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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2014, 11:48 PM
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^ That's right Chad, the Beltline has a bunch of different nodes, which are spread out from one another, leading none to really stick out sans 17th, which is a cool strip, but pales in comparison to Whyte Ave. I know most Calgarians disagree on this, so I'll leave it at that.

Edmonton does have an equivalent to the East Village, the Quarters, it just is in far more preliminary stages. It's kind of mindboggling how quickly all the development of the East Village has sprung up. We recently upgraded sewage in the Quarters (2012 or 2013), and have built the Boyle Renaissance Centre already, which is a community centre, and we have the UCAMA (Ukrainian-Canadian museum) as well as the Quarters Hilton Hotel and the Corner 1 Condos under construction, but not much else. There are a lot of great proposals for the area, from an Armature (think Park Blocks in Portland) to an outdoor skywalk which juts out into the North Saskatchewan River Valley, but none of that is under construction as we speak.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 12:40 AM
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^ actually stage 1 of the armature has been under construction since last spring.
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:07 AM
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We also have an excellent Chinatown, Eau Claire is pretty good, and the East Village under construction, which will be unparalleled in Alberta as far as neighbourhoods go.
I'm not sure I would get too excited about the East Village. Yaletown in Vancouver works because it had a large old warehouse district that gives it character. Looking at the East Village area, there is no existing heritage to build around, it's a neighbourhood completely built from scratch, like City Place in Toronto. The businesses that make neighbourhoods vibrant are not attracted to these areas because they are so sterile and dull. The storefronts consist of giant sheets of glass with aluminum window mullions, repeated over and over again. No colour. No texture.

Like City Place, the East Village is isolated with the railroad tracks to the south and the river to the north. I would hope the city of Calgary would look at Garrisson Woods as an example for what should be built in this brand new downtown neighbourhood. In a denser form though.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:24 AM
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Have you ever seen the plans for the east village, or know anything at all about it? It doesn't sound like it. I lived in Vancouver for two years, and I know what Yaletown is like; Sparse streetfront retail, and very few heritage buildings of any kind. The East Village has half a block of Heritage buildings directly between the Central Library and National Music Centre, this heritage block will be the end point of the Riff, a street of retail cutting diagonally through the entire East Village. Even most of the buildings outside of the Riff have retail included in them. Not to mention the destination zones of St. Patrick's Island Park, Fort Calgary, the National Music Centre, the Central Library, and the RioCan retail mall. The East Village and Yaletown aren't comparable in their pedestrian scales planned/existing, not to mention the botched abortion that is City Place.
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:30 AM
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You also forgot the Simmons building Chad.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:39 AM
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Right! That will be the first retail building open in the East Village. It's gonna be like two restaurants plus the entire rooftop as a patio! The building is over a century old. Can't believe I forgot about it... it's one of my favorite parts!

http://www.evexperience.com/simmons
http://www.evexperience.com/about/heritage-buildings
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:41 AM
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East Village is like a smaller, hypermodern Pearl District than anything in Vancouver. Maybe also akin to a less big city Near South Side in Chicago.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:42 AM
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Right! That will be the first retail building open in the East Village. It's gonna be like two restaurants plus the entire rooftop as a patio! The building is over a century old. Can't believe I forgot about it... it's one of my favorite parts!

http://www.evexperience.com/simmons
My favourite parts are the Riverwalk and the photos on the outside of those public restrooms. The Riff will probably pretty awesome when it's done, though.
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 3:58 AM
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I'm not sure what public washrooms you mean? Are they near the Simmons? Never used one near there yet . I love the Riverwalk as well, but I think they should have used better glass on the railings of the outlooks. Maybe not "better" glass, but I think a blue hue would look better than the aqua accents in the glass, or even just clear.

Thanks for the compliment about it being semi synonymous with the Pearl District. I really hope it turns out like that, although it's only half the size. It certainly has the potential to, and if we keep seeing nice designs like the of First, Riverhouse, Verve, and the NMC, then maybe it could even turn out better? You never know! I would say the best comparison for Calgary in the US is either Portland or Austin, so that is encouraging!!
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 4:03 AM
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^ Hey, hey, hey, hands off. Austin and Portland comparisons are OURS! I only granted you this one out of the goodness of my heart!

FWIW, Edmonton's Quarters will likely have a Pearl District-esque facade as well. We even have a "Big Pink" across the street from it, Canada Place.

This is one of the washrooms I was meaning (yes they're near Simmons if memory serves correctly): http://www.flickr.com/photos/2204636...-c4xHKh-bt4RQ3
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 4:12 AM
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Lol since when? I've never once heard of Edmonton being compared to either of them.

OHHH!!! I know that washroom! I have seen a pic of it before but never noticed it while I was down there.
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 4:29 AM
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Thanks for the compliment about it being semi synonymous with the Pearl District. I really hope it turns out like that, although it's only half the size. It certainly has the potential to, and if we keep seeing nice designs like the of First, Riverhouse, Verve, and the NMC, then maybe it could even turn out better? You never know! I would say the best comparison for Calgary in the US is either Portland or Austin, so that is encouraging!!
I hope the East Village turns out well, I really do, but it's not possible for it to turn out like the Pearl District. The Pearl District has a large stock of heritage buildings, old converted warehouses. The East Village has very few. Even Yaletown has much more, along Mainland, Hamilton, and Homer.

