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May 8, 2021

Take a Virtual or Self-guided Jane's Walk this May!

Jane's Walk is a global festival of neighbourhood walking tours held in Calgary and around the world each May, inspired by the philosophy of Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building.

This year, The Calgary Foundation’s Jane's Walk has gone virtual or self-guided and has extended its presence from the May 7-9 weekend right through the summer.  

Visit the Heritage Places tab on our Heritage Inspires YYC web site.  Discover historic neighbourhoods, cultural landscapes, old photographs, and for the inspired, click on one of the Community Histories tiles and look for a self-guided walking tour.

For a Virtual Janes Walk Experience from a bird’s eye view, explore our Heritage Inspires YYC YouTube Channel. What would Jane Jacobs say about how Calgary’s historic areas should evolve?

Follow our Facebook and Instagram pages at @calgaryheritageinitiative and @heritageispiresyyc for lots of Janes Walk challenges. Walk or bike a route to find Century Homes; retrace a Calgary Herald history walk, published in the mid-1990s, and think about what’s changed in 25 years; seek out lost heritage and historic buildings that have been given new life.

Update: The Guide for Local Area Planning
The Guide for Local Area Planning (new title, previously named "Guidebook for Great Communities") was considered and accepted by the City’s Planning & Urban Development (PUD) Committee on May 5, 2021. The Committee directed Administration to use the document, with the 62 amendments proposed, as a best-practice guide to planning communities in collaboration with citizens and other stakeholders through the Local Area Plan (LAP) program.

The committee’s decision to change the status of the Guide from a statutory document to a best practices guide was controversial. All attachments, including the amendments, letters from the public, and the meeting video are available online, see PUD May 5 2021 7.1 Guide for Local Area Planning on the, Council tab.

Members of the Calgary Heritage Initiative and Calgarians for Heritage Districts participated in multiple discussion groups through April to clarify concerns and suggestions raised by some 130 speakers at the March 22 City Council Hearing. We presented at PUD on May 5th along with about 80 other members of the public.  You can read our letter here that supports the heritage amendments to the Guide.

Examples of the Guide amendments that respond to the heritage concerns include:
  • goal to create and enhance a sense of place;
  • a local area plan will include community-specific policies;
  • content for Local Area Plans (LAPs) will include: streetscapes, historic block patterns and significant tree canopies; 
  • new development should be compatible with the context of abutting sites on the Inventory;
  • special policy area for single-detached dwellings and acknowledgement of restrictive covenants.
These amendments support community and street context, often an important consideration when a property owner weighs the pros and cons of designating their property.

A number of our heritage related “Asks” were identified as “Not Being Considered” in the “What We Heard” report prepared by City Administration, leading up to the PUD meeting.  Some of these asks will be addressed in the LAPs, other ongoing work (e.g. heritage commercial streets, density bonusing, tree protection), or may be outside of the scope of the Guide for Local Area Planning.  We will continue to work to advance more comprehensive heritage district-type protections. 

We have offered to help develop and deliver heritage education workshops to LAP working group members.  Supporting materials could also be shared at public engagement sessions. And Chris Edwards (CHI president) has offered to participate in the application of the Heritage Tools and Incentives layer 2 program to the North Hill Communities pilot LAP.

CHI and CFHD support the new approach to Local Area Planning described in the Guide and very much want the application of the Heritage Tools and Incentives to succeed. And without delay – every day without implemented policies puts heritage at risk of demolition. Next up at Council will be the revised North Hill Communities LAP (June 21, 2021).

As advocacy groups, we are encouraged that the Guide to Local Area Planning process has raised the profile of heritage as the city grows and changes. It has opened doors for better collaboration with the City, Heritage Calgary, the communities, and other interest groups that promote a sustainable and inclusive future for Calgary, one that is rooted in our past. 


Call for Applications: Heritage Calgary Awards

The Heritage Calgary Awards 🏆 (previously known as the Lion Awards) celebrate the diverse heritage of our shared home. Every second year we honour those who have made efforts to identify, preserve, and promote heritage in Calgary to help enrich our communities.
This year we will be recognizing FIVE award categories. Learn more and apply by May 19!

Start or renew your membership today!

You can help preserve Calgary's heritage simply by becoming a member for only $10/year! You will be supporting CHI's advocacy and awareness activities and events. Your membership entitles you to a vote at CHI's AGM

For the ambitious, there are a number of ways to engage or volunteer and there are no prerequisites for membership. 

Visit CHI's membership page to start or renew!


About the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society

CHI is a city-wide, member-based heritage advocacy group, founded in 2005. CHI advocates to preserve and promote the productive use of buildings and areas of historic significance. 
We are volunteers who love heritage and want to share that with fellow Calgarians and future generations.

Further information about CHI and our activities is available on our website at It has many great features like Fact Sheets about our most watched buildings at risk of demolition, heritage issues, resources and upcoming events. Don’t forget to join us on social media for all of our latest updates and timely conversations.
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