Tucked away above the Bow River in southeast Calgary, Millican-Ogden is one of Calgary's oldest communities. It was originally built to house Canadian Pacific Rail workers. Over time, Millican-Ogden developed into the established residential community that it is today, with a rich variety of housing types, commercial developments, and park spaces. For many, Millican-Ogden is a "hidden gem" within the city, and interestingly, in some ways that's how residents want to keep it.
To get ahead of development pressures and to plan for change, my team and I are leading the development of the new Millican-Ogden Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP). It is a document that will outline a vision for the future of the community and include policies to guide redevelopment to achieve this vision.
Last year, community members got together for a series of workshops. They mapped out ideas and a vision of the future of the area. My job is to continue that work with community members, City departments, landowners and others to develop a plan to implement these ideas and to identify local improvements that can be made to the area to benefit existing and future residents. The new ARP we are developing will include up to date policies to facilitate transit-oriented development that is sensitive to the local neighborhood.
What has struck me most while talking to Millican-Ogden residents is the commitment and passion they have for their community. Many of them have lived in the community for decades and it is common for children who grew up in the neighborhood to move back to Millican-Ogden to start their own families. The community offers so many unique resources and supports for its residents and is inclusive and welcoming of people of all ages and incomes.
Like many communities of its age, Millican-Ogden could benefit from new investment and residents are excited about the Green Line and the opportunities it will bring with it. When a “hidden gem” such as this is discovered by so many people, it can be both good and bad for the community. They will recognize its many positive attributes and want to become part of it too. My job is to make sure that redevelopment in the Millican-Ogden enhances and contributes to the community's unique character and facilitates positive change in the lives of residents who have called Millican-Ogden home for generations.
The post is written by Jill Sonego, Lead Planner for Millican-Ogden station area planning. To learn more about the ARP, the public is invited to attend an open house on June 22 from 5-8 p.m. at Banting and Best School (1819 66 Avenue S.E.), or visit Calgary.ca/ogdenstn.