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Century Gardens park redevelopment

Century Gardens is a recognized historic resource that was originally developed in 1975 to celebrate Calgary’s Centennial, the landscape is an abstraction of the nearby Rocky Mountains and Foothills.

At over 40 years old, the park’s mechanical and electrical equipment, and some above ground features have reached the end of their lifecycle. These lifecycle upgrades gave The City an opportunity to explore the park further and to create a redevelopment plan for its overall use.

Project update - December 2020

Over the past few months, we’ve made significant progress toward the redevelopment of Century Gardens. While we have substantially completed construction, we have experienced some supply and construction delays, in part due to COVID-19 and unseasonal snow and winter weather in mid-October.

Several components are left to complete:

  • building’s exterior staircase and gates;
  • building’s upper-level patio pavers;
  • bridge and stair handrail installations;
  • custom benches and garbage bins installations;
  • water feature drainage trench grating;
  • northwest lawn area sodding (spring 2021).

Due to these delays, as well as safety and liability concerns of opening a park in an incomplete state, we are unable to open Century Gardens in 2020, as originally planned. To ensure the safety of the public, the site security fence will remain in place until the re-opening, estimated for late spring/early summer 2021.

Redevelopment highlights

The concept for the site redevelopment was created with extensive public engagement. The changes will make the park more open and welcoming while preserving historic fountains.

Redevelopment highlights include:

  • Two new park pavilion buildings, with a public washroom and the opportunity for a park food concession;
  • Upgraded heritage waterfalls, landscaping, lighting with security cameras;
  • A wood amphitheater;
  • A new central water feature splash pad;
  • Wider park entrances, improved site lines, and increased route options to and from the train platform.

Construction impacts

The park will be closed to the public during construction for safety reasons. Although we are trying to minimize disruption to the area outside the park, we expect the following closures:

  • The 8 Street SW sidewalk alongside the park.
  • The 8 Avenue SW sidewalk alongside the park.
  • Single lane closures along 8 Street SW and 8 Avenue SW as required.

Developing the concept

Parks worked with stakeholders and a consultant team (Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and Carson McCulloch Associates Ltd.) to develop a concept for the park’s redevelopment. Initial feedback from park users and key stakeholders was gathered using a Park Use Assessment (survey). Through the survey, The City could observe how, when and why people used the park, as well as what perceptions and preferences citizens had concerning park features and opportunities. From there, four different concepts were presented to key stakeholders for their input. From the feedback collected, a preferred concept was created that incorporates elements and features from each of the original four. This preferred concept focuses on creating a space for Calgarians to use any time of day, any day of the week and any season. The design invites people to use the park during lunchtime, for unstructured and informal activities, and as a corridor link between the beltline area into the downtown core.

Thank you to everyone who completed the online survey providing feedback on the draft concept for the redevelopment of Century Gardens. The survey was available from September 3 – October 15, 2014. Survey results and a summary report are available.