K.I.S.S.

JB |

mC:t    2015.07.28

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There is just something special about Inglewood.

Walking down Inglewood’s 9th avenue (formerly Atlantic Avenue) shopping district, you are stuck by the loveliness of the dichotomy of Inglewood’s historic buildings and new construction, you can tell instantly that this community has character that has been developed over many years. The eclectic mix of shops line Calgary’s oldest main street, creating a walkable and unique place.

 

The historic community just east of the core has until recently been a hub of entrepreneurs, independent retailers, local businesses and culture. Inglewood has seen vast development and attention over the past few years, conceivably partly due to the growth of Calgary’s East Village and the effects of the 2012 flood, leaving some retail spaces vacant and susceptible for redevelopment. Even with these changes, Inglewood has maintained its local historic charm and vibrant community spirit that attracts Calgarians from all over the city.

 

The Business Revitalization Zone in Inglewood has continually focused on supporting merchants and has helped Calgary’s distinct and unique businesses succeed in the community. Lisa Davies, co-owner of the Uncommons and Fresh Laundry, as well as a member of the BRZ, reflected on the ways Inglewood has become a vibrant space. “The community is less sleepy, stores are now open on Monday and store hours are extending”. Davie’s mentions that special event nights such as the Inglewood Night market, Girls Night in Inglewood and the Upcoming Sunfest, have created an active atmosphere in the community.

 

When asked about all the new and interesting stores emerging in Inglewood in contrast to other shopping and cultural districts Davies says, “Inglewood has many boutique stores in a condensed space that helps creates a better shopping experience”. She compares Calgary’s popular 17th Ave, which “faces challenges of its sprawl and pockets of restaurants, turning the area into more of a food and entertainment district rather than a retail-centric area”. Community is important to Davies who says, “A majority of shop owners live in Inglewood, creating a community that can learn from each other and help each other grow.”

 

Architect, community activist and former Alderman, Jack Long, coined the term, “Keep Inglewood Slightly Seedy (KISS)”, in reaction to Calgary’s rapid development in the 1970’s causing its initial episode of gentrification. While maintaining and supporting established businesses in the area, new Inglewood businesses have successfully developed. We can understand the word “seedy” to define the fresh growth and development in Calgary’s oldest community.

 

Have you been to Inglewood lately? Here are some local businesses not to miss when in the shopping and cultural district of Inglewood:

 

 

Bamboo Ballroom

Originally from Edmonton, this store is celebrating its 10th birthday in business. To celebrate they decided to expand by opening a new store in Inglewood! The store’s mandate is to support local designers, as well as carry stylish apparel brands, like free people, mink pink, and BB Dakota.

 

bamboo 2overview of Bamboo Ballroom
bamboo 1copper pipe clothing rack

 

 

DaDe Art + Design Lab

Working as a Gallery, office, cafe and shop, this space showcases local and international designers. This is an active spot that can take up most of your day as you check out their new exhibit while admiring contemporary design.

 

Dade_Neatoutside view of DaDe
dade 2 for neat current exhibition “Architecture”

 

 

Fresh Laundry

Fresh clean and everything in between! These guys carry a curated selection of bath, skin, and household items that are unique to Calgary. Their products are sourced directly from the producer and follow an organic and natural mandate.

 

the-neat-blog-KISSoverview of Fresh Laundry
freshlmoss wall adds a splash of color

 

Check these stores out online:

Bamboo Ballroom
DaDe
Fresh Laundry

 

 

Don’t forget that Inglewood Sunfest takes place this Saturday, August 1 down on 9th avenue!

 

JB

 

Next: Coming soon…
Previous: Growing Pains

REFERENCES

[1] Photo taken by author
[2] Photo taken by author
[3] Photo taken by author
[4] Photo taken by author
[5] Photo taken by Kayla Browne
[6] Photo taken by Kayla Browne

 

makeCalgary:talk provokes conversation among Calgarians about the design of our city. Catch up with us on Twitter (@makecalgarytalk), Instagram (makecalgarytalk), or Facebook.

 

 

 

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