Inglewood Community Association
Phone: 403-264-3835

inglewood-community-smNo other community in Calgary cares more about Inglewood, the people who live and visit here and the local business that have made this community thrive since 1875. There’s no doubt in our minds why this neighborhood is called “Calgary’s Original Main Street”.

The ICA (Inglewood Community Association) has a wealth of information on its website for new AVLI Condo residents such as plenty of archive articles from their Inglewood Community Newsletter as well as information about upcoming general meetings and volunteer information.

You purchase an Inglewood Community Association membership and support the community; your membership goes a long way.
Family: $20.00
Individual: $10.00
Seniors: $5.00

The next Inglewood General Meetings are as follows:
Time: 7pm – 9pm at the ICA Hall
Address: 1740 24th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 1P9 (Just off 20th Street)
Day of the week: Mondays
2014 Dates:
September 8th, 2014
October 6th, 2014
November 10th, 2014
December 8th, 2014
2015 Dates:
January 12th, 2015
February 9th, 2015March 9th, 2015
April 13th, 2015
May 11th, 2015
June 8th, 2015

Inglewood, originally known as Brewery Flats, was established officially in 1911, named after the nearby homestead established by Colonel James Walker. Today, Inglewood is a vibrant, eclectic and ever-evolving arts and culture-filled district with more than two hundred shops, cafes, restaurants and live music venues, many located in Calgary’s historic buildings.

The business area is also at the heart of a dynamic residential community. The Inglewood Community Association (ICA) represents the residential community and works closely with the Inglewood business area on everything from broad city policy to local initiatives, such as building playgrounds, the ICA rink, and multiple events.

Nearly half of Inglewood businesses are either staffed by, and/or owned by residents of Inglewood. This means that many of those who live in the area, also work in the area; businesses and residents are closely intertwined. Never was this more in evidence than during and after the flood of 2013. Inglewood is a river- based community; it is located along the Bow River, and also its West end is at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers. The high water from the flood had a devastating impact on many homes and businesses. Regardless of the challenges this presented last year, volunteerism in the neighbourhood was astounding. Local restaurants set up their food trucks in residential areas, giving away food for days on end as residents grappled with the flood clean up. Likewise, the ICA hall became the epicentre of all flood organisation, as well as providing breakfast, lunches, and dinners everyday for weeks for anyone who needed it, including the businesses owners and staff. Hundreds of volunteers assisted in clearing out the basements and storage areas of businesses that were flooded. Although natural disasters can have major impact on small businesses for years after the event, only one has closed in Inglewood as a result of the flood.

Calgary is an ever expanding city, but Inglewood -a downtown neighbourhood- has retained a sense of living in a village. Inglewood is a ten minute bicycle ride to the centre of Calgary. Cycling, walking and transit routes have extensive networks and are well used. Crime is low, vandalism is almost non -existent. Inglewood strongly adheres to the broken window concept and it shows. At the same time, Inglewood retains a diverse population, with more affordable housing units than any other Calgary neighbourhood, and a strong belief in all being welcome.

Inglewood is a community that values art and is home to many Calgary artists and musicians. It has a strong environmental leaning, with many backyard chickens and bee hives in gardens. It’s not unheard of to be cycling down a quiet street in Inglewood and see a chicken cross the road! (When Jane Goodall came to Calgary in 2013, she spent her time roving throughout Inglewood!). Even the public recycling bins in Inglewood’s business area are unique pieces of art- all designed and made by local welder and artist Michael Perks (see photos). It also has over six substantial city parks and a linear river pathway system.

Inglewood is also home to multiple events and festivals throughout the year. These include: Sunfest (attracts 30,00 people in one day), The Calgary Fringe Festival, The Bleak Mid-Winter Film Festival, Calgary Fringe Festival, Night Markets, Girls Night Out, Christmas In Inglewood, the Beakerhead science festival and Gallery Calorie.

Inglewood has been recognised by international, national and local media as a fantastic Calgary neighbourhood. It is proud, lively, diverse and inclusive and at its essence- the ideal example of a livable community.

