The News Hour is on the road Thursday, Feb. 25 in one of Calgary’s oldest and most historic neighbourhoods–the East Village. We’ll look at the community’s often notorious past, its booming future and how it will soon be home to some of our city’s most spectacular buildings.
You’ll find the East Village on the eastern edge of downtown, bordered by 3 Street S.E. and the municipal building to the west, the Bow River to the north, Fort Calgary and the Elbow River to the east, and 9 Avenue to the south.
In the early 1900s, Calgary was booming and the East Village was a bustling community – a mix of homes, businesses and industry. But over the years the neighbourhood deteriorated as families moved to the expanding suburbs and large companies took over family-run businesses. By 1941, the decay had become so striking that the city’s medical officer of health declared East Village “skid row.”
“This was an area that people could squat; people could live here; people could go through on their way to somewhere else,” according to historian David Finch.
With the push for urban renewal in the 1960s, large parts of the East Village were bulldozed, but nothing took their place except for a few apartment towers. Then came another blow in 1985, when the new city hall was built.
“All of a sudden this big bank of windows separated downtown, Stephen Avenue Mall, 8 Avenue mall from this part of the city,” Finch said. “And for a while it really did look as though the city had turned its back on this part of the city.”
The East Village had became notorious for drugs and prostitution when in 2008, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (run by the city) launched an ambitious plan for redevelopment.
WATCH: Despite the economic downturn East Village continues to be a community on the rise. The transformation has just begun but already there has been $2.7 billion worth of private investment. The National Music Centre grand opening will herald in a big year for the village. Doug Vaessen takes a look.
That urban renewal is well underway today with construction of spectacular condo towers, a new central library and the National Music Centre. We’ll look at the transformation of the East Village from a crime-ridden neighbourhood to what is shaping up to be one of Calgary’s trendiest neighbourhoods.
The News Hour at 6 will be live on location at the Simmons Building, a former mattress factory that has played a key role in the East Village makeover. Home to Phil and Sebastian, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and Charbar, some consider it the new heart of the community.
Read below for Charbar’s “Ceviche Mixto” and “Yuzu Vinaigrette” recipes, as shown to Gord Gillies on Thursday’s show:
Charbar Ceviche Mixto
1.5 oz tuna, cubed
0.5 oz mussels, lightly poached and chilled
0.5oz prawns, lightly poached and chilled
0.5 oz squid, lightly poached and chilled
1 tbsp red onion, sliced thin
1 tsp pickled aji pepper, diced
1 tbsp cilantro, leaves
2 tbsp cancha corn, dried
1/4C yuzu vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 tsp cascabel chilis, dried
Add tuna and seafood medley in a medium-sized bowl. Add onion, pickled peppers, cilantro, cancha and dried chilis. Pour vinaigrette over the mixture and lightly toss the ingredients until the tuna surface starts to turn opaque. Serve with lightly-grilled bread, or on its own with a nice glass of crisp white wine. The leftover vinaigrette, or “tiger’s milk” dressing is great for dipping bread into, or drinking right out of the bowl.
Charbar Yuzu Vinaigrette
2 tbsp yuzu juice
½ tbsp Kanzuri chili paste
2 tbsp charred lemon juice
1/2C olive oil
Get a grill pan nice and hot, place lemon cut side down on grill and grill until blackened. Set aside to cool. Mix yuzu juice, Kanzuri, and olive oil in a blender. Squeeze the cooled charred lemon juice into a small bowl, and remove all the seeds. Pour lemon juice into blender and blend mixture until emulsified. Season with salt to your liking. Will last up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
WATCH: Life almost a century-and-a-half ago might seem hard to imagine for a lot of Calgary kids. As Gil Tucker shows us, stepping back in time can be a pretty fun journey when you can get your hands on some pieces of our prairie past.
Watch below: Past editions of Global’s #OurYYC On the Road
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