Background & Studies
Looking at the “trees” on site
Silvera recognizes the value and beauty in the trees currently on the site. Unfortunately given the nature of the development with new roads, grading, and below grade parking, it is unlikely that many trees in the interior of the site would be able to remain. In late 2012 Silvera commissioned a group of certified arbourists to undertake a detailed inventory and analysis of the trees around the perimeter of the site. The assessment included potential hazards, general condition, and life cycle of each tree. Overall, there are many good trees.
The Outline Plan and Land Use process does not provide specific development detail for the parcel so decisions regarding the feasibility of keeping trees may have to be deferred to the Development Permit process. However, we hope this document will assist in that process.
In October of 1954, Harry and Laura Jacques sold 16 acres of their land adjacent to the Shaganappi golf course to the City of Calgary for $22,500. They did this with the proviso that they could continue to live in a section of the land, in their own home, for as long as they both lived.
Harry Jacques was from a pioneering family in Calgary. Harry Jacques’ father was the first jeweller in Calgary, and Harry carried on his father’s tradition. His mother was Mary Christo, who was the first Anglo-Saxon woman to take up residence in Calgary, in 1881.
Laura’s parents were John and Mary Bone. Harry and Laura Jacques decided to transfer the land in part to honour their parents, and wanted a monument to them to be part of the land.
The Jacques wanted the land to be used as “a trust dedicated to the public use of the citizens of Calgary.” When the Province of Alberta enacted the Homes for the Aged Act in 1959, the decision was made to build affordable seniors’ housing on the site.
The Jacques Lodges, as they were known, were opened on June 26, 1963. The three lodges housed 150 seniors who required food and other support services. Another 150 seniors were housed more independently in three-room suites organized as four-plex cottages. Silvera initially received 800 applications from Calgary seniors to occupy these 300 places.
By the year 2000, the lodges were at the end of their natural lifespans. They were decommissioned and residents were offered spaces at the newly-opened Aspen Community in Bridgeland. In 2002, the lodges were demolished.
In 2010, the remaining Jacques four-plex cottages were decommissioned as Silvera’s newly-built Willow Park on the Bow became available.
When the West LRT expansion began to take shape, four of the Jacques’ cottages were demolished to make way for construction. The City also appropriated 1.7 acres of the Jacques Site in 2009 for this purpose.
Silvera for Seniors is now leading an exciting and innovative redevelopment of this site. When complete, it will provide lower-income Calgary seniors with a vibrant and integrated living experience.
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