16 Things Coming to Calgary in 2016

The official opening of a music centre, a film centre and a dance centre, a new international terminal at the airport and the Junos are just a few of the things we’re looking forward to in 2016.

A rendering of The Alex Community Food Centre. The centre is scheduled to open in the last quarter of 2016.

Image courtesy of RAD Architecture and Interiors


A space for learning opens in time for the University of Calgary’s 50th anniversary

The University of Calgary's getting a new building in the new year, thanks to a hefty donation from the Taylor family. The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning will open in the space that was formerly the Nickle Arts Museum. The two-storey, 4,000 square metre building was designed to maximize natural light and to incorporate the latest advances in learning. And it's not an ordinary learning environment — it transforms to meet the needs of students. The building is scheduled to open to university students and faculty in early 2016, in time for the U of C’s 50th anniversary. 


The Calgary Film Centre will open and help diversify the economy

The Calgary Film Centre broke ground in October 2014 and is scheduled to be up and running in early 2016. It’s going to be a space for creative people doing creative projects for the screen. The centre will have 50,000 square feet of purpose-built sound stages and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space. 

It’ll also be good for our economy. According to the Calgary Economic Development, for every $1 invested in film or television, there’s a $6 return on investment. It will also create jobs and be a place for training and mentorship. 


Bus-only lanes are planned for 17th Avenue

In 2016, you’re going to want to take the bus to International Avenue. As 17th Avenue S.E. is redeveloped, bus-only lanes will be added in the centre of the road. The plan is to put the bus-only lanes between 26th Street S.E. and Hubalta Road. This will make transit more efficient and more reliable. The new Transitway Project will also improve safety for pedestrians, as wider sidewalks and better lighting are in the works. 


We’re getting more sports and recreation facilities 

photograph courtesy of city of calgary

Quarry Park Recreation Facility.

Residents in Calgary’s southeast are getting new recreation facilities in 2016. The Quarry Park Recreation Facility (108 Quarry Park Rd. S.E.), which will serve residents of Ogden, Riverbend, Quarry Park and Douglasdale/Glen, is opening in 2016. The facility will be just under 100,000 square feet and include facilities like a six-lane, 25-metre swimming pool, hot tubs, a fitness centre, a running track and a full service Calgary Public Library. 

The Great Plains Recreation Facility (5749 76 Ave. S.E.) is also scheduled to be complete next year. Amenities here include two ice rinks, spectator seating, a fitness centre and a pro shop with skate sharpening. 

Construction starts on the Zoo Bridge

Since we don't cross this bridge with a horse and buggy any more, the century-old bridge crossing the river at 12th Street S.E. will be replaced starting in 2016. The new bridge is designed to withstand a 1-in-200-year flood. Construction on the new bridge begins next year and it’s scheduled to be completed in 2017. 


CrossIron Mills’ food court is getting even better

There’s been construction at CrossIron Mills since last January and the first phase of the expansion is scheduled to open in the spring. That first phase is an improved food court — it’s moving to a new location and expanding to bring the total capacity up to 1,300. The second phase — the addition of new retailers in the old food court space — will be complete in 2017. 


The National Music Centre is officially opening

rendering by mir/courtesy of national music centre

By spring 2016, the National Music Centre will be at least partly open. The project has been in the works since 2006 and we’ve watched as the iconic building was constructed along 9th Avenue S.E. If you haven’t seen it recently, take a drive. The building’s irregular curves and edges were inspired by Western Canada’s geography and the historic King Eddy was preserved to become a permanent part of the building. The new National Music Centre will offer opportunities for public engagement and entertainment all year. 


Speaking of music, the Junos are coming

The 45th Juno Awards will be hosted in Calgary. The events take place from March 28 to April 3. Organizers have even announced the first artist they’ve booked for the show — it’s the Canadian pop artist Alessia Cara. There are going to be both free and ticketed music events taking over the city for this big event. So get ready for the party, Calgary. 


The Costigan House is going to become Mill Street Brewery

Maybe you recognize the building from its days as Tequila Nightclub or the Republik. By the springtime, the Costigan house will become Mill Street Brewery. The plan is that the space will be renovated to look like it did in the 1920s. Many of the home's features will be kept intact, including its gables, turned wood finials and bay window projections. The brewery will be in the eastern side of the house and there will also be a beer hall-style meeting place. On the second level of the home, there will be a brew master's studio and a section that tells beer drinkers a little bit more about the history of beer. 


There will be a space for people to play lacrosse when it’s cold

Playing lacrosse in sub-zero temperatures is no fun. But this spring, lacrosse players — there are almost 6,000 active lacrosse players in the city – won't have to. After 12 years of work, the Calgary Winter Lacrosse Association’s first indoor lacrosse facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. The facility will be located at Glenmore Trail and Ogden road and will be the size of about four soccer fields. 


A centre dedicated to dance will open

After nine years of planning, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks is moving into a new, 38,000-square-foot centre at Centre Street and 12th Avenue S.E. Inside, there will be seven dance studios, one specifically for community use. It’s also going to look really funky — the glass-windowed studios will twist, much like a dancer’s torso. The Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Dance Centre is scheduled to open in April 2016. 


The new international terminal is scheduled to open

The new airport terminal saw some delays this year, but is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. It’s going to have a call-to-gate design, which means more time shopping and eating and less time sitting at your gate. Among the 70 retail tenants is a Vin Room and a Cococo Chocolatiers.


A two-year transit pilot project launches in September

This is good news for anyone who commutes to Calgary from Okotoks, Nanton, High River, Black Diamond or Turner Valley. Next fall, the Calgary Regional Partnership is launching a pilot project that will connect these communities with the south side of Calgary’s LRT line.  Buses will run from Nanton up through Okotoks and stop at the Somserset/Bridlewood LRT station.


We’re getting a centre that makes healthy eating more accessible 

Back in 2014, The Alex partnered with Community Food Centres Canada to work on launching Calgary’s first Community Food Centre (CFC). Each centre works a little differently, but in general it will help the Calgary community in three ways. There will be a kitchen where healthy food can be prepared. There will be a garden or greenhouse to grow food. And there will be a dining room where meals can be enjoyed together. 

So far, we know that it’s going to be located around 17th Avenue N.E. — the exact location will be revealed soon. And it’s going to be located in a renovated 5,000-square-foot building designed by RAD Architecture. The team’s goal is to see the centre open by the last quarter of 2016. 


Deerfoot City is getting something called The Rec Room

Cineplex Entertainment is building a two-storey, 50,000-square-foot complex in Deerfoot City called The Rec Room. It’s going to be a gathering place for adults and kids and it’s just the second in Canada — the first is in Edmonton and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. There’s going to be games, both casual and upscale restaurants, bocce ball courts, a bar and a place for live performances. Construction on The Rec Room will start in the spring and the centre is slated to open in December 2016. 

Deerfoot City as a whole is also going to look a lot different in 2016. Demolition of the mall in order to start building the High Street is scheduled to begin in the spring. 


A place for Calgary’s creatives is scheduled to open

We’ve been excited about cSpace ever since Phantom Wing. That was where artists took over the 1912 sandstone King Edward School back in 2013. In late 2016, cSpace is becoming a reality. 

It's a 47,500-square-foot space dedicated to artistic creation and performances by non-profits and professional artists. It is scheduled to open in October 2016. The space will feature studio space, co-working space, a theatre and rehearsal area, Montessori childcare options and more. 

[A previous version of this story stated that northwest Calgary was also getting a rec centre. It is, but the space in Rocky Ridge isn't scheduled to open until 2017.]

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