Home > Cover, The Bowest'ner > This land is our land

This land is our land

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.
—Joan Didion

WE’RE A LITTLE TERRITORIAL here in Bowness. Neatly bordered on all sides by river, foothills, train tracks and the Trans-Canada, our so called “village in the valley” is one of the most geographically distinct communities in Calgary. And all that real estate is an emotional issue for many.

Imagine how Johnny Hextall, Bowness’s first big-time developer, felt when his original vision—vast lots of riverside acreage retreats—was subdivided and sold off beyond all recognition. Ever since, we’ve become the city’s most economically diverse neighbourhood, with multimillion-dollar mansions off the Bow just spitting distance from the “Triangle’s” tenement housing.

So it’s no surprise, then, that not all the neighbours agree on what’s good for the ’hood. Is the rash of new infill construction a positive sign of upscale higher-density dwelling, or just a rash? Should we protect the escarpment as an ecologically sensitive pocket, or rezone it for largely absent industry and retail space? And don’t you think Bowness Park is looking a little tired these days, overworked and loved to death on weekends?

Whether you want to dig a moat and shut the drawbridge to preserve that “small-town feel” or you’re begging the next mayor to fast track us our own leg of the LRT, beginning on page 11 The Bowest’ner anticipates a little of what’s down the line for new building and land development in Bowness.

—Scott Penny

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