As a result, it became home to many rundown properties and vacant lots over the years, and a crime problem.
Plans to reshape this neighbourhood were approved by the city council in March, 2005 (East Village Area Redevelopment Plan ). In Spring 2007, Calgary City Council approved the formation of a wholly owned corporation known as the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation with the mandate to revitalize and redevelop the Rivers District, which includes the East Village. Construction began within the Rivers District by the new corporation in 2007 with the undertaking of a rare downtown Calgary stormwater treatment pond on the NW corner of Fort Calgary. Many of the dilapidated buildings were torn down and a Riverwalk along the south bank of the Bow River (integrated with the Bow River pathway) and west bank of the Elbow River was completed in the early 2010s. As of spring 2013, construction is under way on two luxury condominium towers, and additional commercial and residential development is planned.
East Village will also become home to the National Music Centre. In 2009, an architectural competition was held, consisting of international award winning architecture firms including SPF, Allied Works Architecture/BKDI, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Jean Nouvel Workshop, and Saucier + Perrotte. On September 23, 2009, Allied Works was announced as the successful architectural firm to design the National Music Centre at the King Eddy site, in the East Village. In 2010, private fundraising was underway, and federal, provincial and municipal governments had granted a combined $75 million towards the initiative. Groundbreaking occurred on February 22, 2013 and the structure will incorporate the historic King Edward Hotel, known as the "King Eddy" and a longtime blues and jazz performance venue. A new central branch of the Calgary Public Library is also planned for the area.
A design competition was held in 2009, by the Calgary MLC for a new pedestrian bridge. The bridge will link St. Patrick’s Island with East Village to the south and the Bow River pathway system to the north. It will provide improved linkages to many different nearby communities including East Village, Inglewood and Bridgeland, and when combined with the improved pedestrian and cyclist connectivity of the 4th Street Underpass, will play an important role in improving sustainable transportation and recreational linkages throughout the east end of downtown and the Beltline. The design competition received 35 entries, and construction is expected to begin in 2013, coinciding with redevelopment of St. Patrick's Island.
In the City of Calgary's 2012 municipal census, Downtown East Village had a population of  With a land area of 0.5 km2 (0.19 sq mi), it had a population density of 5,600/km2 (14,400/sq mi) in 2012.2,782 living in 1,230 dwellings, a 1.3% increase from its 2011 population of 2,747.
In 2005 there were 53.1% low income residents living in the neighbourhood. As of 2006, 31.9% of the residents were immigrants. A proportion of 94.7% of the buildings were condominiums or apartments, and 83.8% of the housing was used for renting, this being the highest renting/owning rate in the city.
In the spring and summer of 2008, archeologists made several rare discoveries in the East Village: two historic dumps from the early 20th century, as well as a native stone circle and fire hearths dating back over 3,300 years. Calgary archeologist Brian Vivian says it's the first pre-contact site archeologists have discovered in inner-city Calgary.
- City of Calgary (2010). "Ward 7 Profile". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- City of Calgary (2009). "Downtown East Village Community Statistics". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- East Village Area Redevelopment Plan - from the City of Calgary website
- National music centre gets $75 million kick-start
- "2012 Civic Census Results". City of Calgary. 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "Community Boundaries" (Esri shapefile). City of Calgary. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
- Jeremy Klaszus, "Pieces of western Canadiana dug up in East Village", Fast Forward Weekly, September 4, 2008.
- East Village Experience
- Downtown East Village Info Site
- Calgary Municipal Land Corporation
- Cantos National Music Centre