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J.H. Woods Park

J.H. Woods Park, located in the Elbow Park neighbourhood in the southwest, features Gerry Shaw Garden, Freddie Lowes’ Garden, a playground and concrete chess tables. The Elbow River Pathway runs through the park. 

About the park

J.H. Woods Park is named after Col. James H. Woods who donated the land for use as a park in the 1920s. Located along the Elbow River Pathway, the scenic park is busy year-round with runners and cyclists. In the summer, the park’s grassy banks are a popular spot to relax next to the river or enjoy a picnic.

Address: 3016 Elbow Drive S.W.

Area: 3.13 hectares 

Hours: 5 a.m. - 11 p.m.


This centrally located park does not have a dedicated parking area and is usually accessed by walking or wheeling.

J.H. Park map


Park features

  • Gerry Shaw Garden
  • Freddie Lowes’ Garden
  • The Oarsman public art piece
  • Concrete chess tables
  • Playground
  • Picnic tables
  • Benches
  • Pathways around park including the Elbow River Pathway
  • A rocky ‘beach’ area to spend time near the river in the summer
  • Portable washrooms (seasonal)

Public parks, pathways, skateparks and greenspaces are available for booking.

Public parks, pathways, skateparks and greenspaces are available for booking.

Photo gallery


Woods Park is named for James H. Woods, a newspaper publisher and philanthropist, who donated the land for use as a park in the 1920s. Originally called Elbow Park Boulevard, the park was renamed in Woods’ honour following his death in 1941. 

The park contains the Elbow Park Swimming Pool and Grounds, which is an identified historic resource constructed in 1914. The site was the first public swimming facility to be developed and operated by The City of Calgary and was the most popular swimming facility in the inner city – second only to Bowness Park pool in number of users. In the winter the site was a popular skating venue. 

The small building onsite dates back to 1922 when Parks Superintendent William Reader had the building constructed for use as dressing rooms for swimmers in the summer and a skate shack in winter. The swim/skate shack building is the only historic structure of its type in Calgary, being a unique example of a riverside swimming 'hole' change room facility within the city

The park also features two gardens; Freddie Lowes’ Garden, named after early Elbow Park district developer, philanthropist and sportsman Freddie Lowes and Gerry Shaw Garden, a tribute to Calgarian and hometown hero Calgary Stampeder Gerry Shaw, who had an impressive 10-year career with the team.  

The bronze sculpture onsite (located to the south of the playground) commemorates the life of John Lecky (1940-2003), a Canadian businessman, athlete, outdoorsman, and philanthropist. Titled, The Oarsman, the piece was created by Calgary-born artist, Robert Spaith. 

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