Redevelopment of Inglewood brewery district threatens historic buildings
– Erika Stark, Calgary Herald – November 26, 2014

The taps have long dried up, the kegs empty, and most of the buildings at Inglewood’s former Calgary Brewing plant sit empty.
Developers hope to resurrect what was once considered both an economic and cultural hub, but also plan to demolish some of the city’s oldest sandstone buildings, including ones from 1892 and 1905.

Led by Matco Developments, the first phase of the brewery’s redevelopment will transform the bottling plant into a mixed-use retail space. While the final plans for the brewery district remain to be seen, developers hope it will be comparable to Granville Island in Vancouver or Toronto’s Distillery District.

According to a site plan, many of the structures to the south of the bottling plant will be demolished, pending the approval of the site’s concurrent land use and development permit application, which is to be submitted by the end of the month.

Most of those buildings pre-date the Second World War, and some of them, such as the original brewhouse and some of the keg and bottle storage facilities, were constructed before the First World War.

“It was a focal point in the community,” says Chris Edwards, the vice-president of the Calgary Heritage Initiative. “There’s definitely a huge historic value.”

It’s the second time in five years that structures at the Brewery plant have faced the prospect of demolition.

Site owner Ron Mathison wanted to demolish some of those buildings in 2009, but it was halted after the province ordered a historic resource impact assessment and the demolition permit expired. At the time, there were no plans for redevelopment of the site, prompting concerns that the entire area could eventually be demolished. The historic resource impact assessment has never been made public.

“There was a roof collapse and that’s what initiated our concern for safety and wanting to take some of these buildings down,” says Eileen Stan, the development program manager for Matco. “Since then, we’ve had further structural failures within that group of buildings so the need for us to address safety for the community has just grown over time.”

The current plan for the site proposes the demolition of the buildings within the provincial impact assessment area, in addition to the structures directly south of the bottling plant.

“I can understand that safety is a concern,” says Edwards. But he’s more concerned about the fate of the other buildings that weren’t included in the initial demolition permit in 2009.

He says the site is the victim of what he calls “demolition by neglect,” which is when buildings don’t receive proper maintenance and eventually, there is no choice but to tear them down. That neglect started before Matco took over the brewery site, he adds.

Edwards says he’s looking forward to seeing the plans for the remaining buildings on the site, but wishes more buildings would be retained.

“I think now we need to have a conversation about what we can do with the site to come up with a resolution that retains the historic value of the site but is also somewhat amenable to the site owners,” he says, pointing to Toronto’s Distillery District as an example. The 5.2-hectare site in downtown Toronto contains more than 40 heritage buildings and has been designated a National Historic Site.

“I’d really like to see the same sort of treatment (at the brewery),” Edwards says.

Matco is working with the province regarding the buildings slated for demolition within the area assessed in 2009, says Stan.

“Our intent is to salvage as much of the existing material that is still in good condition as we can and reuse those on the site,” she says.

In addition to the bottling plant and loading dock, Matco plans to retain the new fermentation tower, the former Horseman’s Hall of Fame, the engine room, the smoke stack and boiler building and the administration building, as well as one of the brewery’s original water wells. Part of the former fish hatchery will also be kept.

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra says the brewery was once the “heart of Inglewood,” and he’s hopeful Matco’s redevelopment will bring it back to life while also honouring its history.

“It was also a source of amazing culture, with the first salt-water aquarium nowhere near the ocean in North America, the Horseman’s Hall of Fame, the Inglewood Pool and the Brewery Gardens was one of the first public parks.”

“My feeling has always been that in its best future, it’s those things again,” says Carra. “It’s a heart of commerce and a heart of culture and a driver for the community, a driver for the city and a driver for the region.”

He acknowledged the tension the development would likely create in Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood.

“I think there’s going to be some angst,” he conceded. “But I think that the common bond that holds everything together is that no one wants to see this as a building museum.”

“Whether you’re a hardcore heritage advocate, whether you’re a hardcore capitalist, whether you’re a neighbourhood person or a developer, I think there is general agreement that the site must rise again and it must rise again in a powerful way.”