Event Centre Block preparing for construction, paving way for premier entertainment venue

In the vibrant heart of Calgary’s emerging Culture + Entertainment District, the event centre team moves forward with excitement and momentum as the design and planning phases progress. While the design of the Event Centre Block continues through development, efforts are underway to prepare the site for construction, and the public can expect to see activity occur on site this spring.

Event Centre Block Screenshot

5A Street S.E.  – Making room for 10-acre Event Centre Block 

5 Street S.E. will be shifted to the east and become 5A Street S.E. This move is necessary to make the space and room necessary for the full 10-acre Event Centre Block. Throughout January and February, underground service work and a temporary roadway was constructed. In the coming months, crews will construct the new utilities and alignment of 5A Street S.E.

Project Timeline – An expedited process to save time and money

A total of three development permits will be submitted to facilitate construction of the Event Centre Block.

In February, the design team submitted two of the three development permit applications: a stripping and grading permit and a shoring and excavating permit. Following approval of these permits, it will allow crews to strip, grade, and excavate for the Event Centre Block. This work is targeted to begin later this year after the designs have been shared with the public.

A separate and third development permit application for the building (including building design components such as exterior façade and interior layouts) is scheduled to be submitted in the coming months.

By sequencing the permit applications in this way, we can schedule the work and trades required to begin the excavation process as soon as the design of the Event Centre Block is complete. This process creates efficiency and saves time and cost in the overall project schedule.

While it is a multi-year construction project, we are diligently working to accelerate the timeline without compromising quality. We expect to share the design and break ground in 2024.

Protecting Heritage: Exploring ways to integrate Stephenson & Co Grocers building into Calgary’s modern landscape

The Stephenson & Co Grocers building, located at the corner of 13 Avenue S.E. and 5 Street S.E., stands as a testament to Calgary's rich history. With plans to relocate the building from its current location this spring, collaborative efforts are underway to preserve its heritage by exploring ways to integrate it back into Calgary’s modern-day urban landscape. While a final decision remains to be had, options include adaptive re-use, such as repurposing the structure for commercial, cultural, or community use. In the meantime, the building will be temporarily stored at a protected location safeguarding it from harm during the transition.   

Preserving the Victoria Park Elm through cloning, seedlings, and 3D animation

The Victoria Park American Elm tree, affectionately referred to as the Stampede Elm, is thought to be approximately 125 years old and planted at the intersection of four backyards in the early 1900. It has stood the test of time as development expanded and changed around it.

Though it will be removed this spring, a commitment to honouring its legacy and significance persists. Several preservation efforts, both completed and underway, will ensure the essence of the Victoria Park Elm will live on into future generations.

In 2021, The City partnered with The University of Calgary to digitally capture the tree. The tree was scanned from 12 locations with a terrestrial laser scanner and is now part of their Alberta Digital Heritage Archive.


“We are grateful the University of Calgary was able to use this technology to capture the Victoria Park Elm. They were able to create a tactile tool that can be used to tell the tale of this tree for future generations,” says Bob Hunter, Event Centre Lead. “Their work will allow us to remember and honour what Calgary’s landscape looked like in its first 150 years.”

Calgary Parks collected approximately 150 seeds directly from the tree itself, some of which have already been propagated in a city tree nursery. Additionally, branches were cut from the tree and are also being cultivated into new and self-supporting trees of their own. If these branches propagate successfully, they will result in genetically identical trees to the Victoria Park Elm that can be re-planted back into Calgary’s urban forest.

Seedlings and cuttings take several years to propagate. While the success rate is not guaranteed and often unpredictable, we are hopeful that between 100-200 trees will be re-planted into Calgary’s urban forest in the coming years between all the preservation efforts underway.

Building for Calgary’s Future  

Calgary is a relatively young city – and one that has an exciting future ahead of it. As our city approaches 150 years old, we look to celebrate the history of this area while shaping the next chapter in Calgary’s story. The development occurring in the Culture + Entertainment District is a natural evolution of a developing city, and the Event Centre Block marks a generational investment in Calgary’s future. While this growth brings inevitable changes, it reflects our progress and resilience as a growing city – and will work to enhance why Calgary is a great place to live, work, and play.

Stay Connected

The public is encouraged to register their email address on to receive future project information and construction updates.