13 Things Coming to Calgary in 2017

A giant game of Snakes and Ladders as part of Beakerhead, the biggest urban pathway in the world, a special lemur habitat and more affordable housing are just a few of the things we’re excited to see come to in Calgary in 2017.

The creative hub cSpace is scheduled to open fully in 2017.

Rendering courtesy of cSpace


Kensington’s getting a cat café 

It’s called the Regal Cat Café and it’s scheduled to open in a spot along 10th Street N.W. next spring. The café will have the usual coffee shop items on its menu — teas, coffees and treats — but it's different in it has partnered with the MEOW Foundation. So, expect ten cats to be roaming the café too. Cuddle the cats while you’re here (reservations will be required) or even adopt your favourite cat. All the cats at this café adoptable. 


You can race 150 km in May 

By the way, that’s racing on your feet, not in a racecar. 

The annual Calgary Marathon is on May 28 next year. As well as the usual 5km, 10 km, 21.1 km, 42.2 km and 50 km race distance options, the Calgary Marathon is introducing a new distance to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. You can register to run 150 km as part of a relay, or if you really, really like running, you can do it all on your own. That’s like running from Calgary to Castle Junction, by the way. 


The biggest multi-use urban pathway in the world will be completed

The Rotary/Mattamy Greenway is going to be a big deal. Like, really big: it’s going to be a 138-kilometre-long path network and the largest pathway system of this in the world. The Greenway encircles all of Calgary, connecting 55 neighbourhoods and taking users past amenities like fitness parks, off-leash parks and interpretive areas. For a real challenge, try to bike the whole thing in one day. (Or run it, if you’ve registered as a solo runner for that 150 km Calgary Marathon distance.) The Rotary/Mattamy Greenway is set to be fully complete next year.


A giant game of Snakes and Ladders will take over downtown

Beakerhead has big plans for 2017. Come September, expect a larger-than-life version of the popular board game Snakes and Ladders to be installed in Calgary’s core. The goal of the game will be to teach Calgarians more about the various inventions and innovations that have shaped Canada. 


More affordable housing is coming to Calgary in 2017

HomeSpace Society, a charitable affordable housing organization, launched in November and is constructing various affordable housing complexes with the Calgary Homeless Foundation. One of the units is a 23-unit building in Radisson Heights and it’s scheduled to be completed by April 2017. HomeSpace will be involved in completing 240 new affordable units by March 2019. 


Access to Canada’s national parks will be free

(We know this isn't in Calgary, but we're still really excited about it.) 2017 will be the year to get out and explore the mountains. As part of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, access to Canada’s national parks won’t cost you a penny. Ski, snowshoe, hike, bike and climb in national parks across the province on your weekends, or make plans to explore the rest of Canada and see some other natural gems further from Calgary during a vacation. Keep in mind that while admission to parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas will be free, things like camping, accommodation, reservation fees, hot spring access and overnight backcountry use won’t be free. 


A space for creative Calgarians will open fully

It used to be the King Edward School, but in 2017, cSpace will officially open. The 47,500-square-foot space encourages artistic creation by non-profits and professional artists. The space will have studio space, co-working space, a theatre (set to open in the fall of 2017) and more. The tenants who will be occupying the space were announced in October and include groups like the Alberta Craft Council, the Rozsa Foundation and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, and artists like Shona Rae and Brian Batista


The renovated Kensington Legion will open

The Kensington Legion used to be a brown, nondescript building. It was built in the 1950s and it really needed a new home. It will have one by spring 2017. Next year, a pair of brand new, updated buildings will open. In one building, the Kensington Legion will occupy two of the new building’s four storeys and the rest of the space will be leased out. Where the Kensington Legion used to be, a second new eight-storey building will open which will house a new condo development, retail and a grocery store. 


Archery tag will be a thing 

Archery tag is coming to Calgary next spring. It will be more like dodgeball than The Hunger Games. The new recreation venue is called Archery Games and it’s a 20-person, AstroTurf arena equipped for an intense, kind-of-like-dodgeball-but-not game. The venue has obstacles for hiding behind, music, referees and a scoreboard. Every player gets a helmet, a bow and soft, foam-tipped arrows — no one is getting hurt here. Like dodgeball, the goal is to hit your opponents, only you’ll hit them with the soft bows instead of balls. 


The Calgary Zoo is getting a special place for lemurs

Construction on the zoo’s new habitat, the Land of Lemurs, began in 2016 and the project is scheduled to open fully in 2017. Visitors will be able to see the lemurs up close when they visit the new immersive, walk-through habitat. (By the way, these animals are only native to one country: Madagascar.) This project is part of the Calgary Zoo’s master plan, which aims to change and improve the zoo over the next two decades. 


Hair stylists and beauty professionals will have the opportunity to work in a new kind of of co-working space

You know how small business-owners and startups can work in one, shared space, but they’re all working independently? That kind of thing, but specifically for hair stylists and other beauty professionals, is coming to Calgary. Citizen Salon and Birdcage Salon District are both scheduled to open next year. Both allow independent stylists and beauty professionals their own salon space to run and grow their beauty business. 


An all-natural playground is coming to Inglewood

Next year, a playground at Mills Park won’t have plastic slides and swings. Instead, it will have equipment made only from natural materials, like wood, rocks and logs. Natural playgrounds are becoming increasingly popular, partly for their ability to connect city kids with nature. This kind of playground is still new in Calgary, but the hope is that they will supplement the existing playgrounds. The hope is that the new natural playground in Inglewood will be up and running by September 2017. 


The National Music Centre’s Artist in Residence winter line-up is impressive

This year was the pilot season for the National Music Centre’s Artist in Residence program. It was a hit, and it will continue into 2017. Six Canadian musical acts were selected for the winter 2017 residency program. Selected musicians are Amir Amiri, Corinthian, Luke Doucet, Lisa Lipton, Safia Nolin and Woodpigeon and Kathryn Calder. Stay tuned for dates of public workshops with each of these artists — the first public workshop is with Luke Doucet on January 12. 


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