The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede, as partners in the delivery of the Rivers District Master Plan, announced the redevelopment of Stampede Trail (formerly Olympic Way) has broken ground.

One of the principal urban strategies outlined in the Rivers District Master Plan, Stampede Trail will connect 12 Ave S.E. to the forthcoming 17 Ave S.E. extension, and is envisioned as the primary retail corridor of The Culture + Entertainment District. It’s a flexible corridor that serves day-to-day traffic needs and an urban place that prioritizes people, place, entertainment, retail and active transportation. This ‘festival street’ can also be closed to traffic to function as an urban community space for special events.

“This is an important investment in The Culture + Entertainment District, adding to the more than $600M in major city-building projects already underway, and it’s an exciting next step toward realizing the vision set out in the master plan,” said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of CMLC. “We envision Stampede Trail as the heart of The C+E, the place where guests at the BMO Centre, the future BMO Convention Centre hotel, the Saddledome and other future developments will come to connect after a conference or to celebrate before the big event. It’s a critical connector and a gathering place all in one.”

The road is uniquely designed to enable its many different purposes, including day-to-day pedestrian, cycling and vehicle traffic, high-volume traffic access for major events, and pedestrian-only special event use. Interlocking brick pavers provide both an elevated user experience and a sense of place, catenary lighting delivers ambience that distinguishes the road from other city streets, and rolled curbs enable a smooth transition from daily use to festival condition for special events.

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“Stampede Trail is yet another key project that will help us welcome the world to Stampede Park, and make it a year-round gathering place for convention goers, event attendees and our community, with world-class restaurant, retail and patio offerings,” said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede. “The ability to transform the roadway into a pedestrian-only community space gives us the flexibility to host the kind of events that the Calgary Stampede is known for, and that is embedded in the DNA of The Culture + Entertainment District.”

The $20M project, funded through CMLC’s Community Revitalization Levy, will be built in two phases to enable ongoing operations at the venues on Stampede Park as well as construction at the BMO Centre expansion. Crews will build Phase 1 between 14 Ave and Agriculture Trail in 2023, and will build Phase 2 between 12 Ave and 14 Ave S.E. in 2024. The project is expected to be completed in late 2024.

Stampede Trail will be closed to vehicle traffic between 14 Ave and Agriculture Trail through 2023, beginning the week of April 24. Pedestrian access will be maintained on the east side of the road and vehicles will be detoured onto Agriculture Trail behind the Saddledome. Construction will pause and the road will re-open for the 2023 Calgary Stampede in July.

Featured image: (L-R) Joel Cowley, CEO, Calgary Stampede; Kate Thompson, president and CEO, CMLC; and Desi Rider. (CMLC)

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