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Downtown Calgary is a region of central Calgary, Alberta. It is not a single neighbourhood per se, but is actually a larger community containing three neighbourhoods and a number of districts. Generally speaking, downtown Calgary is bordered by 14th Street W. on the west, 3rd Avenue S. and Eau Claire on the north, the Elbow River on the east and the CPR mainline tracks on the south.
Within downtown are three city neighbourhoods. They are, the Downtown West End, the Downtown Commercial Core, and the Downtown East Village. The neighbourhoods of Eau Claire to the immediate north, Chinatown to the northeast and the Beltline to the south are usually considered to be part of downtown, but strictly speaking they are not. The population of Calgary's downtown is still low relative to certain other cities, despite major rejuvenation initiatives and the development of major condominium and apartment projects. The combined population of the three downtown neighbourhoods was 12,470 in 2006. However, this figure does not include the 1,700 that live in Eau Claire, the 1,400 in Chinatown, and the nearly 17,000 that live in the Beltline.
The Downtown West End and the Downtown East Village are generally considered to be the downtown's residential neighbourhoods. Calgary Transit's C-Train light rail system runs down 7th Avenue S. through the middle of downtown, and the ride is free on this section. The entertainment district is located along 8th Avenue South. It contains the pedestrian mall of Stephen Avenue, lined with restaurants and shopping areas such as the TD Square and Calgary Eaton Centre, as well as two art house movie theaters (the Globe Landmark Cinema and the Uptown) and recreation areas such as the Devonian Gardens.
Landmark buildings found in this district include the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which incorporates several historic buildings into its facade, the Calgary Marriott and Fairmont Palliser Hotel. Landmark skyscrapers in this district are Scotia Centre and Bankers Hall, which also contains a four level shopping gallery. The historic Penny Lane Mall is currently being demolished to allow construction of the Penny Lane Towers.