Ward 9 Great Neighbourhoods Calgary – Gian-Carlo Carra

This is the official website for Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor for Ward 9 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Filtering by Tag: Inglewood

Supporting speed limit reductions in our Great Neighbourhoods

City Council has endorsed the idea of lowering speed limits. While I'm happy with this outcome, we've still got work to do to continue building vibrant, congenial, Great Neighbourhoods.

Here are some of my thoughts on where we are, how we got here and where we go from here.

The above items were voted on and approved on September 24, 2018 by Calgary City Council.

The above items were voted on and approved on September 24, 2018 by Calgary City Council.

Thank you all for your support and understanding of this issue. This is a large step in a generational transformation our city. These impacts won't be completed overnight, but we continue moving in the right direction, together.

The Grid Proposed Development in Inglewood

Having a thoughtful conversation about development in our neighbourhood - watch Gian-Carlo's take on The Grid. 

I wanted to start a conversation with neighbours in Inglewood about the proposed 22-story “Grid” development. While this specific development impacts Inglewood primarily, the exercise and thought process surrounding planning and development is also a conversation every community and community association that is experiencing development pressure should have about how to approach these propositions.

Background and Context

When I was first approached by B & A Planning Group about their proposal to develop a 22-storey building in Inglewood, like many of my neighbours in the community, my initial impression was one of surprise (if you have not received their pamphlet, you can see it here). I decided to walk the proposed site at the corner of Blackfoot Trail SE and 19 Street SE, the former gas station (which has been remediated) to get a better sense of things in scale. The site is located at the eastern gateway to the community, across from the Blackfoot Truck Stop lands, south of the SoBo development and adjacent to the future Southeast 17 Avenue SE Bus Rapid Transit bridge.                

In conjunction with the amazing reinvestment we're about to make on Inglewood's main street through the delivery of the 9 Avenue SE Streetscape Master Plan, we are well into construction on an amazing piece of reinvestment in the amount of $80 million dollars on International Avenue - 17 Avenue South East – one of East Calgary’s amazing main streets. In July 2016, The City obtained another $80 million dollars from the federal government to connect the work being done on International Avenue to Inglewood through the incredible multi-use transit bridge.

The transit bridge will come down the escarpment and will span the entire irrigation canal, Deerfoot Trail and the Bow River. It will follow along the former baseball diamond and terminate at the Blackfoot Truck Stop.  Not only is that an amazing transit route that will remove Calgary Transit vehicles out of traffic (and eventually carry an LRT spur line off of the Green Line) but it's also going to include a high quality, amazing multi-use pathway and for the first time ever, cyclists and pedestrians are finally going to be safely, conveniently, and spectacularly connected from Inglewood up to the amazing communities of Greater Forest Lawn.

The ‘Donut Hole’ in Inglewood

The community of Inglewood began advocating for this reinvestment into the community back in 2003 and 2004. Additionally, we have been advocating for the redevelopment of the Blackfoot Truck Stop lands, since that time, arguing that what we as a community have is a whole in the middle of our community in need of urban development.

The donut hole - Inglewood.jpg

Many residents in the community of Inglewood don’t know that there is a deep history of these vacant lands at the eastern gateway to Calgary’s inner city. This part of the community is a former employment zone – the former employment zone for Inglewood. This area used to be where a massive number of Inglewood residents were employed in steel foundries, in warehouses, in lumber yards and in market gardens. Inglewood residents would walk to this central area for work. When the railroad no longer became the primary transportation mode of choice and the City of Calgary ran a freeway through the community, the classic 1960's “tail of a dragon” scenario ensued with the Blackfoot Trail sterilizing this part of the community for development, leaving this empty hole in Inglewood and showing the failings of poor urban planning.

Downtown Inglewood

Since 2003, the Inglewood Community Association - through my leadership - has been advocating that this central area should be a ‘mini-downtown’ for our community; it should fulfill its historic place in the story of Inglewood as an employment centre while encouraging the case, through increased use and density, of bringing the modern conveniences of amenities, like a grocery store to Inglewood, creating one of the major hearts of the urban village that is Inglewood.

We've been very successful in the last seven years. With the massive reinvestment in East Calgary, and funding for policy plans like the 9 Avenue Streetscape Master Plan and the new Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan, among other things, we now have the market responding to the work converging on this area. 

This project is certainly more intense than anything that I would have anticipated.   

Mischaracterizing the Process

Unfortunately, some of my neighbours in Inglewood have been suggesting that I'm 100% for this project, and that the community is having conversations regarding gearing up to fight the project.

First off, let's not be hasty. Second, I am neither for or against this project and any characterization of my position that contradicts that is false. Recently, it came to my attention that members of the Inglewood Community Association indicated that they were informed by the developer that I had given them my full-throated support for this project. When I reached out to the developers, they denied ever having indicated that.

I am one fifteenth of the decision as to whether something like this takes place. What we need to do right now is that Inglewood residents need to have good thoughtful conversations about this development and its planning merits or lack thereof, refine the points for and/or against this project and be prepared to discuss those ideas with their neighbours, myself, and in front of City Council at the Public Hearing of Council. 

The process for this land use change, like any other land use change that has proceeded before it, has not changed.

