Residents and frequent visitors to Hillhurst-Sunnyside continue to grieve over the gradual loss of the community’s once traditional community feel.
Due to the City of Calgary’s policy of encouraging greater density in development, more condominiums are rising throughout the city with the objective of fitting more people into the same space.
According to the City of Calgary’s website, the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Area Redevelopment Plan was created to reach this objective while still maintaining the community’s atmosphere.
“The objective was to increase the number of residents and jobs in the area while ensuring that new development and re-development would integrate well with the existing community and maintain the ‘village-like’ character that is so endearing to residents and citizens alike,” the city website said.
Though the outcome was intended to keep Kensington residents’ best interests in mind, some people feel that the new condos will result in exactly the opposite happening.
“I don’t think its right,” said regular Kensington visitor Zac Marryatt. “It’s taking away from the whole feel of the area.”
The new buildings themselves and the look of the neighbourhood are not the only things that have Marryatt concerned. He’s also worried about the people that will be attracted to the community once the construction is complete.
“The whole area is going to be filled with suits because no one is going to be able to afford the condos except higher-paid people.”
Though Marryatt sees this as one of the bigger threats to the area’s character, resident Karen Lysak believes these types of neighbourhood newcomers are exactly what the community needs.
“It will hopefully bring more homeowners to the area,” said Lysak. “It just brings more stable people to the neighborhood.”
Others are concerned that, regardless of the type of people the condos may attract, the number of people moving into Hillhurst-Sunnyside is a separate issue itself.
“I think it’s a cool place to have condos, but it’s already freakishly over-populated,” said Kensington visitor Carly Winzinowich. “Too much traffic in that little area already.”
St. John’s Tenth Street Condo’s by Streetside (Qualico Group) and Pixel by Battistella are currently under construction.
Each building will be eighth storeys high, St. John’s Tenth Street with 95 units and Pixel with 101 units.
More condominiums are set to begin construction this spring, starting with VEN by Bucci Developments, a four-storey building with 115 units.