Harvie Passage Facility Enhancement Plan
June 2023 update
Following the June 28 Community Development Committee, the Harvie Passage Facility Enhancement Plan will move forward as part of the Bend in the Bow Redevelopment plan that will also include public engagement on several “quick wins” short-term improvements. See the “Proposed Improvements” section below for more details and view the full plan here.
Related links and documents
About the park
Harvie Passage is a recreational area, on the Bow River in Pearce Estate Park in Inglewood. Over several years, and in response to the significant events in the area like the 2013 flood, the Government of Alberta remediated and modified Harvie Passage beyond the initial design created in 2011. Changes to Harvie Passage created a recreational amenity for river users as well as improving the safety of the original weir (which is essentially a small-scale dam).
Harvie Passage Map
Click to enlarge image
As a recreational facility on the Bow River which is governed by provincial legislation, The City continues to work closely with the Province of Alberta on any changes to Harvie Passage. In Sept. 2021, a working group with representatives from The City and the Province, known as the Harvie Passage Task Force was formed to provide feedback and make recommendations related to the ongoing operations and maintenance of Harvie Passage.
Creating the Facility Enhancement Plan
Since its formation, the Harvie Passage Task Force has been meeting regularly to oversee the development of a Facility Enhancement Plan to consider safety, environmental and operational impacts, access, and community needs in and around Harvie Passage. Careful consideration was given to ensure the plan aligned with existing policies, public feedback, and technical assessments while ensuring any recommendations were fiscally responsible, and supported existing natural assets, infrastructure, and recreational opportunities in the area.
This plan was based on historical use of the area, analysis of existing data and reports and new studies (such as a Traffic Study) and task force feedback and identified potential short, medium and long-term actions to improve the experience for all visitors of Harvie Passage.
This plan is committed to ensuring this public green space remains a vibrant and sustainable park, meaning prioritizing safety and environmental considerations while balancing the increased demands of visitors.
Task force members
City of Calgary representatives from:
- Climate & Environment
- Parks and Open Spaces
- Recreation & Social Programs
- Calgary Fire Department
- Calgary Police Service
- Community Strategies
- Emergency Management
- Community Safety
- Government of Alberta (Environment and Parks, Infrastructure)
- City of Calgary Community Planning
- Calgary River Users Alliance
- Adjacent Communities Associations
- Ward 9 office
- Other interested parties as required such as Sport Calgary and the Parks Foundation or other complimentary river users
What’s in the plan?
The Harvie Passage Facility Enhancement Plan provides recommendations to increase public safety, as well as addressing environmental concerns and usage demands.
The recommendations cover areas such as pedestrian and cyclist movement, conservation and environmental impact, vehicle access and parking, park amenities, and proposed features and site upgrades.
All proposed potential changes are grounded in the core values of the larger Bend in the Bow Development Plan, with two additional values added as part of the Enhancement Plan project:
Click to enlarge image
A variety of facility enhancements were presented by Community Development Committee (CDC) on June 28, 2023 that include improvements to vehicle access and parking, pathway improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as convenience amenities like temporary universal change stalls and washroom upgrades. The project team will be developing and refining designs for these improvements in the coming months as well as reaching out to community members and interested parties to share more details. If you are interested in receiving updates on these improvements or being notified for opportunities to learn more at upcoming community events, please sign up for our project newsletter list.
Next steps in Bend in the Bow master plan
Since the 2017 Bend in the Bow plan was completed, numerous projects have been completed or have emerged (e.g., Harvie Passage, Bioengineering Demonstration Education Project, 17th Avenue Bus Rapid Transit Way and a bike pump track) in the park. This plan update will integrate these completed projects, address new challenges, and respond to new programming needs. This update process will aim to better understand ways to balance ecological objectives with the increased pressures for amenities serving locals and visitors alike.
In the fall, The City plans to engage with community members and interested parties who participated in the original public engagement process that formed the 2017 Bend in the Bow Plan, followed by a period of broader public engagement. The public will be informed about improvements and changes that have happened in recent years as well as planned capital work upcoming. This information will support the public in understanding what is already underway and what is open for input. Key issues that will be explore through community engagement include:
- Observations about current park usage and user experience.
- Prioritization input on short-, medium- and long-term amenity improvements
- Qualitative feedback opportunity to explain why they have prioritized selected investments and identify improvements or features that have been missed in draft plan.