Bow to Bluff Corridor
The Bow to Bluff Corridor project creatively reimagined the once vacant and underutilized land bordering the Northwest LRT line between the Bow River and McHugh Bluff. The City of Calgary proudly supported this citizen-led initiative that began in 2011 and worked closely with surrounding communities to discover the potential of this area – that now promotes active, communal, social, and lively public spaces for people to gather and enjoy.
The redeveloped corridor features four separate public spaces that independently invite people of all ages and interests in with amenities such as seating, tables, barbeques, play structures, a community garden, skate-park, and even ping-pong tables and a bocce ball court. Professional mural artists created nine murals along the corridor inspired by “movement” – further heightening the energy and vibrancy in the area. To promote accessibility and a welcoming corridor, improvements were made to the nearby pathways, sidewalks, street lighting and landscaping.
This work was partially funded by the Government of Alberta Municipal Stimulus Program which provides capital infrastructure funding with the primary objective of creating local jobs.
Project Update – Fall 2022
All spaces and amenities are now open for all to use and enjoy. A few remaining items including lighting, wayfinding signage and interpretive work will be completed in the coming months.
- Widened sidewalks, improved lighting, new tree plantings, sound wall improvements and community art throughout the whole corridor.
- Eight murals exploring the theme of “movement” located along the LRT corridor and at the skatepark.
- One graffiti-styled mural used for graffiti abatement located at the skatepark.
- Play Park – hillside climber and slide, sandpit, playhouse, and seating.
- Harvest Park - communal barbecues, bocce ball court and a large harvest table.
- Bow Landing Park – skateboard park, upgraded community garden, swing benches, picnic tables, ping pong table and connections to the LRT bridge and Memorial Drive.
Community Arts Project
Responding to the community’s desire for artwork, artists Dan Bergeron and Gabriel Specter, under the guidance of a Blackfoot Elder, designed eight murals that follow the LRT line extending the length of the corridor. The series explores the theme of “movement” in the community both now and in the past – and all murals are visually and thematically connected through colour and movement. They were inspired by the infectious energy of the new skateboarders to the area, the rushing waters of the Bow River, the to-and-fro of the C-Train commuters, and of course, the vibrant and engaged community members who brought this whole project to life.
Dan and Gabriel also commissioned local graffiti artist “Toner” to design and paint a graffiti mural that features the name of the skatepark – “Sunnyside”. Toner painted this mural live at the community celebration and artworks unveiling event held in fall of 2022.
Four local mentee artists worked alongside Specter, Bergeron and Toner to bring these concepts to life.
- 2011 - A group of independent citizens approached the Ward 7 Office and the Bow to Bluff partnership was established. Council approves funding for engaging residents and developing a design framework.
- 2012 - The Bow to Bluff Urban Design Framework and the Bow to Bluff Process Guide were finalized by the community, consultants and City staff following a high-level review of the documents.
- 2017 – Community engagement took place to make sure the design framework was still relevant to help prioritize the projects outlined in the framework.
- 2018-19 – The Public Realm Plan was updated to reflect community engagement and guide detailed design and construction of the various projects.
- 2020 – Construction contract was put out to market and awarded and construction began in 2021.
- 2021 – The skateboard park and pathway opened to the public at the end of 2021.
- 2022 - Bow Landing Park, Harvest Park and the Play Park opened to the public. A community celebration featuring the artwork unveiling and a blessing from the Blackfoot Elder.