The void in Calgary: How office towers emptied in a once bustling downtown
THE GLOBE AND MAIL, Source: Google Earth Studio
The void in Calgary
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Calgary had the highest rate of commercial vacancies in Canada as an economic downturn driven by the price of oil hollowed out the city’s downtown office towers. Calgary is now struggling to figure out what that means for the city — and how to fix it.
Thanks to the heft of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, Calgary has always had an outsized downtown core for a city of 1.3 million, with double the amount of office space per capita of Toronto’s city centre. The number of workers in those towers has become a barometer for the state of the economy. When the price of oil falls, companies lay off staff or go out …
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