WebStamp February 06, 2019
A Congested Arts & Cultural District
It great to see the city is continuing with the revitalization of the East Village with the new vision for a Victoria Park Arts and Cultural District. It will consist of four million ft² of mixed-use expansion that includes homes for 8,000 people for the development of a vibrant downtown community. However, the city seems to be putting too many eggs into one basket including a new event centre. It is also discerning that our iconic Saddledome is slated to be removed from our skyline with this new expansion.
The city is looking to grow revenues in a sustainable way using key investments that yield solid returns. With our growing our city this new investment would generate significant revenues for the city with even enough to help offset Calgary’s downtown tax problem. It’s to become a new gathering place in the community celebrating music, entertainment, sport and more. There would also be major traffic congestion with so much happening in one area of downtown, especially when many events are happening at once.
The BMO expansion, Stampede Trail retail destination, the National Music Centre, Hotel Arts, and all the events happening in Stampede Park, including the Stampede, would be enough to keep the neighbourhood energized. I believe that the previous proposed Calgary Next Sports Complex is a better approach to better downtown revitalization. The former run-down East Village has arisen from the ashes and it is time to improve other derelict sections of our great city.
The Calgary Next Sports Complex was deemed unfeasible mainly because of the cleanup of the creosote-contaminated soil at the former Domtar wood preserving plant that closed in 1962. Even though a wall was put in place to retain chemical seepage, it still needs to be done eventually and continues to cost taxpayers to monitor. By modifying the Calgary Next Plans to include multi-level Underground parking garage fully waterproofed with the entrance(s) above flood line instead of filling in with new earth.
Victoria Park and Calgary would not be the same without its iconic Symbol. Calgary has a bad reputation with saving its historic buildings and it looks like the Saddledome is going to be another victim. As Calgarians are looking for additional arenas for minor sports, city council is looking to remove one. Even if it becomes unfeasible for sports, it should be renovated and repurposed for other purposes as long as it remains a Calgary Symbol and our skyline.
The Saddledome to become a parking lot
The iconic saddle shape is a symbol of our cowboy roots and part of the Greatest Show on Earth – The Calgary Stampede. We need to preserve our Olympic heritage and our Wild West identity. The Saddledome needs to remain Calgary’s identity to the world. Join The M.A.D. Movement and Make A Difference in preserving our legacy preventing the Saddledome becoming only a memory.
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