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Sunnyside Flood Barrier

What's happening

Over the last two years, we worked with the community to explore different options for a flood barrier in Sunnyside to help prevent another devastating flood like Calgary experienced in 2013.

Following the results of a Triple Bottom Line evaluation and feedback from the community, Council approved the 1 in 100-year flood barrier height.

Benefits of the 1 in 100-year flood level barrier height?

  • It reduces the 2013-level flood risk, which will be further reduced by current and future upstream reservoirs on the Bow River.
  • It’s less disruptive to the community look and feel
  • It increases the ability to protect vulnerable populations
  • It meets the provincial and federal flood standard (1 in 100-year)
  • It provides the building blocks for future climate resiliency

Visit our Engage project page to access recommendation documents and FAQs that explain how we evaluated the different options and arrived at the recommendation.

Next steps

The design for the barrier has moved into the final design and regulatory approvals process. As we work through the technical details of the design we will continue to seek the community’s feedback if there are future opportunities available for public input. 

Our aim is to complete construction of the flood barrier in time for the 2023 flood season.

Getting input from the Sunnyside community

View the Sunnyside Flood Barrier Engage Page to learn about previous engagement on this project.


Bow River flooding - what's the risk in Sunnyside?

Homes, buildings and other infrastructure in Sunnyside are impacted when river flows reach levels of 927 m3/s (1:10). There is a 10 per cent chance of this occurring every year. Find out if your property is at risk of flooding​.

What measures will protect Sunnyside from future flooding?

To protect Sunnyside from future flooding, the Flood Mitigation Measures Assessment​ (FMMA) report, approved by Council in spring of 2017, recommended that a combination of mitigation solutions that work together to create a flexible and adaptable flood risk management program. Each piece of the strategy provides great benefits independently, but together, they ensure the most effective flood protection strategy.

Below is a summary of this multi-measure approach to building flood resiliency that includes the construction of a new upstream reservoir, as well as changes to the TransAlta’s Ghost Reservoir and the construction of community-level flood barriers.

Project team

The project team is comprised of a group of internal experts and external consultants.

  • Stantec Ltd. - Engineering consultant and landscape architects
  • Context Research Inc. - Public engagement

Project timeline

Addressing other sources of flooding in Sunnyside

Due in part to the geography as well as an outdated drainage system, Sunnyside is more prone to flooding and this is something that The City is working to address. In addition to the flood barrier, there are several projects that have been completed or are currently underway to reduce flooding that happens in the community.

Visit for a list of projects and up to date information.

Public engagement

Groundwater study results and recommendation

Groundwater is an important consideration in the design of the Sunnyside flood barrier. We completed extensive studies to understand the groundwater flow in the area, determine the risk that seepage from the river under the barrier poses during a flood and what options are available to manage river seepage under the barrier. 

Visit our Engage project page to view a presentation that explains the study results and the recommendation.  

Sunnyside Flood Barrier Engage page

View previous engagement activities, reports back to the community and presentations

Stay connected

Project specific information


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