The creative wayfinding mural: bringing vibrancy and connection to downtown

FRZ-108The connection between downtown and the East Village has never been better, and now the route just got a little more colourful and joyful, thanks to the creative wayfinding mural linking the two iconic districts. This installation, just in time for the summer and an anticipated influx of downtown visitors, is a part of our Downtown Strategy Activate + Experiment program.

We’re inviting people to take a short cut through the Municipal Building and explore destinations on either side – Stephen Avenue and the East Village. The project also compliments the Municipal Building’s extended access hours, allowing people to move through the building from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. 

As downtown continues to transform, we’re committed to activating public spaces and support downtown vibrancy,” says Kate Zago, Planner with the Downtown Strategy team. “Come see what’s on either side of the Big Blue Building!”

Calgary’s Greater Downtown Plan identified the need to move beyond the traditional 9 to 5 business district towards a vibrant city centre people enjoy 24/7. "Calgary’s future success relies on downtown being seen as a great place for Calgarians and visitors to live, work, learn, shop and play,” says Mark Garner, Executive Director, Calgary Downtown Association. That’s the main driver behind these types of projects; increase vibrancy through public space activations and design ideas.

The creative wayfinding mural is just one of the activations we and our partners have implemented. We are proud to have partnered on the 1 Street S.W. Corner Pollinator Bed + Seating, the Centre Street Corner Seating, YYC/LRT, Urban Furniture and the Winter City Design Competition.

Alex Sarian, President and CEO of Arts Commons, and a major supporter of the downtown says:Public spaces are essential for fostering creativity, community, and resilience in urban areas. They are where communities come alive and foster a sense of belonging. Moreover, these places drive economic development and environmental sustainability, making them crucial for the future of our communities and cities.”

Activating public spaces is also a great way to build community and provide an opportunity for connection. “Great public spaces create community, support vibrancy, and provide a sense of place,” says Clare LePan, Vice President, Communications & Strategic Partnerships with Calgary Municipal Land Corporation. “Activating public realms through imaginative placemaking not only enhances the quality of life and wellbeing of residents and visitors in the area, but it also improves the sense of security and attracts investment to the surrounding area.”

The City and our partners are committed to creating a downtown with accessible neighbourhoods, active streets, and well-used public spaces; a place where all Calgarians are welcome and proud of.

The creative wayfinding mural will be in place until 2025, at which time an evaluation will occur, and next steps will be determined. A survey is available until June 30th to learn more about the impacts of the design.