Proposed apartment complex beside Hillhurst Baptist Church. PHOTO SUPPLIED BY: CITY OF CALGARY

The City of Calgary approved plans in November to build a six-story apartment complex next to the historic Hillhurst Baptist Church.

During a busy Calgary Planning Commission meeting on Nov. 19, Evan Goldstrom, a community planner for the city, revealed plans to renovate a small block in Hillhurst. Plans include the creation of an apartment complex that would remove two pre-existing buildings and be built over them to provide living arrangements for more than 160 Calgarians, with underground parking accommodations. 

Goldstrom also revealed development plans for the neighbouring historic church on 1110 Gladstone Rd. N.W. in hopes for it to be more aligned with the block’s new look.

“The church building is intended to be reenvisioned into a community space that is operated by a nonprofit with a plaza on its east side,” he says. 

The church, which has remained relatively unchanged since its creation in 1910, is one of Calgary’s last remaining wooden churches. The church was designated by developers as a “municipal historical resource.” Changes to the church are required by the apartment’s developmental permit as well as the legal agreement that grants the church historic designation. 

According to the University of Calgary archives, the church was founded as the Morleyville Road Baptist Church. Prior to its construction, members of the congregation would hold meetings in the members’ residences and Sunday school in rooms above stores. The name was changed in 1911 to the Hillhurst Baptist Church and was enlarged later on.

The same planning commission meeting also discussed the design for a new downtown arena, which has subsequently been cancelled.

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