Bow to Bluff Corridor
Project Update – June 2023
We are pleased to share the Bow to Bluff Corridor is officially complete, and all spaces and amenities are open for all to use and enjoy!
Celebrate Neighbour Day in Sunnyside
Bow to Bluff began as an independent, citizen-led initiative focused on transforming the underutilized land that borders the Northwest LRT line between the Bow River and McHugh Bluff. The redeveloped corridor now includes an upgraded pathway connecting three separate public spaces – each outfit with their own unique set of amenities that bring people together with placemaking and socializing opportunities.
Bow Landing Park features a skatepark resourcefully tucked under the pedestrian bridge, swing benches, picnic tables and an ever-popular community garden. To the north, Harvest Park invites the community in with a ping pong table, a bocce ball court, barbecues, and extra-large picnic tables. On the north end of the corridor, Play Park houses kid-friendly play structures, a community toy box, and a sandbox. To promote accessibility and a welcoming corridor, we’ve made improvements to the nearby pathways, sidewalks, street lighting, and landscaping. The linear park spans five blocks and is visually connected through a vibrant and whimsical yellow colour scheme, coordinated architectural structures, more than 60 interpretive signs, and mural art.
Sunnyside is one of Calgary’s oldest communities, rich in history and unique character. Interpretive signage is placed throughout the corridor explaining the historical and geological significance of the area and how it’s evolved into current day Sunnyside.
The new amenities and improved pedestrian modes invite people from Hillhurst, Sunnyside, Kensington and across the city to connect along the corridor, all while amplifying the community’s electric charm and unique character.
We proudly supported this grass-roots initiative to discover this area’s potential – which now promotes active, social, and lively public spaces for people to gather and enjoy. Thank you to the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, and all the people, businesses and contributors that helped transform the Bow to Bluff Corridor into an inviting and community-focused public realm for all to enjoy.
- 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 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 ambitious community members who brought this whole project to life.
The murals were further inspired by a Siksika Elder who provided insight about the area’s resources and its connection to Siksika history, the Bow River, their culture and ways of knowing. Much of the selected imagery in the mural series was inspired by these teachings.
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.
- 2023: Interpretive and wayfinding signage was installed and the Sunnyside community held their official grand opening event for the public.