Calgary community group wants to rename stretch of Bowness Road

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Renaming Bowness road in Montgomery
WATCH ABOVE: The Montgomery Community Association wants a section of Bowness Road renamed to better identify their community. Doug Vaessen reports – Jul 16, 2019

It’s a Calgary road with many names already: Memorial Drive, Parkdale Boulevard, 3 Avenue N.W. and Bowness Road.

Now, some residents of the northwest community of Montgomery want to rename the stretch of Bowness Road to reflect the community it winds through.

Janice Mackett, the chair of Montgomery’s planning committee, said it’s time for the community to set itself apart from surrounding neighbourhoods.

“It’s a way to have other people see where we are and realize where Montgomery is,” Mackett said. “We’ve seen a lot of people not realize that they’re going through Montgomery when they drive through on their way to Bowness.”

Mackett said if the name change is approved, Bowness Road from Shaganappi Trail to the Shouldice Bridge would be renamed.

“I think it’s part of the placemaking. It’s part of making a community gel [and] remain cohesive,” she said.
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Both Bowness Road and 16 Avenue N.W. have been named to Calgary’s Main Streets Project, an initiative aimed at improving business districts to encourage business growth and walkability.

Mackett said upgrading sidewalks and street furniture like benches and lighting is all part of the facelift that Montgomery needs.

“You want to be distinct, you want your main street to be a destination,” Mackett said. “Businesses here want people to come down and it’s all part of upgrading this area.”

One business owner said he had a change of heart, first disagreeing with the proposed name change before accepting it.

David Brooke, the owner of Fast Signs, said he likes the history behind Bowness Road but that rebranding the area in order to stand out makes sense.

“I’m trying to think on the positive side,” Brooke said. “I think a lot of the business owners in the area are for it, so I think it’s going to go through.”

Brooke said there is going to be a cost associated with the proposed change, citing the need to change official documents as well as the cost of branding and advertising.

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But as a signmaker, Brooke said the change would give him a chance at some extra business.

“As a rebranding specialist, I can also see a lot of upside with all the businesses around Bowness Road,” he said.

The Montgomery Community Association said it still needs to consult with more businesses before officially asking for the name change.

Mackett added that she’s hopeful the cost of changing street signs will come from the Main Streets budget.

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