Thank you to everyone who attended our on-site Ground Breaking Event on June 27. (see video on right hand side of this page). We had speeches from Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Calgary Fire Department Chief Steve Dongworth, General Manager, Community Services, Katie Black, Director of Calgary Housing and President of Calgary Housing Company Sarah Woodgate, Acting Manager of Facility Planning, Ryan Meier. It was great to get together to celebrate the start of construction on this innovative, integrated facility.

Thank you for all your interest and input throughout the process! We have a projected Grand Opening date in early 2024.

Feel free to review the information on this page to show background on the current building process and those followed during design.

Project Content

Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design Considerations

The Varsity Multi-Service Redevelopment is pursuing Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) and WELL certifications to reduce carbon emissions, minimize environmental impacts, and enhance human health and well-being of building occupants and users.

The project features the following climate change adaptation measures:

  • A durable building envelope to protect against intense summer storms and high winds
  • Cooling systems design to safeguard the health and wellness of occupants during heat waves
  • Backup emergency generation capabilities to support continued operation during electrical grid outages

The project is taking the following steps to mitigate climate change:

  • Highly insulated building envelope to cut down on heating and improve comfort for residents
  • The implementation of a 260-kW rooftop solar system to generate clean, renewable energy onsite
  • Roughly a 50% reduction in GHG emissions compared to conventional construction

Fire Station

The City is redeveloping the Fire Station in the community of Varsity

The existing fire station is over 45 years old and needs to be replaced to meet the growing needs of the community and surrounding area. Once a fire station has reached the end of its life-cycle, it needs to be replaced due to its age and growing maintenance costs. The new station will support existing Fire and EMS crews that serve the community, as well as allow for some future growth.

We will be ready with the right equipment, staffed by competent, polite and caring people
We will respond to your call for service promptly
We will stay with you until we have done everything we can to help with your emergency
We will do everything we can to keep you and your family safe, and feel safe, both inside and beyond your home
We are the City of Calgary Fire Department

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

The proposed multi-use facility includes a 48-unit affordable housing development

Affordable housing supports people of all ages, family compositions and demographics – individuals and families who otherwise could not afford safe and stable homes. Affordable housing is an important part of building complete communities and is foundational to community prosperity.The Varsity site is close to amenities such as transit and grocery stores, which is key criteria in selecting where to build affordable housing.

The City of Calgary strives to create affordable housing in all areas of the city and recognizes affordable housing as an integral part of complete communities. With one in five Calgary households struggling to pay for housing costs, this development is part of The City’s direction to ensure that low to moderate income Calgarians have access to a safe and stable place to call home in all neighbourhoods across the city.

To learn more about Affordable Housing click here.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off

The development will also include a Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off where residents and citizens can dispose of Items that are corrosive, flammable, poisonous or explosive that are considered household hazardous waste. To learn more about the Household Hazardous Waste program, visit Household hazardous materials accepted and List of fire stations with household hazardous materials drop-off (click on link and scroll down to the map)

Background Information

About The Project

The Varsity Fire Station has reached the end of its life cycle after servicing the community for over 45 years. A new fire station is needed to meet the growing needs of the community and surrounding area.

The redevelopment of the Fire Station provides the opportunity to better optimize the space as a multi-service facility. In 2019, The City submitted a development permit application and a land use re-designation that included a provision for Calgary Housing and other services to the community.

The City is building a multi-service facility that includes the redevelopment of a new Fire Station, a 48-unit Calgary Housing development, Household Hazardous Waste drop-off and a potential child-care space.

The project is pursuing LEED and WELL Silver certifications to reduce carbon emissions, minimize environmental impacts, and enhance human health and well-being.

Key project considerations

The safety of Calgarians and continuity of emergency response were considered critical when choosing the site design and building layout. The following parameters and objectives also played a major role in influencing the design decision.

How We Got Here

The design of the new multi-service facility supports several mixed-use programs and connects to the community with public outdoor amenities such as green space, a public plaza and seating.

The architecture emphasizes these unique spaces and places through a dynamic form that houses the fire station, along with other potential public uses like child care through a shared lobby entrance.

Set on top of the building, the four storey multi-family residential units will feature a consistent material on the exterior and will highlight each family home with a private balcony.

Reflecting 37th Street N.W.’s park-like quality, the green space and public plaza is a large public amenity that includes community gardens, green grass areas, integrated benching and large canopy trees. The parkette allows for leisurely activities, gardening, seating and play spaces for the community and the building’s residents.

Please note all drawings represent current state and not necessarily final design.

Iteration of the design process

Demonstration of design process at a point in time. Ongoing feedback and technical needs can result in changes to the final design.

(Click images to view)

Incorporating Your Feedback

Traffic Considerations

Accessing 37th Street N.W. will maintain required response times

The primary goal of The City is to maintain public safety. Future traffic conditions along 32 Ave N.W. would put fire response times at risk.

Current traffic conditions:
There are four lanes on 32nd Ave. N.W. and two lanes on 37 Street N.W. which meet at a T-intersection.

Future traffic conditions:
Traffic lights will be added to the intersection, and there is potential for 37th Street N.W. to create a four (4) way intersection with the addition of left turn lanes.

These traffic changes on 32nd Ave N.W. will negatively impact the access and egress of the south property and the potential for accidents will increase,

Updates Archive

On June 27, the much-anticipated new Varsity Multi-Service Redevelopment celebrated the start of construction with a ground-breaking ceremony on-site and speeches from Mayor Jyoti Gondek; Calgary Fire Department Chief Steve Dongworth; General Manager, Community Services, Katie Black; Director of Calgary Housing and President of Calgary Housing Company Sarah Woodgate; Acting Manager of Facility Planning, Ryan Meier and special guests.

We would like to thank everyone who was able to join us for the presentation and Q&A session on Wednesday May 26th. This presentation provides an update on the Varsity Multi Service Redevelopment project including the revised design and site layout will be shared including how citizen and Council feedback was considered and provide information on next steps. If you were not able to join us the recording of that session is posted below for you to watch. We have also provided the presentation slides (in the links section) for you to view but you will not be able to see answers to questions we received (those are in the video).

Thank You

The development permit application and land use redesignation were presented to Calgary Planning Commission (CPC) on September 3, 2020 followed by the Public Hearing of Council on October 5, 2020.

Following the application meetings the project team developed multiple alternative site layout options to acknowledge the recommendations from Calgary Planning Commission. A feasibility assessment is being completed to explore the opportunities and impacts associated to the revised site options. All comments heard are being taken into consideration along with the program and operational requirements of the business units.

The project team will be submitting a deferral request to Calgary Planning Commission early March, after which the project schedule will be updated.

The development permit application and a land use redesignation have been submitted to the Planning and Development department. The land redesignation process typically takes anywhere from four to seven months, but may take longer if there are policy or technical issues that need to be resolved. The status of Development Permit (DP2019-6254) and Land Use Redesignation (LOC2019-0189) can be viewed on The City’s development map online.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Varsity Multi-Service Redevelopment Information Session on October 17th, 2019. To view the information presented at the session, please click here.

What's Next

Ongoing construction phases with projected Grand Opening in 2024.