Humpy Hollow Park redevelopment
Project update | October 2023
Park components and landscaped areas are beginning to take shape! This month, the contractor will continue to work on foundation and concrete works. The synthetic turf in the off-leash area will be installed as well as some plantings and landscaping components in the west portion of the park.
We have experienced some material delays over the past few months, and with winter weather quickly approaching, we are estimating the park will be completed in summer of 2024. We thank the public for their continued patience as we work to complete construction as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Typical construction impacts are expected such as increased noise, dust, and intermitted traffic congestion. From time to time, the westbound lane along 17 Avenue or the southbound lane along Centre Street may temporarily close to accommodate material delivery or work near the roadway. Every effort will be made to minimize public impact where possible.
September 28, 2023 – Looking west. The raised planting area, central plaza, and enclosed off-leash area are beginning to take shape.
About the project
With more than 23,000 residents living in the Beltline and a popular City destination by all, there is a need and desire for more vibrant, inviting, and multi-purpose public spaces. Humpy Hollow Park went un-noticed and under-utilized with a run-down play structure and limited access from 17 Avenue.
The McHugh House – built in 1896 – is one of the ten oldest houses in Calgary and resides on the east end of Humpy Hollow Park. The house is an early, rare and intact example of Queen Anne Revival-style architecture in Calgary. Its historical significance was important to preserve and integrate into the modern-day Beltline community.
The citizen-led initiative saw potential of this well positioned piece of land and pursued redevelopment in efforts to maximize the potential of the park. Community-led engagement reinforced the public was eager for a revitalized public space that offered vibrancy and multi-purpose amenities for people of all ages and interests to use and feel welcome.
The City of Calgary was proud to support this initiative through the Beltline Community Investment Fund (BCIF) and other municipal funding sources.
Humpy Hollow Park is located at the corner of 17 Avenue SW and Centre Street S.
About the name
Because we know you’re wondering…
Humpy Hollow Park was named in 1976 through a contest run by the Calgary Activettes Club (a local women's social and charitable group).
The contest judged names suggested by local school children and the name was chosen for the geographical humps and hollows of the existing site.
The 2020 City-led public engagement indicated the public’s preference to keep the name Humpy Hollow Park after the park is redeveloped.
A bit of history…
Archeological monitoring uncovered some ash and foundation remnants of the Sherman Roller Rink which caught fire in 1915. This photo shows what 17th Avenue and Centre Street looked like over 100 years ago.
Coordinated by the BNA
Spring 2020 - Concept Development
Spring 2020 – City Led Engagement
View the What We Heard Report Here
Summer 2020 – Preferred Concept Completed
Fall 2022 – Contract Awarded to Wilco
Spring 2023 – Construction Begins
Summer 2024 – Anticipated Park Opening
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Humpy Hollow Park prior to demolition
A preferred concept was developed that aligns with the vision and principles that Council approved in December 2019. It was further tailored to incorporate the feedback and preferences indicated in the community-led (2018) and City-led (2020) public engagement.
The design was inspired by the desire to celebrate the local community and culture and to incorporate multi-use spaces that accommodate a variety of user groups.
The newly renovated Humpy Hollow Park will feature:
- Enclosed off-leash dog park with synthetic turf
- Covered performing stage
- A ramp providing access to the performing stage and McHugh House
- Centralized plaza
- Built-in multi-level seating wave
- Movable site furniture
- Improved access from 17 Avenue and Centre Street
- Improved east-west pedestrian connection and heightened site lines through the park
- Park lighting
- Graffiti wall murals (BUMP Initiative)
Inside the enclosed off-leash dog park, looking east towards the McHugh House and central stage. A practical synthetic turf was chosen for its durability and reasonable maintenance requirements. Overhead entrance lighting indicates the entrances at the northeast and southwest corners of the park and encourages a safe and comfortable environment in evening or night hours.
The performance stage is located on the east end of the park and sits adjacent to the McHugh House. It will compliment it’s architectural style and integrate the historical home into the park and city life. A curved seating wave will border the north end of the park and offer ample seating and views of the stage, central plaza and dog park. Visitors can customize their park experience by moving flexible chairs and tables around to suit their group needs or size. The space will be heightened by lighting, landscaping, and interesting architectural elements.
A bird’s eye view of Humpy Hollow Park from the southeast corner, looking northwest. The park is open and welcomes visitors in from both 17 Avenue and Centre Street. The appealing curvy design is vibrant and animated – complimenting the trendy and energetic Beltline community. The McHugh House is shown in the bottom right and its historical significance will live on through the culture and socializing opportunities the new park will create.
