10/30/2013 02:25 EDT

Brookfield Place Calgary: Tallest Building In Western Canada Begins Construction

Brookfield Properties

Construction has begun on what will be the tallest tower in Western Canada.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning for the Brookfield Place Calgary east tower, which is being developed on the site of the old Calgary Herald building in downtown Calgary.

The completed tower will stand 56-storeys tall, or 247 metres. It will be 1.4 million square-feet and will eclipse the neighbouring Bow Tower, currently the tallest in Western Canada, by just 11 metres.

The site will also include an additional 42-storey office building, a glass atrium connecting the two buildings and an open plaza for film screenings in the summer and ice skating in the winter.

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Restaurants, retail stores and other amenities will also be available on the ground level as well as underground parking for 1,100 vehicles.

The building, which will stand between 1st and 2nd Streets and 6th and 7th Avenues, is expected to be completed in the latter half of 2017.

Brookfield Office Properties says the project will create 1,300 construction jobs and 7.5 million work hours in Calgary.