Kensington Business Improvement Area (BIA)

Kensington is an inner-city shopping district located in Calgary, Alberta. Our centrally located streets are ultra pedestrian-friendly. Walk across the Louise Bridge from downtown, ride along the bike path, or use our Sunnyside LRT station and several bus stops to access our 270+ businesses.

The Kensington Business Improvement Area (BIA) is responsible for the beautification, event planning and marketing of the shopping district and is financed through a portion of business taxes from our member businesses. The BIA role, as defined by the City of Calgary, is to:

  • Enhance the economic development of an area through promotion and marketing.
  • Improve the physical environment of public spaces in commercial areas.
  • Develop, improve and maintain public parking.
  • Work collaboratively with The City in delivery of municipal services in their zones.
  • Advocate for policies and practices that support economic vitality in their zones.

Learn more about BIAs through the Business Improvement Toolkit
developed by the City of Calgary with extensive support by the Kensington BIA.

 

What are we currently working on for Kensington?

We’re glad you asked!

Our current Strategic Plan focuses on:

  • Branding and marketing initiatives
  • Events planning
  • Membership engagement
  • Development of new revenue streams
  • City Liaison and City stakeholder participation on several committees
  • Website expansion and new technology implementation
  • Society set-up
  • Municipal Government Act (MGA) stakeholder
  • Landlord Engagement and Retail Curation 
  • Public Realm (streetscape)
    • Grant applications
    • Art installations
    • 3rd Avenue streetscape funding search
    • Plaza public realm funding search
    • Parking changes and initiatives
    • Bike corrals negotiation with City
    • Way-finding signage opportunities and development

Learn more about our work for Kensington in our AGM Report

    271
    Member Businesses

    • 75 retail shops
    • 1 specialty grocery store
    • 38 eateries/pubs
    • 12 fast food shops
    • 30 health and wellness businesses
    • 10 coffee/tea shops
    • 21 salons/spas
    • 62 professional services
    • 1 travel agency
    • 9 jewelry stores
    • 23 specialty-services stores

    Membership Growth

    Our membership continues to grow with the addition of new office and retail space with many new mixed-use buildings:

    2018 – 271 members
    2017 – 264 members
    2016 – 175 members

    10,788
    Surrounding population
    Based on the City of Calgary 2019
    census for Sunnyside & Hillhurst
     

    Population Growth

    Kensington has seen significant in-district population growth with several new mixed-use developments providing hundreds of new units for residents on 10th Street NW.

    Awards & Achievements

    2014 IDA Downtown Merit Award   

    Financing for the rejuvenation of sidewalks, furniture, trees and lighting in Kensington was secured by an award-winning proposal to the City of Calgary that secured $4.5 million in financing at no cost to our members.  Further efforts by our Executive Director added an additional $1.5M provided by the City in the form of $500,000+ in trees provided and $1M in new traffic signals implemented. Learn more about this award…

    Streetscape Replacement Planning & Oversight

    Kensington participated extensively in negotiating always-open access requirements for our businesses, participated in all planning and streetscape design, and provided substantial over-sight throughout the construciton phase. This massive project included the replacement of most of the public realm including sidewalks, streetlights, signage, benches, bike racks and new trees.  Learn about this project here…

    Surplus Parking Revenue – New Revenue Stream for Calgary BIAs

    This annual revenue stream is derived from a percentage of surplus parking generated in Kensington the previous year. Calgary Parking Authority, City Council approved this policy in the spring of 2017. Funds are held by the City to only be spent on public realm projects and cannot be spent on operations or events.

     

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