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Political Science City Planning & Urban Development

Development Derailed

Calgary and the CPR , 1962–64

by (author) Max Foran

Athabasca University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2013
City Planning & Urban Development, Corporate & Business History, Post-Confederation (1867-), History
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2013
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In June of 1962, the Canadian Pacific Railway announced a proposal to redevelop part of its reserved land in the heart of downtown Calgary. In an effort to bolster its waning revenues and to redefine its urban presence, the CPR proposed a multimillion dollar development project that included retail, office, and convention facilities, along with a major transportation centre. With visions of enhanced tax revenues, increased land values, and new investment opportunities, Calgary’s political and business leaders greeted the proposal with excitement. Over the following year, the scope of the project expanded, growing to a scale never before seen in Canada. The plan took official form through an agreement between the City of Calgary and the railway company to develop a much larger area of land and to reroute or remove the railway tracks from the downtown area—a grand design for reshaping Calgary’s urban core. In 1964, amid bickering and a failed negotiating process, the project came to an abrupt end. What caused this promising partnership between the nation’s leading corporation and the burgeoning city of Calgary to collapse?

What, in economic terms, was perceived to be a win-win situation for both parties fell prey to a conflict between corporate rigidity and an unorganized, ill-informed, and over-enthusiastic civic administration and city council. Drawing on the private records of Rod Sykes, the CPR’s onsite negotiator and later Calgary’s mayor, Foran unravels the fascinating story of how politics ultimately undermined promise.

About the author

Max Foran is the author of a dozen books, including The Chalk and the Easel: Stanford Perrott, Teacher?Painter; Trails and Trials: Markets and Land Use in the Canadian Cattle Industry; Roland Gissing: the People's Painter; and Calgary: Canada's Frontier Metropolis. He is a professor in the University of Calgary's faculty of Communications and Culture.

Max Foran's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The intricacies of political and business development have long been a staple of narrative. Even in this large literature, however, Max Foran’s book is probably unique: a story of essentially three years of ultimately failed negotiations between one city government and one (albeit large) company. It is a well-written, engaging story. Foran martials a great deal of information about personalities, city governance in Calgary in the early 1960s, and changes in the business of railways in the third quarter of the 20th century."

Other titles by Max Foran

The Subjugation of Canadian Wildlife

Failures of Principle and Policy

by (author) Max Foran

Finding Directions West

Readings that Locate and Dislocate Western Canada’s Past

edited by George Colpitts & Heather Devine
contributions by Kimberly Mair, Cheryl Avery, Shelley Sweeney, Will Pratt, Mallory Allyson Richard, Sarah Carter, Sterling Evans, Max Foran, PearlAnn Reichwein, Karen Wall, Peter Boag & Katrina Jagodinsky

Expansive Discourses

Urban Sprawl in Calgary, 1945–1978

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Icon, Brand, Myth

The Calgary Stampede

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Madonna List, The

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The Madonna List

by (author) Max Foran

Challenging Frontiers

The Canadian West

edited by Lorry Felske & Beverly J. Rasporich
contributions by van Herk Aritha, R. Douglas Francis, Ann Davis, Sarah Carter, Janice Dickin, Lorry W. Felske, Emma Larocque, Robert Seiler, Tamara Seiler, Brian Rusted, Geoffrey Simmins, Michael McMordie, Madeline A. Kalbach, Lloyd Sciban, David Taras, Max Foran, Marcia Jenneth Epstein & Beverly Raporich

Harm's Way

Disasters in Western Canada

edited by Anthony Rasporich
contributions by Max Foran, Hugh A. Dempsey, Janice Dickin, Lorry W. Felske, Joe Cherwinski, Patrick H. Brennan, David Breen, Clint Evans, David C. Jones & J.M. Bumsted

Cowboys, Ranchers and the Cattle Business

Cross-Border Perspectives on Ranching History

edited by Simon M. Evans
contributions by Sarah Carter, Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov, Brain W. Dippie, Bill Yeo, Alan B. McCullough, Joy Oetelaar, Warren M. Elofson, Henry C. Klassen, Max Foran, Lorain Lounsberry & Richard W. Slatta

Roland Gissing

The Peoples' Painter

by (author) Max Foran & Nonie Houlton