  1. Consultation and engagement with the community by the developers and/or their agents;
  2. Consultation with City Administration with recommendation to approve or refuse the land use application;
  3. Hearing at Calgary Planning Commission and approval or refusal of City Administration recommendation; and
  4. Public Hearing  at City Council

City Council will be weighing in on this land use application at the Public Hearing stage. At this Public Hearing, City Council will get the opportunity to hear from everybody – proponents and opponents alike.  Until that time, I'm not legally able to make a decision until that point. Obviously, my advocacy for the area will help shape Council’s decision, and my advocacy will be based on the planning merits of this proposal and weighing its benefits and its challenges with respect to city policy, the developers position, and community desires and aspirations within the context of creating a win-win-win scenario if possible.

Planning Merit – What Does That Mean?

It’s really important that we realize that this is a proposition to put density in a transit oriented development area that the community of Inglewood has been advocating for, for a very long time, and it’s important to take the merit of the plan into account. Failing to do that and not asking the right questions can be a recipe for disaster. We need to ensure we follow the best principles of community planning possible.

Bend in the Bow.png

What are some of the questions that should be asked and answered within a community context? Here are some of the questions City Council will be asking presenters at the Public Hearing as an example:

  1. Is this the right amount of density for the area in question?
  2. What are some of the potential benefits? What are its challenges?
  3. Is it well deployed?
  4. Does this project adhere to the principles set out in the Municipal Development Plan and Calgary Transportation Plan? If yes, which sections? If not, where?
  5. Does this project adhere to the principles set out in the current Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan and draft Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan? Does it jive with the principles set out in the Inglewood Design Initiative?
  6. Which City policies take primacy over others in making this land use application decision?
  7. What does the community of Inglewood get in return for this project, if successful? What would any possible community benefits package be?

It is important to answer these and other appropriate and thoughtful questions prior to the Public Hearing of Council, and I am more than willing to meet with residents of Inglewood to have these conversations in a congenial way.


When I went to city hall seven years ago, it was to achieve everything we're in the process of achieving right now. It was always known that as a community association, we had very little power, but we had a lot of influence, but only if we came to the table with the developer and The City very thoughtfully.

What I've seen over the last few years is a real devolution from that thoughtfulness that we had developed 10 years prior. I really want to encourage everyone to sit down and think about the community’s best future; to think about everything that we've been working to achieve, where we're at in that process, and how to make sure that every process and every project that comes to the table contributes to that best future.

The community of Inglewood is in the middle of our local area planning process. These are exactly the kinds of conversations we should be having right now. What I want each and every Inglewood resident, institution and business to do is to challenge each other, to challenge me and to have thoughtful conversations.

As always, I encourage community members – residents, businesses and other Inglewood institutions – to reach out to me.

Gian-Carlo Carra

Information from B&A Planning Group for the community

B&A Planning Groups proposed time line

B and A Chart.png

B&A Planning Group contact

Tamille Beynon

Community Engagement Representative

Telephone: 403-692-5234

Email: tbeynon@bapg.ca

The Jack Long Foundation's Elderhouse

On Friday, June 30, Gian-Carlo met with neighbours in Inglewood to discuss the Jack Long Foundation's plans to build Elderhouse. This pilot project is a new and innovative approach to address the need for affordable seniors housing, which allows older adults to age-in-place and works towards Jack Long's vision of Inglewood where people of all ages, wages and stages can live, work and play. 

Watch Gian-Carlo explain the history of the two sites that were being considered for this project. He also outlines the "Move Forward Plan" to ensure that the community is engaged in the planning process, can help decide what is "developable" land and what is not with the ultimate goal of creating high-quality park space for the community through the development of Elderhouse.


  • Council made a decision to allow the Jack Long Foundation to purchase 2244 15A Street SE
  • The Jack Long Foundation currently has a Development Permit in with the City of Calgary. The community and neighbours can comment on the development and provide feedback on how to achieve the best outcome for the site.  
  • The Inglewood Community Association's Redevelopment Committee will be reviewing this Development Permit on July 5th and will provide feedback on behalf of the ICA. 

Move Forward Plan

  • Over the next year and a bit, the Ward 9 Office along with our partners in the City of Calgary will engage, in a meaningful way, with the community on this project. 
  • Through this process we will explore where is appropriate to develop, where is not appropriate to develop, where is the best place to develop a park space and how we would like  the money from the land transfer and sales to be used to develop a high-quality park space for the community. 
  • This project and the park space will formally be included in the Inglewood Area Redevelopment Plan.
  • Calgary City Council as well as Urban Strategies and Real Estate and Development Services will all be working  with our office and the community to achieve the goals that the community outlines for a high-quality park space in conjunction with Jack Long Foundation's Elderhouse pilot project. 

Notice of Motions for the Jack Long Foundation


12 Street SE Bridge - Closure Update

Your Team Ward 9 knows that our neighbours in Inglewood and Ramsay have been tremendously patient with all the construction in and around their communities over the last year, particularly the Zoo Flood Mitigation project and the 12 Street SE Bridge Replacement project.  We are extremely grateful to all of you for your continued patience and understanding. 

We have been working with the 12 Street SE Bridge Replacement project team over the last year to keep the original bridge open for as along as possible. The intent was that it would be used as a pedestrian bridge so that Inglewoodians and Ramsayites could continue to access the other side of the Bow river and Zoo Island. 

Unfortunately,  your Team Ward 9 recently found of that the existing 12 Street SE Bridge will have to be closed as a result of its deteriorating state.  What we know right now is that the original bridge will be removed as early as Spring 2017. We will be continuing to update our neighbours in Inglewood and Ramsay as we learn more about the timelines and impact on our communities. 

Want to know more about the removal of the existing 12 Street SE bridge? Check out the FAQs.