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How would you improve the Calgary Tower?

  • I wouldn't, it's fine the way it is.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'd blow the dang thing up and build something taller.

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • I'd blow the dang thing up and forget it was ever there.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'd rebuild the podium.

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • I'd add companion buildings (Palliser Square or other)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'd paint the neck.

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • I'd lop the pod off and put something more modern on top.

    Votes: 3 25.0%
  • Other (please describe)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Senior Member
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Mar 18, 2016
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Construction was begun on the Husky Tower in 1967 in celebration of Canada's Centennial. The project was completed in 1968. And it was given it's more familiar name, the Calgary Tower, in 1971. Given the tower's connection to the Centennial, Canada's approaching 150th seems like a good time to reflect on the tower and it's place in our city. For some it remains a definative emblem of the city. For others, it's a dated eyesore whose out of scale height has become civic punchline. I am sure that most opinions are more nuanced. I'd like to hear what you guys think.

For my part I like the tower, but I think it has stagnated in it's present form. It still provides some accessible views of the mountains and foothills and is still part of the great skyline view from the south east. The torch installed for the 88' Games remains a pleasure to see on the rare occations that it is ignighted. Over time though, many of the views from it and of it have become obscured by Calgary's rising skyline. I think that in order to remain relevant some new ideas are needed.

The tower's LED night lights, which have been present since 2014, have been a great addition. They're only one step in the right direction. The lights do nothing to take the edge off of the tower's stark concrete podium during the day.

The long stalled Palliser Square project to frame the Calgary Tower with two shorter office towers is one proposal to better encorporate the tower into the skyline. I've never been as offended by the proposal as some, but I'm not quite a proponent either. The biggest virtue of the current proposal would be cleaning up the street scape below the tower. The 70s era buildings underneath have not really aged well. The over all design of the Palliser Square Towers is too staid in my opinion and that in another 50 years, we'll not look on them fondly either. So the concept is fine, but the execution needs improvment IMO. I'd rather see something bolder and more colourful. Something modernist with flashes of the city's trademark bright red.

If no companion buildings were to be built, I'd at least like to still see the podium area rebuilt. There's a great opportunity coming up with the Greenline C-Train. Some of the alignment proposals would have a new station below the tower on 10th Ave. A combined new station/podium rebuild could make for an open design which would help pedestrians pass between downtown and beltline, while also providing a signature C-train station and great starting point for tourists visiting the city. I know the city's relationship with Santiago Calatrava is mixed to say the least, but something along the lines of the Allen Lambert Gallaria in Toronto would be really grabbing. They're already accomplishing something like this with the new library. Once complete and city hall is rennovated, they're serve as the gateway to the east village. The tower could easily do the same for the Beltline.

At the very least, I think they aught to paint the dang thing. I think I've mentionned before that I'd love to see a giant mural on the side, but even going all red or all white would be a big improvment and in keeping with the tower's centennial connection.


Staff member
Member Bio
Sep 24, 2015
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I would re-do the top pod. The tower is in a classic shape that will never go out of style, only the pod, and I don't think you'd have to gut and start over....just take the facade off and some more steel skeleton and cover again. Put a more modern needle on top and voila!