Eau Claire Plaza Redesign
Construction update - January 2024
With construction of the Downtown Flood Barrier and Jaipur Bridge now complete and open to the public, all construction efforts are focused on the Eau Claire Plaza.
Work on the future Riverside Terraces area in Eau Claire Plaza began in November. This work includes site excavation, concrete and utilities work. Connecting these spaces will be integrated planters and seating opportunities that will complete the natural transition from the urban fabric of downtown to the natural environment of the Bow River and Prince’s Island.
Now that we have received funding for the next phase of construction, we are aiming to have all construction on the Eau Claire Plaza completed in 2025. In the meantime, the Plaza must remain closed to the public to ensure safety and efficiency with construction delivery.
The pathway connection between the Eau Claire Promenade and Barclay Parade will also remain closed throughout construction, but access to Prince’s Island is being maintained. Please see map below. Wayfinding signage can be found on the north and south ends of the Plaza site to help visitors navigate the area.
For ongoing construction updates, please visit Eau Claire Area Improvements construction and detours.
The Eau Claire Plaza is being redesigned as part of the refresh of the Eau Claire area to allow for more flexible year-round uses and improved accessibility for all. Its new design will embrace everyday community gatherings and provide spaces for hosting larger events and festivals.
The design integrates with the adjacent Eau Claire Market redevelopment, Downtown Flood Barrier, Eau Claire Promenade, and Jaipur Bridge replacement. As a place grounded in history, this space will reflect its historic past while providing an innovative, vibrant world-class attraction for social and cultural gatherings.
This project falls within the overarching Eau Claire Area Improvements program.
Eau Claire Plaza Vision
Eau Claire Plaza is an iconic public space that connects the vibrant mixed-use Eau Claire community, Eau Claire Promenade, and Prince's Island. This is a place for neighbours, Calgarians, and visitors alike.
This design is grounded in history, with adaptable and engaging spaces that support social and cultural gatherings at all scales, throughout the year.
Plaza Character Areas
Urban Plaza - Stage for the city
The Urban Plaza is the formal gathering space of Eau Claire Plaza, that is designed to be flexible and adaptable.
Central Green - Flexible and dynamic
The Central Green is a large open lawn anchored by an overhead canopy, which provides sheltered gathering space.
Riverside Terraces - Playful transition
The Riverside Terraces extend the plaza to the Eau Claire Promenade, integrating the plaza with the Bow River and Prince's Island. Replacing the previous wading pool will be an engaging spray water feature and a beach for lounging. Connecting these spaces will be integrated planters and seating opportunities that will complete the natural transition from the urban fabric of downtown to the natural environment of the Bow River and Prince’s Island.
Market Street - Connection to the past
The Market Street is a multi-purpose "street" that is designed as a flexible space to integrate the plaza with Eau Claire Market.
Plaza Promenade - Connective thread
A multi-use pathway runs the length of the plaza on the west side. This area is focused on providing a north-south connection through the site, and to the RiverWalk pathway running east-west, on the south bank of the Bow River.
Play Plaza - Play for all ages
Activated with urban and nature-inspired elements that encourage play and exploration for all ages, the Play Plaza supports exterior programming opportunities for future developments in the area.
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Frequently asked questions
The Eau Claire Plaza is being redesigned as part of the refresh of the Eau Claire area to allow for more flexible year around uses and improved accessibility for all residents and visitors. Its new design embraces everyday community gatherings in addition to spaces for hosting larger events and festivals. Once fully completed, the plaza will become an iconic gateway to the area and a vibrant destination that compliments the newly constructed Eau Claire Promenade and Jaipur Bridge.
The Plaza is also being reconstructed to align with flood protection work happening in Eau Claire – the Eau Claire Promenade/Downtown Flood Barrier. The Plaza was re-graded as part of The City’s Flood Resilience Plan in order to protect Eau Claire and Calgary’s downtown from future flooding. The City’s Flood Resilience Plan manages flood risk in Calgary.
The creation of the Downtown Flood Barrier and re-grading the Plaza makes the downtown area resilient to at least a future 2013-level flood and significantly reduces the flood risk to Calgary’s economic, social and cultural centre.
In order for flood protection grading to occur, the Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Co. building was moved to a new location on on 3rd Street & 2nd Avenue S.W. Moving the building ensures that it is protected and maintained as a historical resource into the future.
The City is committed to ensuring that the building and its historic value will be protected during its move and Plaza construction. The City is also committed to elevating the building’s prominence and historical ties to the area in the new designs for Eau Claire Plaza.
The building’s potential permanent location will increase its visibility and presence in the area, while also increasing its historical prominence at a location closer to Prince’s Island and the Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Co.’s original saw mill log delivery river channel.
At The City of Calgary, we pride ourselves on building a great place to live and a great place to make a life. We know that construction can be disruptive. We are committed to keeping business access open throughout construction, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff, contractors and the community.
When construction is underway, here’s what you can expect:
- An increase in on-site construction activity, including construction crews, vehicles and heavy equipment.
- Pathway and sidewalk closures and detours along the Bow River Pathway Network and surrounding areas ensure pedestrians and cyclists can travel safely through the area and still access their destinations.
- The temporary removal of some parking, road closures and potential road detours.
- Fencing around construction areas and on-site signage.
- An increase in noise and vibrations throughout construction. For example, demolition, pile driving, motorized equipment, ground compaction and vehicle back-up alarms.
- Installation of steel sheet piles that will generate ground vibrations in localized areas.
- Soil disturbance and dust emissions.
- An increase in truck and equipment traffic accessing the construction site(s) and surrounding areas.
- Material removal and delivery, as well as on-site flaggers to help direct traffic and pathway users.
- Temporary utility shut-downs may be required.
- Temporary transit stop relocations and detours.
- Construction activity on weekends, weekdays, and overnight as required.
The City's project team has been working directly with affected business owners to minimize the impact of construction on their business.
Will construction impact connections between the Eau Claire Promenade/Bow River pathway system and neighbouring downtown communities?
To maintain safe access to the pathways and cycle network within the city, detours will connect people walking and wheeling along the Bow River Pathway from the West Eau Claire area to RiverWalk in Chinatown and East Village, and the downtown cycle track. To learn more about detours please visit Eau Claire Area Improvements construction and detours.
If the safety concern is a medical emergency, call 911. For all other questions or concerns, please call 311.