Calgary’s Downtown vision continues to be realized with new Director at the helm

Following an extensive and thorough recruitment process, The City is pleased to announce Thom Mahler has been selected as the director to lead our newly formed Downtown Strategy business unit. This business unit was created in April, when City Council approved Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan and committed an initial $120 million to invest in downtown’s future.

“Thom has been leading The City’s Downtown Strategy team from its inception and has effectively built partnerships focused on leading our downtown’s roadmap to reinvention,” said Stuart Dalgleish, deputy city manager and general manager of Planning and Development for The City. “His passion for our downtown has helped the team to begin to tackle the challenges our downtown has been facing.”

Mahler has been with The City for more than 20 years. In his new role as director of the Downtown Strategy business unit, Mahler will steward The City’s investment in the future of downtown. This includes incentives for converting empty office space to residential units and other uses, programming and activating downtown public spaces to promote vibrancy, and kickstarting public space capital projects to support thriving downtown neighbourhoods.

“My focus in this role is to help build a downtown for all Calgarians,” said Mahler. “There are many people, businesses, and organizations that have a stake in the downtown’s future success and working with these groups to reinvent downtown is my priority.”

To complement his professional experience, Thom holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Queen’s University, and a Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership from York University. He is an engaged planning professional at the national level having served on the Board of the Council for Canadian Urbanism for over six years. 

Mahler characterizes his new role as his “dream job”, and the ability to realize the goals of the downtown strategy while working with the many stakeholders and partners is one he is looking forward to.

The establishment of the new Downtown Strategy business unit is a component of The City’s investment in actioning Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan – our downtown’s roadmap to reinvention. The initial investment is earmarked for actions that will address office vacancy, improve downtown vibrancy, and support the development of thriving neighbourhoods. Learn more about Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan and downtown investment package at