Inglewood: The Calgary community comes of age

The Homestretch continues its series on Calgary's main streets and talks to residents about the importance of keeping gentrification out of the city's oldest community.

CBC Radio's The Homestretch explores why Calgarians are drawn to this city street

The main street of Inglewood — Calgary's oldest neighbourhood. (davebloggs007/flickr)

So you've got a bit of money in your pocket, a spring in your step, it's warm out and you want to be where the action is.

Time to hit one of Calgary's main streets. 

In Calgary's oldest community, residents are working hard to maintain the character and charm of their main street. 

The Ninth Avenue bridge connecting Inglewood to downtown Calgary is more than 100 years old. (Stephanie Wiebe/CBC)

They've even come up with the acronym for how they want it to look going forward: KISS — "keep it slightly sleazy."

According to a 2014-2015 city survey of Ninth Avenue S.E., KISS is not a call for littered sidewalks, sex shops and seedy bars. It's more like a protest against the gentrification of Inglewood. 

"It's true. None of us want to see this place become completely homogeneous, you know, with all the same people," said longtime resident Liz Tompkins.

The City of Calgary figures there are about 24 main streets in Calgary — each one a unique jumble of shops, sidewalks, restaurants, coffee shops and homes that come together to create a bit of urban magic.

As part of our Calgary at a Crossroads projects, the Homestretch's Jenny Howe has been pulled on her boots and is walking our main streets.

Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads.


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