A series of wall murals were completed in 2021 by the Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP). Toronto-based aerosol artist, Elicser Elliot coined this piece “Thanks for Being There to Hold My Years As They Burn”. Inspired by the energy, vibrancy and cultural diversity of Calgary, the mural centres on love, support and holding space for another – while encouraging patience and understanding for all.
What to expect during construction
The project working hours are as listed below. To ensure safety for both the public and construction crews, there may be special cases where work must be completed outside of the regular hours. In these cases, advanced notification will be posted on this webpage.
- Monday – Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday and Holidays: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Until construction is completed, nearby residents, pedestrians and mobility users can expect to see:
- Construction access from Centre Street at the northeast corner of the site behind the McHugh House.
- An increase in construction activity including large trucks, heavy equipment, and work crews.
- An increase in noise and vibrations from things like motorized equipment, work crews, ground compactions and vehicle backup alarms.
- Soil disturbance and dust emissions.
- Temporary lane closures and/or sidewalk closures on westbound 17 Avenue. Material deliveries or the need for over-sized equipment are examples of when these types of closures would be required. In these instances, advanced notification will be provided on this webpage accompanied by the necessary signage and flaggers on-site providing direction to road users and pedestrians.
- Construction activity on weekends, weekdays, holidays, and evenings as required.
- Fencing around construction areas and on-site signage.
We know that construction impacts can be disruptive, and the project team will work to minimize disruptions where possible, adhere to all bylaws, and most importantly, ensure safety for all.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to complete this project as quickly and safely as possible.
A previously recorded archeological site is located within the Humpy Hollow Park redevelopment site. There is a small area which was identified as a precontact bison kill-site. Archeologists have been engaged and crews will be coached on what to look for and the process to follow should something be found.
Frequently asked questions
The Centre City Parks: Open Space Management Plan recommends that for every 1,000 residents, one hectare of park space be provided. The Beltline – densely populated with over 23,000 residents – is considerably short on open park space, offering less than one-third of this recommended amount.
Given the need for more open space in the community, the long-term value and quality of the Beltline’s existing parks like Humpy Hollow Park is essential to the community’s well-being.
Humpy Hollow Park was under-utilized with an aging play structure and limited access from 17 Avenue. The community and City saw an opportunity to maximize its value and transform it into usable and versatile outdoor space for all those living in the area.
The park space is 201 square meters (approximately 2,167 square feet).
The total capital investment is $3.25M. This includes all project costs from start to finish including engagement, consulting, design, and construction.
Funding for this project comes from the Beltline Community Investment Fund (BCIF), and other municipal funding sources.
The Humpy Hollow site is designated as Special Purpose – Community Service District (S-CS). This land use designation is reserved for educational, or community uses and accommodates a range of small-scale public recreation facilities.
Although several factors may influence the construction schedule, the project is expected to be completed within the 2024 construction season.
It was important to preserve and integrate the historically significant McHugh House into the modern-day Beltline community. It is an architectural element of the park and will eventually be leased to tenants.
In 2018, The Beltline Neighbourhoods Association (BNA) hosted a series of public engagement workshops. Through this process, a vision and set of principles were developed to guide the redevelopment. They were:
- The park will celebrate the local community and culture
- The park will be a multi-use space considering the needs and desires of a wide variety of user groups
- Artful, non-traditional play will be included in the design of the park
- The park will be well-lit and welcoming
In 2020, The City developed two conceptual design plans based off the feedback received from the 2018 community-led engagement. These were presented to the public in a subsequent round of engagement where the public was invited to provide feedback on what site features and attributes they liked and disliked about each of the two concepts.
Feedback and preferences from both engagements were used in the development of the final design plans.
A new playground or tot lot is not included into the redevelopment plans. The previous playground was under-utilized and required a permitter fence which discouraged access from surrounding streets.
Several playful and informal features have been incorporated into the final design that will cater to a variety of ages and interests.
Haultain Park – located at 225-13 Avenue SW – is only three blocks north-west and features a playground, picnic tables, tennis courts, and seating.
Yes, the newly developed park will include an enclosed off-leash dog park.
The City of Calgary completed a Downtown Off-Leash Area Study, which indicated that there is a need for more fenced off-leash areas within walking distance of residents. The Beltline community was specifically noted as an area in need. Feedback collected from the public engagement further indicated the desire for an off-leash dog park.
No, a water feature is not part of the final design. Due both to the high cost of water features and The City’s commitment to water conservation, the project team chose to prioritize other amenities appropriate for the space.
The City has or will obtain various approvals and permits in order to pursue redevelopment of the Humpy Hollow Park including:
- Development Liaison (DL) Process (urban design control)
- Urban Design Review Panel (UDRP) (City policy adherence)
- Alberta Culture & Tourism (archeological)
- City of Calgary Planning (building permit for the stage structure and canopy)