Minto Communities is reimagining 2501 Richmond Road SW, the former Viscount Bennett School site.

About the project

Minto Communities has submitted a Land Use Redesignation application to the City of Calgary to support the future redevelopment of 2501 Richmond.

Redeveloping this site presents an opportunity to deliver enhanced public amenities and housing options currently unavailable in the neighbourhood. Successful placemaking can help ensure economic prosperity, social well-being and a sense of community – all contributing to a vibrant urban environment.

2501 Richmond Location within Calgary

Vision

The vision for this site is to incorporate multi-unit residential buildings, with distinctive open green spaces that will connect to the existing community. The proposed plan is based on the belief that diverse and connected places contribute to resilient neighbourhoods. Site design thoughtfully ensures that buildings and spaces in between coalesce into a place of comfort, convenience, usability, and enjoyment. 

Redeveloping 2501 Richmond will contribute to the community and future generations through: 

  • Safe removal of the school and hazards at the site 
  • Open spaces for gathering, playing and relaxing 
  • Enhanced walking and cycling pathways 
  • Improvements to roads and intersections 
  • Thoughtful streetscape design 
  • Provide a variety of housing options for the community  

About the area

The Viscount Bennett site is located on the 2500 block of Richmond Rd SW, in the community of Richmond. The school was built in the 1950s. The site is amenity-rich and well-connected, 10 minutes to downtown Calgary and less than five minutes to the Marda Loop high street shopping district. The project area is steps from the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stop on Crowchild Trail and a primary bike pathway.

Adjacent Context:

Residential streets define the south and west edges with existing detached homes. Across from the existing building on the north end are a combination of single-level, small-format commercial and a mid-rise, mixed-use building. The east edge has a regional pathway immediately bordering Crowchild Trail. The draft Westbrook LAP calls for the west streetscape to redevelop as low-scale multi-residential buildings up to four storeys. A new five-storey building is already under construction immediately north of the site.

Process

We are committed to keeping you informed about the progress of our application as it moves through the City’s review process. Please note that the dates provided below are subject to change. The timeline identifies a typical process for a land use application of this scale.

Project updates

Minto Communities greatly appreciates the thoughtful and robust feedback we have received from both the community and the City throughout the process. We are pleased to share the “What We Heard” report, which summarizes the feedback we have gathered since November 2023 and previews how that feedback is changing the application.

The “What We Heard” report includes:

  • An overview of the recently resubmitted Transportation Impact Assessment.
  • Responses to the City’s comments on the November 2023 application.
  • An overview of the comments and questions received from the community since November 2023.
  • Insights into the direction we are taking with the next concept.

You can view the What We Heard report here.

A series of community conversations were held in-person and virtually between April 3 – 18, 2024. The 2501 Richmond project team provided the latest updates and heard your thoughts on the commercial amenities, benefits to the community, building scale and more.  

Participants were able to register for the small group sessions: 

  • April 3, 5-6pm: Virtual Session 
  • April 4, 12-1pm: Central Library, Room 3-20A (Idea Lab) (800 3 St SE) 
  • April 8, 5-6pm: Killarney-Glengarry Community Association (2828 28 St SW)
  • April 10, 12-1pm: Virtual session 
  • April 11, 5-6pm: Richmond Knob Hill Community Association (2433 26 Ave SW)
  • April 17, 4-5pm: Virtual Session 
  • April 18, 5-6pm: Veranda at the Stables (#200, 2566 Flanders Ave SW)

The survey is now closed. Thank you for participating.

The 2501 Richmond project team appreciates the thoughtful and robust feedback we have received from the community and the City on the preliminary concept. Now that we have received community comments and technical review from the City, the project team is completing further technical analysis, providing more opportunities for community input, and updating our application for resubmission later this Spring.  

The 2501 Richmond project team appreciates the thoughtful and robust feedback we have received from the community and the City on the preliminary concept. Click here to view the anticipated application timeline. The timeline identifies a typical process for a land use application of this scale. Our next steps include:

  • Sharing a summary of the feedback and responses to the frequently asked questions we received on the preliminary concept.
  • Future engagement with the community on key themes that emerged through our first round of outreach. We look forward to sharing more details shortly.
  • Now that we have received community comments and technical review from the City, the project team will undertake further analysis and update the application to reflect this feedback.

We encourage you to continue sharing your questions and comments with us at engage@minto.com and stay tuned to 2501Richmond.com for future updates.

The 2501 Richmond project team appreciates your time and feedback at the virtual and in-person information sessions. Share your thoughts on the project by Wednesday, January 31, 2024 through our online feedback form:

Click here to share your feedback

View the information session materials below:

Virtual Information SessionNovember 29, 2023

View the virtual presentation recording

View the virtual presentation slides

In-Person Information Session November 30, 2023

View the in-person session project boards

All feedback submitted to Minto will be summarized in a What We Heard report and considered by the project team as the plan is refined. We will continue to share what we hear and how stakeholder feedback influences the plan. Stay tuned to 2501Richmond.com for future updates.

