Calgary’s bar scene leaving Beltline shaken, stirred

- November 12th, 2012

I have a bit of sympathy for residents who live near 17 Ave. S.W.

For the most part, people are accepting of the trade-off that comes with living in the core: you’re in the middle of town, but that means it’s going to be noisy, especially on the weekend.

But I get why people would want drunks doing a number 1 or, worse, a number 2 near their front door.

At some point in time, Connaught and Victoria Park were probably a little more quiet, but anyone who moved here in the last eight years would kidding themselves to think it was solely a residential area with some restaurants and retail.

I’ve often been baffled that the bar scene in Calgary, and Edmonton, for that matter, didn’t crop up downtown. In Calgary’s case, the Beltline is at least adjacent to the core than in the capital, but I digress.

As drunks are wandering near where people live on a weekly basis, there are complaints, and now a move afoot to clamp down on the problem.

What reports like this fail to recognize, and what Mar, as someone who raises the spectre of Electric Avenue need to realize, is that attempts to engineer results in an area like this may cap the problem, but it won’t reduce the problem.

It will also push the problem to other areas.

A concerted “social engineering” push may have quieted Electric Avenue, but 17 Ave. eventually cropped up.

A reduction in concentration of bars, or winning a war of attrition, may reduce problems for some residents in Mar’s ward, but it will spread drunks elsewhere, make it harder to plan transportation strategies for dealing with bar crowds, and, honestly, will help kill Calgary’s growing image as a place with something going on.

A vibrant nightlife is part of building an image as a city that isn’t just a stopping point on the way to Banff.

And, if social engineering ever actually worked, wouldn’t the success in dealing with Electric Avenue have prevented 17 Ave.’s problems from ever happening?

Categories: Politics

Subscribe to the post

2 comments

  1. Linda Corbett says:

    i already contacted John Mar about his Social Engineering. We have the same problem in Cresent Heights. Ultimately the City needs to look at its own policy and practices. If someone is not following the rules or has misrepresented themselves do not give them a license or pull a license. They need to quit giving licenses to people who step up and put the money down. It should be a priveledge to operate in Calgary.

  2. Dave French says:

    1. I have also contacted John Mar about the noise problems and he said he’d look into it. Well that was in the summer of 2012.
    2. Alderman John Mar should remember that it is the Beltline/Connaught residents that vote the Calgary Centre candidates in or out and NOT the bar/pub establishments. These owners do not live in the Beltline/Connaught area, so Mar better start listening to the residents and not favour these establishments. Residents pay more in taxes than all these bars/pubs combined.

Leave a comment

 characters available