Olympic Plaza Transformation

This engagement page dates from 2016. Current work on transforming Olympic Plaza is being led by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

2017 UPDATE - Olympic Plaza bricks:

There are no immediate plans to remove any bricks from Olympic Plaza. The Olympic Plaza Cultural District is a large multi-year project with many considerations yet to be decided. The bricks will remain in place to be enjoyed by all citizens while we continue to work toward the next phases of the project. Future updates will be posted on this page. Should you have any questions or comments please email them to myOPCD@calgary.ca.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how we can improve the Olympic Plaza Cultural District.

The Olympic Plaza Cultural District Engagement and Design Guide Report is now available.

The report includes a summary of engagement activities undertaken, feedback received from the public, and departmental operational considerations framed as a series of challenge questions intended to help guide designers to develop ideas for a new Olympic Plaza Cultural District.

Thanks to all who participated in the engagement process and helped to identify ways to revitalize the Olympic Plaza Cultural District.

What We Heard

In May, we held public engagement sessions to hear what Calgarians enjoyed or would change about Olympic Plaza and what would encourage them to visit more often. Four main themes came out of the feedback we heard. Below is a summary of these main themes:

Theme 1 - Greenery

The most common theme mentioned by respondents was greenery. Respondents liked the ability to escape from the concrete of downtown to be surrounded by all forms of vegetation. The current greenery is enjoyed and there is a desire to expand this space so more people can use it.

Theme 2 - Events

Respondents cited formal and informal events and activities as a principal reason for visiting Olympic Plaza. The consensus from respondents was for an increase in the number and variety of events, covering a spectrum of arts and culture, which also reflect more diversity and multiculturalism. Ice skating was the main reason people visited the Plaza during the winter.

Theme 3 - Safety

Respondents identified safety as another theme which affected their perceptions of Olympic Plaza. Improved lighting and sightlines and having a regular police or security presence were common suggestions we heard from respondents as a way to enhance safety, reduce illegal activity, and make the site more comfortable for visitors.

Theme 4 - Food

The final main theme to emerge was the need for diversity of food options. Respondents were interested in a greater variety of food providers that could address more availability, affordability, and ambience.

Design Considerations

Accompanying citizen feedback, the report includes a series of eight challenge questions. These questions outline a number of design challenges related to operational, seasonal, historical, and cultural aspects of the space and intended to illicit innovative and balanced solutions from design-builders.

The OPCD Engagement and Design Report

The full OPCD Engagement and Design Report contains a comprehensive understanding about what we heard from Calgarians at our engagement session in May.

About the Project

The request for input builds off of Civic District Public Realm Strategy, approved by Council in early 2016, which aims to improve the public spaces around City Hall, Olympic Plaza, and the new Central Library.

This round of public engagement focused on Olympic Plaza and its adjacent areas: Municipal Plaza, the surrounding public realm and connections through City Hall onto Third Street S.E.

The plaza areas were identified as priority spaces in need of repair and enhancement in the Civic District, an area which generally includes Bow Valley College, the New Central Library, East Village and the National Music Centre.

Area Map

An overhead view showing the Olympic Plaza Cultural District and surrounding community features.

The Olympic Plaza Cultural District and surrounding area.