Thank you for attending the information session. If you were unable to attend, please review the materials under project resources. We encourage you to complete our online feedback form and share your thoughts by Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Online Feedback Form

Minto Communities is pleased to provide this status update on the actions we have taken in our management of the 2501 Richmond site since we purchased the lands on May 24, 2023. We are pleased to share that the physical improvements and security program we have implemented have had a positive impact on the site, and we hope you have noticed the same. These changes include:

  • Signage on the building has been enhanced to identify security contact information as well as the personal health hazards that exist from use of the site.
  • The unsafe playground equipment has been successfully removed.
  • Over 90% of the windows and doors have been boarded up and barricaded with the involvement of our security contractor and support from the City of Calgary Police and Fire. This has proven to be effective at preventing individuals from accessing the building.
  • A full-time security presence includes added cameras, lighting and 24-hour security guards that monitor the site.
  • Several adjacent streetlight outages were repaired through escalations with the City of Calgary to improve nighttime visibility.
  • Landscaping has removed shrubs and pruned existing trees to eliminate hiding areas and improve security sight lines.
  • General maintenance of the site is ongoing, including mowing grass and actively removing debris from the site.

Minto and our security provider maintain ongoing contact with the City of Calgary’s Coordinated Safety Response Team (CSRT). Implementing their recommendations in late June effectively prevented unauthorized building access, resulting in a significant decrease in attempted site access.

If you see suspicious activity or non-emergency situations at the site, please call 1-855-543-8477. For any emergencies or crimes in progress, call 911.

Project resources

Minto Communities appreciates the feedback received from all stakeholders. We are pleased to share a summary of what we heard through engagement and how the feedback is shaping updates to our application.

The 2501 Richmond project team hosted a virtual information session over Zoom on November 29, 2023, and an in-person information session on November 30, 2023 at the Richmond Knob Hill Community Association. Details about the vision for the 2501 Richmond site and land use application were shared with the public.

View the in-person session project boards

View the virtual presentation recording

View the virtual presentation slides

The Land Use Redesignation supporting information document was submitted to the City of Calgary on November 15, 2023

View the Supporting Information Document

Minto and project team members met with the Richmond Knob Hill Community Association to provide an update on the land use redesignation application, details on the project vision, and information on next steps.

View the presentation

Get involved

Minto is committed to creating a thoughtful vision for the site, consulting with the community and sharing information about our plans as they develop. Please reach out to our project team with questions or comments. 

  • 403.351.0234

  • engage@minto.com

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Frequently Asked Questions

The subject site is +/- 11.49 acres located at 2501 Richmond Road SW, previously known as the Viscount Bennett School. It is in the community of Richmond. 

Minto Communities purchased the land from the Calgary Board of Education. Learn more about Minto by visiting our website at www.minto.com.

Minto will continue to update this website with the latest project information. Click here to fill out the form to register for email updates with the latest project updates.

The property is currently zoned RC-1, which is consistent with neighbouring adjacent parcels to the south and west.

Minto is proposing the Subject Lands be redesignated from R-C1 to M-H1 (High-Density Low-Rise District), M-H2 (High Density Medium Rise District) and DC (M-H3) – Direct Control (High-Density High-Rise District). A land use redesignation has been submitted to accommodate future development.

The vision for this site is to incorporate multi-unit residential buildings, with distinctive open green spaces that will connect to the existing community. 

Minto has submitted a land use redesignation application to the City to support future redevelopment. Further permitting applications will be required in the future. Relevant information on each of these applications will be made available on this site and to registered subscribers. 

There are many hazards on the property due to the degraded nature of the site following years of limited maintenance. Signage and fencing have been placed at the building to identify the personal health hazards that exist from the use of the site. 

The buildings, playground, and parking surfaces present a range of safety risks and environmental hazards. Proper decommissioning and dismantling of the building(s) and parking lots will take place under strict supervision and safety requirements at a future date.

The unsafe playground equipment has been successfully removed. 

A safety audit was performed at the site during the purchase process. Many years of zero maintenance have left the structure unsafe and beyond remediation, necessitating its removal. 

Minto is committed to creating great community spaces when redeveloping sites, including engagement features for all age groups. 

Yes. Physical monitoring and camera surveillance will be maintained at the site to support the safety of the surrounding neighbours. The full-time security presence includes added cameras, lighting and 24-hour security guards that monitor the site.  

To support redevelopment, Minto submitted a land use redesignation application to the City of Calgary on November 15, 2023. The development plans were shared with the community during the November 29 and 30, 2023 Information Sessions. View the session materials here. 

Future applications, including a Development Permit, are required to be submitted to the City before approval of the redevelopment. Forthcoming information on these applications will be available on this site and to registered subscribers.  

Interim site improvements were completed shortly after Minto took ownership of the property. These included new site signage,  removal of unsafe playground equipment, restoring power and lighting to the site, and securing the former school building.  Further site work is expected to begin in 2024. 

Please register here to receive project updates, such as notices about site changesproject timelines and engagement opportunities. 

While there is no public notification requirement for demolition permits, we plan to keep our subscriber list updated throughout the project. 

Minto submitted a land use redesignation application to the City of Calgary on November 15, 2023, and will share a summary of the feedback received during the November 29 and 30, 2023 information sessions.  

We will continue to share project updates throughout the Land Use Redesignation process that concludes with a Public Hearing of City Council prior to a Council decision.