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Bowness Park Redevelopment Project

Artist rendering of the new tea house in Bowness Park
Bowness Park Tea House - Artist Rendering

Update - January 9, 2014

Parks is anticipating partially reopening Bowness Park this summer. Specifically, the new concession, lagoon/central square and the west end of the park will be open for Calgaryians to enjoy.

Opening the park will depend on what kind of winter and spring weather the city experiences. Scheduled completion dates will be shared closer to summer.

The brand new facility will include a tea house, an equipment rental space as well as 18 bicycle parking stalls and accessible public washrooms. The former parking lot will be transformed into a new centralized pedestrian area, comprised of two courtyards with sitting and picnic areas, fire pits and access to the lagoon. One of the courtyards will overlook the lagoon.

Impact of the 2013 flood to the park’s redevelopment

It’s been a challenge for Parks to get the Bowness redevelopment back on track since the flood. At the time of the flood, about 40 to 50 per cent of the redevelopment had been done. The flood washed up to five feet of water into the park and completely destroyed the new parking lot. Other structures such as the Parks depot and washrooms were damaged, while silt and large debris covered the entire park.

However, some redevelopment work done prior to the flood helped minimize damages to the river bank. Boulders, known as ‘armour’ were placed along the river’s edge near the Stoney Trail Bridge and helped protect the land from erosion. Rock berms or ‘spurs’ also helped reduce scouring along the river bank by breaking up rising overland waters.

Parks would like to thank Calgarians for their patience as work continues in Bowness and other flood-damaged parks.

More news about the project

**Project updates are also posted on signage in the park.

Other Redevelopment Highlights

  • Restoration of the river edge to stabilize the eroding bank and provide safe access to the river during low water levels.
  • 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.

About the project

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 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.

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.