Research and policy - Recreation

Recreation at The City of Calgary monitors and responds to changing trends and the evolving recreation needs of Calgarians. Ongoing research, policy and strategy development allows Recreation to continue to extend its reach to more Calgarians and remain relevant in changing times.

Aquatic facilities and services play a critical role in the quality of life of Calgarians by providing opportunities for residents to gather, socialize, relax and participate in sport and recreation activities. The City conducted a Pool Study to assess the current state of aquatic facilities and services offered within the city and developed a strategic plan for the future of publicly supported aquatic opportunities. The resulting 2022 Aquatic Strategy provides recommendations and implementation actions that will be used to guide The City in future decision-making for the sustainable and equitable provision of aquatic facilities and services that will continue to be relevant, attractive, sustainable, and well-utilized.

The 2021 Arena Facilities Study provides an overview of Calgary’s publicly-funded arena facilities. It identifies gaps in arena programming and allocations, while highlighting social, environmental, and economic trends related to recreation facilities. The study clearly defines the demographics of Calgary's arena users, including requirements for diversity and inclusion, and will help inform future investments in capital infrastructure and facility planning.

The Recreation Amenities Gap Analysis study provides concrete information about Calgarians' recreational needs providing guidance for the future provision of recreational opportunities and investments across the city.

The Calgary Arts Development Authority's Art Spaces Strategy and Capital Plan guides how The City directs investment in Calgary’s arts and culture system.

The 10 Year Strategic Plan for Sport Development and Enhancement outlines strategies to advance amateur sport in Calgary.

The Recreation Master Plan outlines the business unit’s strategic direction from 2010 – 2020.

Naming Rights Guidelines provide direction for not-for-profit organizations that wish to sell the naming rights for a facility that is City-owned or located on City-owned land. Related: Naming Rights Consultation.

Building on the Sport Field Strategy completed in 2016, The Planning, Development, and Operation of Rectangular Fields at Athletic Parks study provides a summary of research, emerging trends and best practices related to athletic park planning. As Calgary Recreation plans future amenities, this information will be used to determine site-specific needs and considerations. It is important to note, the cost estimates in the study can only be used as a planning reference; they do not represent actual costs.


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. ​