Balmoral Circus Park Improvements

Balmoral Circus Park Improvements

Creating a quiet space for passive recreation adjacent to homes and creating an attractive and meaningful community destination.

Project background

The corner of 19th Avenue and 2nd Street NW is one of the most unorthodox in the city. It might not be immediately extraordinary from the street, but from above, the landscape resembles four pie slices that join to form a circle. Its shape is not an accident, but a byproduct of a push for social order and civic harmony, the leftovers of urban planning's City Beautiful movement, which saw urban grandeur and formality as a means towards social order and increased quality of life. By the late 1930s, some 5,000 annuals were planted here every year.

Given this unique design and rich history, along with previously identified traffic concerns, it presented an opportunity to transform this space back to original form. In fall 2020, as part of the Neighbourhood Streets North Hill Area project, park expansion at Balmoral Circus transformed the intersection at 2 Street and 19 Avenue N.W. by changing roadways back into park space. 

Goals

Our goal is to find an appropriate balance between creating a quiet space for passive recreation and creating an attractive and meaningful community destination, resulting in:

  • A quiet outdoor space for community members
  • Decrease in short cutting and a reduction in volume of the vehicles on the street
  • Provide all directions access for people walking and cycling
  • Retain vehicle access to all homes
  • Results in reduction of on-street parking
  • Partial closure of a portion of street with potential for community programming and open space                                        

Budget

The estimated cost of this work is $2 million. Funding is provided by the Established Area Growth and Change Strategy Capital Fund.

Timeline

Final designs

Feedback from public engagement was used to inform the final design

What we heard What we did
Want to see more green space allowing for simple recreation, or lounging, with lots of trees creating walkways and entrances. The final design includes a double row of trees to emphasize the formal geometry of the space, provide a pleasant walkway circuit for strolling, and is clearly distinguished between public and private spaces.  Half of the circle is devoted to lawn spaces for passive recreation.
Like the idea of a smaller plaza space for gathering. Consider bike routes and pathways in plaza design to maintain safety for cyclists and park users. The final design includes a paved half circle space to facilitate play and activities that benefit from a hard surface, such as street hockey, or learning to ride bicycles or scooters.  Walking and cycling movements through the space are encouraged through central connections, including a tree-lined pathway running north-south.
Prefer a vehicle turnaround cul-de-sac outside the park space, resulting in less street parking and larger park space. Cul-de-sac turnarounds to City standard will be provided at the east and west edges of the park, facilitating safe vehicle turnarounds and maximizing the increased park space.  The north and south entrances to the park include vehicle parking areas and connections with the street and alley network.
Would like to see added amenities to enhance space usage. Through the provision of plantings, walkways, fixed and moveable seating and tables, waste receptacles, and sandstone boulders, the final design provides amenities that support a range of activities.

Final design renderings

Aerial rendering of the site

Site plan drawing – parking indicated at the northside of 2 Street NW

         

Springtime rendering

Evening rendering

Frequently asked questions

General

Why was this project done?

As part of the Neighbourhood Streets Program, the North Hill Area Project implemented a temporary expansion of Balmoral Circus Park into the existing roadway, to test the concept and support different uses of the space, enabling walking and cycling across the street network and continued vehicle access to residential homes. This project was informed by engagement held over the last six years for Green Line, The City's local growth planning program's work in North Hill Communities and Main Streets, which all identified a desire to see reduced vehicle volumes and speeds along residential streets parallel to Centre Street N and to provide safe and comfortable walking and cycling routes.

What was included in this project?

  • Park expansion at Balmoral Circus, transforming the paved intersection at 2 Street and 19 Avenue N.W. into park space and limiting vehicle access with temporary materials. The project team will engage this March with the community to find an appropriate balance between creating a quiet space for passive recreation adjacent to homes and creating an attractive and meaningful community destination before permanent landscaping in spring through fall of 2022.
  • Completing pathway connections and improving crossings at high volume intersections with permanent materials in 2021.

What are the project timelines?

  • October 2020 - Installation of temporary traffic measures, including conversion of the previous roadway within the boundary of the park into recreational space.
  • Nov 6 – Dec 6, 2020 - Public engagement was open to provide feedback on the impact and effectiveness of traffic calming measures and Balmoral Park.
  • March 2021- Public engagement on potential design and recreation options for the Balmoral Park space.
  • Spring 2021 -  Installation of permanent traffic calming measures.
  • March 2022 - Share final designs with public
  • Spring 2022 - Construction to begin            
  • Fall 2022 - Construction complete         

How much will this project cost?

The estimated cost of this work is $2 million. Funding is provided by the Established Area Growth and Change Strategy Capital Fund, which supports investments in communities that are experiencing redevelopment and growth.

Balmoral Circus Park Expansion

Why is The City expanding the Balmoral Circus Park at 19 Avenue and 2 Street N.W.?

Through the North Hill Communities Local Growth Planning engagement, many participants identified a desire to see an increase in open and green space to support the arrival of more homes and workplaces in the area through continued development.  Repurposing street space as open space helps reduce through traffic on 2 Street NW and helps to create a new community space for passive recreation.  Expanding Balmoral Circus to include the roadways allows for a 25 per cent expansion of green space and allows for new options to celebrate this unique part of Calgary’s heritage and create new opportunities for passive recreation.

When did public engagement for the park expansion take place?

In November to December, 2020, Phase 1 of public engagement for Balmoral Circus Improvements and the What We Heard Report can be found here. In March – April,  2021  Phase 2 & 3 of  public engagement for Balmoral Circus Improvements in conjunction with North Hill Neighbourhood Streets program, and the What We Heard Report can be found here.

How were the concepts for the park expansion developed?

The concepts being presented as part of phase 2 of engagement were developed by using technical analysis, consideration of what we learned through the pilot and feedback we heard in Phase 1. During phase 2 of engagement, we received feedback on design considerations for the space to create an attractive and meaningful community destination.

When will the final design and construction take place?

The project team has used your feedback to help inform the final design for Balmoral Circus Park. The final design renderings are shared here on the project website. Construction and transforming the intersection of 2 Avenue N.W. and 19 Street N.W. into a permanent expansion of the park will begin in spring 2022, with completion estimated for fall 2022. 

Will there be construction impacts to nearby residents?

Construction may result in detours for the cycle route along 2 Avenue N.W. Detours will be marked with signage along the routes. Nearby residents will be notified directly prior to construction on possible impacts.

What is a Neighbourhood Street?

A neighbourhood street is a street you might live on or the one near you with local shops and your closest bus stop. There is a lot of activity that belongs on neighbourhood streets like moving, connecting with neighbours and gardening or mowing the lawn. Neighbourhood streets work well when everyone can move safely and comfortably. Find out more about The City’s Neighbourhood Streets program.


This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​

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