The International Avenue BRZ believes in making Calgary a more pedestrian-friendly city. A storefront is more than just a door, window, and sign: it's the face of that business to the public. Having a beautiful storefront and window display encourages people to walk the Avenue, and it also encourages them to walk into your store.
We have created this guide to spread awareness about good storefront design. Take these tips and apply them with your own authentic personality as a business.
Also - know the rules, avoid consequences! Scroll to the bottom for a summary of some key policies made and enforced by the City of Calgary.
The window is a particularly important (and easy to improve) part of your business's storefront. Seeing a storefront from 20 feet away is like your formal introduction. Coming up and looking through the window is more personal, sincere, and candid. Also, when you are inside a store, the window is how you stay connected to the world outside and feel like you are still a part of the community.
City Policies and Rules
The 2018 Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) for International Avenue has various policies pertaining to storefront, signage, and window design. Please follow them, they may be enforced by the City.
Click here for the full ARP, or look below for some highlights.
Informal summary only - See ARP for official wording
(From Sections 4.1-4.2)
- All commercial signage should be appropriate for pedestrian legibility
- Signage should maintain interest within a small-town feel
- Signage should be integrated within building design
- Third party advertising signs and billboards are not allowed
- All commercial signage facing residential uses are discouraged.
- Windows must be free of clutter to maintain clear glazing
- The use of film or any visually blocking material on doors and display windows at street level to cover more than 20% of the coverage area is prohibited.
Storefront and Fence Policies
- Clear glass for a minimum of 75% of entire building facade
- Fencing along 17 Ave SE is generally discouraged
- Buildings wider than 30m are encouraged to have multiple entrances
If you have a business or you plan on starting a business on International Avenue, contact us with your questions. We would be happy to help give advice or other resources.