At a glance

Quadrant: NW/SW
Population:
88,910 (2016)
Households: 33,570 (2016)
Total contacts to 211* for basic needs: 334 (2020)

Communities: Bowness, Crestmont, Greenwood/Greenbriar, Haskayne, Rocky Ridge, Royal Oak, Royal Vista, Scenic Acres, Silver Springs, Tuscany, Varsity, Valley Ridge

Through an online questionnaire, we heard from the community that Ward 1 is resilient. Many neighbours support one another and community members look for creative ways to make a living. We also heard that there are many active associations, faith groups, organizations, libraries, and schools that help community members access affordable and accessible services.

Community members identified the following key issues as concerns: affordable childcare, employment, financial well-being, food security, affordable housing, income support, mental health, transportation, and access to appropriate cultural supports.

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Low income demographics (LIM-AT*, 2015)

1,640

Ages 0-17

3,870

Ages 18-64

660

Ages 65+

Statistics by category

Statistics relating to this ward, compiled from several separate surveys.

Income inequality

2016 graph of income distribution by sex in Calgary's Ward 1

What we heard

This section contains a snapshot of information provided by residents from this ward through an online questionnaire and interviews. The experience of poverty is unique and personal, and these comments do not reflect the entire ward.

When asked what’s working well to address poverty in Ward 1, residents mentioned various community initiatives. This includes local food pantries and markets, free little libraries, community dinners and gardens. They also told us that organizations in the area help with job searching, adult literacy and accessing resources for basic needs.

When asked what poverty looks like in Ward 1, we heard there are many different experiences of poverty in the community: locals have observed a visible presence of homelessness; some households live on a fixed income that is insufficient to maintain a basic standard of living; some residents are working but have insufficient income or have been laid off; and some have experienced very recent job loss – and are unable to cover basic costs for the first time.

The COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn have made people more vulnerable to unemployment. Community members expressed concerns about mental health, loneliness and isolation. We heard there are many residents who are struggling to access food. Some areas of Ward 1 were described as “food deserts,” lacking grocery stores that are affordable and accessible (via public transit).

We heard that some residents are struggling with affordable housing, especially with increasing rent and utility costs. They are also facing issues related to landlord/tenant bylaw compliance. Safe and affordable housing is a concern for residents, as well as commercial costs for businesses. Affordable childcare was also raised as a key issue, as well as supports for single-parent families.

Ideas

Residents from this ward shared the following ideas to help eliminate poverty from their community:

  • Increase public education about the experiences of poverty
  • More funding from the city for “backbone services” and hire local community activators
  • A shared space for artisans and tool- lending programs
  • More supports for affordable and accessible childcare
  • More appropriate cultural supports in the community
  • More supports for seniors aging in place
  • Increase measures to create food security

Next Ward

Ward 2 is located in northwest Calgary and includes the following communities:

Ambleton, Arbour Lake, Citadel, Evanston, Glacier Ridge, Hamptons, Hawkwood, Kincora, Nolan Hill, Ranchlands, Sage Hill. Sherwood, Simons Valley Ranch

Poverty Profiles 2021