Prince's Island Park is a beautiful highly used park in downtown Calgary that holds many large events throughout the year including the Canada Day celebration and Calgary Folk Festival.
Location: 4 St. and 1 Ave. S.W.
Area: 20 hectares
Park hours: 5 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Book this park
- Host to many festivals and events
- Picnic areas
- Canoe access to the river
- Pathway and hiking trails
- Flower gardens
- ChevronTexaco Learning Pathway
- Washrooms (seasonal)
- Water fountains (seasonal)
- Cross-country skiing (seasonal)
- Outdoor skating on the lagoon (seasonal) - see how the ice rink is made
- River Café (full service restaurant, closed each January)
- On-leash park (except Canada Day & Heritage Day, due to event participant volume, these days are NO DOGS)
About the park
ChevronTexaco Learning Pathway
Since its development as a park in the 1950s, Prince's Island Park has been recognized as an urban oasis and is an important contributor to the cultural and recreational quality of life for Calgarians. In March 1999, Council approved a renovation of the island, including wetland construction and native plant restoration.
The ChevronTexaco Learning Pathway is an environmental educational pathway on the east end of Prince's Island Park. The pathway winds around a constructed wetland designed to treat storm water before entering back into the Bow River. Interesting interpretive signage explains how a wetland works and presents meaningful information about wildlife, habitat and water quality. It is an environmental, educational, and recreational resource that connects people with nature in an interactive way.
Founding partners are The City of Calgary Parks, ChevronTexaco, and Parks Foundation, Calgary.
Prince's Island was named after Peter Anthony Prince, a lumberman from Quebec who came to Calgary in 1886 and founded the Eau Claire Lumber Mill. The Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Company dug a channel (now the lagoon) to get logs from Kananaskis closer to the Calgary sawmill, resulting in an island.
In 1889 Prince formed the Calgary Water Power Company to supply electric streetlights to the town. Despite its name, the company used steam generators powered by sawdust until 1893 when Prince built Calgary's first hydro-electric plant near the east end of the lagoon. After his death in 1925 the mill was still operational until 1944. The land was purchased by The City from the remaining Prince family in 1947 for development of park land.
Making of Prince's Island ice rink