Bowness Park is located in the historic community of Bowness and is a popular all-year-round destination park. In winter, the Bowness Lagoon is transformed (weather-permitting) into a outdoor recreational skating rink.
Bowness Park Redevelopment Update
Since 2012, Bowness Park has undergone changes to support an increased number of park visitors over the years, enhance park visitors’ experience, boost the park’s environmental health and complete much needed life-cycle upgrades/replacements.
The central parking lot is currently under construction. As a result, there is no vehicle access to the east and west ends of the park. From February to September, access to the west side of the park will be limited as the area is undergoing construction to repair pathways, refurbish picnic areas and for construction of a new accessible playground.
The new park design is based on public and stakeholder input, and was approved by council in 2009. View the overview information sheet on the project.
The estimated completion date for Bowness redevelopment is 2015.
Picnic site availability 2013
Calgarians enjoy Bowness Park in a variety of ways, including spending time with family and friends at seven bookable picnic sites in the park. While every effort is being made to reduce disruptions in the park, we will be temporarily closing the picnic sites at varying times so necessary work can be done, ensuring both public safety during construction and ensuring that the sites are properly retrofitted.
As a result of construction, parking will be more limited than in previous years, and there is no guarantee throughout the summer/fall that the parking lot nearest your picnic site will be open at the time of use. Groups booking space must be prepared to park further away and walk in to picnic sites.
Please note the following picnic site availability:
- Site 1 - unavailable from Labour Day long weekend (Aug. 31) until Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) inclusive.
- Sites 2, 3, 6 & 7 - closed until June 14 inclusive.
- Sites 4 & 5 - unavailable from June 17 until Labour Day (Sept. 2) inclusive.
The concession is now closed. Park of the redevelopment plan includes a new concession building to replace the existing one, which reached the end of its life cycle. The new building will:
- include a more efficient mechanical system;
- be a larger size to accommodate an eat-in cafe, a take-out area and space for renting skates, boats and bicycles;
- include year-round public washrooms.
As a result of the concession being closed, the public will temporarily not be able to rent boats or purchase food/drink. This closure will be in place for the remainder of 2013.
Redevelopment highlights include:
- A new central pedestrian area that includes better access to the lagoon for visitors in summer and winter, and a new concession and cafe building to provide more opportunities to enjoy the park.
- Restoration of the river edge to stabilize the eroding bank and provide safe access to the river during low water levels.
- A new wading pool to provide additional water fun within Bowness Park.
- Reallocated parking to one central location at the centre of the park. This new design will improve traffic flow and encourage a pedestrian/cycling-friendly park experience.
- New water control structures at the lagoon will control water flow and level for more efficient water management.
- Construction of a new parking lot at the west end of Baker Park. The objective in constructing this new lot is to encourage rafters to use the existing boat launch infrastructure at Baker Park, which will substantially reduce environmental damage from launching water crafts directly from the riverbank at Bowness Park.
- New park entrance bridge; the current bridge is nearing the end of its life-cycle. The new bridge will be raised to better manage the lagoon’s water level.
- Interpretative signage and historic elements to celebrate the rich history of this 100 year old park.
The Bowness Park Redevelopment began in March 2012 and is brought to you by the community investment fund. Created by City Council on July 25, 2011, the fund is investing $252 million into tangible and useful community improvements on things like libraries, recreation centres, swimming pools, arenas, athletic fields, playgrounds, emergency services and parks.
Project updates will be posted on signage in the park. Additionally, please continue to check this web page for updates as construction progresses.