Calgary 2026 Bid Corporation CEO Mary Moran delivers technical elements of its plan for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to Calgary City Council, in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Calgary Olympic Bid Corp. sees long-term housing benefits to hosting 2026 Games

The plan envisions spending $600 million on about 2,800 units that would temporarily house athletes and officials during the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A draft plan for a potential Calgary 2026 Olympic bid says the event could create more affordable housing in a region that badly needs it and provide a welcome jolt to the provincial economy.

“Calgary has one of the lowest stocks of affordable and social housing in the country relative to the size of the city,” the Calgary 2026 bid corporation said in a report presented to city council on Tuesday, noting a shortfall of 15,000 affordable housing units.

The plan envisions spending $600 million on about 2,800 units that would temporarily house athletes and officials during the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games and then be turned over to long-term housing. About 20 per cent would be at market rates, with the rest set aside for affordable housing and other non-market uses.

There is a plan for three to four new affordable housing projects that would yield at least 600 units, as well as a new 200-unit senior’s complex. It also said there could be new housing for urban Indigenous people and students.

An athletes’ village planned near the Stampede Grounds would accommodate 3,100 people during the Games. After, that would be converted into 70 affordable, 140 attainable or near-market and 500 market units.

The hosting plan also sees Canmore — a town about an hour west of Calgary that would host biathlon and cross-country ski events — building a 1,200-bed athletes’ village that would be repurposed to more than 240 affordable housing units.

“The greatest challenge facing the Canmore municipality is community affordability and specifically access to affordable housing,” the report said.

Related: Calgarians anticipate details on a possible 2026 Winter Games bid

Related: Calgary 2026 bid details to be rolled out as city gears up for plebiscite

Construction on the new housing would take place in 2024 and 2025.

The plan does not mention any new spending on public transportation in the city or mountain venues. It assumes a previously planned new rail transit link between downtown and southeast Calgary will be complete by 2026.

The bid corporation pegs the total cost of hosting the Games at $5.23 billion, of which about $3 billion would be shouldered by taxpayers at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

But Calgary 2026 CEO Mary Moran, who is on leave from her role as head of Calgary Economic Development, said it’s important to look at the bang for the buck.

“I’ve been involved with economic development for nine years and I can tell you that there aren’t a lot of files that are coming down the pipeline that will create the number of jobs and that will have the same kind of GDP impact.”

She said it’s estimated there will be $2.2 billion in private investment and up to $1.5 billion in federal cash that would never flow without the Olympics, as well as a $2 billion lift to Alberta’s gross domestic product as a direct result of the games and $200 million in tax revenues.

Moran figures a bid could create roughly 2,200 jobs.

“They’re not full time. They could last for seven years. They could last for five years,” she said.

There’s also the benefit of new and refurbished sports venues that would be used in the future. Eight existing venues — several from the 1988 Olympics and the ski jump in Whistler, B.C., built for the Games — are part of the plan. It calls for two new builds: a new fieldhouse and a mid-sized arena.

Moran cited less tangible benefits like the boost to Calgary’s profile on the world stage.

“If you look in the case of Vancouver, they had about $1 billion worth of advertising value during the Games, which would be hard for the civic partners in this community to achieve without a big international, well-televised global event like this.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake council approves concept design for Pogadl Park

The next step is a project plan for “Phase One” construction

Hard fought win for HJ Cody senior boys Lakers

Lakers took on Camrose Jan. 10 at home and waked away with a 76-65 win

Hope restored: Sylvan Lake resident receives kidney donation from younger sister

Sylvan Lake’s Lexie Libby undergo an operation for a new kidney, donated by her sister Emma.

Anglers reminded to register ice huts on Sylvan Lake

Lacombe County is reminding anglers to register their huts with the “Take it Off” program

WATCH: Pro-pipeline convoy travels through Sylvan Lake

Over 600 vehicles drove the route from Red Deer and back on Jan. 12

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Less beef, more beans: World needs a new diet

Experts say the world should cut down on red meat

John Savage pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentenced to 7 years for Stettler murder

Most Read