It takes more to build a vibrant neighbourhood than just lining the street retail. If the East Village builds the typical cookie cutter towers or mid-rise with the usual bland retail, combined with not a lot of heritage, you have a good chance of ending up with another CityPlace.

I suggested Garrison Woods as a good template for creating a more interesting pedestrian environment. I hope they steer towards something like that. Otherwise you're left with an all glass, sterile environment. I've seen it over and over in this city and it's gotta change.
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 4:49 AM
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^^Maybe they can move Astoria to the East Village to create a ye olde city
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 4:51 AM
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I'd split it. I do think Edmonton-Austin is a much more apt comparison than Calgary-Austin and I actually heard it more before I moved here. I don't see too much Portland in either Alberta city. It's the quirky capital with the big university, but not the 'primary' city in the state that defines Austin for me. Not that Calgary is Dallas or Houston tho. These comparisons are kind of silly I guess. Each place is it's own place. I don't know where I would place Calgary though, perhaps I'm just too close to it to see. I fin it's easier to pick up the similarities when I'm less familiar with a place. Might pick up on a good idea after another year or two.

I'd actually agree about sterility issues in master planned neighbourhoods. I'm pretty optimistic about places like the East Village though. Just sometimes when a hood gets planned too carefully it almost fits together too well and that incremental urban scale gets lost. The plans there are pretty good though I think. But yeah, these sorts of things can really distinguish good plans and policy from shitty stuff. Neighbourhoods that are coherent, but not monolithic and monotonous.
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  #55  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 4:53 AM
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I hope the East Village turns out well, I really do, but it's not possible for it to turn out like the Pearl District. The Pearl District has a large stock of heritage buildings, old converted warehouses. The East Village has very few. Even Yaletown has much more, along Mainland, Hamilton, and Homer.

It takes more to build a vibrant neighbourhood than just lining the street retail. If the East Village builds the typical cookie cutter towers or mid-rise with the usual bland retail, combined with not a lot of heritage, you have a good chance of ending up with another CityPlace.

I suggested Garrison Woods as a good template for creating a more interesting pedestrian environment. I hope they steer towards something like that. Otherwise you're left with an all glass, sterile environment. I've seen it over and over in this city and it's gotta change.
You have 4 factors that should prevent that from happening: NMC, new central Library, Bow Valley College and RioCan's massive retail development with a Loblaws on the second floor. Your comparison would be more astute is you were talking about the DT west end.
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  #56  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 5:10 AM
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Like I said, there is no comparison between Yaletown and East Village, or East Village and City Place. East Village is designed specifically around pedestrian friendliness, retail, and community amenities. Yaletown is designed around community amenities and pedestrian friendliness, City Place is designed around... I'm not even sure... some ground level retail and a couple amenities. East Village is the trifecta, plus two major cultural facilities that rival those of any major city, the NMC and Central Library, and as OTacular said, Bow Valley College and a proposed connection between the Riff and Stephen Avenue via City Hall.
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  #57  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 5:13 AM
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Cityplace is a mixed income residential community and has all the necessary amenities; grocery store, library, school and, a large multifunctional park. It's not meant to be a destination although Fort York is right there.
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 5:33 AM
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Lol since when? I've never once heard of Edmonton being compared to either of them.

OHHH!!! I know that washroom! I have seen a pic of it before but never noticed it while I was down there.
What? You never noticed them? They're inbetween the Simmons building and the Fifth Avenue Bridge.

The Austin-Edmonton comparison is made quite a bit actually. Calgary on the other hand, looks freakishly similar to Denver, which isn't a bad thing; it's a liberal, prosperous city with a solid urban form. Portland isn't really all that akin to either Alberta city (except one of their trendy strips has the same name as our province and that it has a rather robust quadrant system), but I've heard Edmontonians try and liken elements of this city to Portland, or propose Portland-esque things. I wouldn't be surprised if Calgarians did the same, as the city has tons of appeal for urbanistas such as ourselves.

The East Village of Calgary and Quarters of Edmonton both have some similarities to Yaletown too, but in terms of well-designed public realm, outrageous architecture, and amenities, it seems like the Pearl District is even more similar. In truth, they're all likely to develop differently. Calgary's East Village has some heritage buildings, but not much compared to the Pearl District. Edmonton's Quarters does have a decent amount, though.

When I see stuff like the riverwalk, the riff plaza, etc. I'm reminded of Jamieson Park and Tanner Springs Park in PDX in terms of quality. Yaletown only has Emery Barnes Park by comparison. With the Cantos Centre under construction, it looks like the EV is poising itself as an affluent artsy community, not unlike the Pearl, with the numerous galleries, art walks, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

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  #59  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 6:17 AM
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^^Maybe they can move Astoria to the East Village to create a ye olde city
Please don't even joke about such a thing. There will be more then enough histotecture in Calgary with the Stampede expansion.... Actually, there already is more than enough.
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  #60  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 6:23 AM
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Only city in Canada that even comes close in comparrison to Portland, might be Halifax if it got on steriods!
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