New amenities and opportunities for downtown communities
In November 2019, Council directed Administration to determine the long-term future of the Beltline and Inglewood Recreation facilities, with a goal of maximizing community and social benefits for those communities.
After a year-long Discover Phase to understand the social & recreational needs of Calgarians who live, work and play in the Beltline and Inglewood/Ramsay communities, The City is responding to the evolving needs of downtown communities with a suite of actions that promote community, activity and social cohesion throughout the downtown core.
Over the next few years, residents can expect to see:
New, modern amenities at the Repsol Sport Centre
Our research identified a clear gap in specialized aquatic amenities (like waterslides, lazy rivers and wave pools) in the downtown area. These amenities exist in facilities serving Calgary’s suburbs, but there are none in close proximity to the core communities.
The Repsol Sport Centre (Repsol Centre) is a public access service provider serving both the Beltline and Inglewood/Ramsay communities, as well as the entire downtown core. It has the space for expansion and is accessible through multiple modes of transportation. The City will invest $45 million to help the Repsol Centre develop community aquatic amenities for downtown residents.
When complete, The City of Calgary will have a new, modern aquatic space with community amenities contributing to the revitalization of Calgary’s downtown, increasing reasons to live, work and play in the city.
A Beltline Recreation facility refocused on community programming
Research indicated that the pool at the 67-year old Beltline facility is little-used, smaller than appropriate for modern standards, and expensive to operate. The building and land parcel are too small to accommodate the modern amenities residents desire in an aquatic facility. New amenities at the Repsol Centre less than 1km away will provide better aquatic opportunities for Beltline residents.
The Beltline facility, however, is far from closing. It has value for downtown residents as a safe, local space for community-based social and recreational activity outside the home. The facility will reopen so community members can get back to the gymnasium and multi-purpose spaces, and The City is working with a consultant on a feasibility study to repurpose the facility to deliver integrated social and recreational programming for the community.
More community access at the Inglewood pool while Repsol Centre amenities are under construction
While residents enjoy the availability of a community pool and support neighbors who use it, use of the facility has been declining for several years. There are restrictions on the title to the pool land that do not allow adding modern amenities like a gym, fitness studio, or athletic space, and the parcel of land is too small to add specialized leisure aquatic amenities. When the Repsol Centre construction is completed, Inglewood and Ramsay residents will have new, modern aquatic amenities available to them just a short walk away.
The Inglewood pool will remain open during the development of new amenities, contingent on community use, allowing the community and user groups to continue enjoying their local pool until a newer one is available to them. During this time, more community access time will be put on the schedule to allow residents to enjoy this community asset.
Investing in programming in and around the Beltline and Inglewood/Ramsay communities
Through our engagement and research, we learned that people in the Beltline and Inglewood/Ramsay communities value connecting with each other outside their homes, in parks and on pathways. They look for spaces and places to get active outside with unique social and recreational opportunities.
The City is working to create those opportunities with a range of programming and new amenity development, including:
- Continuing the “Bend in the Bow” project connecting the Inglewood Wildlands, the Bird Sanctuary and Pearce Estates Park, to provide a user-friendly park of broad appeal to Calgarians.
- Building a bicycle pump track in Inglewood where youth can learn skills and have fun with their bikes on rollers, banked turns and other features.
- Creating a “Beltline Open Space Playbook” in collaboration with the Beltline Neighbourhood Association to identify best practices for improving existing park spaces and building new ones
- Making free and low-cost outdoor programming a priority in the Beltline: We heard that Beltline residents need spaces outside their homes to get active, so we are making sure they have access to activities like after school programming, art and music performances in park spaces, nature walks for seniors, self-guided walking tours, pop-up fitness activities, and wellness workshops, as well as a new garden bed next to Central Memorial Library, a “library” of recreation equipment for community use, and a continuation of temporary fire pits.
Through the new amenities, programs and projects identified through the Beltline & Inglewood Pool Program, The City is investing in the needs of our downtown residents. We’re also creating a vibrant, active downtown with reasons for people to visit from near and far and helping make Calgary a great place to live.