Thank you to everyone who attended our Blue Ribbon Panel on December 4, where we heard heard from international experts on understanding the value of our streets, open spaces, and buildings to create vibrant and healthy urban centres.


ReImagining Stephen Avenue

Stephen Avenue, located in the heart of downtown, is Calgary’s only pedestrian mall. During peak seasons upwards of 30,000 pedestrians will be on Stephen Avenue. It is a key retail, entertainment and cultural hub. To ensure the continued success of Stephen Avenue, it is critical to reimagine and improve the experience that Calgarians and visitors have while on this iconic and historical avenue.  With that in mind, the Calgary Downtown Association and The City of Calgary will be working with Gehl Studio and Stantec to rethink Stephen Avenue.

The Gehl Studio team will develop a new design for the entire length of Stephen Avenue, from 11 Street S.W. to its terminus at Olympic Plaza. Their work will focus on extending the energy and vibrancy of the pedestrian mall westward; creating a program for increasing private investment and redevelopment; and creating short and long-term improvement strategies that can be implemented by both the City and private investors to make Stephen Avenue better for Calgarians and visitors. Gehl Studio’s work began in August 2019 and will include a robust public engagement program, culminating with a new concept for Stephen Avenue in spring 2020.

This reimagining of Stephen Avenue is not just to create a beautiful street, it’s to create conditions that will attract private investment, economic growth, and amenities that can entice residents and visitors for years to come. It’s an important step in the effort to revitalize downtown.

Why this project now?

  • Stephen Avenue helps define the identity of Calgary’s downtown
  • A vibrant Stephen Avenue is critical for attracting new businesses and tenants downtown
  • Physical conditions are deteriorating – a new plan for the street is needed
  • Clearly defining a path forward sends a positive message to property and business owners, and Calgarians

This project will aim to:

  • Extend the energy and liveliness of the pedestrian mall westward along 8 Avenue S.W.
  • Establish a new vision for Stephen Avenue that creates opportunities for private investment and redevelopment
  • Create short and long-term strategies that can be implemented over time to make Stephen Avenue better for Calgarians and visitors

To find out more about the project, click here.