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River Park, Sandy Beach and Britannia Slopes


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River Park, Sandy Beach and the Britannia Slopes together form a popular park and recreation area for Calgarians. This regional park is located north of the Glenmore Dam and along the Elbow River in southwest Calgary.

Britannia trail erosion - significant rainfall this summer has resulted in erosion issues along the granular trail in Britannia slopes. The trail remains open while we work to mitigate further erosion. The affected areas are marked. Please use caution when using the trail.

ENMAX Pole Replacement

From September 19 to October 7, ENMAX will be in River Park doing work to replace all the power poles along the gravel access road in River Park. They will also be doing some excavation work in the north end of the off-leash area. Rotating area closures will be in effect to protect dogs and their owners while the replacement and excavation work is occurring. For more information, contact ENMAX Customer Relations at 403-514-3990 or

Fall Construction Update 2016

Work is starting on the River Park’s irrigation system in the north end of the off-leash area (outlined in red on the map). The work area has been fenced off and will be temporarily closed to park users until mid-October, depending on weather conditions. The area closure will also coincide with the ENMAX pole replacement work to minimize the amount of closures in the park.

Smaller portions in the south end of the off-leash area will remain temporarily closed to allow turf management techniques to establish and improve the quality of the turf in the area.

For your safety, area closure and pathway detour signs will be in place to help park users navigate all the construction. Please respect all temporary area closures.

Thank you for your patience throughout construction. We will continue to keep you updated on the rest of the work occurring in the park here and through Twitter (#riverparkyyc).

Work completed to date

A lot of the Phase II improvements have been completed and are ready for Calgarians to enjoy:

  • The Sandy Beach parking lot has been reconfigured, paved, painted with designated parking spots, and major landscape improvements. The parking lot is now open to the public.
  • Upgrades to the washroom at Sandy Beach.
  • Flood repairs and enhancements to the beach area at Sandy Beach.
  • Improvements to theoff-leash river access point in Britannia/Riverdale, including restoration barrier installation to protect riparian vegetation communities. We’d like to remind park users that no water-access for dogs is allowed at Sandy Beach.
  • New gravel trails from the Sandy Beach parking lot to the designated river access point and raft launch.
  • Clearer lines of sight on the regional pathway and three scenic rest nodes at strategic locations on the hill along the path.
  • Caragana removal and replaced with native species.
  • Escarpment fencing in River Park.
  • The new picnic shelter, barbeques and fire pits at Sandy Beach and Riveredge Park are completed. For use on a first-come, first-served basis for the rest of the summer.
  • The timber stairs from Sandy Beach Park to River Park as well as along the Britannia escarpment have been completed, and are open.

Coming soon

  • Garbage enclosure improvements at River Park.
  • Trail and pathway improvements.
  • Upgrades to the playground at Sandy Beach.
  • Timber stairs on the Britannia escarpment.
  • Planting/Implementation of living fences will provide natural barriers and enhancements to fencing to better integrate structures into the park aesthetic.

For a complete and detailed listing of all Council-approved actions and improvements in this project, please refer to the Design Development Plan. Signs regarding the planned work are posted at various locations throughout the park for citizen awareness. Work will continue as planned, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, dependant on weather and other mitigating factors. Any questions or comments can be directed to Calgary Parks by contacting 311.

If you see any destructive or suspicious behaviour, please report it to Calgary Police Services by calling their non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

Project information

From 2009-11, The City of Calgary Parks worked with stakeholder groups and the public to develop a management and design development plan for the park. The plan was developed to address stakeholder concerns about environmental damage, aging amenities and user-group conflicts.

The two main goals for this planning process were:

  1. A Park Management Plan recommending principles and strategies related to enhancing the park experience for all users, reducing potential conflict among park users, minimizing biophysical impact of park users and maximizing park sustainability.
  2. A phased Design Development Plan (DDP) identifies opportunities for improvement related to off-leash dog use, impact of over-use in general relating to park health and maintenance, impact of use by river rafters, appropriate location of internal trails/regional pathways, increasing pedestrian access and use by nearby residents, and traffic and parking.

In March 2014, City Council voted to allocate funding through the ENMAX Legacy Parks Program to complete all of the park improvements and recommendations in the DDP.