Calgary targets 5 Ramsay properties for expropriation to make room for Green Line LRT

The City of Calgary says it's still negotiating with property owners in Ramsay, but it has signalled it will expropriate if necessary as it prepares for the Green Line LRT project.

Land acquisition for new C-Train well underway, but expropriating deemed 'last resort'

The City of Calgary has signalled its notice of intent to expropriate five properties in the Ramsay area to make room for the Green Line LRT. (Google Maps)

The City of Calgary is starting the process to expropriate five properties in the southeast community of Ramsay as it continues preparations for the Green Line.

Construction on the $4.65 billion LRT line is not set to start until 2020.

Gathering the land needed for the project has been underway for the past couple of years. More land will be needed by the city before construction starts as preparation work is required.

A rendering of what the underground station at Centre Street and Ninth Avenue North would look like if Calgary goes with a tunnel for the route of the new Green Line of the LRT system. (City of Calgary/Screenshot)

The properties in Ramsay that the city has signalled its notice of intent to expropriate are: 

  • 1002 Eighth Street S.E.
  • 1027 26th Avenue S.E.
  • 1009 26th Avenue S.E.
  • Portions of 1020 Ninth Street S.E.
  • Portions of 1024 Ninth Street S.E.

Sarah Quayle, the manager of real estate for the Green Line project, says giving notice of intent to expropriate does not necessarily mean it will come to that.

"It is our intention to always negotiate with property owners and expropriation is last resort," she said.

"The reason we are moving forward at this time is to ensure that we have land available to meet the construction timelines for the enabling works projects supporting the Green Line."

Sarah Quayle, manager of real estate for the Green Line project, says giving notice of intent to expropriate does not necessarily mean it will come to that. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

Expropriation does not happen overnight

She said the expropriation process can take up to a year to complete, so the city gives plenty of advance notice.

As well, the city only moves to acquire or expropriate the land it actually needs.

"If we don't need the entire property, we just identify the areas that are required for construction and leave the remaining parcel with the owner so they still have enjoyment of the property," said Quayle. 

Sometimes the city's moves to buy the land it needs are well known. 

A map of the Green Line LRT shows how the proposed line will travel through the core before veering southeast through Mills Estate and Ramsay. (City of Calgary)

For example, it bought the Shamrock Hotel. The Ramsay landmark was demolished late last year, part of making way for the Green Line.

Quayle said there are 74 properties that the city still needs to acquire along the first stage of the Green Line route, although more may be identified as the design process of the rapid transit corridor continues.

The 20 kilometre-long LRT line will run from Centre Street and 16th Avenue N. to Shepard station in the city's southeast.

Opening day is currently scheduled for 2026.